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

$3 Million Pledge from Robert W. Mitchell will Support Accountancy School Students/Faculty

The ODU Educational Foundation and Old Dominion University are pleased to announce a $3 million commitment by alumnus Robert W. Mitchell, which will provide a significant boost to students and faculty in the School of Accountancy within the Strome College of Business.

With this gift, Mitchell and his wife are creating an endowment to fund student scholarships, programming for School of Accountancy majors and faculty support.

"The demand for CPAs is strong, but fewer students are pursuing the master's degree that makes achieving the CPA possible. With this gift, we can support students so they can continue all the way through a master's in accounting," said Jeff Tanner, dean of the Strome College of Business. "This gift will make it possible to attract top students and will support our ability to recruit and retain high-quality faculty, all of which makes for a stronger program."

Mitchell, a 1987 accounting graduate, owns and operates an accounting firm located in Vienna, Virginia. While at Old Dominion, Mitchell was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and maintains contact with many of his fraternity brothers. Mitchell said his Old Dominion education is an "important part of my story," and he hoped his gift would inspire other successful alumni to give back to the University.

"My wife and I are extremely pleased to announce our intention to support the accounting program at ODU's Strome College of Business with a $3 million gift," Mitchell said. "We have worked hard to reach a level of success where a gift like this is possible, and we are in a position to give some of today's students the same chance at success."

Previous gifts to Old Dominion by the couple include $100,000 to endow the Robert W. Mitchell Scholarship in Real Estate.

President John R. Broderick said the gift is inspiring.

"Clearly, in the 30 years since he graduated from Old Dominion University, Bob Mitchell has been incredibly successful in his career," Broderick said. "But as Winston Churchill said, we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. This gift from Bob and his wife will make a difference for so many Old Dominion students."

Supporters like the Mitchells help Old Dominion fulfill its public mission of enriching the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation and the world through rigorous academic programs, strategic partnerships and active civic engagement. Private gifts from alumni and friends support student learning, spur faculty innovation in teaching and research and help keep an Old Dominion education accessible.