Old Dominion Selects First Black President in the University's History

Old Dominion Selects First Black President in the University’s History

Brian Hemphill
(Image Credit: Instagram/BrianOHemphill)

Dr. Brian Hemphill will make history as Old Dominion University’s first Black president since the school was established in 1930. He’ll take over this August as the ninth president of the University. Hemphill will succeed Dr. John Broerick, who announced his retirement after serving 13 years as president.

“It is both an honor and privilege to be selected as the ninth president of Old Dominion University, a dynamic public research institution that has proudly served the Hampton Roads region and positively impacted the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Dr. Hemphill said in a statement.

Dr. Hemphill adds, “I must express my sincere appreciation to members of the Board of Visitors, the Presidential Search Committee, President Broderick, and the campus community. My family and I are looking forward to becoming active members of Hampton Roads, making our home in Norfolk, and proudly serving the Monarch family.”

Paving the Way for Excellence

Last week, the ODU Board of Visitors announced a unanimous decision to add Dr. Hemphill to the school’s leadership team.

Dr. Hemphill has held many leadership roles, including President of West Virginia State University and vice president for student affairs and enrollment management at Northern Illinois University. Most recently, he served as president of Radford University. In the fall of 2019 and 2020, the school gained record enrollment under his leadership.

“We are confident that Dr. Hemphill will continue the University’s upward trajectory,” Kay A. Kemper, rector of Old Dominion’s Board of Visitors said in a statement. “The board was highly impressed with his substantial accomplishments in less than five years as president of Radford, as well as his commitment to a student-centered approach. Dr. Hemphill’s successes range from enrollment management to fundraising, and many of his forward-thinking initiatives in such areas as health sciences and partnership-building mirror Old Dominion’s longstanding strengths and priorities. We believe he will write an exciting new chapter for ODU.”

Vision for Old Dominican University

According to an ABC affiliate, Dr. Hemphill has plans to meet with every academic department and its chairs in the first 18 months. He’s on a mission to build an inclusive environment and create a forward-focused vision of success.

“I’m doing that because I need to hear your voices. You will inform much of my thinking. I need to see and understand through your lenses that will be very important for me,” Hemphill shared.

“We will be bold and innovative as we propel this university to national prominence,” he added.