William B. Spong, Jr.

When President Marchello resigned in 1988, the board of visitors selected William B. Spong Jr. to serve an 18-month term as interim president of Old Dominion University. A former US senator who also served in the Virginia General Assembly for 12 years, Dr. Spong previously served as dean of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at W&M from 1976 to 1985. A veteran legislator, Spong was able to acquire funding for building projects, equipment, and faculty positions.

Accomplishments during Tenure

In addition to having a great relationship with legislators in Richmond, President Spong also secured endowments from the private sector for scholarships and
professorships. During his tenure, Spong built alliances with the Jefferson Lab and NASA, secured funding for the Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography and the F. Ludwig Diehn Center for the Performing Arts, and publicized the importance of Old Dominion to Hampton Roads. After stepping down in 1990, Spong returned to practicing law.


  1. Office of the President. William B. Spong, Jr. Records, Special Collections and University Archives, Special Collections and Univeristy Archives, Perry Library, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, 23529.
  2. Old Dominion University Photographic and Multimedia Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Perry Library, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, 23529.
  3. University Presidents, Old Dominion University Libraries Digital Exhibit, 2009


  1. Bookman, Steven and Jessica Ritchie. Old Dominion University: A Campus History Series.  Arcadia Publishing. Charleston, South Carolina, 2017.