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Governor Appoints Four, Reappoints One to ODU Board of Visitors

University Seal

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has announced his appointment of four new members and the reappointment of one current member to four-year terms on the Old Dominion University Board of Visitors.

New members are Carlton Bennett of Virginia Beach, a law partner at Bennett and Zydron; Jay Harris of Bristol, Conn., an ESPN sportscaster; William D. Sessoms Jr. of Virginia Beach, the mayor of Virginia Beach and president and CEO of Towne Financial Services Group; and Lisa Smith of Norfolk, a community volunteer who has served as a board member of the Chrysler Museum of Art. Bennett '72 and Harris '87 are ODU alumni.

Fred J. Whyte of Virginia Beach, who is president of Stihl Inc. and currently is the rector of the ODU board, was reappointed.

The terms of the appointees will last through June of 2018.

The appointments announced Monday, June 2, by the governor's office brought new members to the boards of a dozen state colleges and universities, as well as to the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

"Virginia's higher education system is one of the best in the world and a cornerstone of our economic future," said McAuliffe. "As I spoke with each of these appointees I urged them to use their positions to help manage our colleges and universities prudently, to find cost efficiencies in order to keep tuition rates as low as possible and to embrace innovation in order to prepare every Virginia student to compete in the 21st century economy."

Other members of the ODU board and their term expiration dates are: David L. Bernd (2016); John F. Biagas (2016); Richard T. Cheng (2017); J. William Cofer (2015); Jodi S. Gidley (2017); Andrea M. Kilmer (2015); Barry M. Kornblau (2015); Dr. Mary Maniscalco-Theberge (2017); Frank Reidy (2015); Ronald C. Ripley (2016); Judith O. Swystun (2016); and Robert M. Tata (2017).

Outgoing members are Jeffrey W. Ainslie; Dee Gilmore; Luke M. Hillier; and Marc Jacobson.