I had the privilege of attending events last week at OU three days in a row. On Thursday, Louay Chamra, Dean of Engineering and Computer Science, hosted the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meeting in his conference room in the new engineering building. While a new building is certainly a source of pride for a university, what’s equally rewarding is observing Dean Chamra as he talks about and gives tours of the new facility. The engineering program at OU has gained much prominence in the last few years, with a lot of credit to Dean Chamra’s enthusiasm and leadership. In fact, it’s that enthusiasm that lead my own son to turn down admittance to MSU and Kettering to attend OU. Of course MSU and Kettering are great educational institutions and have prominent engineering programs, but my son was convinced that OU was right for him and wanted to attend classes in the new building. He made that decision after meeting with Dean Chamra and I know he will receive an outstanding education.
Late Friday afternoon, the new Elliott Tower was dedicated. This new structure has significant prominence among all of the buildings on the OU campus and is no less than extraordinary. Hugh and Nancy Elliott are big supporters of OU and provided the funding for the tower. With all its amenities including fountains, brick paver plaza, landscape, lighting and more, it is sure to be a great community gathering place. When I arrive at the office in the morning, I can’t miss the top of the tower as it is well-lit. Besides, the clock lets me know if I’ve gotten to work on time. The dedication event was no less than spectacular. Hundreds upon hundreds of people gathered to listen to a handful of speakers talk about the tower and how it came about, and of course, to hear the bells ring. As an OU Alum, it gives me great pride to tell people that OU is my alma mater and the Elliott Tower is a shining example of the growth, investment, and confidence that the greater community has in OU.
On Saturday morning, Dean Glenn McInstosh presided over the dedication and grand opening of Oak View Hall, the new student residence and new home to the Honors College. Dean McIntosh delivered heartfelt gratitude to the many staff and students, present and past, who participated in bringing Oak View Hall to fruition. This was my first opportunity to tour the building and also my first opportunity to meet OU’s new president, Dr. Hynd. I heard Dr. Hynd speak at both the Elliott Tower dedication and the Oak View Hall grand opening. I think OU selected a superb new President and I look forward to working with him on many things that OU and Auburn Hills have in common.
The latest OU additions are a great source of pride for Auburn Hills. The new engineering building and massive parking structure that was built to support the south end of the campus, the Elliott Tower, and Oak View Hall, are all located in Auburn Hills. Looking out across the street from the City offices, it is easy to see that Oakland University is no longer the small, rural campus that it was in its early years. Today, it is a growing University with a reputation for excellence. OU is not just a University that is attended by local people looking for a place of higher education in close proximity to home. More and more it is a University being selected by students nationally and internationally for its academic reputation and all-around outstanding student experience.
Tom Tanghe, City Manager