ODU and Harbor’s Edge Forge Strategic Partnership


ODU and Harbor’s Edge Forge Strategic Partnership
Added on December 20, 2023 by Sonja Barisic to Member News

ODU and Harbor’s Edge Forge Strategic Partnership

Collaboration will Enrich Lives, Build Community and Create Legacy of Shared Learning

Old Dominion University and Harbor’s Edge, a premier senior living community, are partnering to enhance the quality of life for Harbor’s Edge residents, create opportunities for students and advance ODU’s community outreach mission.

The collaboration will include cultural events, student employment and internship opportunities, a mentoring program for students and lifelong learning programs for Harbor’s Edge residents. ODU President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., and Harbor’s Edge CEO Neil Volder announced the alliance during a resident town hall meeting at Harbor’s Edge on Nov. 6.

“At ODU, we believe in the power of education to transform lives and communities,” Hemphill said. “This partnership with Harbor’s Edge allows us to extend our reach beyond the traditional campus boundaries and contribute to enriching the lives of seniors in our community. Together, we will create a dynamic environment that promotes learning, growth and intergenerational connections.”

Volder and Hemphill emphasized the potential to make a positive impact on the community.

“This partnership aligns with our commitment to providing exceptional experiences for our residents and fostering a vibrant, engaged community,” Volder said. “By integrating ODU’s resources and expertise, we aim to enhance the overall well-being of our residents.”

The partnership is structured around four key focus areas:

  • Events, lecture series and other arts and entertainment programs
  • Student employment and internship opportunities
  • Resident mentoring program for ODU students
  • Lifelong learning programs for Harbor’s Edge residents

Annette Finley-Croswhite, ODU history professor and director of the Center for Faculty Development, gave the first resident lecture of the new partnership on Nov. 16. She discussed her research on the social and political environment in pre-World War II France and the book she co-authored with Gayle Brunelle on the topic, “Murder in the Métro: Laetitia Toureaux and the Cagoule in 1930s France.”

More programs will be implemented in phases over the coming months, strengthening the ties between Harbor’s Edge and ODU. Once the integration between ODU and Eastern Virginia Medical School occurs, more opportunities will become available since Harbor’s Edge is contiguous to the medical school campus.


Old Dominion University, located in Norfolk, is Virginia’s forward-focused public doctoral research university with more than 23,000 students, a top R1 research ranking, rigorous academics, an energetic residential community and initiatives that contribute $2.6 billion annually to Virginia’s economy.


 Harbor’s Edge is an all-inclusive retirement community on Norfolk’s waterfront with well-appointed residences and amenities including multiple dining options, housekeeping, concierge services and a full wellness program. A Life Plan Retirement Community, Harbor’s Edge offers residents a full continuum of care, including assisted living, memory support and skilled nursing. For more information, visit harborsedgenorfolk.com.