By Joe Garvey

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin will be among the featured speakers at Old Dominion University’s 138thCommencement Exercises, which will be held on May 5 and 6, 2023.

The Undergraduate Ceremony, scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 6 at S.B. Ballard Stadium, will celebrate graduates of the College of Arts and Letters, the Strome College of Business, the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies, the Batten College of Engineering and Technology, the College of Health Sciences, the College of Sciences, the School of Cybersecurity and the School of Nursing. Approximately 2,000 students will receive degrees.

This will be the first Commencement Ceremony for an individual class held outdoors since May 2002, when graduates received their degrees at Foreman Field. Since then, all graduation ceremonies have been held in Chartway Arena at the Ted Constant Convocation Center except for the Spring of 2021. That May, ceremonies for the pandemic-impacted Classes of 2020 – whose in-person events were postponed – and 2021 were held at S.B. Ballard Stadium.

In the event of inclement weather, undergraduates will receive their degrees at Chartway Arena with ceremony times to be announced 24 to 48 hours beforehand.

The Advanced Degree Ceremony for all colleges and schools is scheduled for 6 p.m. on May 5 at Chartway Arena. Approximately 600 education specialists, master’s and doctoral degrees will be awarded.

For more information about the ceremonies, visit the FAQ section on the University’s Commencement page.

Governor Youngkin will speak at the Undergraduate Ceremony on May 6. He was elected in November 2021 and sworn in as Virginia’s 74th governor on January 15, 2022.

Since taking office, he signed into action the largest education budget in Virginia’s history, facilitated economic investments and business expansions to reinvigorate job growth and opportunity, as well as enacting historic tax cuts and funding for public safety.

Governor Youngkin was born in Richmond and raised in Virginia Beach. After earning an engineering degree at Rice University and his MBA at Harvard Business School, he joined the Washington, D.C.-based Carlyle Group and served as co-CEO, where he was instrumental in growing the organization’s stature globally while helping fund the retirements of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other frontline public servants.

He and his wife, Suzanne, are the parents of four children.

President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. said, “We are looking forward to celebrating the academic achievements of our newest Monarch alumni as they transition to the next phase of their personal and professional lives. We are equally excited to be joined by their family members and loved ones for this milestone, as well as Governor Youngkin who will provide an inspiring message, which will be driven by his passion for service and success in business.”

Nina Brown, Ed.D., professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Services, will continue the longstanding tradition of serving as a faculty speaker at the Advanced Degree Ceremony on May 5.

Dr. Brown, also an Eminent Scholar, has taught at ODU for 55 years, devoting much of her research to what she calls the destructive narcissistic pattern. She has written nearly 40 books, including "The Destructive Narcissistic Pattern" (1998), "Coping With Infuriating, Mean, Critical People" (2006), "Creative Activities for Group Therapy" (2012) and "Understanding Narcissists" (2022).

Dr. Brown's other main academic specialties are group therapy and creative activities for group therapy. She is a nationally certified licensed professional counselor, a fellow of the American Psychological Association and a distinguished fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association.

She has won many accolades, among them the A. Rufus Tonelson Faculty Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in teaching, research and service at ODU. She was honored at the Spring Provost’s Spotlight in April 2022.

In reflecting on Dr. Brown’s remarkable tenure of impact and leadership, President Hemphill said, “Our students often say it was their faculty that unlocked an increased commitment to lifelong learning and a lasting desire for positive change. I know that Dr. Brown embodies that Monarch spirit and will provide a fond farewell to our graduate students as they prepare to enter their chosen professions.”