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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Founders' Day 2015 Celebrates ODU Community's Generosity

The generosity of the Old Dominion community was the "star" of the University's 2015 Founders' Day Luncheon.

As part of Old Dominion's 85th anniversary celebration, students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends of the University were challenged to donate $850,000 in an 85 hour period last week, to support programming, build state-of-the-art classrooms and research facilities.

During the Founders' Day luncheon, President John R. Broderick announced that the University's 85 Hours of Giving Campaign raised $1,104,700, surpassing the goal of the Thursday-to-Saturday fundraising campaign by nearly 30 percent.

"What a fantastic celebration of the past 85 years, and a wonderful commitment by the ODU Community to the next 85," Broderick said, in presenting a check to the University for the amount of the donation from Gary Alcaraz, vice chair of the ODU Educational Foundation.

For many years, Old Dominion has co-hosted Founders' Day with Town-N-Gown, an independent, informal association of men and women dedicated to developing a mutual understanding between Old Dominion University and the various civilian and military communities of Greater Hampton Roads. Given the long, unique history of Town-N-Gown itself, Wednesday's luncheon was a festive event.

Two long-time employees of the University, and two long-time community leaders, were recognized with awards for their contribution to Old Dominion, and to life in Hampton Roads.

"The dedication and hard work of our students, faculty, staff, and administrators are the keystone to this incredible institution. Perhaps, the most significant part of our success at Old Dominion is our commitment to continually revitalize our work in the communities surrounding the University," Broderick said.

Ken Daley, professor of art, received the Old Dominion University Community Service Award during the luncheon. Daley recently celebrated 50 years of service to Old Dominion, and in addition to his teaching and innovative artwork, he has volunteered his time and talent in art institutions all over Hampton Roads.

"Ken worked with the City of Norfolk to help establish the d'Art Center. Additionally, he was fundamental in launching the Governor's School for the Arts, teaching some of the first classes in printmaking, and recruiting qualified community artists and faculty for the program," Broderick said.

The Monarch Legacy Award was presented to Ruby Milteer, an employee of the University since she came to work as a server in the only dining hall on campus in 1968.

"In the last 47 years, Ms. Ruby has enriched the lives of so many," Broderick said. "When asked what keeps her coming to work, she responded with a smile, 'It's a people meeting place. I've come in contact with many students through the years that have graduated, come back to visit, and have brought their children here.'"

The Rita Costello Town-N-Gown Community Service Award was presented to Paul and Susan Hirschbiel, for their decades of leadership and advocacy, particularly with Hampton Roads children.

"Paul and Susan Hirschbiel are a couple who give of themselves in every way imaginable," Broderick said. "After starting their careers on Wall Street, we are honored and grateful that they chose to move back to Paul's hometown and build their lives and their legacy of service in Hampton Roads."

Gilbert Bland, chairman of the GilJoy Group and a local restaurateur for nearly 30 years, was presented the Albert B. "Buck" Gornto Jr. Regional Service Award. Being a successful business owner and entrepreneur is only one part of Bland's story, Broderick said.

"Gil is committed to the development and success of the region, serving on the Boards for LEAD Virginia, the State Chamber of Commerce, and the New E3 School, while also serving on the board of directors for the Hampton Roads Community Foundation," Broderick said.

The Founders' Day Luncheon also included a presentation to the students who won this year's Founders' Cup Challenge, an annual competition designed to test students on their knowledge of the University.

This year's winning team of Danielle Carr and Samantha Evans won the competition, which focused on the University's 85th anniversary.