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A service of remembrance for E. Wayne Higgins, former vice president for administrative services, will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, May 21, at Maestas and Bailey Funeral Home, Baltic Avenue Chapel, Virginia Beach.

Higgins, 59, of Virginia Beach, died May 17, 2004, at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital.

An Old Dominion alumnus, Higgins joined the university in December 1973 as director of operations and resigned in June 1991. He graduated in 1967 with a bachelor's degree in business and received his M.B.A. in 1969.

His first major project on the job involved the landscaping of Kaufman Mall. That, and the start of construction on a new fine arts center, were the most rewarding projects during his ODU career, Higgins said in an interview after announcing his resignation.

In his 16 years with the university, the last 12 as vice president, Higgins was in charge of a staff of 500. During his tenure, he was responsible for guiding the university's capital development program, which resulted in the renovation or Construction of 36 major projects valued at more than $130 million.

Under Higgins' leadership, ODU acquired $10 million in property adjoining the university, and he created a quasi-endowment and university fund.He was credited with helping acquire a Ku-band satellite uplink for the university's telecommunications programs and for expanding student housing by 1,350 beds. He also helped enhance support services by establishing a university training program, an employee relations department and the offices of Risk Management and Environmental Health and Safety.

In partnership with area business leaders and the city of Norfolk, Higgins developed a design concept for improving Hampton Boulevard, which resulted in the city's support and approval to widen and substantially improve the appearance of the thoroughfare from 49th Street to 39th Street.

Higgins' employment affiliation with ODU actually began in 1964 when he distributed mail as a residence hall student assistant. After graduation, he managed the Rogers and Gresham dormitories when they were owned by a private corporation and continued in that capacity for eight months under a management contract with the university after Old Dominion purchased the residence halls.

After leaving ODU, Higgins accepted the position of executive vice president for finance and operations at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

He is survived by his daughter, Margaret Stacy Doummar of Virginia Beach. Memorial donations may be made to the Florence G. Higgins Award Fund, c/o Kent Island United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 308, Chester, Md. 21619. To share memories and offer words of comfort visit www.maestasandbaileyfuneralhome.com.

This article was posted on: May 19, 2004

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