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When faculty members retire from Old Dominion, it doesn't necessarily mark the end of their association with the university.

In fact, some continue their research or teach part time, while others maintain ties in other ways. In addition to supporting the university financially through the Annual Fund campaign, some emeriti faculty help students with disabilities, while others may pitch in at the Perry Library.

"There is a wide range of work being done," said Paul Homsher, professor emeritus of biological sciences and head of the university's faculty emeriti organization.

While the group of more than 100 former faculty helps out in various capacities, it is always looking for more opportunities to be of service, Homsher added.

Thirty to 40 members attend the organization's quarterly meetings to discuss its current and future endeavors. An emeriti ambassadors group, which would serve as ushers at university concerts and plays, has been discussed.

"Anything we can do to help the university, we'd be glad to do it," Homsher said.

Citing examples of current volunteer activities, Homsher said that some members read for blind students, while others work at the library, making sure books are properly shelved. Still others host visiting students, tutor and help students conduct literature searches.

Also, since the early '90s, the faculty emeriti organization has awarded a pair of scholarships, which involves soliciting and screening applications. Awards are primarily, but not exclusively, given to children of current faculty members.

"It's a good group. We're sort of fighting the aging process. Retirement is not conducive to continued high activity," Homsher said with a laugh.

A committee is currently looking into purchasing another emeriti faculty plaque to be installed inside Perry Library. The original plaque, which had space for 200 names, was filled in 1995, Homsher noted.

For more information about the group, call Homsher at 497-6833 or 497-2776.

The addresses and phone numbers for all emeriti faculty are listed in a special section of the university telephone directory.

This article was posted on: August 29, 2000

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