Old Dominion University President John R. Broderick kicked off the school’s 85th anniversary with his annual State of the University address on Tuesday.
Held in the Ted Constant Convocation Center, more than a thousand people attended the breakfast event.
President Broderick covered several things during his 20-minute speech, including safety, new construction and even a campus-wide giving program.
Much of Tuesday’s address focused on the school’s history. In line with the 85 year-history is a three-day fundraising campaign that begins next month.
“We want to try to ensure that a student’s education here is broad enough so that not only is there the academic component but certainly they would get a sense of what it’s like to participate in something,” Broderick said. “Most of us know when you do volunteer it is a catchy kind of spirit and you do find yourself wanting to do more and we want our students to leave here with that in mind as well as their degree.”
During the address, the president also said the campus is expanding. Three new facilities will be dedicated on the campus in the next few weeks.
“I want people not only here but certainly people in the Commonwealth to recognize that Old Dominion is now second in Virginia in terms of producing those critically-needed stem age graduates,” Broderick said. “That certainly bodes well not only for us but also for the region because if we are ultimately going to try to improve our ability to attract and retain more jobs that aren’t totally dependent on federal dollars, we have to continue to create an educated workforce and I think that’s a really good sign that we’re headed in that direction.”
There have also been new cameras, better lighting and enhanced crosswalk lights installed around the campus for safety.
“It’s a whole host of things and it’s a continuing effort that we make to try to make this campus and this community as safe as it possibly can be,” Broderick said.
After the event President Broderick explained why the annual gathering is so significant.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for me and the campus and the community at large to get together and not only celebrate what we’ve accomplished in the last year, but I think more importantly where we are going and the fact that there were 1,200 people in the room today tells me that that resonated,” President Broderick said.
He also called on The President’s Task Force on Inclusive Excellence to create an action plan to support campus-wide inclusion over the next five years.
President Broderick said,” There is zero tolerance for sexual assault” on campus. He also mentioned that there is a new video created by students for students that sends that message.