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Monday, January 14, 2013

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Former Faculty Members Frederick Culpepper and Albert Godden Die

Two Old Dominion emeriti faculty members, Frederick Culpepper and Albert Godden, died late last year. They taught for 30 and 35 years, respectively, at the university. Their obituaries are printed below.

Frederick W. Culpepper Jr.

Professor Emeritus of Occupational and Technical Studies

Frederick W. Culpepper Jr. of Portsmouth, professor emeritus of occupational and technical studies at Old Dominion, died Dec. 18, 2012.

A native of Portsmouth, he dedicated his life to the teaching of industrial arts (later technology education).

"Mr. Culpepper retired the year I graduated from Old Dominion University, so I had the privilege of having him as a professor," said Philip Reed, chair of ODU's Department of STEM Education and Professional Studies.

"When I became department chair four years ago, we went to dinner to catch up and he provided me with photos of the Industrial Arts Building on the corner of Hampton and 49th, where the Alumni Center currently resides. He also provided me with the department address he delivered in 1974 when David Joyner took over as chair. These materials provide a glimpse into the history of our department, ODU, and Mr. Culpepper's legacy."

Culpepper began his college education at the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary, subsequently graduating with a B.S. in industrial arts education in 1949 from Virginia Tech. He received an M.S. in 1953 from New York State University at Oswego.

Before joining the faculty at Old Dominion, Culpepper was an industrial arts teacher at Suffolk High School in 1949 and then taught at the Matthew Whaley School and James Blair School in Williamsburg from 1951-57. Following this, he accepted a position on the faculty of Southern Illinois University.

Culpepper came to ODU in 1962 as an associate professor and chair of the newly created industrial arts education department. He served in that capacity for 12 years. He was promoted to professor in 1968 and designated as an eminent professor in 1983. During his tenure at ODU, Culpepper provided service to the university as a member of numerous committees and boards, including terms on the Faculty Senate and as the chair of Faculty Governance for the Darden College of Education.

His expertise was in the field of electronics. He taught many courses in this field and authored many professional journal articles. He also served as instructor at many teacher workshops in diverse locations. Perhaps his greatest achievement was the co-authorship of 34 textbooks, lab manuals and sets of visual aids for secondary school classes in electronics. He also designed five sets of laboratory equipment for student use when using the lab manuals. He was recognized by many educational organizations for his contributions.

After his retirement in 1992, Culpepper continued to be active in education by performing volunteer service to local school divisions.

Culpepper, who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, maintained his home in Portsmouth and was a 50-year member of Tidal Wave AF & AM Lodge, Portsmouth Kiwanis Club and lifetime member of Monumental Methodist Church. While he has no immediate descendants, he leaves behind many cousins, close friends and former students, many of who are now teachers themselves.

Condolences may be offered to the family at

Albert I. Godden

Associate Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering

Albert Ira Godden of Norfolk, associate professor emeritus of mechanical engineering at Old Dominion, died Nov. 28, 2012. He was 88.

Godden arrived at the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary in 1949, two years after he had graduated with a bachelor's degree in industrial education from New York's Oswego State Teacher's College. His first assignment was to establish a cooperative program between the Norfolk Division and the Norfolk city schools. He also taught in the Division's Technical Institute, a technical/vocational training school.

Godden served in many capacities during his 35-year career at the university. He worked as head of the print shop and, from 1952-58 served as art director for the faculty's "Sign Post" series on WTAR-TV.

From 1957 to 1967, he was promoted to assistant professor, awarded tenure, appointed departmental supervisor and named director of the Technical Institute.

In 1969, Godden left the Technical Institute to become director of extension and public service, and was promoted to the rank of associate professor. He handled the university's off-campus credit programs until his retirement in October 1984.

Godden was a member of several professional organizations. In addition, he served on the Articulation and Advising Committee of the university, Vocational Advisory Board, Campus Ministry Committee and as a member of the board of directors of the ODU Credit Union.

A combat veteran of World War II, Godden was predeceased by his wife of 64 years, Phyllis E. Godden, who died in 2011. He is survived by two sons and three grandchildren.

Former colleagues may share their memories or express condolences in the guest book for Albert Godden until Jan. 22. Go to

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