American Citizenship Center
The American Citizenship Center, guided by Col. Pendleton Woods, is an outreach program of Oklahoma Christian University.
It reaches youth with a message of patriotism, sense of purpose, drug abatement, and commitment to public service. It conducts week-long youth seminars in Oklahoma and elsewhere, and often visits schools with shorter programs. The Center works closely with other organizations who promote the same ideals, including the Military Order of the World Wars, the Sojourners, and Freedoms Foundation.
Col. Woods is a native of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and a graduate in journalism from the University of Arkansas. He served as a combat infantryman in World War II, and was a prisoner of war in Germany after being captured while on a reconnaissance patrol behind enemy lines during the German build-up for what became known as the Battle of the Bulge.
Commissioned as an officer following the War, he served as the Public Information Officer for Oklahoma's 45th Infantry Division in Korea during the Korean War. He retired from the National Guard in 1983 as a colonel, and, in 2002, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame. In 2005, he was named by the American Ex-Prisoners of War as the Outstanding Ex-Prisoner of War in the nation, based upon public service and service to veterans.
After 21 years as an editor and press relations director for the Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company in Oklahoma City, he joined the staff of Oklahoma Christian College (now Oklahoma Christian University) to direct a statewide oral history program established by the college. Interviewing and recording experiences and observations of pioneers of the state, along with volunteers he recruited, and working with local historical societies, the team collected nearly 3,000 interviews, which were turned over to the Oklahoma Historical Society on Col. Woods’ appointment as director of the American Citizenship Center.
During his career as director of the oral history program, he wrote and produced audiovisual programs on various phases of Oklahoma history, using narration, voices, and sound. These programs are still being presented before local historical societies, schools, civic organizations, and others.
Col. Woods has authored and co-authored more than a dozen books dealing with Oklahoma history or biography. He has been inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame.
Representing Oklahoma Christian University, Pen is willing to present programs, without charge, to civic, educational, and service organizations throughout the Oklahoma City metro area.