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Memorial Service Is July 16 for Art Department's Robert McCullough

A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 16, for Robert McCullough, associate professor of graphic design at Old Dominion University, who died July 13, 2009. The service will be in room 136 of the Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Born Nov. 22, 1945, McCullough was a mentor and friend to many, both inside and outside the art department. He is remembered as an artist of incisive intelligence, sharp wit, exacting craft and rare passion. He was also a lover of literature, food and design of all kinds.

A full-time faculty member in the art department since 1980, McCullough developed the department's emphasis in graphic design in 1988. He left a successful, award-winning advertising agency in the Hampton Roads region to join the faculty, first as a professor of painting, said Linda McGreevy, professor and chair of the art department. After developing the graphic design program, he helped manage its growth in the years that followed.

"His desire to interact with students and other scholarly professionals, rather than convincing the public of the merits of the various businesses that hired his crew over several years, caused him to take this unusual step for a designer, which is lucrative - in a very practical way," McGreevy said.

"But, Robert, like many of his generation, was idealistic and truly wanted to make a difference in the lives of those who would go on to convince the public of the merits of products and services as their own careers developed.

"Demanding, intense and entirely dedicated to his field, he made a big difference for many - some of whom … would only realize his significance later. The faculty, current and emeriti, full-time and adjunct, are realizing our loss now, and it is with heavy hearts that we bid him adieu," McGreevy added.

McCullough's work both in fine arts and design has been exhibited nationally and in Europe, including the U.S. Department of State World Trade Show in Greece, Turkey and Israel; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Eastern Washington University, Cheney Wash.; and Contra Costa College, San Pablo, Calif.

He also exhibited his work locally at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia in Virginia Beach, the Visual Arts Center in Portsmouth and the Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News.

McCullough earned a B.F.A. degree from ODU in 1971 and an M.F.A. in design from Syracuse University in 1978.

He is survived by his wife, Harriet McCullough, an adjunct assistant professor of graphic design at ODU with whom he maintained M&M, a small design agency; a daughter, Rachel; and stepdaughter, Karen Goldburg.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sibley Scholarship Fund or the Dreyer Gallery Fund, in care of the ODU Art Department, 49th Street, Norfolk, VA 23529. Cremation Society of Virginia, Hampton Roads office, is assisting the family.

This article was posted on: July 15, 2009

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