A campus diversity award at Old Dominion University has been renamed for ODU President John Broderick in recognition of his strong stand against an incident of hate speech in October.
Racially inflammatory comments were posted to a Facebook page called ODU Confessions, which is used by ODU students but is not affiliated with the university. The postings prompted an anonymous bomb threat against Webb University Center, forcing the building at the heart of campus to be shut down for several hours while police searched it.
Broderick sent a letter to the campus community afterward, calling the racist comments "disgraceful" and an affront to ODU's culture of inclusivity and civility.
As a result, the committee that considers nominations for the Diversity Champion Award received an unprecedented influx of nominations of Broderick, said ReNee Dunman, assistant vice president in the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.
A resolution designating the John R. Broderick Diversity Champion Award was presented at Thursday's meeting of the ODU Board of Visitors.