Honorary Degree Recipient
Doctor of Laws
University of Minnesota, Duluth, May 13, 2006
Harry Oden, native of Alabama, grew up in Milwaukee and graduated from UMD with a bachelor of science in Education (1963). After graduation, he became an educator in the Milwaukee Public Schools and served in many different positions from teacher to principal for 35 years. Described as a leader and mentor who has influenced the nation, he has helped thousands of students and young people. He was responsible for developing the first Black History Program in the state at Milwaukee Public Schools in 1967. And, in the1980's he helped establish one of the first programs to address gang related problems. His expertise involving school safety and security grew and in 1998 he became the Principal on Special Assignment and the Assistant Director of School Safety and Security. In 1999, after the Columbine School massacre, District administrators called on him for advice. The many programs he developed on safety and security have served as models for several school districts around the country. Because of his devotion to education and community service, UMD established the Harry Oden Scholarship for minority and disabled students in 1994. And, in 1997, he was inducted into the UMD Athletic Hall of Fame for his basketball and track accomplishments. Now retired, he continues to serve as an educational consultant for various school districts and as a motivational speaker for organizations such as the YMCA and the Boys' and Girls' Club.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.