The Greg O’Dell Golf Outing, which raises scholarship funds for criminal justice students at Eastern Michigan University, netted more than $34,000 in its second year, putting the event well within reach of its three-year goal of endowing a $100,000 scholarship fund.
The golfers competed in a scramble last month at the Eagle Crest Golf Club in Ypsilanti.
After the event, golfers gathered for dinner, remarks, a raffle and a silent auction. The crowd was introduced to Brooke O’Neil, winner of the first O’Dell scholarship. The scholarship awards O’Neil $4,000 to help pay for her senior year of studies.
"Teaching criminology would give me the ability to show others how much it affects our everyday lives, and will allow me to show people that the field is vastly different from how it is portrayed in the media through TV and in movies," O'Neil said.
O'Dell, former chief of police at EMU and an avid golfer, took his own life on December 23, 2011.
The outing's motto, "Keep His Dream Alive" speaks to O'Dell's longtime commitment to law enforcement and his goal to fund a scholarship for students seeking careers in the field.
O'Dell, an EMU alumnus, became executive director of the Eastern Michigan University Department of Public Safety in 2008. The years that followed saw a wide variety of safety improvements at EMU, including the opening in fall 2009 of a new Department of Public Safety. During O'Dell's tenure, EMU increased campus foot patrols, established a crime-solving unit, increased campus surveillance and greatly enhanced residence hall security.
He graduated from EMU in 1992 with a bachelor of science degree and then received his Juris Doctor from the University of Toledo College of Law in 1996.
Prior to joining Eastern, O'Dell served as the deputy chief of the Ann Arbor Police Department for four years. During his almost 20 years with the Ann Arbor Police Department,
O'Dell served in numerous positions, including interim chief from November 2005 to June 2006.
O’Dell was born in Flint in 1957 and graduated from Clio High School. He is survived by his wife, Kathy, and daughters Kelly and Erin.
The third and final Greg O’Dell Golf Outing will be held at Eagle Crest next September.
Last year’s inaugural event raised more than $40,000.