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Keeper of the Dream

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Please join us on Monday, January 18, 2016 — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day — to recognize extraordinary Oakland University students who exemplify Dr. King’s vision and promote interracial acceptance and understanding on the Oakland campus and beyond.

  • 11:30 a.m. Scholarship awards presentation, Banquet Rooms
  • Noon Keynote address, Banquet Rooms
  • 1–3 p.m. African American Month celebration kickoff, Food Court 

Event venue doors will close promptly at 11:30 a.m. Late arrivals will be seated in overflow seating where a live stream of the event will be featured.

For more information, please call (248) 370-4915.

2016 Speaker
Levar Burton

LeVar BurtonLeVar Burton launched his acting career while still a student at the University of Southern California. Cast in the groundbreaking role of Kunta Kinte in the television series “Roots,” at 19 he found himself on the cover of Time Magazine.

A seemingly impossible act to follow, Burton managed to achieve further acclaim as Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” But he is most proud of his role as host and executive producer of the beloved PBS children’s series “Reading Rainbow.” Airing from 1983 to 2009, it was not only one of the longest-running children’s television shows in history but also one of the most acclaimed, earning more than 200 awards including multiple Emmys and a Peabody.

In 2012, Burton co-launched RRKidz, a digital educational publishing company. Reading Rainbow was reimagined as a digital reading service and is now the number one educational app on iTunes and recipient of numerous awards.

The honored recipient of 12 Emmy Awards, a Grammy and five NAACP Awards, Burton has demonstrated that he can do it all — act, direct, produce, write and speak. He now enters his fourth decade in the industry, with millions of fans throughout the world, and continues to inspire, entertain and educate.



OU Alumuni Assoc logo
OU Credit Union logo
L&L McIntosh Scholarship


Avis Ford logo
Key Bank Foundation



2015 Keeper of the Dream Keynote Speaker Jurnee Smollett-Bell,
Award-winning actress and activist

The Keeper of the Dream Award was established in January 1993 to recognize Oakland University students who have contributed to interracial understanding and good will. 

  • Applicants must demonstrate academic achievement (a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 at time of application)
  • Have a clear career focus and academic persistence
  • Be returning to Oakland in the fall and winter semester of the following academic year

The Keeper of the Dream Scholarship Awards Celebration honors the legacy of the late civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and awards up to six scholarships to students that best demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities through their involvement on campus and in the community by breaking down racial and cultural stereotypes and by promoting unity among all people to foster a campus environment rich in diversity and multiculturalism.

It is also an opportunity to publicly recognize students who exemplify Dr. King’s vision, and to award them annual scholarships for their efforts in promoting interracial tolerance and understanding.

A steady increase in corporate contributions has made it possible to increase the initial level of awards from two $1,000 scholarships in 1993 to several $5,000 scholarships. Since its inception, over eighty students from a wide variety of academic majors have been awarded scholarships.

For more information about the award requirements, please contact the Center for Multicultural Initiatives.

2015Jurnee Smollett-Bell
Award-winning actress and activist 
Joseph Kirma
Zienab Fahs
Chanel Daniels
Aukury Cowart
Taylor Moore 
2014Lee Daniels
Oscar-winning producer and director
Raya Hollis
Paul Marvin
Yen Tran
Daniel Lewis
La'Asia Johnson
2013Daymond John
Shark Tank star and entrepreneur
Steven Wynne
Charlie Lapastora
Bria Ellis
Rapper, author, activist
Ben Eveslage
Subha Hanif
Tara Michener
2011Lou Gossett Jr.
Oscar-winning actor
Founder, Eracism Foundation
Emily Tissot
Gerald Son
Rodrina Moore
Aiana Scott
2010Susan L. Taylor
Editor Emeritus, Essence magazine
Founder, National Cares
Mentoring Movement
Chelsea Grimmer
Juquatta Brewer
Melissa DeGrandis
2009Danny Glover
Actor, producer, human rights activist
Norris Chase
Lisa Daily
Jasmine Rudolph
Relando Thompkins
2008Harry Belafonte
Human rights activist and entertainer
Latonia Garrett
Ronée Harvey
Denise Jones
Avery Neale
Yakela Roberson
Jinae Stoudemire
2007Ruby DeeSean Buono
Kwame Everett
Matthew Kelly
Aaron Kochenderfer
Brandon Svenson
Tiffanye Teagarden
2006Former Ambassador Andrew YoungNerissa Brown
Margaret DeGrandis
Kirbionne Fletcher
Michael Lerchenfeldt
2005Coretta Scott KingSheila L. Brooks
Andrew W. Gaines
Kathryn M. Miller
Jameelah M. Muhammad
Ashley K. Seal
2004Daniel G. Mulhern
First Gentleman of Michigan
Lenny Compton
George Davis III
Joi Durant
James Ellout
Sophia Soldana
2003Edsel B. Ford
Ford Motor Company
Crystal D. Allen
Steven D. Townsend
Crystal A. Wilkerson
Sumeera Younis
2002Martin Luther King III
President, Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Ashli C. Bobo
Rhonda R. Hanna
Joi C. Olden
Diana L. Pochmara

Special Recognition:
Erin Liebner
2001Harold Kutner
Vice-President, Worldwide Purchasing &
North American Operations
General Motors Corporation
Angel D. Guy
David Mackinder
Brian S. Jaye
Kimberly Lavan
Ann R. Lefkowitz
2000Robert N. Cooper
President, Ameritech Michigan
Annie O. Chung
Bonefacio F. De La Rosa
LaShanda P. Evans
Kristin J. Kouba
Razzaaq S. McConner
Aniesha K. Mitchell
Tamarcus D. Southward
Ralph E. Williams, II

Special Recognition:
Mychal C. Thom
1999Dave Bing
Chairman, The Bing Group
Jerry W. Autry, II
Adrienne D. Carter
Ronald L. Howell, Jr.
Shawn R. McLernon
Shaunda N. Scruggs
Natasha P. Vanover
1998Robert J. Eaton
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Chrysler Corporation
Delano Davis
Jermaine Evans
Lisa Gregg
Renique Quick
Alysia Roberson
Doron M. Elliott
Dedra L. McGlory
1997William C. Brooks
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
General Motors Corporation
Carla Sabbagh
Tierra Stamps
1996Father William T. Cunningham
Executive Director, FOCUS: Hope
Bridget Green
Kelly M. Schehr
1995Denise Langford Morris
Judge, Oakland County Circuit Court
Natascha Nunn
Gregory Sharp, Jr.
1994Conrad Mallett, Jr.
Associate Justice, Michigan Supreme Court
1993Dennis Archer
then mayoral candidate, City of Detroit
Alicia Cunningham-Sampson
Lisa McRipley