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Donor Stories

Florence P. Blankenship

Florence Blankenship

A leader during her time at ODU, alumna Flo Blankenship was also a dedicated educator, high school librarian and member of her community. After Flo lost her battle with cancer, her sister reached out to explore ways she might honor Flo’s life of education and service. Read More

William Edelstein

William Edelstein

ODU prepared William Edelstein for a long, prosperous career. Through his estate, he created a scholarship to help ODU students achieve the same. Read More

Lorraine Schneider

Lorraine Schneider

For most students, the thought of going away to college is both exciting and uncertain. From making new friends to finding their way in a strange place, it is always an adventure. For Lorraine Schneider, it was no different. Read More

Edie Reynolds

Edie Reynolds

After graduating from Vassar College as a theater major on a work-study scholarship, Edie Reynolds, a New Jersey native, received a Navy commission at age 20. Read More

Michele Mulich

Michele Mulich

Michele Mulich's work as an IT professional has taken her all across the country. But ODU was never far from her mind. See how her experience here, a phone call and a significant event led her to make ODU a part of her legacy. Read More

Joe Petro

Helen Yura Petro

Joseph (Joe) Petro grew up in Fairbank, Pennsylvania, in a family of nine, where his father and uncles worked in the coal mines. After school, Joe helped his mother by picking berries and running errands. As he got older, Joe sold newspapers and animal skins, taking on most any task to earn money for the family. For fun, he took up boxing, competing in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and joined the Boy Scouts. Read More

Bob and Maria Hood

Bob and Maria Hood

Alumni Bob and Maria Hood have dedicated their lives to educating young people—in schools, at their family's summer camp and by supporting ODU. Recently, they found a smart way to amplify their impact using a retirement account. “We hope others learn how easy this was,” Maria says.Read More

Major Monarch

Harry, Diana, and Lauren McBrien

Diana McBrien laughs as she recalls seeing Harry for the first time. She and her family were living in Navy housing in Virginia Beach when Harry and his family moved into the house across the street. Read More

Bonnie Lee Miley

Bonnie Lee Miley

Bonnie Lee Miley is the recent recipient of the SoldierStrong scholarship, which is awarded to a female veteran at Old Dominion University with a high GPA in a STEM discipline. Read More

Del Karlsen

Del Karlsen

Del Karlsen ’74 was a favorite of his students throughout his 30-year career, and loved following students’ educational journeys, seeing them achieve advanced degrees and launch successful careers. Read More

Rebecca and Steve Hardt

Rebecca and Steve Hardt

Steve Hardt has always been good with numbers. In fact, when growing up in Portsmouth, he excelled in math—perhaps because his mother was a teacher and taught him to work hard and study even harder. Read More

Jay and Joyce Kossman

Jay Kossman

A native of Norfolk, Jay Kossman graduated from Maury High School and headed to Old Dominion to study political science. About the same time, Jay's future wife, Joyce, graduated from Granby High and was drawn to Old Dominion due to its proximity to home, the cost and her desire to teach. Read More

Helen Yura Petro

Helen Yura Petro

Helen was a wonderful supporter of our college, especially the School of Nursing, by establishing their scholarships, as well as coming to our major events. She had a passion for living and for sharing with others through her philanthropy, textbooks, teaching and project development. Read More

Joan Nusbaum: Leaves a Legacy of Love to Family and Community

Joan Nusbaum

Joan Nusbaum was as multifaceted as the loves in her life: her family at the center, surrounded by friends, art and music, combined with interests in medicine and education and sprinkled with a sense of adventure. Over her lifetime, Joan became a philanthropist who believed in giving back to her community. Read More

I Can Do That!

Gary and Debbie Miller

After graduating from ODU in 1972, Debbie Miller began her career as a graphic artist at Tidewater Community College. A Monarch at heart, Debbie joined the ODU staff in 1978 as Graphic Design Supervisor for the media center, now the Center for Learning and Teaching. Read More

All For the Love of the Game

Ken Hunter

“Tennis has been a defining part of my life,” said Ken Hunter ’81. “It led to shared friendships and life lessons, and it all started when my mother gave me her old Jack Kramer tennis racket.” Read More

Carl Helwig an American Scholar

Carl Helwig

Carl Helwig’s goal was to become, in his words, an “American scholar.” That was an impressive aspiration for a boy born in Marosujvar, Romania, who immigrated to the United States at age 6 with his parents and sister in 1924. Read More

Karen Gershman ’84

Karen Gershman

When Richmond native Karen Gershman ’84 began working with her attorney on creating her estate plan, she knew she wanted to include Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters as well as some other charities that were close to her heart. Read More

Lovingly Giving Back

Mary Catherine Fitzhugh Dowrick

An only child, Dowrick grew up on Virginia’s Northern Neck. She lived on the family farm where she learned a wide range of skills. She feared nothing—learned to fire rifles and won awards at local Thanksgiving turkey shoots. Read More

Kendra and Glenn Croshaw

Kendra and Glenn Croshaw

Kendra and Glenn Croshaw have committed their lives to impacting the lives of others: Kendra, before her retirement in 2006, as director of government relations and public policy for Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters; and Glenn, currently as a Circuit Court judge in Virginia Beach and formerly as a member of the House of Delegates for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Read More

Sue Cotton Smith Endowed Scholarship in Engineering Old Dominion University

Sue Cotton Smith

Believing that ODU is her family, Sue Cotton Smith, office manager in the Civil Engineering Department, felt compelled to establish a scholarship. A 30-year employee at ODU, Smith has seen the importance of reaching out to others in times of need. Read More

George L. ’67 and Linda L. Consolvo

George and Linda Consolvo

"Linda and I believe that it is important for those of us who have had the good fortune to benefit from our education to support the institutions that laid the foundation for that success. However, it is not simply a sense of duty that drives us but also the joy of sharing and the knowledge that other lives will be enhanced by the gift of education so well provided at Old Dominion University." Read More

Because They Have Experienced The Power of Education

Ed and Linda Bradley

Ed ’74 and Linda ’71 Bradley spent their careers as juvenile probation officers (JPO). At that time, the innovative Norfolk Juvenile Court was exposing adolescents to family and group counseling, athletic, cultural, and outdoor adventures. Read More

A Twist of Good Fortune

Joseph Fleischmann

Joseph Fleischmann was born in Nuremberg, Germany, on Oct. 17, 1925. At the time of his birth, the picturesque city was known for its medieval architecture and the Kaiserburg Castle, one of its most famous landmarks. Read More

At 100, Alumnus Reflects on Fond Memories and Growth of Alma Mater

Old Dominion logo

Last week, an enthusiastic class of graduates finished their studies at Old Dominion University, leaving with memories of their time in classes and making social connections. Linwood "Tick" Thumm is proof that these memories can last a lifetime. Read More

Future Scholars Will Be Luckey

Mike and Denise Luckey

Mike and Denise Luckey have known each other since the eighth grade. They remained friends throughout high school, but it wasn't until they went to different colleges - Denise to Virginia Tech and Mike to Old Dominion University, that they realized there might be more between them than merely friendship. It was a letter that Denise wrote to Mike that changed everything for the young couple. "I framed the letter and it hangs in our bedroom," said Mike. "We wouldn't be together today if Denise hadn't written to me." Read More

The Power of Distance Learning

Shannon Hair

Shannon Hair and his mother were abandoned by his father when he was just a toddler. It was his mother's attitude that they could make it out of public housing by sheer determination and hard work. Shannon said, "My life could have ended up very differently. I should have been a statistic." Read More

Harry B. Adreon Continues His Wife's Legacy Through a Scholarship

Harry Adreon

Harry Adreon grew up at the corner of Gates and Colley avenues in Norfolk. With his father working at H.B. Gilpin Company, a wholesale pharmaceutical company, it wasn't surprising that, as a student at Maury High School, Harry was attracted to young Beatrice "Bea" Rice, who planned to become a pharmacist. Read More

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