Webb Center 1966
In 1960, the Norfolk Division began to sever its ties with the College of William and Mary and became Old Dominion College in 1962. Plans for a campus mall and a new student center were announced in the fall of 1965. The new student center would replace Bud's Emporium, which had moved from the old Larchmont Elementary School to the Administration Building (1945) to the Science Building (1956).
The student center began operations in May 1966. The Board of Visitors named the center the Lewis Webb College Center in recognition of the President's many years of service to the Old Dominion community.
Webb Center contained a bookstore, cafeteria, game rooms, lounge areas, and meeting rooms and offices for a number of student organizations.
Since the 1970s, Webb Center has expanded and undergone renovations. The most recent renovation was completed in 1993, with the addition of the north and south wings, encompassing 83,404 square feet. Webb Center continues to be the hub of student activity on campus and hosts a variety of student organizations, offices, and services. The center also contains the University Bookstore and gift shop, a food court, and several food and retail businesses.
In 1965, landscape architect Peter G. Rolland wanted to transform the sizable area in front of the student center into "a green island of landscape beauty." The project was delayed for years because of insufficient funds and problems encountered by the contractors. The low-lying areas of the mall were plagued with poor drainage.
David Hager,interviewed by Julie Hale on Feb. 23, 1999. One of his recollections of the mall:
Now what used to happen here, you'd get a good summer thunderstorm and that depression would fill up with water and it became known in the neighborhood as Webb's Lake. The neighborhood kids and students would splash around in it.
See Hager Interview
In 1976, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kaufman donated money for a major renovation of the mall. The grassy lawn in front of the Webb Center was landscaped, complete with an underground drainage system. A plaza joining the Webb Center and a Fountain of Organized Labor, donated by the Greater Tidewater Virginia Central Labor Council AFL-CIO, also were added to Kaufman Mall. The mall was renamed Kaufman Mall in honor of the Kaufmans.
In the 1990s, the Monarch lion statue was added to the mall's fountain. Designed by ODU alumnus and adjunct faculty member Kevin Gallup, the statue is a 1,000-pound, six-foot-high bronze sculpture. The Monarch statue was dedicated on Founders Day, 1997.
Today, Kaufman Mall is a four-acre green space at the center of campus where students can study, relax, and play games.