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Our Work Beyond Hampton Boulevard

Our campus will soon be bustling once more with the return of students and the start of fall classes. Old Dominion's mission, however, extends far beyond Hampton Boulevard, so I want to invite you to the openings of two significant initiatives later this month in different parts of this region.

At 9 a.m. Thursday, August 29, we will celebrate the official opening of Old Dominion's Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship (IIE) in downtown Norfolk. The new location, at 112 Bank Street, provides 7,200 square feet. But more important, it puts our institute in the center of Norfolk's Innovation Corridor, increasing our impact and our client base.

With the move, the IIE will add the OpenSeas Technology Innovation Hub, which will jump-start new economic activity and education in three broad areas - maritime, shipping and logistics; aquaculture and fisheries, and flood mitigation and resilience. The hub represents a partnership with Old Dominion, the College of William & Mary and the college's Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

The IIE oversees several centers that provide free assistance to startups and entrepreneurs. Most of them, including the Veterans Business Outreach Center, the Women's Business Center and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center, will also move downtown. The Strome Entrepreneurial Center, which empowers student businesspeople, will appropriately remain on campus.

At noon on Saturday, August 24, we will be in Newport News to unveil the Brooks Crossing Innovation and Opportunity Center at 550 30th Street. This initiative also represents a partnership, this one linking Old Dominion with the city of Newport News and Huntington Ingalls/Newport News Shipbuilding, as well as nonprofit, government and industry associations.

At Brooks Crossing, we will operate a STEM lab offering engaging activities to attract K-to-12 students to digital shipbuilding and other technical careers, particularly in advanced manufacturing disciplines. The lab will include a design software studio with 3D printing, augmented and virtual reality equipment, and a digital sound recording studio.

Both of these events are open to the public, and I invite you to join us. Taken together, they reflect Old Dominion's multipronged commitment to promote education, research, economic development and workforce readiness, elevating Hampton Roads by building on its most promising assets.

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