For 118 years, the Lord has greatly blessed Oneida with the many resources we have needed to continue educating for time and eternity. In the past couple of years, we have been blessed with a new boys’ dormitory and middle school classroom building named Carnahan-Daugherty Hall, and we are currently building Huang Hall, which will be a girls’ dormitory and classroom facility.
Our current girls’ dormitory, which was built in 1960, also houses our cafeteria. As we build the new girls’ dorm, we are also planning and preparing for a separate cafeteria facility. Our goal is to complete both facilities before the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. This new dining hall will be named W.F. “Bud” and Kay Underwood Hall.
Bud and Kay Underwood are 1963 Oneida graduates. They met as students at OBI and then returned to serve in 1984. Dr. Underwood served as Dean of Boys and Work Program Supervisor and Mrs. Underwood served as an administrative assistant to Dr. Barkley Moore. Dr. Underwood was called to serve as Oneida’s 10th president in 1994 and served in that capacity until retiring in 2012. Two of the Underwoods’ three children are Oneida graduates. Laura graduated in 1986 and Missy graduated in 1993. All three of their children, Harold, Laura and Missy, and their spouses served as Oneida staff members as well.
The Underwoods worked tirelessly to lead Oneida. Faculty and staff housing was greatly improved during their tenure. They also helped bring Oneida into solid legal standing, but perhaps their greatest legacy was establishing and growing an endowment that would provide Oneida financial stability for many years to come. This commitment to savings is now enabling Oneida to make this much-needed improvement with a new dining facility. The Underwoods were hands-on leaders and tireless servants. Students and staff from Dr. Underwood’s time as president can most assuredly recall him often standing at the exit of the dining hall to help ensure food wasn’t wasted.
When my mother called for my family to come to the table, I knew that was a good thing. The OBI dining hall has long been a place where students, staff and guests have come to the table and shared meals, moments and memories. My hope and prayer is that this new facility will be a place where thousands of meaningful relationships and friendships are forged and that many lives will be transformed as they not only come to the table, but as they are allowed to come to Him as commanded in Matthew 19:14. Please pray for us in this exciting new endeavor and I look forward to perhaps one day treating you to a meal in our new dining hall.