Memoirs of OU

Homecoming brings alumni back to share experiences of their educational career at Oakland.

Members and friends of the Black Alumni Chapter were invited to a social hosted by the Center for Multicultural Initiatives (CMI) on Saturday, January 25. 

The event was held in the Gold Rooms in the Oakland Center. 

“It feels wonderful we’re happy to see all the alumni come out and participate in homecoming,” Omar Brown-El, director for CMI said. “It’s a way to get them back on campus and see all the wonderful things going on at Oakland University.”

Brenda VanTull current member on the Board of Directors for the University Alumni Association, graduated from Oakland in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. 

“I had a great experience with professors, faculty and staff,” VanTull said. “It was no problem having someone have your back if you were out sick.”

After graduating VanTull worked for a trucking company and then began to work for the city of Detroit in human resources and has been there ever since. 

“When I went to take my entrance test for my current job for the city of Detroit, on the exam were exact questions that I had in accounting classes at Oakland,” VanTull said. “Word for word. I said to myself ‘oh my goodness that education paid off.’ I actually used what I learned here.”

VanTull had such a great experience at Oakland she would like to make it a family affair. 

“I bring my 12-year-old son to as many events on campus as possible,” VanTull said. 

VanTull said the distance of Oakland from her hometown was perfect. 

“It was far enough away, but not too far,” VanTull said. 

Similarily, alumni Robynn Diamond also liked the location and atmosphere at Oakland. 

“The campus life, campus conditions and academics here all played a huge part in my selection process,” Diamond said. “I lived on campus all four years so I have a tremendous respect for the residence halls. There was a lot of activities on campus, which made us grow very close as a campus.”

Diamond, current board member for the African American Alumni Association, graduated from Oakland in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts and Communications. 

After graduating, Diamond went to Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia to earn her Masters of Public Administration with a human resource focus.

“A lot of my courage to venture out came from my growth here on campus,” Diamond said.

Even after venturing to Georgia, Diamond acknowledges the life-lasting friendships she created at Oakland University. 

Diamond has worked in human resources ever since. Ford Motor Company and Detroit Public Schools are just some of her former employers.