[ skip to content ]


Under the theme "Portal to New Worlds," Roseann Runte will be inaugurated as Old Dominion University's seventh president at 11 a.m. today on Kaufman Mall. More than 800 guests are expected to attend the ceremony, which will include an academic procession and remarks by distinguished guests. Former Old Dominion presidents Alfred B. Rollins Jr. and James L. Bugg Jr. will present Runte with the University Medal. The inauguration ceremony will be followed by an informal reception.

Jazz great Jon Hendricks, world-renowned author Julia Kristeva, NASA astronaut Michael Bloomfield and business leader Richard J. Ellenberger will received honorary degrees at the ceremony

Hendricks, the founder of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, a group that sparked a worldwide jazz sensation in the late 1950s, will receive an honorary doctor of music degree. His trio was the number-one jazz vocal group in the world for five consecutive years and their album, "Sing a Song of Basie," has continually been on world jazz charts since its 1958 release. Known as the "Father of Vocalese," he has written R&B smash hits for Louis Jordan, rock 'n' roll hits for Georgia Fame and the Blue Flames, and Grammy-winning lyrics for Manhattan Transfer. Hendricks created the Manhattan Transfers most successful album, "Vocalese," which won seven Grammys, including one for Hendricks as best singer.

Author and star of the long-running musical "The Evolution of the Blues," Hendricks has served as a critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and professor at the University of California at Berkeley. He was honored by jazz great Duke Ellington, who chose him as featured vocalist for the world premiere performance of Ellington's first "Sacred Concert." He also won Emmy, Iris and Peabody awards for his CBS television documentary, "Somewhere to Lay My Weary Head," in which he starred and narrated.

Kristeva, a world-renowned psychoanalyst and author, will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree. She has penned the acclaimed books "Time and Sense," "Strangers to Ourselves," "The Sense and Non-Sense of Revolt," "New Maladies of the Soul" and "Hannah Arendt." Her writing is known for the way it skillfully brings together psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice, literature, linguistics and philosophy.

After the publication of her first book, "Semeiotike Recherches pour Une Semanalyse" in 1969, Kristeva became one of the most prolific theorists in France and the importance of her writing has been felt across the human sciences. Although the influence of psychoanalysis is manifest in her earliest writings, this work is centered on linguistic analysis, including empirical studies.

Kristeva's interest in psychoanalytic theory led her to complete training in psychoanalysis in 1979. Although her interest in language still motivates her work, Kristeva's writings from the 1980s and 1990s reflect her training and practice as a psychoanalyst.

Kristeva has been a faculty member in the Department of Science of Texts and Documents at the University of Paris VII, where she continues to teach in the Department of Literature and Humanities. She also holds a regular visiting appointment in the French department at the University of Toronto. In addition, she has published three novels, "Les Samourais," "Le Vieil Homme et Les Loups" and "Possessions."

A NASA astronaut and Old Dominion University alumnus, Bloomfield will receive an honorary doctor of science degree. A NASA astronaut since 1995, he is scheduled to command the crew of the space shuttle on a 10-day mission to the International Space Station in early 2002. He has logged more than 494 hours in space, having flown with Atlantis in 1997 and piloting the Endeavour in 2000. His first space mission was to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir; he later assisted in the assembly of the International Space Station. While docked to the station, the crew installed the first set of U.S. solar arrays and performed three space walks in addition to delivering supplies and equipment to the station's first resident crew. A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, Bloomfield received his bachelor's degree in engineering mechanics from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1981 and his master's in engineering management from Old Dominion in 1993.

Ellenberger, president of Broadwing Inc. and an Old Dominion alumnus, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Throughout his career, Ellenberger has been recognized as a telecommunications innovator, fostering business growth through bold, proactive planning and unparalleled execution. His leadership led to Cincinnati Bell Wireless, the most successful PCS launch in the country to date. He then merged Cincinnati Bell with IXC Communications to create Broadwing, a global powerhouse in the communications industry. Ellenberger has served as CEO of XL/Connect, and held several positions at MCI, contributing to solid sales growth, product development and business diversification efforts. Most recently, he served as president of MCI's largest business unit, where he helped position the company for growth in markets outside the long distance industry. He was responsible for $8 billion in revenue and led more than 10,000 employees.

Ellenberger earned a bachelor's degree in secondary education from Old Dominion in 1975.

This article was posted on: September 25, 2001

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

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