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

Old Education Building to be Renamed Monarch Hall

By Jon Cawley

The Old Dominion Board of Visitors on Dec. 7 voted unanimously to rename the building formerly housing the College of Education to Monarch Hall.

The change was recommended by a student group, which wanted to focus on the University's history, including its origin as a two-year branch of the College of William & Mary.

"Monarch Hall stands for a rich history and strong future," said Michelle Mondrey, a senator with Student Government Association.

In his regular report to the board, President John R. Broderick announced that the University has been named the lead institution for two Go Virginia projects that have been recommended for full funding: a digital shipbuilding collaboration with Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding and the Hampton Roads Cybersecurity Education and Workforce Development Alliance collaboration (HRCyber Co-lab).

The digital shipbuilding workforce program, if approved for full funding, would receive $647,540 in each of its first two years to develop a curriculum and a lab for a program to teach digital manufacturing skills.

The HRCyber Co-lab, if fully funded, would receive $642,713 in its first and second years to create a lab to develop and test cybersecurity products and train workers.

Morris Foster, vice president for research, told the board the projects would address shortages of qualified workers by providing educational pathways from high school through the undergraduate and master's level.

President Broderick also told the board that the first students were recruited this fall through an internet-based portal for the recently created Online Virginia Network, a state-sponsored collaboration between Old Dominion and George Mason University intended to help adults who left college complete their degrees.

President Broderick also reported that the University has created a President's Taskforce on Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Tech Transfer/Commercialization. He said it would begin meeting by early January, at which time a realignment of resources and offices would be triggered.

The taskforce, he said, will allow Old Dominion to take on a broader leadership role to meet the economic needs of the region.

President Broderick updated the board on the University's fundraising initiative, which began in July 2016. He said the initiative has raised $78 million so far, and, due to its initial success, the University has raised the target from $200 million to $250 million.

The President's report also included an announcement that the University has been named VersAbility Resources' 2017 VersAbility Award recipient. The Hampton-based organization advocates for people with disabilities.

During a meeting of the board's Administration and Finance Committee, University architect Jean Kennedy-Sleeman provided an update on two construction projects.

The first project, the Hugo A. Owens House, will be the University's newest residence hall. The 161,000-square-foot, five-story building will include 470 beds as well as community engagement amenities such as lounges, community kitchens, studies and a Living Learning Community.

Kennedy said the residence hall will be between 48th and 49th street. It will be "part of the Quad, but a fresher, newer sibling," she said.

The Hugo A. Owens House, named for the first African-American rector of Old Dominion's Board of Visitors, is scheduled for completion in May 2020.

The second project, phase 1 of a chemistry (laboratory sciences) building, will have four stories with 110,500 square feet of space. It will house instructional and research laboratories, a tutoring center and a replacement for the Pretlow Planetarium, which will include a 120-seat digital theater and 48-foot-diameter dome.