Captain Janet H. Days ’99, commanding officer for Naval Station Norfolk, will be among the featured speakers at Old Dominion University’s 140th Commencement exercises on May 3 and 4, 2024.

Captain Days will speak at the Undergraduate Ceremony on May 4. She assumed the post as the 51st commanding officer of Naval Station Norfolk in February 2023, becoming the first Black woman to hold that position.

Captain Days graduated summa cum laude from ODU with a bachelor’s degree in business and received her commission through the Naval ROTC. Her previous positions have included executive officer of both Naval Station Norfolk and Surface Warfare Schools Command in Newport, Rhode Island.

“Old Dominion University is excited to welcome Captain Days, a passionate and proud Monarch, as well as an impactful and trailblazing alumna, as our featured speaker this May,” said ODU President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. “I know that her inspiring message of service will especially resonate with Monarchs as many of our graduates and their family members have military affiliations. As our graduates take the next step in their personal and professional journeys, Captain Days will challenge each of them to make a profound mark on the world and continue a lifelong connection to their beloved alma mater – just as she has done with such determination and distinction, as well as grace and grit!”

The Undergraduate Ceremony, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on May 4 at Kornblau Field in S.B. Ballard Stadium, will celebrate graduates of the Batten College of Engineering and Technology, the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies, the Strome College of Business, the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Health Sciences, the College of Sciences, the School of Cybersecurity and the School of Nursing. Approximately 2,000 students will participate in the outdoor ceremony and receive their degrees.

This is the second year in a row that ODU is hosting its spring undergraduate ceremony 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 graduate students in all colleges and schools is scheduled for 6 p.m. on May 3 at Chartway Arena. More than 600 education specialists, master’s and doctoral degrees will be awarded to participate graduates.

Dr. Weinstein in the College of Sciences’ Physics Department will continue the longstanding tradition of having a faculty member serve as speaker at the Advanced Degree Ceremony on May 3.

Dr. Weinstein has taught at ODU for more than three decades and focused his scholarly efforts on studying nuclear physics and working with the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility on how protons and neutrons behave in the nucleus of an atom.

He is the author of several books and has received numerous awards, including the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award, the ODU A. Rufus Tonelson Distinguished Faculty Award and the Southeast Section of the American Physical Society Pegram Award, among others.

Dr. Weinstein said he encourages his students to think critically by challenging them to use physics to address real-world questions, such as the trade-offs of electric vehicles and recycling.

“For more than three decades, Dr. Weinstein has served as a model to ODU students on how to find their passion through learning,” President Hemphill said. “I look forward to hearing his words of encouragement to our graduate students as they close an important chapter in their academic careers.  I know that his message will be insightful and one to remember!”

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