ODU is a star

Hate to quibble with the writer of the headline for today’s editorial in The Virginian-Pilot, but Old Dominion University is not just becoming a star, it already is 🙂  Other than that, the editorial is dead on – and I couldn’t have done better if I had written it myself.

President John Broderick

With my media hat on, I was in attendance at the ODU’s State of the University Tuesday when ODU President John Broderick announced the $10 million gift. It came near the end of his speech and caused a bit of a stir. Combined with the leaked plans to build a new stadium, this was big news.

Later, with my member of the faculty hat on, I attended the State of the College address for the College of Business and Public Administration, which was given by the dean, Dr. Gil Yochum. A few other details emerged regarding the $10 million gift, as this entrepreneurship curriculum will be housed within CBPA. The excitement was palpable. There is a plan to have all students take a basic entrepreneurship course, which I think is excellent. As someone who spent my previous career advising businesses, I know how great the need is for this knowledge. The failure rate of start up businesses is high because of the lack of it.

I still find it amazing at how far ODU has come in the 30+ years since I graduated. I was there when the Powhatan Apartments, now to be demolished for the new stadium, were being built. When Broderick, the university’s eighth president, mentioned the passing of Al Rollins*, the third president, it occurred to me that I’ve been witness to all but the first two of the university’s presidents. All have left their mark (and yes, I’m still steaming over the change in the school’s colors and logo, although I’m starting to accept them after all these years).

I can only imagine how far ODU will go in the next 30 years.

Rollins Hall

* – Rollins has a special place in my heart. Not only was he president when I arrived at ODU, but later his wife had art space in the same building that my CPA office was in.  As I was just starting my business, I was actually making my living singing and playing the piano six nights a week. Rollins was interested in learning to play the piano, and I gave him a piano lesson. He was a wonderful man. How appropriate that the old Administration building, as I knew it back in the day, now bears his name.