NORFOLK — Old Dominion University (ODU) formally inaugurated Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., as the school’s ninth president on Oct. 21 at ODU’s homecoming weekend during an investiture ceremony.
In front of a crowd of students, faculty, staff, and government representatives, Bruce Bradley ’78, rector of the Board of Visitors, bestowed the presidential medallion. ODU’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Austin Agho, Ph.D., presented the academic mace.
“When we began this journey together on July 1, 2021, we made a commitment to excellence, accountability, transparency and student-centeredness,” said Hemphill at the ceremony. “Without question, Old Dominion University’s longstanding reputation and proven success in providing access and opportunity are the cornerstone of our efforts and will continue to guide us as we move forward together.”
According to ODU, “President Hemphill’s inaugural address introduced the theme of his era of leadership: ‘Forward Focused: Inspiring Innovation.’ In his first year on campus, that theme was put into practice. President Hemphill has led hundreds of constituents across campus through a strategic planning process producing a road map for the next five years. At the Distinguished Alumni Honors Dinner on Oct. 20, President Hemphill unveiled a capital campaign aiming to raise $500 million for scholarships, research, faculty recruitment, campus facilities and more.”
Last year the school was designated a Research 1 institution, and President Hemphill also was a proponent of moving ODU athletics to compete in the Sun Belt Conference.
Part of the school’s road map for the next five years includes a five-story, 160,000-square-foot Biology Building and President Hemphill has also announced the construction of the Ellmer Family Baseball Complex, the school’s expanded baseball facility, the school said.
West Virginia University (WVU) President Gordon Gee, Ed.D., gave the keynote address.
“You have the responsibility to set the tone from the top on campus and to make sure that the University’s vision and values are not just words on a page, but something every community member lives every day,” said President Gee. “I learned that our role as leaders is to make things right before they go wrong.”
For more information on ODU and its new president, visit the school’s official website.