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ODU & Military

November Moments: ODU and the Military


A History of Military Ties

The Aircraft Instruments Institute is established in 1938, eventually leading to the Engineering Science Management War Training program. Through its defense and training classes, the Norfolk Division makes an invaluable contribution to the war effort. The program also allows the school to remain open during a period when most young men were serving their country. The program attracts many women, who learn aircraft repair, drafting and other war-related subjects.

War Training ProgramWorld War II era photograph of students in a war-training program class, 1940s. (Click on image to view full photo)
Women War Workers PosterAdvertisement for war training classes at the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary and Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 1940s. (Click on image to view full photo)
Women in War Training ProgramWomen students in the war-training program working on an airplane, 1940s. (Click on image to view full photo)



Lee M. KlinefelterLee M. Klinefelter, Technical Institute Director, 1942-1959. (Click on image to view full photo)

Lewis W. Webb, Jr.

In his November 4 and 11, 1974 interviews, Dr. Webb discusses the beginnings of the war training program.

Lee Miller Klinefelter

Lee Miller Klinefelter was the first director of the Norfolk Division's Technical Institute, where war training classes were held in the 1940s. He served ODU from 1942-1959.

In his 1974 interview, he talks about how he was involved in the program.



Army ROTC Unit Established

Army ROTC is reestablished on campus in 1969. (The first unit was organized in 1948 but discontinued two years later when the Korean War sapped the number of young men enrolled at the Norfolk Division.) A Naval ROTC unit would be established in 1982.

ROTC UnitArmy ROTC unit at the College of William and Mary in Norfolk, 1950. (Click on image to view full photo)
President Alfred B. Rollins, Jr. and ROTC OfficerPresident Alfred B. Rollins, Jr. pinning an Army ROTC officer, 1970s. (Click on image to view full photo)
Army and Navy ROTC CadetsODU Army and Navy ROTC cadets socializing at Foreman Field, 1985. (Click on image to view full photo)


Military Partnerships

Old Dominion, on July 1, 1999, formalizes its partnership with Norfolk's Armed Forces Staff College to collaborate on graduate internships, faculty exchanges and the joint sponsorship of symposia. This relationship builds upon the formal agreement ODU and NATO's Atlantic headquarters entered in 1995, which was designed to support geopolitical and technical symposia as well as research opportunities for faculty.

Article- ODU and Armed Forces Staff CollegeArticle- ODU and Armed Forces Staff College Partnership (Courier 8/27/1999)
Dick WhalenDick Whalen, Director of Military Activities, 1993-2012


Remembering Sept. 11

Hundreds of members of the university community gather on Kaufman Mall the morning of Sept. 11, 2002, to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon a year earlier. Four members of the Old Dominion family died at the Pentagon: alumnus Navy Cmdr. Robert Schlegel (M.A. '92), and graduate students Army Spc. Craig Amundson, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Robert Elseth and Army Lt. Col. Karen Wagner. A special ceremony later commemorates their lives with a musical composition by Professor Adolphus Hailstork and poetry by ODU's Luisa Igloria, Sheri Reynolds, Tim Seibles and Roseann Runte.

9/11 National Day of Remembrance9/11 National Day of Remembrance
9/11 Remembrance, 20029-11 Remembrance, 2002. (Click to read Courier article 9/20/2002)


Run for Freedom

Run For FreedomODU Alumni magazine cover article "Run for Freedom" 2004 (Click on image to view full article)

Jason Redman, a senior business administration major and battalion commander of the Hampton Roads Naval ROTC Consortium, conceives and organizes the Run for Freedom on campus to honor military members killed in America's War on Terror. Hundreds of university and community members log more than 700 miles during the six-day, round-the-clock event, held April 3-8, 2004. The run raises more than $27,000 for charities that provide scholarships and support for the families of the fallen troops, and attracts national attention.



Most of the oral histories and digital materials are from the University Libraries' Special Collections and University Archives. See Resources.