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Nearly 1,000 Receive Degrees at ODU's 109th Commencement

Nearly 1,000 students received their degrees at Old Dominion University's 109th commencement exercises Saturday, Dec. 13,  at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

Gov. Timothy Kaine, who spoke at the 9 a.m. ceremony for the colleges of Arts and Letters, Business and Public Administration and Health Sciences, told the excited graduates to do things that day that they would remember forever, such as setting things right with anyone they've wronged and freely showing their love and appreciation to their families and friends who supported them through their education.

He also urged the graduates to understand their role in ensuring education continues to thrive for the betterment of the country.  "What we're (celebrating) today is precisely what we need to be about as a nation...focusing on broading educational access.

"What you do as alumni will help not only this institution be strong, but higher education as a whole."

Washington Post syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker spoke to graduates of the Batten College of Engineering and Technology, Darden College of Education and the College of Sciences at the 2 p.m. ceremony.

"Life is not a race," she told them. "Sometimes the road is not straight.  Relax. Go out and do something creative."

The university also awarded honorary doctor of humane letters degrees at the two ceremonies to four alumni: Delores Johnson Brown and Patricia Turner, members of the original "Norfolk 17" who integrated the city's public schools; Robert L. Fodrey Sr., a former Board of Visitors member and longtime ODU supporter; and Anne Donovan, who coached the U.S. women's basketball gold-medal team at the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Turner and Fodrey received their degrees at the morning ceremony; Brown and Donovan were awarded their degrees during the afternoon program.

This article was posted on: December 14, 2008

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Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.