Oakland University celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding in 2007. When it opened in 1959, 570 students were enrolled, and the charter class graduated in 1963 with 125 students receiving diplomas. Today, more than 18,000 students attend classes at OU each fall, and our alumni number more than 80,000.
Oakland University was created in 1957 when the late Alfred and Matilda Wilson donated $2 million and their 1,500-acre estate to Michigan State University to start a new college in Oakland County. Named Michigan State University - Oakland, the college enrolled its first students in 1959. The name changed to Oakland University in 1963. In 1970, the Michigan Legislature recognized the maturity and stature of Oakland University by granting it autonomy, and Michigan's governor appointed Oakland's first Board of Trustees