Broderick Dining Commons Unveiled
President Broderick challenged Old Dominion University students to embrace the diversity that ODU embodies by eating with new students in the architecturally innovative Broderick Dining Commons.
On Sept. 23 the Monarch community gathered outside the recently designed Kate and John R. Broderick Dining Commons for the dedication and presentation of the new facility. Current students, alumnae and ODU personnel were on hand to mark the occasion.
The front of the building was unveiled at the end of the ceremony, with lettering displayed in ODU colors of blue and silver and crested with the Monarch crown. The interior boasts 550 cushioned seats with two outdoor patios encompassed in black metal gates with emergency exits leading out of the venue. There are three entrances into the dining commons.
Meals will be served beginning Wednesday, Oct. 12.
David Harnage spoke on the construction of the commons, introducing the individual members of the various teams and companies. Harnage complemented them on the hard work of completing the design and construction of the facilities.
Samantha Conyers, former leader of ODU’s chapter of NAACP, lead the student comments, remarks and expressions of gratitude during the ceremony. She reflected on how sociable President Broderick is and how “rare it is” to have a president of a university be available to students.
Petra Szonyegi of the Student Representative to the Board of Visitors spoke of how ODU is one of the most diverse campuses in the state, which enhances the learning environment and how changes have been made to the living area to accommodate “gender inclusive housing.”
A video presentation was shown on two screens which highlighted student commentary and praise for the Brodericks.
Rachel Edmonds, Student Government President, and Chris Ndiritu, former Student Government President, presented President and First Lady Broderick with the Presentation of Resolution, which passed at the last Student Government meeting, to name the new dining hall for John R. and Kathleen E. Broderick. Edmonds spoke on the accomplishments of the president during his tenure as president of ODU from 2008 until 2016. The president and first lady closed the ceremony with heartfelt thoughts and comments.
The dining facility has a cobblestone walkway which is accommodating to all students. There are large glass windows throughout the building and six small fountain spouts decorate the entranceway. Upon entering, there is a lounge area, and two television consoles are visible from the entrance. Students can go to the right or left to dine. Towards the front of the space, there is a countertop with stools where about five students can sit. In the back of the room is an image of the school mascot, Big Blue.
Max, a current student at ODU, commented that the new dining facility is “a lot nicer and more upscale,” than any other dining commons ODU has had.
Alumna Antoinette Bowser, class of 1985, attended the dining commons ceremony as part of the Homecoming Weekend and Alumni Gathering. She was very impressed with how the campus has been renovated since her days there. When asked about her reaction to the new dining facility she remarked,”Drastic, substantial changes! All we had was Webb Center. Webb was where we met. It was what we had. If you wanted to find someone you had to go to Webb Center.”