NORFOLK, Va. – With a unanimous vote, Old Dominion Board of Visitors has approved the name for a residence hall in honor of the University’s first African-American Rector.
The Hugo A. Owens house is named after Dr. Hugo A. Owens, Sr. He served on the Board of Visitors from 1990 to 1994. He became rector of the board from 1992 to 1993.
Owens began his career as a teacher and later became a dentist and opened his practice in Portsmouth,1947. He was an advocate for Old Dominion University and was a key figure in the Hampton Roads’ civil rights movement. His advocacy aided in the elimination of discriminatory policies that denied equal opportunities in public education.
The current board named the residence hall after Owens to honor his legacy at the University.
“Naming this residence hall after Dr. Owens ensures that future generations of students, faculty, and staff members will remember his significant contributions.” said President John R. Broderick.
Owens was named the first honorary member of the Coalition of Black Faculty and Administrators. He was recognized by the Governor of Virginia. Howard University and Virginia State University also honored him as a distinguished alumnus, and he was granted an honorary doctorate by Virginia State.