NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Old Dominion University held its annual State of the University address with President John Broderick on Wednesday morning.
Broderick is heading into his 11th year as president and has big plans for the university.
Dozens of people in the ODU community gathered to learn what sets their university apart and what is going to take them further.
During his speech, Broderick announced that the school’s incoming freshman arrived this weekend totaling more than 3,100 students, with a total enrollment of 24,000 students.
Broderick said this fall upgrades will come to Foreman Field at S. B. Ballard Stadium, with a new, more modern facility scheduled to be ready by next Labor Day opener, and the Barry Art museum will have its formal opening.
Construction for the Hugo Owens residence hall and the life sciences building should also begin before the first of the year.
He also explained the expansion of their nursing program with a new patient simulation lab.
He announced this semester they will unveil a new cybersecurity master’s program.
This comes after the first cohort of bachelor’s recipients graduated in May.
He says it’s important for him to see the university grow while remaining close to its roots and impacting the most people.
“If we are going to attract students from outside of Hampton Roads we have to have residence halls, we have to have chemistry buildings, we have to have new health sciences buildings, because that is all part of the process for which students choose as to where they go to school,” Broderick said.
Broderick emphasized the importance of molding young minds and accelerating the activity in economic development and commercialization. With the largest freshman class coming in this past weekend, he believes new programs like the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship can help that start at the school.
As an engineering student, Mike Beyrodt faced that question. But he knew just an idea wasn’t enough, that is what led him to the Strome Entrepreneurial Center on campus.
The institute brings several entities under one umbrella, including our Center for Enterprise Innovation, led by Marty Kaszubowski; the Strome Entrepreneurial Center, directed by Nancy Grden, and the Innovation Centers in Norfolk and Chesapeake.
“I know that they are going to be helpful and so I came here from the get-go,” said Beyrodt
Mike believes this program helped put him on the right path toward creating his product, Pull Start Fire, which can light a fire in any element.
This is the success ODU leaders want for all students and faculty, which is why they unveiled their new initiative, the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
“We are hoping that this type of an effort brings more talent to the region. Now the key for us after that is when they graduate we’ve got to find ways to keep them in the region, and that’s the fight that we are trying to play and help on the economic development side,” said Associate Vice President for Entrepreneurship & Economic Development Chip Filer.
President Broderick also mentioned this morning that they will start planning for a new $75 million health sciences building to be put on Hampton Boulevard.
For more on what is heading to ODU in the coming weeks click here.