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Rep. Scott, Huntington Ingalls President to Deliver Addresses at ODU's 121st Commencement Exercises

A local congressman and the president of America's largest military shipbuilder will deliver addresses to graduates at Old Dominion University's 121st commencement exercises on Saturday, Dec. 13. More than 1,300 graduates will have bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees conferred in two ceremonies in ODU's Ted Constant Convocation Center.

Mike Petters, president and chief executive of Huntington Ingalls Industries, will speak at the 9 a.m. commencement ceremony to graduates of the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, College of Sciences, and Darden College of Education.

Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-Newport News), currently serving his 11th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, will give the commencement address at the 2 p.m. ceremony to graduates of the College of Arts and Letters, College of Health Sciences and Strome College of Business.

Also at the 2 p.m. ceremony, Susan Goode, a community leader and volunteer, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Petters assumed his role on March 31, 2011, when Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding began operating as the newly formed and publicly owned Huntington Ingalls Industries, America's largest military shipbuilder, in a spin-off from Northrop Grumman Corp.

Petters is responsible for leading the design, construction and overhaul of conventionally powered surface combatants, amphibious and auxiliary ships, nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers, as well as business opportunities in adjacent markets. Prior to this appointment and since 2008, Petters served as president of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. Previous to this, he served as president of Northrop Grumman's Newport News sector.

Petters joined Newport News Shipbuilding in 1987 in the Los Angeles-class submarine construction division. He held a number of increasingly responsible positions throughout the organization, including production supervisor for submarines, marketing manager for submarines and carriers, vice president of aircraft carrier programs, vice president of contracts and pricing, and vice president of human resources.

A native of Florida, Petters earned a bachelor's degree in physics from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982, served aboard the nuclear-powered submarine USS George Bancroft and spent five years in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

Prior to being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992, Scott served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1978 to 1983 and in the Senate of Virginia from 1983 to 1993.

During his 15-year tenure in the Virginia General Assembly, Scott successfully sponsored laws that are critical to Virginians in healthcare, education, employment, economic development, crime prevention, social services and consumer protection.

Through his election to Congress, Scott made history by becoming the first African American elected to Congress from the Commonwealth of Virginia since Reconstruction and only the second African American elected to Congress in Virginia's history. Having a maternal grandfather of Filipino ancestry also gives Scott the distinction of being the first American with Filipino ancestry to serve as a voting member of Congress.

Scott is a strong supporter of our nation's military readiness, as well as our troops and their safety. He is a leading advocate for improving and increasing funding for veterans' benefits and health care, especially mental health care, and was the lead sponsor in the House of former Sen. Jim Webb's Post-9/11 G.I. Bill that was signed into law on June 30, 2008.

Born in Washington, D.C., Scott grew up in Newport News. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Boston College Law School. He received an honorable discharge for his service in the Massachusetts National Guard and the United States Army Reserve.

Goode has been actively involved in community, arts and historical affairs in Roanoke and Norfolk for more than 40 years. She is a retired schoolteacher and has also devoted her time and support throughout Virginia and nationally as a member of various nonprofit organizations.

Goode currently serves as secretary of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. She is active on several other boards including the Norfolk Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Norfolk Public Arts Commission. She is on the Collections Committee of the Chrysler Museum of Art and is a special friend of the Historic Houses. She has long been an advocate for the YWCA of South Hampton Roads and is a trustee and secretary of the board for Virginia Wesleyan College.

Goode was the recipient of the 2014 Women of Distinction Award from the YWCA of South Hampton Roads for her community volunteer work in the arts. The YWCA of South Hampton Roads' Susan S. Goode Building was named after her. Goode's passion for classical music and the visual arts and her belief that arts education makes a difference in children's lives led her to help the Virginia Symphony Partners in Education Program and she recently helped Colonial Williamsburg establish a Center for Arts Education and has begun a fund for arts programming and education with local public broadcasting.

She and her husband, David R. Goode, retired chairman, president, and CEO of Norfolk Southern Corp., received the Governor's Arts Award in 2008 for their lifetime achievement and commitment to arts and culture.

Together, the Goodes made a generous gift to Old Dominion University in support of Arts in the Village in 2012, which led to the naming of the state-of-the-art Goode Theatre. They also established The David & Susan Goode Endowment for the Arts in 2008 for art programming and activities associated with the Gordon Self-Taught Art Collections and Gallery in ODU's University Village.

For more information about ODU's 120th commencement ceremonies, visit the 2014 commencement Web page: www.odu.edu/commencement.

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