Alfred B. Rollins ,Jr. became the third president of Old Dominion University in 1976 upon the retirement of James L. Bugg, Jr. President Rollins expanded the university’s state and private funding, revamped student services, and added a new general education program for undergraduates. Rollins also broadened Old Dominion’s emphasis on marine science and added an honors program. Upon retiring in 1985, Rollins taught classes in the History Department.
Accomplishments during Tenure
Believing that Old Dominion should build relationships with the Hampton Roads community, President Rollins maintained and created key partnerships with various agencies and reinvigorated the arts on campus. Rollins helped to build relationships with the US Navy, NASA, Norfolk State University, Eastern Virginia Medical School, and W&M. Under his tenure, art, dance, music, and drama were emphasized, and the University Gallery began to flourish.
Of all his accomplishments at Old Dominion, President Rollins was most proud of his advances in affirmative action. During his tenure, Rollins began to tackle the disparity in salaries between women and men, the Women’s Studies Program and Women’s Center were established, the first African American and female deans were hired, several duplicate programs between Old Dominion and Norfolk State University were eliminated, and in 1979, the first Multicultural Center was established on campus.
- Office of the President. Alfred B. Rollins, Jr. Records, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.
- Old Dominion University Photographic and Multimedia Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.
- University Presidents, Old Dominion University Libraries Digital Exhibits, 2009
- Bookman, Steven and Jessica Ritchie. Old Dominion University: A Campus History Series. Arcadia Publishing. Charleston, South Carolina, 2017.