Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary and Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI)

Norfolk William & Mary and VPI sign, circa 1940-1949
Norfolk William & Mary and VPI sign, circa 1940-1949

The Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary and Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI) was the name of Old Dominion University (ODU) from its founding in 1930 until 1960. During this time, students could take their first two years of coursework at the Norfolk Division and then transfer to VPI, now Virginia Tech, for their final two years.

History

Shortly after its founding in 1930, the Norfolk Division established a partnership with VPI in 1931 to offer the first two years of its standard engineering program to students in Norfolk. Edward White, who would serve as a professor of engineering at ODU for 42 years, became the first director of the program. Classes originally took place in the Old Larchmont School building. As the William & Mary divisions in Norfolk, Richmond, Petersburg, and Newport News began to grow in the 1940s and 1950s, the President of William & Mary, the Virginia General Assembly sought to create a college system to better manage the five institutions. In 1960, the General Assembly passed H.B. 466, which created the Colleges of William & Mary system, whereby Alvin Duke Chandler, President of William & Mary, would serve as the Chancellor and the individual divisions, as well as William & Mary, would have presidents. When the Norfolk Division received its own accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities (SACS) in December 1961, it was renamed the Norfolk College of the Colleges of William & Mary. The following year, the General Assembly passed H.B. 156, which dissolved the Colleges of William & Mary system, and the Norfolk College became an independent institution on July 1, 1962.

Resources

  1. ODU Photographic Collection, Old Dominion University Libraries Digital Collections, Old Dominion University Libraries.

References

  1. Bookman, Steven and Jessica Ritchie. Old Dominion University: A Campus History Series.  Arcadia Publishing. Charleston, South Carolina, 2017.
  2. Wikipedia contributors. “The Colleges of William & Mary.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 6 March 2020. Accessed 24 March 2020 at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Colleges_of_William_%26_Mary .

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