By Amber Kennedy

Old Dominion University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., and First Lady Marisela Rosas Hemphill, Ph.D., are touring the commonwealth from Aug. 9 to 14 for his inaugural Monarch Nation Tour, meeting with alumni, regional leaders and prospective students and their families to discuss his forward-focused vision for the University.

ODU has more than 150,000 alumni across all 50 states and in 67 countries.

Guests will have an opportunity to connect with fellow Monarchs and learn more about what's next for ODU at events in Roanoke, Charlottesville, Vienna, Alexandria, Richmond, Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

President Hemphill, whose appointment was announced in February, assumes leadership of a thriving University. This year, ODU opened a Chemistry Building with state-of-the-art facilities, including a digital planetarium and 37 labs, and Hugo A. Owens House, a 470-bed residence hall named for ODU's first African American rector.

He will guide the University through the development of a School of Public Health in conjunction with Norfolk State University, supported by Sentara Healthcare's $10 million investment, to address health inequities in underserved communities, and the construction of a new College of Health Sciences building, which is scheduled to open in 2023.

Before his appointment as president of ODU, President Hemphill served as president of Radford University from 2016 to 2021. During his tenure, Radford experienced record enrollment in the fall of 2019 and 2020; secured hundreds of millions of dollars in public and private support; and vastly increased the university's footprint in health sciences.

President Hemphill previously served as president of West Virginia State University for four years and vice president for student affairs and enrollment management at Northern Illinois University for eight years. With a strong background in student services, President Hemphill has maintained a student-centered approach throughout his career, as well as a strong commitment to shared governance, diversity and inclusion.

For more information about this event, please email

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