1980: Rickey Adams, class of 1981, becomes the first African American to lead the Student Senate while also holding the position of Student Body Vice President
1982: The student population during the 1982-1983 academic year is approximately 50% male and 50% female with about 13% of the student body identifying themselves as non-Caucasian.
1982: The Vietnamese Student Association is founded, disbands in 2006, and then is reestablished in 2013
1983: The Mid-Rise Residence Hall, later renamed G. William Whitehurst Hall, opens with dedicated space for handicapped students
1984: The Association of Black Concerns forms to address the concerns of African American faculty, staff, and students
January 1985: Old Dominion celebrates its first Martin Luther King Day with a march across campus
1985: The Institute for the Study of Minority Issues is established to focus on African American and Filipino American issues. Around the same time, Old Dominion began to offer Bachelor of Arts degrees in international studies and the Institute of Asian Studies opens
1988: The Gay and Lesbian Student Union (GLSU), a student organization aimed at raising awareness of the lesbian and gay community at Old Dominion, is established. Records related to the Gay and Lesbian Student Union can be found in Special Collections and University Archives.
1988: The Old Dominion University Black Alumni Chapter is established by the Alumni Association
1989: The Association of Black Concerns disbands and is reestablished as the Coalition of Black Faculty and Administrators. The Coalition provides advocacy for African American faculty, administrators, and classified staff in concerns related to employment and campus life