CHICAGO, IL –The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), which is an advocacy non-profit organization serving in its mission to support the significance and campaign in raising funds for student scholarships and services at HBCU’s and PBI’s, has announced its ‘Who’s Who in HBCU’s’ recognition. The ‘Who’s Who in HBCU’s recognition highlights and awards individuals within the HBCU and PBI community for their outstanding accomplishments and achievements that they’re doing within their campuses and communities that the world may not know or heard about by word of mouth.

This ‘Who’s Who in HBCU’s’ recipient is Dr. Leslie N. Pollard, Ph.D., D.Min, M.Div, MBA. Dr. Pollard serves as the 11th President of Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. President Pollard was born in New Orleans, LA. He brings extensive preparation to his service and calling. He earned a bachelor’s of arts degree from Oakwood University, a master of divinity degree from Andrews University Theological Seminary, a doctor of ministry in Preaching and Worship from Claremont School of Theology, and a master of business administration (MBA) from the La Sierra University School of Business in Organizational Management. To culminate his academic pursuits, he earned from Andrews University the doctor of philosophy degree in New Testament Language and Literature, with an emphasis in apocalyptic literature.

Since 1978, Dr. Pollard’s leadership reflects local, national, and international service. He has served as senior pastor for several large church complexes including the Kansas Avenue (Riverside, CA), Berean (Los Angeles, CA) and the Oakwood University Seventh-day Adventist Churches; additionally, he has been a youth pastor, a university chaplain, a healthcare program administrator, and an educational administrator. As a clergyman, Dr. Pollard has functioned as an evangelist, professor, ministerial educator, and leadership development facilitator to the 17-million-member General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; for example, he leads leadership and mission conferences regularly for SDA and non-SDA audiences. Dr. Pollard has spoken or presented in 50 countries. These environments are diverse as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, England, Germany, Ghana, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Israel, Nigeria, Norway, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad, Turkey, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Between the years of 2011-2017, Dr. Pollard’s leadership of Oakwood University accomplished a number of significant milestones – including a quantified score of 98.9 on its last SACSCOC accreditation visit, an all-time record enrollment of 2000+ students, and the fiscal success of 7 years of positive bottom lines ranging from 1.3 million to 5.7 million dollars. During his tenure, Oakwood University has received the largest individual donation in its history — 1.2 million dollars, the largest corporate donation in its history — 2 million dollars, and the largest grant award in its history — 2.75 million dollars. Under Dr. Pollard’s leadership, the University has purchased two Edible Arrangement Stores, now causing Oakwood to own all of the fruit bouquet business in North Alabama; and under the President, 1 million dollars in fundraising for a Community Health Clinic which will place the footprint of the University more deeply into the local community.

During the last 6 years, Dr. Pollard and his team launched Oakwood Farms as a part of its industry recovery initiative, while completing 2.5 million dollars of new construction and renovation and the building of a 21st-century state-of-the-art-Media Center. This period saw the launch and delivery of Oakwood Online, the creation of Healthy Campus 2020, a nationally-recognized wellness initiative, the launch of the SDA Encyclopedia Office, the opening of the Anna Knight Center for Women’s Leadership, a landmark study of young adult spiritual commitments called LifeCore and the creation of Oakwood University Leadership Academy. There were also 4 consecutive years of 0% tuition increase, making Oakwood University the most affordable institution in the North American Division SDA family. Oakwood achieved two USCAA basketball national championships, two Honda Campus All-Star Academic Championships in 2017, three gold medals in the 2012 World Choir games, and most recently, the Aeolians were named in the Wales Eisteddfod the 2007 Choir of the World.

For 38 years, Dr. Pollard has been married to the former Prudence LaBeach. The Pollards have two daughters, and two sons-in-law who are also Oakwood graduates. The Pollards have 2 grandchildren Genesis, 3 and Eden 1.

Contributions that Dr. Pollard has done within the HBCU and community are:

  • A quantified scoring of 98.9 on its last SACSCOC accreditation visit;
  • The largest individual and corporate fundraising donations, and the largest grant award in the institution’s history; $2.7 million, 1.9 million, and 2018 1 million dollars (Health Action Clinic)
  • A re-investment into campus industries as sources of non-tuition revenue; – Oakwood Farms and the only Edible Arrangements Franchised owned by an HBCU (the only two Huntsville, AL stores are owned by Oakwood University).
  • $25 million dollars of new construction and renovation of campus buildings; ·
  • The creation and recognition of a nationally recognized Healthy Campus 2020 wellness initiative; Winners of the Health Apple Award by Partnership for a Healthy America
  • A landmark study of young adult spirituality called LifeCore;
  • three gold medals in the 2012 World Choir games, the 2017 Choir of the World and Dr. Ferdinand, Outstanding Conductor in Wales, 2018 three gold medals and two Championships at the World Choir Games in South Africa.
  • Development of a Mobile App for Student success and employment through CPGEM called GEMConnect
  • Ground Breaking for a New Farm Market facility and a Health Action clinic for the community (to be completed in Summer 2019)
  • Three New Masters Programs -MAPS, MPH, and MBA



Oakwood University is consistently recognized by national media, business, and educational associations. US News and World Report ranked it perennially among the nation’s “Best Colleges,” both in terms of the “Historically Black Colleges and Universities” (HBCUs) and “Regional Colleges/South” categories; the magazine also ranks Oakwood among the top ten HBCU’s with highest graduation rates. In its first-ever HBCU ranking, the September 2012 EBONY Magazine top-ranked Oakwood’s science program. Additionally, Oakwood is the nation’s fifth-ranked producer of undergraduate black applicants to medical schools, according to the Association for American Medical Colleges. Oakwood’s ISO 9001: 2008 designation distinguishes it as the first and only HBCU, as well as the first and only Alabama and/or SDA higher education institution, so qualified. For more information, visit

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