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Learning Commons, Student Success Center in Spotlight at Open House

The Learning Commons

As Old Dominion held a formal open house in the middle of the Learning Commons the afternoon of Feb. 16, it seemed only fitting that the new addition to the front of Perry Library was filled with students engaged in both quiet study and collaborative projects - as it has been since opening its doors at the start of the fall 2011 semester.

President John Broderick told those assembled that it was "an easy building to get support for in Richmond because it made so much sense." Together, he said, the Learning Commons and the Student Success Center form "a collaborative environment that offers personalized help for students, as well as an opportunity for students to take responsibility for their learning experiences, build their academic plans and receive guidance from peers and advisers alike."

The president recognized the members of the campus community who played a significant role in making the Learning Commons a reality, including Vice President for Administration and Finance Bob Fenning, who said he was pleased that the project came in on budget and ahead of schedule.

Broderick gave special recognition to Virginia O'Herron, university librarian, David Metzger, Honors College dean, and Rusty Waterfield, assistant vice president for computing and communications services, for their roles in the project, and he presented awards to three other key players in the planning and development of the Learning Commons and Student Success Center: project managers Morel Fry, administrative services librarian; Paula Jamison, assistant director for Classroom Central and customer support; and Lisa Mayes, assistant dean for planning and administration.

"What was interesting to watch was their passion about student success and learning," noted Waterfield.

Ellen Neufeldt, vice president for student engagement and enrollment services, said the new facilities are all about "putting students first" and "learning the modern way," and Chandra de Silva, vice provost for faculty and program development, observed that faculty may need to make some changes in the way they teach to take advantage of everything the Learning Commons has to offer.

Following the program, guests were invited to tour the Learning Commons and the Student Success Center and visit an undergraduate student research poster exhibit.