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President's Biography

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Lion fountain with blue skies on Kaufman Mall.

President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., Old Dominion University's ninth president effective July 1, 2021, is an unwavering champion for access and opportunity, as well as innovation and research, with a deep commitment to forward-focused leadership. President Hemphill is proud to lead ODU with a steadfast dedication to excellence, a firm commitment to accountability and transparency, and — most importantly — a strong focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as student success. President Hemphill looks forward to expanding existing partnerships and creating new opportunities to advance the institution, the region, and the Commonwealth of Virginia through entrepreneurial and innovative approaches!

A devoted public servant and steward of ODU and the commonwealth, President Hemphill proudly serves on a variety of boards and commissions. He faithfully represents ODU on the national scale with active involvement in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), including the Board of Directors, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association Presidential Forum. President Hemphill is equally dedicated to state and regional engagement through active membership on various councils and committees.

President Hemphill's road to ODU has taken him from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, a flagship university, where he served as Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students; to Northern Illinois University, a large, public, research university, where he served as Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and Associate Professor for eight years; West Virginia State University, a public, land-grant, research university, where he served as the 10th President and Professor for four years; and, most recently, Radford University, a comprehensive university, where he served as the seventh President and Professor for five years. While at Radford University, President Hemphill built lasting relationships with many entities and officials throughout the commonwealth and beyond as the institution experienced historic growth and success in programmatic diversification and expansion, infrastructure improvements, and philanthropic giving, just to name a few!

President Hemphill earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Policy Studies from the University of Iowa, a Master of Science degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State University of Science and Technology, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communication from Saint Augustine's University. President Hemphill is a published author with a multitude of writings covering topics related to gun violence and threat preparedness on college campuses; emerging financial concerns affecting the collegiate sphere; STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and economic-related issues pertaining to education; and a myriad of additional scholarly perspectives pertinent to the higher education environment. President Hemphill coedited a book, titled College in the Crosshairs: An Administrative Perspective on Prevention of Gun Violence. He is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, guest presenter, and panelist with frequent appearances across the country.

President Hemphill's passion for life and unparalleled commitment to excellence begin at home where he shares his life with his loving and supportive wife, Dr. Marisela Rosas Hemphill, who proudly serves as ODU's First Lady. The Hemphills are the proud parents of energetic, 9-year-old twins, Catalina and Cruz. President Hemphill also has two adult children, Jada, who is a public school teacher in Fort Worth, Texas, and Jordan, who is a graduate student at the University of Iowa. Above all else, President Hemphill cherishes the time he spends with his children who are so very precious to him. The Hemphill family resides in the Jacobson House. President and First Lady Hemphill, as well as their entire family, actively engage both on the campus and in the community by attending a variety of activities and events in support their fellow Monarchs!