In 1935, the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary received monies from the New Deal's Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Public Works Administration (PWA) to build a new administrative building, gymnasium, and swimming pool. Although work on the building was slow because of bad weather, labor strikes, and the use of unskilled laborers, the facility was completed in 1936. It contained a library, six classrooms, administrative offices, two gymnasiums, and a swimming pool. The cost was estimated at $123,000.
Students petitioned the University administration to name the facility "Hodges Hall" in honor of Dean William T. Hodges, but the moniker "Administration Building" remained the accepted name.
The Administration Building was a busy place. From 1936-1960, men's basketball games were played in the building's large gymnasium. On one side of the basketball court was a stage where plays and operas were put on. Speakers and artists from political candidates to folk singers (most notably, Pete Seeger) performed there. The building also housed the first computer center (punch cards) on campus.
The college snack bar, originally housed in the old Larchmont Elementary School building, moved to the Administration Building in 1945. A favorite student hangout, the snack bar became known as Bud's Emporium. It was named after Audrey T. "Bud" Paul, who managed the snack bar from 1934 until his death in 1948.
Bud's Emporium was moved to the Science Building in 1956.
During the expansion and building boom of Old Dominion College in the 1960s, the Administration Building Annex was constructed.
In 1996, the Administration Building was renamed "Rollins Hall," in honor of Alfred B. Rollins, Jr., who served as president of Old Dominion University from 1976-1985.
A "quiet place" was created in front of Rollins Hall to honor former first lady Faith Prior Rollins, who died while her husband was president of the University. Designed to be a tranquil place, it consisted of two sitting areas with benches, azalea and holly bushes. Rollins Hall continues to serve as home to the Offices of Admissions, Financial Aid, and the Registrar.
A "New Administration Building" was constructed in 1971-72 and was named for former president James V. Koch and his wife Donna. The building houses the President's Office and University administrative offices.