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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Perry Honors College Dedication Ceremony Held

By Joe Garvey

The Patricia and Douglas Perry Honors College celebrated its move to a new home with a dedication Thursday in the atrium of Old Dominion University's Monarch Hall.

The college's new site is on the first floor of Monarch Hall. It consists of two spaces. One is a multipurpose area with a reception space, offices for advisers, student art gallery, library, and collaboration and conferencing areas, as well as room to host events, teach classes, conduct tutoring sessions and hold honors thesis defenses. Across the hall is the Scholars Den, equipped with computers and study areas for students.

"The University has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the Perry family," said Lisa Smith, rector of the Board of Visitors. "Today we thank them for their extraordinary support of Old Dominion."

Smith said the Perrys' contributions include the creation of the John and Kate Broderick Opportunity Scholarship. The scholarship, which honored President Broderick's 10 th anniversary as president last year, will be awarded to honors students from Virginia based on merit. In addition, funding will be available for study abroad and for undergraduate research and entrepreneurial ventures.

"Those of us who are from the campus, whether you're a visitor or you're here every day, know that the Perrys' influence is very obvious to us," said Broderick, citing the nearby Perry Library as an example.

Broderick noted that the college has 700 students, 60% of whom are studying STEM-H areas. He added that 70% have at least a 3.5 grade-point average and 10% have a 4.0 GPA.

The concept for the space grew out of an undergraduate research project conducted by Honors College students in 2010. It also was inspired by the Strome Entrepreneurial Center.

"The ODU construction team has created a remarkably agile space," Dean David Metzger said. "For example, at different times of the day, our student common room will look like a yoga studio, a classroom, a board room, a commuter lounge, a recital space or a lunch room. If you want students to do things, you have to give them the space to work in."

The art gallery features student work selected from the Honors College's annual Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium.

"Our showcase of student art has already started to do its job," Metzger said. "One of our student artists received a commission for her work at our dedication ceremony."

Among the students who displayed their research at the dedication:

  • Michael Nilsen, a junior in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, worked on a cyber-warfare project that uses a lightweight jamming device to protect networks from cell-phone intrusions.
  • Anna Davis, a junior who majors in public health and plays for the women's lacrosse team, created a survey that examined the behavioral and socioeconomic factors that contribute to cavities in children up to 6 years of age.
  • Angelos Angelopoulos, a junior computer science major from Greece, developed augmented-reality goggles for STEM education that show what molecules look like.

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