March 2012 News for Radford University Alumni and Friends

News for Radford University Alumni and Friends
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Snapshot of the Month

This Month in RU History

March 11, 1982: The School of Nursing was created at Radford University.

Campus Highlights

Radford University Highlanders

Alumni, parents, faculty, staff, friends and advocates of the university recognize the value of the intercollegiate athletics experience and enthusiastically participate in a variety of ways. Click on the links below to learn how you can become more active with Highlander athletics today!

RU Connected?

There's a special connection alumni and friends have with Radford University and with each other. Help us keep you connected by updating your information today. You can change your home, work or email address, and let us know what you have been doing since graduation for inclusion in the class notes section of The MAGAZINE of Radford University by completing our online form today! By updating your information, you will receive the Alumni e-News each month as well as the magazine.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at or (888) 4RUGRAD.

In the News

Radford University Appoints Vice President for Advancement

Debora J. RobinsonRadford University has appointed Dr. Deborah J. Robinson as vice president for university advancement, effective March 5. Dr. Robinson brings to the job more than 17 years of experience in advancement and development in higher education and the nonprofit sectors. She recently received her Ph.D. in higher education leadership and strategic leadership from Florida Atlantic University.

"I am excited about the opportunity to join Radford University," said Dr. Robinson. "Through building a highly professional and productive advancement effort, we will garner vital resources that support the faculty in their teaching and research, provide scholarships and service to support students, engage alumni in new and creative ways, and share the special stories of success for Radford."


Save the Date for Fall Homecoming and Reunion Weekend: Oct. 5–6, 2012

Your weekend. Your moment.
Come back for RU's Fall Homecoming and Reunion Weekend and take some time to connect with classmates you know or meet new ones, take that class (without a quiz!) that you didn't catch before and take in the new spots on campus. Or simply take a breather under your favorite tree on campus. It's your Radford. Classes celebrating a reunion this fall are 1962, 1972, 1982 and 1992.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 1-888-4RUGRAD or Check our website often as we begin to add information about your weekend at

Friendship Retirement Community Endows Scholarship for Radford Doctoral Program

Radford University doctoral students in physical therapy will begin their clinical training this summer with a $30,000 endowed scholarship fund, established by Friendship Retirement Community in Roanoke, and an award-winning place to develop their skills.

"Our vision is to attract to Radford the highest caliber students to fill a critical need for talented, focused and caring physical therapists," said Russ Barksdale, president and chief executive officer of Friendship, the largest retirement community in Virginia. "As a leading health-care provider in our region, we look forward to welcoming students and having them interact with our award-winning therapy team during their clinical education."


Leaving a Legacy: Naming Opportunities

center for the sciencesHow can you leave a legacy? You can give your name or that of another person, group or business to a Radford University facility or program. Naming opportunities are a way for alumni, family and friends to make gifts in honor of milestone events, groups or individuals, or in memory of loved ones.

Naming gifts can support student scholarships, faculty research, creative endeavors or the construction and furnishing of a university building. Such a contribution gives special honor to the person or group named by leaving a legacy of support for all time in a very visible and lasting way.

There are many ways you can leave a legacy. Below is a sampling of named giving opportunities for the new Center for the Sciences building. Construction on this exciting project is set for fall 2012. The $49 million, 115,000-square-foot building is designed to be a vital hub for teaching and research laboratories, and includes faculty and staff offices, a vivarium to offer climate-controlled zoology research opportunities, a new Museum of the Earth Sciences and a new RU Planetarium. The tentative completion date is fall 2014.

For a complete detailed list of all named giving opportunities at the university, including the Center for the Sciences and the new College of Business and Economics building, set to open this fall, please contact the Office of University Advancement at (540) 831-5407 or email

  • Center for the Sciences building: $5 million
  • Three general biology teaching labs on Main Street level: $50,000 per lab (Novozymes Biology Lab – Named)
  • Biology Department office suite: $100,000
  • Five Chemistry Department teaching labs: $50,000 per lab
  • Chemistry Department office suite: $100,000
  • Museum of the Earth Sciences: $50,000
  • Computer science lab/classroom on third floor: $50,000 (Artis Computing Laboratory for Biological Sciences on first floor – Named)
  • Three anthropological sciences teaching lab: $50,000 per lab
  • Anthropological sciences office suite: $100,000
  • Planetarium: $250,000
  • Large lecture hall on Main Street level: $200,000
  • Two classrooms on Main Street level: $30,000 per classroom

Alum Is No Cowardly Lion—Except in the Movies

Barry RatcliffeIn the new film "Dorothy and the Witches of Oz," Radford University alumnus and Glade Hill native Barry J. Ratcliffe '85 portrays Bryan, the Cowardly Lion. It seems, however, the Cowardly Lion is not so cowardly in this movie.

Ratcliffe puts the best of himself into the role made famous by Bert Lahr. Ratcliffe says his character is "crazy, funny, goofy, wild, strong and, hopefully in the end, lovable."

Besides being an actor, Ratcliffe is president of Bear Entertainment and a comedian, motivational speaker, TV and film producer. Since his major break 18 years ago when he joined Don Johnson in the cast of the late 1990s TV series "Nash Bridges," Ratcliffe has worked full time in the entertainment industry.

Give Now

Each donor to Radford University has a special motivation for giving – what's your story?

Please email us at, and tell us. Whether your inspiration was a new program you heard about, an ongoing project you saw or a Radford student you met, we are interested. With your permission, we may select your story for one of our future publications. Read alumnus Anthony Smith's story and why he is making a difference.