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Old Dominion University

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Motto  Idea Fusion
Endowment  $213.7 million
Acceptance rate  81.9% (2014)
Football stadium  Foreman Field
Colors  Blue, Silver
Established  1930
President  John R. Broderick
Mascot  Big Blue
Phone  +1 757-683-3000
Old Dominion University

Former names  Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary (1930–1962) Old Dominion College (1962–1969)
Type  Public university Research university Space-grant Sea-grant
Address  5115 Hampton Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA
Undergraduate tuition and fees  International tuition: 28,200 USD (2016)
Notable alumni  Ben Bailey, Nancy Lieberman, Oliver Purnell, Anne Donovan, Justin Verlander
Similar  Norfolk State University, Tidewater Community College, College of William & Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University, James Madison University

Old Dominion University, also known as ODU, is a public, co-educational research university located in Norfolk, Virginia, United States, with two satellite campuses in the Hampton Roads area. It was established in 1930 as the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary and is now one of the largest universities in Virginia with an enrollment of 24,670 students for the 2014-2015 academic year. Its campus covers over 251 acres (1.02 km2) straddling the city neighborhoods of Larchmont, Highland Park, and Lambert's Point, approximately five miles (8.0 km) from Downtown Norfolk.


Old Dominion University is classified as a Carnegie Doctoral, Higher Research Activity University. Old Dominion University provides nearly $2 billion annually to the regional economy. The university offers 168 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to over 24,000 students and is one of the nation's largest providers of online distance learning courses. Old Dominion University has approximately 124,000 alumni in all 50 states and 67 countries. Old Dominion University derives its name from one of Virginia's state nicknames, "The Old Dominion", given to the state by King Charles II of England for remaining loyal to the crown during the English Civil War.

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The foundations of Old Dominion University began in the minds of administrators and officials at the College of William and Mary in the first decades of the twentieth century. Notable among these men were Robert M. Hughes, a W&M Board of Visitors member from 1893–1917, and J.A.C. Chandler, the 18th president of that school. In 1924 after becoming the director of the William and Mary extension in Norfolk, Joseph Healy began organizing classes and finding locations for faculty and staff. He along with the collective efforts of Robert M. Hughes, Dr. J.A.C. Chandler, and A.H. Foreman, a two-year branch division was established on March 13, 1930. On September 12, 1930 the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary held their first class with 206 students (125 men and 81 women) in the old Larchmont School building which was an abandoned elementary school on Hampton Boulevard. On September 3, 1930 H. Edgar Timmerman becomes the Division's first director.

"The Division," as it was affectionately called, which started out in the old Larchmont School building and allowed people with less means to attend a school of higher education for two years. Tuition for the first year was 50 USD. The following September, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, more commonly known as Virginia Tech, began offering classes at "The Division," expanding the number of courses taught. Old Dominion began educating teachers and engineers. Created in the first year of the Great Depression, the college benefited from federal funding as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. The Public Works Administration provided funds for the Administration Building, now Rollins Hall, and Foreman Field, named after A.H Foreman, an early proponent of the college. Lewis Warrington Webb first joined the faculty in 1932 as an instructor of engineering and would later be called "the Father of Old Dominion." After serving 10 years as an instructor at the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary, he was appointed Assistant Director in 1942. He also served as Director of the Defense and War Training Program at the college from 1940-1944. Through its defense and training classes, the Norfolk Division makes an invaluable contribution to the war effort. The program also allows the school to remain open during a period when most young men were serving their country. The program attracts many women, who learn aircraft repair, drafting and other war-related subjects. In 1946 Webb was appointed Director of the Norfolk Division. Dr. Webb's dream was to see the Norfolk Division become an independent institution. The two-year Norfolk Division rapidly evolved into a four-year institution, and he saw that dream fulfilled in 1962 when the Norfolk Division gained its independence from William and Mary. On February 16, 1962, the William and Mary system was dissolved under General Assembly legislation which was signed by Gov. Albertis S. Harrison. Later that year the Norfolk Division was renamed to the Old Dominion College. Dr. Webb served as the first President of Old Dominion College from 1962-1969. Frank Batten, who was the publisher of The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star and member of the Norfolk Division's advisory board was chosen as the first rector of Old Dominion College on May 27, 1962. He held the position of rector until 1970 and the College of Engineering was named in his honor in 2004. In 1964 the first students lived on campus in the first dormitories, Rodgers and Gresham hall which were names after members of the advisory board. In 1969 Old Dominion College transitioned to Old Dominion University under the leadership of President James L. Bugg, Jr. During Bugg's tenure the first doctoral programs were established along with a university-wide governance structure in which faculty, administrators and students were represented. Bugg also re-established the Army ROTC program that was originally created in 1948 but was abandoned because of the outbreak of the Korean War.

In the 1970s, during the tenure of President Alfred B. Rollins Jr. Old Dominion began mutual partnerships between regional organizations such as NASA, the U.S. Navy, Eastern Virginia Medical School and Norfolk State University. This was a result of Dr. Rollins goal of becoming the leading educational institution in the Hampton Roads area. Under Rollins, the university expanded its state and private funding, improved student services and introduced an honors program along with many other improvements to the university. In 1971 the university established its own campus police force and hired several police officers to patrol the campus. 1977 the Virginia Campus Police Act was made into a law, the university helped train local and campus police officers and the campus police officers were given full police authority on and around the campus grounds.

From these humble beginnings the college grew southward along Hampton Boulevard, turning an empty field into a sprawling campus. After completion at the Norfolk Division, students would move on to schools offering degrees or would seek careers locally. "The Division" began by educating teachers and engineers. In 1962, it became an autonomous four-year college under the name Old Dominion College. Considerable growth in enrollment, the expansion of research facilities and preparation for the addition of graduate programs led the board to seek and receive university status in 1969. Since this time, the university has continued to grow and now has an enrollment of over 24,000 students.


As a comprehensive university, Old Dominion University offers and develops liberal arts, science, technology and professional programs. The university offers 73 bachelor's degrees in various fields and 60 master's and 35 doctoral degrees. ODU's TELETECHNET distance learning program is one of the nation's largest and accounts for nearly one third of student enrollment. ODU Distance Learning is affiliated with the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus. ODU is one of the few universities in the US to offer MBA concentrations in Maritime, Transportation, and Port Logistics Management and also has well-respected programs in Marine Science, Coastal and Transportation Engineering.

Because Hampton Roads is a major international maritime and commerce center, the university has a special mission for the Commonwealth of Virginia in commerce, and in international affairs and cultures. With the principal marine and aerospace activities of the Commonwealth concentrated in Hampton Roads, the university has a significant commitment to science, engineering and technology, specifically in marine science, aerospace and other fields of major importance to the region. Many departments conduct cooperative research with NASA. Due to its location in a large metropolitan area, Old Dominion University places particular emphasis on urban issues, including education and health care, and on fine and performing arts.


Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS/COC) to award baccalaureate, masters, education specialist, and doctoral degrees. The Batten College of Engineering and Technology is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. The Strome College of Business is AACSB accredited. The Darden College of Education, the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Sciences are accredited by National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

College of Arts and Letters

This college maintains 15 departments and programs, which offer degrees in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. The departments include Asian Studies, Art, Communications and Theater Arts, English, Foreign Languages & Literatures, Gay Cultural Studies, International Studies, International Studies-Graduate Program (GPIS), Interdisciplinary Studies, Music, History, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Sociology and Criminal Justice, Political Science and Geography, and Women's Studies.

Within the Theatre Arts Department, Film and Video Studies is offered. The Department of Communication and Theatre Arts offers two degree programs that meet the needs of most students interested in film and video studies. The Program in Communication offers BA/BS degrees with an concentration in Film Studies. Classes focus on the principles and aesthetics of Film History, Theory, Genre, and Criticism. The Program in Theatre Arts offers a BA degree in Theatre with an emphasis in Digital Film making. Classes focus on all the practical aspects of digital filmmaking. The Department of Music is housed in the Diehn Fine and Performing Arts building. Diehn is the home of the ODU Symphony Orchestra (ODUSO), Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, Jazz Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Monarch Marching Band as well as other smaller ensembles like the Diehn String Quartet and Diehn Chorale. Students at ODU pursuing a degree in music have a choice of bachelor's degrees in music performance, music education, music history, and music. The Diehn building also houses the Wilson G. Chandler Recital Hall, where performances of the Diehn Concert Series and student recitals are held. ODU offers several tracks of study within the English Department, including: literature, journalism, creative writing, linguistics, and professional writing.

Strome College of Business

This college offers graduate programs as well as bachelor's degree programs in 11 departments, including School of Accountancy, Business Analytics, Department of Economics, Department of Finance, Information Technology & Decision Sciences, International Business, Department of Marketing, Department of Management, Maritime and Supply Chain Management, and the School of Public Service. The Strome College of Business also offers an MBA program as well as executive development programs.

In Summer 2010, a new Public Service minor was started with the motto, "The Minor that Matters."

In 2014, the college was renamed to the Strome College of Business after the Strome Family donated $11 million to the college.

Darden College of Education

Offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in six academic departments. Programs include: Educational Leadership and School Administration, Counseling, Human Services, Higher Education, Exercise Science, Athletic Training, Sport Management, Physical Education, Recreation and Tourism Studies, Early Childhood Education, Speech Pathology, Special Education, Fashion Merchandising, Instructional Design and Technology, Business and Industry Training, Community College Teaching, and Technology Education. The Darden College of Education also works in collaboration with other academic Colleges to prepare teachers in fields of secondary education, such as English Education and Biology Education, among others. Students complete a major in the field they wish to teach, in addition to Education coursework, practica, and student teaching.

Batten College of Engineering and Technology

Grants undergraduate and graduate degrees in 9 engineering disciplines, including Civil, Aerospace, Environmental, Electrical, Modeling and Simulation, Engineering Management, Computer, Mechanical, Systems, Biomedical Engineering and Engineering Technology and offers interesting concentrations, including Coastal Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Experimental Aeronautics, Laser and Plasma Engineering, Bioelectrics, Computational Engineering, and Ship Maintenance, Repair, and Operations. In 2010, the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology will become the first college in the United States offering all degrees in the emerging discipline of Modeling and Simulation (B.S., M.E., M.S., D.Eng., Ph.D.).

In 2014, the College of Engineering opened the new Engineering Systems building which brought added laboratory, design and office space.

College of Health Sciences

This college is composed of five health-related schools and grants Certificates, Bachelor's Degrees, Master's Degrees, and Doctoral Degrees. The schools include the Schools of Medical Laboratory and Radiation Sciences, Community and Environmental Health, Nursing, Physical Therapy and the Gene W. Hirschfeld School of Dental Hygiene.

College of Sciences

Offers degree programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Psychology, Mathematics, Physics, and Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. The department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences has developed an expertise in the specialty field of Ocean Margin and Coastal System Processes. Also in the College of Sciences, the college offers a degree in Professional Communication, a combination of both Communication and Business.

Distance learning

Old Dominion University began offering distance learning courses in 1994 through TELETECHNET, a satellite delivery system. Today, ODU offers 60 undergraduate and graduate programs through video streaming, satellite, 2-way, web conferencing, and online delivery. Depending on the program, students may take classes online or by attending one of nearly 50 ODU partner locations in Virginia, Arizona, or Washington State. ODU also offers programs designed to be taken by military personnel on deployment.


Old Dominion University research teams generate $88 million in annual funding through more than 400 ongoing projects. Supported by grants from NSF, NIH, Department of Energy, and DOD, among others, have already made ground-breaking advances in several fields.

Research at Old Dominion University

  • Center for Advanced Engineering Environments
  • Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative (CCSLRI)
  • Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics
  • Maritime Institute
  • Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium
  • Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center (VMASC)
  • Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative (CCSLRI)

    ODU's Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative (CCSLRI) has facilitated research and education in all aspects of climate change and alleged resulting sea level rise. Because of Old Dominion's unique location there is special emphasis on adaptation to increased flooding because of sea level rise. There are many other aspects of climate change affecting coastal cities such as public health or disaster preparedness that the initiative also addressed.

    Maritime Institute

    Old Dominion University's Maritime Institute was created through a University/Business community partnership in Hampton Roads. Its function is to provide maritime, ports and logistics management education, training and research to meet regional, national and international needs.

    At the October, 2011 Annual meeting of the International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME) in Santiago (Chile), university rankings worldwide in port research for the period 1980-2009 were announced. In these rankings, ODU was ranked eighth in the world, second only to the University of Washington in the Western Hemisphere.

    Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center (VMASC)

    The Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) is a university-wide multidisciplinary research center that emphasizes modeling, simulation, and visualization (MS&V) research, development and education.

    VMASC is one of the world's leading research centers for computer modeling, simulation, and visualization. The mission of the Center is to conduct collaborative MS&V research and development, provide expertise to government agencies and industry, and to promote Old Dominion University, Hampton Roads and Virginia as a center of MS&V activities. Annually, the Center conducts approximately $10M in funded research.

    Old Dominion University is a state-assisted institution and one of only four Virginia schools in the Carnegie Research Universities (high research activity) category. The university offers a range of Modeling & Simulation degree options from Bachelor's to Ph.D.

    The Hampton Roads region is home to the Joint and Coalition Training (JCW), the US Army's Training and Doctrine Command, the Military Transportation Management Command, NATO Allied Command Transformation, the Armed Forces Staff College, the U.S. Navy's Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force, the Naval Sea Systems Command, and the Space and Naval Warfare Center. In addition, the Department of Energy's Jefferson Lab, NASA-Langley Research Center and numerous regional industries are important users of MS&V technology. The economic value of MS&V-related business activity in Hampton Roads is estimated to be over $500M.

    VMASC concentrates on eight core modeling and simulation applied research areas: Transportation, Homeland Security and Military Defense, Virtual Environments, Social Sciences, Medicine & Health, Care, Game-based Learning, M&S Interoperability, System Sciences.

    The Norfolk Campus

    Old Dominion University has undergone extensive growth. The swell of new construction was kicked off in 2001 with the building of the Ted Constant Convocation Center. This 8,600 seat arena has become the home of both men's and women's basketball, as well as a premiere venue for concerts and other performances. The "Ted" as it is affectionately called by students and alumni is part of a $55 million 75-acre (30 ha) development known as The University Village.

    Student housing has grown at ODU. The Quad, a collection of six new residential buildings—Ireland House (2006), Virginia House (2007), Scotland House (2008), France House (2009), England House (2009), Dominion House (2009)—and offices brings Old Dominion University closer to its goal of becoming a more residential university. Constructed alongside the Quad is the new student Recreation and Wellness Center. The center offers intramural and extramurals for the students and staff. ODU has expanded its sports facilities, recently completing the Folkes-Stevens Indoor Tennis Center and the Powhatan Sports Complex, a 48,000-square-foot (4,500 m2) facility that houses the intercollegiate athletic programs of field hockey, women's lacrosse, and football. Another football-related project was the renovation of Old Dominion University's historic Foreman Field for the sport's reintroduction in 2009.

    Among the facilities are the fully automated Perry Library, laboratories in the sciences and engineering, the E.V. Williams Engineering and Computational Sciences Building, and the new Systems Research Building. The campus is also home to Pretlow Planetarium, the Lions Child Study Center, facilities for clinical work in the health sciences, a modern Oceanography and Physics Building, the Gornto TELETECHNET Center and the Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center. Recent additions include the Student Success Center and Learning Commons, an orchid conservatory and research building, as well as renovation to the Technology Building and the Batten Arts and Letters Building.

    In 2015, Old Dominion University started construction on the New Education Building and a new 45,000 sf student dining facility.

    The University Libraries

    The Old Dominion University Libraries are the Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, the F. Ludwig Diehn Composers Room, and the Elise N. Hofheimer Art Library. The libraries contain over 3 million items—books, government publications, journals and serials, microform, musical scores, recordings, and maps. After months of renovation, the Perry Library first floor was transformed into The Learning Commons which opened in 2011.

    University Village

    Established in 1995, the Real Estate Foundation has taken the lead in the development of the University Village, a mixed use development including retail, residential and office buildings. The results of its work are visible to all in the form of the University Village Apartments, restaurants, shops, the North Village Parking Garage, the Innovation Research Park, Marriott SpringHill Suites Hotel, and Campus Bookstore. Merchants Include: Perfectly Frank, Borjo Coffeehouse, Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers, Starbuck's, Sakura Sushi Bar, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Zero's Subs, Recovery Sports Grill, La Herradura Restaurant, Mojo Bones, Insomnia Cookies, Jimmy John's.

    Campus ministries

    ODU students can join campus ministries which are coordinated by the University Chaplain's Association (UCA). Ministries include the United Methodist, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Presbyterian and Lutheran denominationally sponsored ministries. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has a presence at ODU and are members of the UCA. Each of these churches has a campus ministry presence at ODU, as does Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, and the Tidewater Islamic Center, which serves the Muslim community at ODU.


    In 1999, ODU agreed to work with American Maglev Technogies of Atlanta to construct an on-campus student transportation link of less than one mile—using a smart train / dumb track design in which most sensors, magnets, and computation were located on the train rather than the track. With cost and safety concern, several other institutes of higher learning rejected the project. While projected to cost less to build per mile than existing systems, the ODU maglev was never operational. After depleting its $14 million budget, a groundbreaking was held in 2001, the project was completed in 2002; and the technology failed: the vehicle lost its "float" and come to a full friction stop on top of the rail, damaging much of the system. American Maglev and ODU dissolved their relationship and the project became an internal university research project. In October 2006, the research team performed an unscheduled test of the car that went smoothly. The system was subsequently removed from the power grid for nearby construction. In February 2009, the team retested the sled and was successful despite power outages on campus. ODU subsequently partnered with a Massachusetts-based company to test another maglev train. MagneMotion Inc. was expected to bring its prototype maglev vehicle, about the size of a van, to the campus to test in 2010.

    Residential life

    ODU's current residential hall capacity is around 4,600 students in 14 dormitories or student apartments on campus. All freshmen are guaranteed housing, 77% of freshmen and 24% of all students live in college housing.

    Student traditions

    Walking across the Old Dominion University seal is a rite of passage for graduating students on graduation day. Legend has it that undergraduates should never walk across the University Seal located on Kaufman Mall. Whoever does so will not graduate from Old Dominion in four years.

    Student recreation

    The Student Recreation Center is located in the middle of the ODU campus adjacent to the Rosane Runte Quad. The facility includes: 15,000 sq. ft. Multi-Level Fitness Center with Strength, Cardio, and Free-Weights, Indoor Swimming Pool, Indoor Running Track, 3 Court Gymnasium, Multipurpose Court, 3 Group Exercise Studios, Cycling Studio, 3 Racquetball Courts,Pro Shop, Outdoor Adventure and Rental Center, Bike and Skate Shop and an Indoor Climbing Wall.

    The ODU Outdoor Adventure program allows students to take organized trips and participate in activities such as hiking, mountain biking, camping, surfing, yoga, rock climbing, snowboarding and skiing.

    The University Fitness Center (UFC) was designed to accommodate Old Dominion's growing community. The UFC is located on Monarch Way between 42nd and 43rd Street and is equipped with user-friendly LifeFitness Cardio and Weight Machines.

    ROTC program

    The ODU Army ROTC battalion was established in September 1969 in the Darden College of Education. The first cadets were commissioned on July 4, 1971. As of spring of 2008, ODU has been recognized as having the sixth largest Army ROTC unit out of 262 programs found nationwide.

    Its Navy ROTC program is run in conjunction with the neighboring campuses of Norfolk State University and Hampton University. The Hampton Roads Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps is one of the largest officer training battalions in the US, consisting of over 250 Sailors, Marines, and Midshipmen, with an above average prior enlisted presence.

    Student organizations

    Old Dominion University recognizes over 300 student organizations with over 8000 student members. These groups include professional organizations, honor societies, religious organizations, minority students, and groups for students with common interests and majors as well as a variety of traditional, multicultural, and professional sororities and fraternities. The Student Government Association has direct authority over student organizations.

    Greek life

    Old Dominion has a complex and diverse Greek system with fourteen fraternities and eleven sororities. Greek life is not active at Old Dominon, 6% of men are in fraternities and 5% of women are in sororities.There are also a wide variety of service fraternities active on campus.


    Old Dominion's 18 athletic teams are known as the Monarchs (men's teams, plus field hockey, women's lacrosse, and coed sailing) and Lady Monarchs (all other women's teams) and mostly compete in the NCAA Division I Conference USA (C-USA). Old Dominion University athletic teams have captured 28 team national championships and four individual titles. The school's best-known sports team is the Lady Monarchs basketball team, which has won three national championships in 1979 (AIAW), 1980 (AIAW) and 1985 (NCAA). The Lady Monarchs also made it to the 1997 Women's NCAA Championship Game, losing to Tennessee. ODU athletic teams have won a further 28 national championships including 15 in men's and women's sailing and 9 in women's field hockey. The Lady Monarchs' nine national titles in field hockey are in NCAA record books for most titles in that sport by the same school.

    In addition, Old Dominion's athletic teams have captured 49 championships in the Colonial Athletic Association.

    On March 2010, Dr. Wood Selig became the new athletic director. Previously, Dr. Selig was the athletic director at Western Kentucky.

    On May 17, 2012 Old Dominion announced it would move to C-USA on July 1, 2013. Four ODU sports which are not sponsored by C-USA have outside affiliations. In 2013, the Wrestling team became an associate of the Mid-American Conference and the field hockey team joined the reconfigured Big East Conference. The women's lacrosse team spent the 2014 season (played in the 2013–14 school year) as an independent before joining the Atlantic Sun Conference. Finally, the women's rowing team joined the Big 12 Conference in 2014–15 after the Big 12 effectively took over C-USA rowing. Most recently, the men's swimming and diving team, which was left without a conference affiliation for two years because C-USA sponsors the sport only for women, joined the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association, later renamed the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association, effective with the 2015–16 season.

    ODU-VCU rivalry

    Virginia Commonwealth University is ODU's archrival, mainly because of the similarities between the two schools. Both schools were once part of the College of William and Mary and both are urban research universities located just 90 miles apart.

    Men's basketball

    The Old Dominion University Monarchs (men's) basketball team have captured six CAA championship titles (1992, 1995, 1997, 2005, 2010, and 2011) since their conference admission in 1992, which is the most among all CAA schools. In 2007, they received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, when the team went 24-8 and finished 37th in RPI. That season included a notable 13-point win at 8th ranked Georgetown. Their most recent trip to the NCAA tournament was with an automatic bid after capturing the 2010 CAA title. During the NCAA tournament, the 11th seeded Monarchs managed a 1-point first-round upset over the 6th seeded Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

    In 2002 ODU opened the Ted Constant Convocation Center for the 2002-2003 basketball season. "The Ted" has 8,600 fully cushioned seats, 16 luxury suites, and a state-of-the-art scoreboard. In addition to being used for home basketball games, the Constant Center hosts family-oriented events as well as concerts, lectures, and commencement ceremonies.

    Women's basketball

    Old Dominion also holds an important place in the history of women's collegiate athletics, having awarded the first athletic scholarship to any woman in the state of Virginia for a varsity sport when Nancy Lieberman was awarded a scholarship to play women's basketball.

    The Old Dominion Lady Monarchs basketball team has won three national championships. In 1979 and 1980, the Lady Monarchs were AIAW Champions. In 1985, they captured the NCAA Division I National Championship with a 70-65 win over the University of Georgia. In addition, the Lady Monarchs have captured five Sun Belt conference championship titles (1983, 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1990), and captured 17 CAA championship titles, winning every year from 1991-92 to 2007–08.

    Monarch football

    The history of football at ODU began with the Norfolk Division, which had a football team until 1941 known as the Norfolk Division Braves. The program dissolved due to a rule against freshman players and a $10,000 debt.

    On June 14, 2005, its Board of Visitors approved by a 14-0 vote the creation of an NCAA Division I team, which began play on September 5, 2009.

    On February 9, 2007, ODU's Athletic Director Jim Jarrett announced that Bobby Wilder, the associate head football coach at the University of Maine, would be the head football coach at Old Dominion University. The team signed its first class in 2008. As is the case with many new football programs, all players on the 2008 Monarchs football team were redshirted, and when added with the 2009 signing class and transfers from I-A schools, formed the nucleus of the school's first football team. Initially, ODU competed as an FCS program (formerly I-AA), and was independent for two years before joining the Colonial Athletic Association for the 2011 season.

    The final record for Old Dominion's 2009 football program was 9-2, at the time the best winning record ever for a first-year collegiate football program. This record is now held by Mercer University who finished 10-2 in 2013. Old Dominion's football program had continued success in 2010 finishing 8-3. In the following years, Old Dominion's football program finished their 2011-2012 season with a 10-3 record, and an 11-2 record for their 2012-2013 season which gained national attention. As the school's football program began to grow along with the university itself, Old Dominion's potential was realized by several commissioners for college football, particularly by Conference USA. Old Dominion officially joined Conference USA (C-USA) on July 1, 2013 leaving behind their former conference affiliation with the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). They won their first C-USA game against Rice Owls on September 20, 2014.

    Foreman Field, formerly the field hockey and women's lacrosse teams' home venue, has been renovated to accommodate the new football program. Field Hockey and women's lacrosse teams have been relocated to the Powhatan Sports Complex.

    As of the 2015 season the ODU football program has sold out every home game that has ever been played at Foreman Field, 48 consecutive sellouts.


    Old Dominion University Monarch Wrestling team was established in 1957. The school's departure from the CAA forced the Wrestling team to become an associate member of the Mid-American Conference, as Conference USA does not sponsor wrestling. The Old Dominion head wrestling coach is Steve Martin, currently in his tenth season with the program.


    The ODU Rowing Club (ODURC) has been under the Recreational Sports department since 1985. The club is fully student-run and is funded largely by the student members of the club. ODURC has been very successful in recent years, as it has increased its membership. Adding outstanding volunteer coaches in recent years has raised the competitiveness of the team greatly, and the men's club won a national championship in May, 2008. Today, male and female rowers continue to compete as a club; in 2008 rowing also became a varsity sport for female students, and a full-time coach was hired for the new women's team. Within their first year at varsity level, the women's team placed at a national competition. The decision to elevate only the women's team to varsity status was made to keep ODU compliant with Title IX regulations, providing balance to the increased spending on men's athletics that a football program brought.

    Cheerleading (co-ed)

    Led by head coach Carmen Harris, the Old Dominion University cheer squad is a safe, professional and athletic program. Its energetic team consists of athletes who are also students. The cheer squad, along with the Old Dominion Dynasty Dance Team, performs at all football home games as well as most football away games. They also perform at all Men and Women's Basketball home games, and occasionally a home soccer or baseball game. Along with their practices, games, competitions, and other events, ODU cheerleaders are required to actively participate in all fundraising efforts and volunteer work under their Spirit Squad Program.

    The Old Dominion Athletic Foundation

    The Old Dominion Athletic Foundation (ODAF) is the official booster club for Old Dominion Athletics. the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation was previously known as the Big Blue Club, or The Old Dominion University Intercollegiate Foundation. The change from those to ODAF occurred March 1, 2011. The Old Dominion Athletic Foundation has an 501-C-3 designation as a non-profit organization.

    Monarch Maniacs

    Monarch Maniacs was the student (undergraduates and graduates) group that supports all the athletic programs at Old Dominion University. The group is for students to show their school spirit and pride at all athletic events. The group is administered by the Office of Student Activities and Leadership. In order to become a member, there is a $20 membership fee and once paid, you receive benefits. All members receive a T-shirt, early entry to the football and basketball games, giveaways during the games, priority seating for selected away games, viewing parties and a membership card which allows discounts at sponsored vendors in Norfolk.


    Old Dominion University Wikipedia