NORFOLK, Va (WAVY) — Old Dominion University commemorated the inauguration of President Brian O. Hemphill Friday with an investiture ceremony. 

Hemphill was sworn in by Bruce Bradley, rector of ODU’s Board of Visitors, during the investiture ceremony in Chartway Arena. Students, faculty, and staff were present while Bradley bestowed the presidential medallion upon Hemphill, and Austin Agho, vice president for academic affairs, presented the academic mace.  

“When we began this journey together on July 1, 2021, we made a commitment to excellence, accountability, transparency and student-centeredness,” said Hemphill, who has served as university president for over a year. “Without question, Old Dominion University’s longstanding reputation and proven success in providing access and opportunity are the cornerstone of our efforts and will continue to guide us as we move forward together.” 

Hemphill also spoke about recent changes in higher education. 

“Now, we can allow skyrocketing tuition, growing student debt, the enrollment cliff, the value proposition, or the challenging post-COVID environment to define us and limit our possibilities, or we can embrace innovation and opportunity,” he said. “And, in turn, we will be a forward-focused institution in our research, forward-focused in our teaching and forward-focused in our service.” 

During Hemphill’s address, he announced the theme of his presidency: “Forward Focused: Inspiring Innovation.” He also unveiled a capital campaign at an alumni dinner on Oct. 20, aiming to raise $500 million for scholarships, research, faculty recruitment, campus facilities and more. 

President Hemphill said that during his term, ODU will strive to “serve the commonwealth as a model for creativity, discovery, excellence and progress with a keen eye toward research, teaching and service.”