Name: Randall Crutchfield
Are you an alumnus of ODU?
- I am not an ODU graduate, but my mother is. I did my undergrad at UNC-Chapel Hill (International Trade and Development) and got my MBA (Finance) from Regent University.
What is your favorite memory of ODU Athletics?
- I grew up watching ODU Women’s basketball from the bleachers in the fieldhouse, and probably Norfolk Scope as well, but the fieldhouse is what I remember most. The old fieldhouse was routinely packed with people and the energy in there during the Ticha Penicheiro years was absolutely insane. In high school, my team participated in summer camps there as well – with only slightly less fanfare.
Why do you support ODU Athletics and its student-athletes?
- I’ll try not to make a long story seem endless. There are several answers to this question, not the least of which is that my wife was a Division I volleyball player (Go Irish!). Hearing about the opportunities afforded to her and her teammates and what they have been able to do with those opportunities in their years since leaving Notre Dame has reinforced the importance of that experience to me. Capitalizing on being in a position to contribute to a similar experience for today’s student-athletes is a way of paying that forward for our family. Also, I believe my time at Carolina forged so many great memories and friendships centered around athletics and sporting events, that supporting college athletics is ingrained in me a this point – I really don’t think there is a way to pay that debt off, but why not try?
So, bringing that sentiment to ODU and its student-athletes, I think that lifelong locals of the area see ODU as part of the heartbeat of the region. Also, being a local has allowed me to watch how the entire athletics department has grown over the past couple of decades. If you step back and view the donations as an investment, you can see the physical manifestations of those investments over time through the Constant Center/Chartway Arena, SB Ballard Stadium, L.R. Hill and the Mitch. And along with those physical structures, there are coaches, trainers, administrators and the faculty and staff at the university who are using those buildings (and the academic buildings on campus) to build tomorrow’s leaders. I think that that part is easy to overlook in the day-to-day, but ODU is really a source of positive change for our region.
What do you like most about ODU as a whole?
- I really like what I’ll call, for lack of a better term, the blue-collar nature of ODU. I work at a local ship repair facility and the best part of my job is interacting with and working alongside people who work hard for a living. I feel like our region is composed of a lot of people who work hard – and ODU is uniquely poised to contribute to this sentiment. Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet several ODU donors, many of whom come from this proud blue-collar background. While there is nothing wrong with a nice argyle sweater vest, I get my fill of those when I travel back to Chapel Hill for games. I really enjoy the approachability of ODU. I’m not sure you can describe a university as affable, but I feel like I’m doing it now.
What makes you the most proud of ODU?
- Not sure how to best answer this one, but I’ll echo my thoughts on ODU’s continued growth. ODU continues to strive for bigger and better things, both in athletics and academics. The way I try to paint this picture is by remembering and describing what Hampton Boulevard looked like in the mid-90s and contrasting that with the beautiful facades of the new Barry art museum, Chartway Arena, and SB Ballard Stadium. ODU has done quite a bit for the immediate area surrounding the university, and the region as a whole, which makes me proud to have ODU in my hometown.