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University Creates Scholarship in Memory of Ellen Harvey

Dale Ryder, Ellen Harvey, David O’DellEllen Harvey (center) receiving ODU's Community Service Award in 2011. Also pictured are Dale Ryder (right) and David O’Dell (left).

Old Dominion University has created a scholarship in the memory of Ellen P. Harvey, the long-time president of the Lambert's Point Civic League and friend to ODU, who died Aug. 29 at age 90.

Cecelia T. Tucker, ODU's assistant to the president for community relations, shared the news about the scholarship fund during a celebration of Harvey's life on Saturday, Sept. 7.

The announcement of the scholarship in Harvey's name, which will honor her commitment to community service and support of the university, was greeted by a rousing ovation at First Baptist Church of Lambert's Point.

An initiative of ODU President John R. Broderick in recognition of Harvey's lifetime of work, the scholarship will provide $3,000 per year in tuition and $1,000 per year for books to an ODU student.

In her eulogy of Harvey, Tucker used the metaphor of a giant tree that had recently fallen in the Lambert's Point neighborhood. "With its shade and outstretched arms, it protected the young seedlings which were trying to grow and put down their own roots. That symbolic tree was Ellen Pryor Harvey, who grew up in Lambert's Point. She loved it, she protected it and she nurtured its young people," Tucker said.

Hundreds of children who grew up in the Lambert's Point community owe a great deal to Harvey, Tucker said. "She was relentless in her pursuit with City Council of a place in the community where children could go and have fun under the protection of people who cared for them."

Harvey's efforts resulted in the opening of the Lambert's Point Community Center in 2010. A room in the center is named in her honor.

Harvey was a lifelong resident of the Lambert's Point neighborhood, located immediately south of the ODU campus, and was a long-time friend of the university. She was known by many as "the mayor of Lambert's Point."

President Broderick presented Harvey with an ODU Community Service Award in 2011, and in 1992 she received the Town-N-Gown Community Service Award.

"She was a remarkable lady in every sense of the word. Norfolk, Lambert's Point and Old Dominion were all blessed to have such a tireless worker and advocate for so many young people. As a community leader, she is irreplaceable," Broderick said.

Harvey worked in ODU's Lambert's Point Summer Program, at the Lambert's Point Community Center and at James Monroe Elementary School.

Tucker said the relationship between the Lambert's Point community and ODU has grown significantly stronger, in part because of Harvey's efforts and passion. In her 22 years at the university, Tucker said Harvey always ended each civic league meeting by asking her to thank the ODU president "for all he had done ... and what he's going to do in the future."

As a sign of Harvey's impact on the community, the list of speakers at her funeral included Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim, State Sen. Kenny Alexander, State Delegate Daun Hester and members of many community and school organizations she touched over the years.