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ODU president publicizes $2.5M donation for baseball stadium renovations – The Virginian-Pilot

Norfolk — Outdated Dominion College President Brian O. Hemphill on Friday introduced a $2.5 million donation to the baseball stadium renovation venture.

The donation, from businessman Dennis Ellmer and his spouse, Jan, will go towards a $20-million makeover of the stadium. The renovation will embody increasing and upgrading seating, luxurious suites, new locker and assembly rooms and different upgraded facilities beneficial by baseball stadium consulting agency Populous.

The stadium, which was inbuilt 1983, will probably be renamed the Ellmer Household Baseball Stadium.

“What has outlined Dennis most is his love for others and his need to create change and alternative as far and large as potential,” Hemphill stated throughout his first State of the College tackle.

Ellmer is the founder, president and CEO of Precedence Automotive, which has greater than 20 dealerships in Virginia and surrounding states. He has been an enormous supporter of ODU’s athletic and tutorial scholarship packages, in addition to of the college’s soccer program. That is his first main donation to a different sport.

“Brian has achieved a lot spectacular work in his brief time at ODU,” Ellmer stated. “He’s began so many nice initiatives, from committing the College to change into a pacesetter within the maritime business to what I hope will probably be a merger between ODU and Japanese Virginia Medical Faculty, one thing that may be so good for Hampton Roads.”

Jena Virga, govt director of the Outdated Dominion Athletic Basis, stated Ellmer’s donation has given a lift to the fundraising effort.

“We’ve had nice discussions with different prospects,” she stated. “We hope to finish the marketing campaign within the close to future.”

Hemphill, who took the helm at ODU final summer time, additionally used his first state of the college tackle to announce that the draft of the brand new strategic plan will probably be introduced to the Board of Guests in two weeks. It will likely be titled, “Ahead-Centered: The place Innovation Meets Potentialities.”

“This title is a mirrored image of the daring and revolutionary objectives and methods that had been introduced forth by these immediately concerned within the planning course of,” he stated.

The plan zeros in on seven focal areas, Hemphill stated, together with enrollment, analysis and company and group partnerships.

Hemphill additionally introduced the college is within the ultimate phases of a proposal for the institution of a Faculty of Information Sciences.

“This faculty will probably be made potential by way of distinctive partnerships with Jefferson Lab and NASA Langley, wherein knowledge science researchers from these nationwide labs could have ODU college standing,” he stated. “And in flip, ODU college and college students could have particular entry to nationwide lab collaborations and services. That is actually a win-win for ODU and our companions.

Hemphill stated the college is averaging an annual enrollment of greater than 2,000 college students in knowledge science packages, and establishing the college will enable for vital progress.

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One of many largest cheers got here as Hemphill introduced a multi-year effort to extend stipend quantities for graduate assistants. This semester, grasp’s college students serving as graduate assistants will see their stipends go from $10,000 to $15,000, and doctoral college students will see theirs go from $15,000 to $20,000.

“The success of our college students is on the coronary heart of our work on campus and locally,” he stated.

In a press briefing after the tackle, Hemphill stated college students can anticipate to see “every thing again to regular” on campus this yr, after pandemic disruptions over the past couple of years. However the college has the capability to scale up response if crucial.

Hemphill acknowledged that the pandemic has vastly affected increased training.

“The worth proposition may be very actual,” he stated. “Persons are questioning the price of increased training. They’re questioning the rising pupil mortgage debt. They’re questioning plenty of gadgets that traditionally individuals have been in a position to ignore. We will’t ignore it anymore.

“We’re in considerably of a credentials warfare, if you’ll, as a result of you’ve got plenty of firms and companies which might be offering credentialing for college kids, and so we’ve got to grasp that we’ve got to make it possible for we’re being extra attentive to our college students, we’ve got to be extra attentive to companies and industries and realizing… If we aren’t responsive, they’re going to search out assets and different methods to obtain their training, and it received’t all the time should be a college.”

Nour Habib, nour.habib@virginiamedia.com

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