by Maquisha Mullins, Ph.D., assistant director, Integrated Marketing & Public Relations
For the first time since the organization was established in 1968, the Adventist English Association (AEA) met on the campus of Oakwood University on Friday, June 21, 2019. The Department of English and Foreign Languages welcomed the international members of the AEA. Their activities at Oakwood were coordinated by Dr. Chandra Mountain, professor of English (pictured at right).
Approximately 70 percent of the attendees were first-time visitors to the campus. Jenny Nogales from Adventista de Bolivia said that “It is warm here, we were treated very kind.” The conference location rotates through the Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities around the world and convenes only once every three years. This year’s AEA was unique because it was hosted jointly on both the campuses of Oakwood University and Southern Adventist University. Monique Pittman, professor of English at Andrews University, a first-time visitor to Oakwood, commented, “I feel so welcomed and am eager to learn more about the history of the university.” She went on to mention how interested she was in the powerful role OU has, “…in taking the pain of the past and using it for inspiration.” The morning began in the Moseley Chapel where President Pollard offered opening words that emphasized and celebrated the complexities of the English language. Dr. Ramona Hyman, chair of Oakwood’s Department of English & Foreign Languages, initiated the celebration of the spoken word by sharing her work and encouraging OU professors and other attendees to share their favorite, or original poetry. The day also included walking tour around campus, a visit to the Clara Peterson-Rock Museum in the Eva B. Dykes Library, lunch and afternoon sessions in the Bradford Cleveland Brooks Leadership Center. The concluding moments on Oakwood’s campus, before departing for Southern Adventist University, were spent in reflection at the historic slave cemetery.
Conference goers enjoyed the time spent on the sunshine-soaked campus of Oakwood University and look forward to another opportunity to return. The next AEA conference is scheduled for June 2022, and will be held in Peru.