Academy Named in Honor of Oaks ’51

A family of captains endowed the Oaks Leadership Academy. Cynthia Oaks Linville ’80, captain of the 1980 women’s lacrosse team and current president of the Maroon Club, and Judson Linville ’79, captain of the 1979 men’s lacrosse team, made a generous gift to endow the academy on the 60th anniversary of Wilbur Wilson Oaks’ graduation from Lafayette. Oaks was captain of the 1950 soccer team.

“My wife and I saw the program as a terrific way to honor Billy,” says Linville, chief executive officer of Citi Cards. “The program challenges and emboldens student leadership. It also teaches students how they can have large impact in the world of athletics, academics, and life.”

Oaks is a role model for the program. An exceptional leader in the medical profession, he was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2001, president of the Alumni Association from 1994 to 1996, and president of the Maroon Club in 1992. He received the Lafayette Medal for Distinguished Service in 2001, Joseph E. Bell ’26 Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 2002, and an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree in 2011. He is retired professor of medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine and founder of Saint John’s Hospice Homeless Soccer Team Program.

Oaks has received more than 25 awards for his service to the medical profession, including the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award, A.J. Battafarano Award for Humanism in Medicine, and Drexel University Lifetime Achievement Award.

Oaks still cheers on the soccer team. His appearance in the stands at all home games does not go unnoticed by players, including academy participant Nate McDonald ’14.

“I know I’m speaking for the whole team: We’d like Dr. Oaks to know how much we appreciate him and his family. He’s a huge supporter.”

The tradition of captains continues. Cameron Linville ’13 is captain of the women’s lacrosse team this year.

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