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Rep. Bobby Scott Keynotes ODU’s 139th Commencement

U.S. Representative Robert C. “Bobby” Scott delivered an inspiring keynote address at Old Dominion University’s 139th commencement, where nearly 1600 students received degrees. Emphasizing the importance of education, Scott urged graduates to stay engaged in their communities and consider roles in public service.

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NORFOLK

Nearly 1600 undergraduate and graduate Old Dominion University students received degrees in two ceremonies on Dec. 16 during its 139th commencement exercises.

U.S. Representative Robert C. “Bobby” Scott served as the featured speaker for both ceremonies. He has represented Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District since 1993.

“Make no mistake about it,” he said. “Your college education is more important now than ever because of the moment we find ourselves in today.”

A lifelong public servant, Congressman Scott encouraged students to stay active and involved with their community.

“That means more than just voting,” he said. “It means following the news, attending city council meetings and contacting your elected officials at every level of government. Possibly even running for office yourself.”

ODU President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., asked the new graduates to think about the vital roles they will play in society.

“You are among the most fortunate people in one of the most fortunate countries on Earth,” he said. “And because of the special status you hold as an educated person, others will look to your leadership.”

Nina R. Gonser, vice president for digital learning, recognized the hundreds of students, representing 31 percent of ODU’s student body, who earned their degrees through ODUGlobal this semester. She noted that more than 22,000 students have earned ODU degrees via distance learning over nearly 40 years.

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Congressman Scott was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University.

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