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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Year-long ODU Service Campaign Celebrated with April 14 Event Honoring Volunteer Spirit

By Brendan O'Hallarn

President John R. Broderick challenged members of the University community last August to perform 85 hours of service during the academic year in celebration of Old Dominion's 85th birthday.

That effort will be recognized during activity hour Thursday, April 14, when a campus-wide celebration of the University's 85th birthday will be held on Kaufman Mall to laud the efforts of Old Dominion volunteers, and encourage members of the campus community to continue to serve.

Old Dominion has been included on the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for four years in a row, and President Broderick noted that public service builds character and is a crucial component of education at the University.

"As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us, 'Everyone can be great because everyone can serve.' The time is always right to do right," he said.

In a letter to campus, 85th Anniversary co-chairs First Lady Kate Broderick and Karen Meier, assistant vice president for community engagement, events and licensing, said there are opportunities to volunteer as part of the service campaign through the end of the school year in May.

Key among those opportunities is Relay for Life, the largest philanthropic event on campus, which returns April 15 and 16 to the Student Recreation Center. Volunteers are also needed to clean up campus and paint storm drains during Blue Goes Green Week, the annual celebration of environmental and sustainable activities held during Earth Week April 21 to 23.

"Thanks to your selflessness, Old Dominion has never shined brighter as a community partner. We look forward to celebrating together your successes on April 14," Kate Broderick and Karen Meier wrote.

After the Marching Monarchs band and the cheer and dance teams kick off the April 14 event, President Broderick will speak to the value of the service members of the Old Dominion community provide to Hampton Roads. During his State of the University address last August, President Broderick said ODU students performed more than 500,000 hours of community service during the previous year - a $12.5 million value.

There is still time for students, faculty and staff to pledge support for the campaign, whether they are able to perform 85 hours of service, or only a few. Stations set up on Kaufman Mall will permit volunteers to log completed service hours into the student engagement website GivePulse, which also lists dozens of other volunteer opportunities.

All faculty and staff who log hours on odu.givepulse.com will be entered into a drawing for Old Dominion merchandise, athletic tickets and a reserved parking space on campus. Faculty, staff, students and alumni can also win prizes by posting a video or photo of their service.

The celebration will also include a cookout to celebrate the University's birthday, and honor its volunteer spirit.

On Sept. 12, 1930, the institution then known as the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary opened its doors to an initial class of 206 students. Those modest roots, along with eight and a half decades of achievement in scholarship, research, athletics, the arts and community engagement, are being celebrated this year by what has grown to be Old Dominion University.

Today, the University has about 25,000 students and more than 130,000 alumni in every state and 76 countries around the world. The University contributes more than $2.1 billion per year to the economy of Virginia through the work of its faculty, research collaborations, community partnerships and support for companies and organizations worldwide.

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