ODU's Second President James Bugg Passed Away Jan. 15
January 16, 2015
James L. Bugg Jr., who served as Old Dominion University's second president between 1969 and 1976 has died in Norfolk. He was 94.
Bugg is remembered as a dedicated scholar and devoted supporter of Old Dominion University.
Current ODU President John R. Broderick said he had the pleasure of talking to Bugg several times during his years at the University.
"Dr. Bugg was always so positive and excited about the university and where it was going," Broderick said. "We all know he had much to do with our academic growth and the shared governance spirit, which is still alive and well today. Both he and his late wife, Anne, were always committed to making ODU the best place it could be for faculty, staff and students."
A memorial service will be held in Christ & St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 2 p.m. The Reverend Canon Win Lewis and The Reverend Jess Stribling will officiate. Inurnment will be in the church columbarium. Memorial donations may be made to The James L. Bugg Jr. Scholarship at Old Dominion University or Christ and St. Luke's Episcopal Church. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk chapel is handling the arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to the family at hdoliver.com.
Bugg was born in Farmville, Va., receiving his B.A., Summa Cum Laude, from Hampden-Sydney College in 1941. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, in 1942 and 1950, serving in the US Army Air Corps during World War II between advanced degrees. He worked as a professor of history in the state of Missouri for two decades, serving as chairman of the Department of History at the University of Missouri from 1959-62. Bugg was chancellor at the University of Missouri at St. Louis when appointed president of Old Dominion University in 1969.
Old Dominion University had recently shed its "College" title when Bugg arrived in Norfolk. His goal was to make Old Dominion a university in fact, as well as in name, by increasing academic rigor, adding new four-year degree programs and updating existing ones. By the time he left the University, Old Dominion offered bachelor's degrees in 47 areas of specialization, and master's degrees in 27, and the University's first doctoral programs in engineering and oceanography.
He also created the University Senate, a University-wide governance structure in which faculty, administrators and students were represented. He also established the Office of Information Services to keep the community and the legislature apprised of Old Dominion's accomplishments and programs.
After retiring from the presidency in 1976, Bugg returned to teaching and research as the Constance & Colgate Darden professor of History and Education. He retired from the faculty in 1991, but remained an advocate for and friend to the University long after his retirement.
Bugg leaves son James L. Bugg III and daughter Anne Bugg Payne, their spouses Ann Stuart Bugg and George Payne, and four grandchildren. Bugg's wife of 58 years, Anne Hunter Bugg, died Dec. 30, 2013 in Norfolk.
"Dr. James L. Bugg Jr. was a loving husband, father and educator," his children said, in a statement to the University.
"His everyday actions and the supportive environment he provided instilled in his family and his students the importance of education, integrity and the highest morality," they continued. "He was the patriarch of the family and a brilliant orator who enthralled all around him regularly with his detailed historical accounts of personal and family events as well as the history of America that he adored. His dedication to God and his church set the tone for a positive upbringing and taught us beautiful life lessons and shaped us to be the people we are today."