January 1980: Located at the corner of Elkhorn and 45th Street, the Multicultural Center is created to promote diversity among the various ethnic groups and cultures at Old Dominion. Carolyn Bell, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, serves as the first director
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
Fall 1981: The third floor of Gresham East dormitory is designated as the first international floor on campus. Forty two freshmen room with a student from another country
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: Dr. Afroz Zaman, a native of Bangladesh, becomes the first female full-time Engineering faculty member at Old Dominion.
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
Fall 1984: Challenging Handicapped Adults' Needs for Community Experience (CHANCE) is established, a federally-funded program offering free classes to adults with mental and differential challenges
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
Fall 1985: The Student Escort Service is established to safely walk students around the ODU campus at night
1986-1987: The Office of International Student and Faculty Services is established during the 1986-1987 academic year with Judy Corello-Horne as its first director. The office would change its name to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services during the 1993-1994 academic year.
October 1986: The Old Dominion chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is established
January 1988: Student Association of China is established
October 1988: The Nichi Bei Kai student organization is established
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