New ODU residence hall to be named after former local civil rights leader

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A new residence hall at Old Dominion University will be named in honor of the school’s first African-American Rector.

The Board of Visitors unanimously approved the vote to name the new hall after Dr. Hugo A. Owens on Monday.

Dr. Owens served on the Board of Visitors from 1990 to 1994. He led the board as Rector from 1992 to 1993. The Portsmouth native was also the first African-American elected to the Chesapeake’s city council.

He was a key figure in Hampton Roads’ civil rights movement, advocating for the elimination of discriminatory policies that denied equal opportunities in public education.

Dr. Owens died in 2008.

The building will be constructed at 49th Street and Powhatan Avenue.

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