Old Dominion University (ODU) was founded in 1930 as the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary, and became an independent institution in 1962. ODU is a dynamic metropolitan, residential, and research-extensive public institution (“Higher research activity” using the Carnegie classification) with a student enrollment of nearly 25,000, including approximately 5,000 graduate students, and nearly 1,500 international students. The university has more than 850 faculty, of which more than 40% are female. ODU is a vibrant, collegial university committed to serving the region and the nation through it research, teaching, service, and community engagement. In 2017, ODU was recognized by Forbes as one the nation's top midsize employers, as well as one of the top 15 universities for African-American Student Success by the Education Trust.
The University’s primary campus is located in Norfolk, VA, the cultural hub of the region and home to the world’s largest natural deep water port, the Atlantic headquarters of NATO, and Naval Station Norfolk, which houses the U.S. Navy and U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Norfolk has been named a ‘Best City for Entrepreneurship’ by Entrepreneur Magazine and in the Top 5 of ‘America's Favorite Cities’ by Travel and Leisure. Norfolk is one of the seven cities that make up the historic Hampton Roads region of Virginia, a major recreation area with a population of 1.7 million. The Hampton Roads region is experiencing a surge in entrepreneurial culture, and has the largest relative population growth of millennials in the nation according to the Urban Land Institute.