Economic Analysis Center Renamed to Recognize Dragas Family Support
January 08, 2018
Old Dominion University and the Strome College of Business are pleased to announce the Center for Economic Analysis and Policy was renamed the Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy, effective Jan. 1. The renaming recognizes the most recent in a series of generous gifts to the University by the Dragas family.
The Center for Economic Analysis and Policy in the Strome College of Business conducts a wide range of economic, demographic, educational, social, transportation and military studies. It annually publishes an influential State of the Region Report (for the past eighteen years) and an increasingly prominent State of the Commonwealth Report (for the past three years).
The Center is also actively involved in widely cited economic forecasting activities for the Hampton Roads region and the Commonwealth. The Dragas gift to the center's endowment will support these activities and enable it to broaden its coverage and statewide reach.
"The Center has long been recognized as the source for thoughtful economic analysis, said Jeff Tanner, dean of the Strome College of Business. "This gift will insure that the Center can provide policymakers and other state leaders with the data and insight they need to make sound decisions and secure a strong economic future for Virginia."
The support of the Dragas family for internationally-focused programming at Old Dominion resulted in the University's International Education Center being named Dragas Hall in 2008. The family's support for the Center for Economic Analysis and Policy, however, dates back to 2000 when George Dragas, a former Rector of the University's Board of Visitors, noted the urgent need for sound, objective economic analysis of regional activities. Dragas was key in raising the private funds that resulted in the first State of the Region Report.
"This gift underscores our family's Norfolk roots and a deep appreciation for Old Dominion University's role in the future prosperity of our region and state," said Helen Dragas, president and CEO of the Dragas Companies since 1996. "The opportunity to access a local, affordable college, once called the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary, offered my father a running start in life and business.
"There, he learned to take the long view based on well-researched information and clear-eyed analyses — lessons that have served The Dragas Companies well for nearly 50 years," she continued. "The Center's work can play an important role as policy makers chart next steps for Hampton Roads and our Commonwealth, and we are delighted to offer our continuing support."
The renaming was approved unanimously by the Old Dominion University Board of Visitors at its December 7 meeting.