U.S. Representative Robert C. “Bobby” Scott will be the featured speaker at Old Dominion University’s 139th Commencement Exercises, which are scheduled for December 16, 2023 at Chartway Arena. Approximately 1,600 undergraduate and graduate degrees will be conferred during two ceremonies. 

The 9 a.m. ceremony will celebrate graduates from the Batten College of Engineering and Technology, College of Arts and Letters, College of Sciences and School of Cybersecurity. The 12:30 p.m. event will recognize graduates in the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies, Strome College of Business, College of Health Sciences, School of Data Science, School of Nursing and Graduate School.

“Old Dominion University is excited to celebrate the significant achievements of our newest graduates as they join the ranks of our more than 170,000 alumni across the Commonwealth, the nation and the world,” said President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. “As a dedicated public servant, Congressman Scott will deliver a powerful address to our newest alumni as they prepare for the journey ahead in both their personal and professional lives!”

Congressman Scott has represented Virginia's 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993. His 1992 election made him the first African American elected to Congress from Virginia since the Reconstruction era. Having a maternal grandfather of Filipino ancestry also gives Congressman Scott the distinction of being the first American with Filipino ancestry to serve as a voting member of Congress.

In the 118th Congress, he serves as the ranking member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce – his fifth term as the committee’s Democratic leader. He previously served as chairman of what was then called the Committee on Education and Labor from 2019 to 2023.  He also serves on the Committee on the Budget. He previously served on the Committee on the Judiciary, where he was chairman and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.

Before his election to Congress, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1978 to 1983 and in the Senate of Virginia from 1983 to 1993. Congressman Scott’s public service began early in his law career. As a young attorney, he founded the Peninsula Legal Aid Center to assist those who could not afford legal representation and served as one of the youngest branch presidents of the Newport News NAACP. A native of Washington, D.C., Congressman Scott grew up in Newport News and is a graduate of Harvard College and Boston College Law School. He also served in the Massachusetts National Guard and the United States Army Reserve.

For additional information about Commencement, visit http://odu.edu/commencement.