Delegation from ODU Meets with Gov. McAuliffe at State Capitol
By Brendan O'Hallarn
A delegation of 35 Old Dominion University student leaders, faculty and staff advisers met with new Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and local state representatives during a visit to the Virginia Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 23.
The ODU student leaders, including members of the university's Student Government Association (SGA), met with McAuliffe and discussed issues of concern in higher education, such as state support for public universities, tuition costs and access.
In a joint statement, local representatives Delegate Daun Hester and Sen. John Cosgrove hailed ODU as a military-friendly school and a national leader in technology-delivered distance education. "This group of student leaders takes an active role in advocating on behalf of issues that are important to the student body and university and have joined us in Richmond today for that reason. I hope you will give them a warm welcome today as they visit the Capitol," Cosgrove and Hester said in a statement.
In their meeting with Virginia's 72nd governor, the students heard McAuliffe stress the importance of education and how some reform is needed in Virginia's education system. The governor reminded the students about the importance of health care expansion, which he said would help many Virginians. McAuliffe challenged the students "to take risk and to do what your heart desires."
McAuliffe wished the visitors from ODU well as the delegation from Hampton Roads met with his colleagues in the House and the Senate, said Terrell Kingwood, speaker of the senate in ODU's SGA.
"Today was an exciting day," Kingwood said. "Having seen the daily operation of our state government was an experience for us all. We are thankful to have an opportunity to meet the governor and to meet with members of our Hampton Roads delegation. Our school is important to us and we made sure that we made a special trip to Richmond to talk about the great services and the needs at Old Dominion.
"A special thanks to Elizabeth Kersey, assistant to the president for local, state and federal government relations; her assistant, Jacqueline Sayward; and Don Stansberry, assistant vice president of student engagement, for helping us make this visit such a success."
To see a collection of photos from the visit, go to: https://governor.virginia.gov/news/photo-galleries/governor-mc-auliffe-meets-with-students-from-old-dominion-university/.