ODU Presidents

James L. Bugg, Jr. Plaza

The James L. Bugg, Jr. Plaza, is the student common/courtyard area between the Batten Arts and Letters Building (BAL) and the Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library on the campus of Old Dominion University (ODU). The Virginia Beach Monarch Memorial sits at the end of the plaza. Bugg Plaza was named after James L…. read more »

Brian O. Hemphill

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., president of Radford University, succeeded John R. Broderick as the ninth president of Old Dominion University (ODU) on July 1, 2021. Prior to serving as president of Radford University, Dr. Hemphill served as President of West Virginia University, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Northern Illinois University, and… read more »

John R. Broderick

John R. Broderick became the eighth president of Old Dominion University following the resignation of Roseann Runte in 2008. President Broderick was a champion for inclusiveness at Old Dominion. He implemented a reorganization of the Office of Affirmative Action into the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, created the Office of Intercultural Relations, and set up the President’s… read more »

Roseann Runte

Roseann Runte, Ph.D., president of Victoria University in Toronto, Canada, became Old Dominion University’s (ODU) seventh and first female president following the retirement of James V. Koch in 2001. After several attempts had failed over the years, President Runte led a successful campaign to revive the football program after a more than 60-year absence. Dr…. read more »

James V. Koch

James V. Koch, Ph.D., president of the University of Montana, became the sixth president of Old Dominion University in 1990 after William B. Spong Jr.’s 18-month term as interim president. In the realm of academics, President Koch raised admissions standards, increased enrollment and retention, established the university’s innovative TELETECHNET distance learning program, and developed niche… read more »

William B. Spong, Jr.

When President Joseph M. 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, Spong previously served as dean of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at… read more »

Joseph M. Marchello

Joseph M. Marchello, Ph.D., chancellor of the University of Missouri at Rolla, became the fourth president of Old Dominion University upon the retirement of Alfred B. Rollins Jr. in 1985. President Marchello brought energy and ability to the position and set ambitious plans for the development of the university, some that materialized after his tenure. Upon… read more »

Alfred B. Rollins, Jr.

Alfred B. Rollins ,Jr. became the third president of Old Dominion University (ODU) 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… read more »

James L. Bugg, Jr.

James L. Bugg Jr., Ph.D.,  was personally recruited by Rector Frank Batten in 1969 to become president upon the retirement of Lewis W. Webb Jr. President Bugg’s mission was to transition Old Dominion from a college to a university. He was able to grow the university despite resistance from state legislators and other Virginia schools… read more »

Lewis W. Webb, Jr.

Lewis W. Webb, Jr., the first President of Old Dominion University (ODU), was born in Norfolk, Virginia on March 1, 1910. A graduate of Maury High School, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1931 and Master of Science degree in 1932 from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg. He served as an Instructor of… read more »