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Forever a Monarch: ODU Students Say Goodbyes Today to President Runte

Old Dominion University students will say farewell and thank you to outgoing President Roseann Runte at a celebration today dubbed "Forever a Monarch." The event will take place from 5-7 p.m. in the Big Blue Room of the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Refreshments will be available beginning at 4:45 p.m.

For seniors graduating this May, Runte has been president since their freshman year. She welcomed them at the start of their first year as Monarchs with baskets of homemade cookies, which she delivered personally to the residence halls.

Runte has been the inspiration behind many student-focused initiatives that have now become ODU traditions. One of her signature events is Illumination, a rich and diverse celebration that heralds the start of the winter holiday season.

Another tradition she created was asking freshmen to avoid stepping on the university seal, located in the center of Kaufman Mall, until the procession to their commencement ceremony at the Constant Center. Not long after the tradition of the seal was created, a folkloric and cautionary tale began circulating among students about an upperclassman who intentionally stepped on the seal and never graduated.

True to her commitment to hear from students directly, Runte hosted town meetings in the residence halls and in Webb University Center to give them the opportunity to ask questions and offer their thoughts and insights about campus life.

On weekend afternoon and evenings with ODU's "first dog," Jake the Maltese, in tow, the president was often seen enjoying a stroll across campus or through the nearby neighborhoods. Jake and the president would often find themselves at the center of a crowd of students who wanted to offer a friendly hello.

"President Runte will be sorely missed by the ODU community. But Monarchs who have come to know and admire her for her dedication to them will almost certainly miss her the most," said Geneva Walker-Johnson, dean of students and chief student affairs officer.

Distance Learning students can send text messages with their best wishes and greetings to President Runte at 88398, then enter oduprez, followed by the space button and the body of the message.

A live feed of the "Forever a Monarch" festivities will also be available to Distance Learning students beginning at 4:45 p.m. by following this link:

http://mfile.akamai.com/44452/sdp/streaming.video.odu.edu:8080/sdp/200720_PF42108VS_91260.mov

This article was posted on: April 21, 2008

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