By Jonah Grinkewitz

As a first-generation college student, Adrienne Craig ’02 struggled with imposter syndrome when she started at ODU in 1998.

But thanks to support from staff at the University, she was inspired to pursue a career in student affairs that led her to hold leadership positions at five different colleges and universities.

Now, she is giving back to ODU to support students in similar positions through the “Dr. Adrienne M. Craig First-Generation and Transfer Student Endowed Scholarship.”

Craig, who is associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, is establishing the scholarship after having her remaining student loans forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

“As a higher education administrator, I know how important it is to offer additional support to first-generation and transfer students,” Craig said. “Once I received loan forgiveness, I wanted to pay it forward to those types of students at my alma mater. This scholarship is my way of providing a beacon of hope and mentorship and ensuring that those who follow in my footsteps don't just succeed but thrive under the same guidance and care I received from the staff at Old Dominion University.”

The new scholarship aligns with the mission of Give2ODU Day, which aims to build a culture of philanthropy on campus and show that people of all means can make an impact to the University and its students. From noon to noon on April 11-12, members of Monarch nation can donate to support University initiatives by visiting

“One of our goals is to foster a spirit of philanthropy in students that will evolve as their lives and careers grow,” said Harold Williams, ODU’s director of Annual Giving. “I’m excited for the Monarch community to come together and give back to the University in different ways.”

The campaign kicks off with an event at noon on April 11 on Kaufman Mall where students are invited to learn more about becoming engaged alumni once they graduate and how they can give back to fellow students who may need extra support.

Opportunities will include:

  • The Office of Leadership & Learning will collect items for the Monarch Food Pantry and provide opportunities for students to sign up for service projects in the community.
  • ODU’s Dining Services will collect money for meal swipe donations to other students.
  • There will be a fundraiser for graduation cords.
  • The Office of University Advancement will have cards for donors that students can decorate.