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May 2010

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Radford, Va. 24142

The Newsletter for RU Alumni & Friends

RU Presents Centennial Commencement
Commencement 2010Moffett Field was transformed into a sea of Highlander red on Saturday, May 8 as students, family, friends and faculty gathered for Radford University's 2010 Spring Commencement.

The day was a milestone for both the graduates and the university. In honor of RU's Centennial Year celebration, commencement robes were red instead of the traditional black. RU President Penelope W. Kyle conferred degrees upon 1,624 undergraduate and 344 graduate students. Six individual college ceremonies were held at sites across campus following the main ceremony. For the full story, along with photos and video, see the RU News Release.

RU Breaks Ground for New COBE Building, Announces Key Leadership Gift
To begin a weekend of Centennial Commencement activities, hundreds gathered on a hillside overlooking the Radford University campus on Thursday as the university broke ground on a new $44 million, 110,000-square-foot home for the College of Business and Economics (COBE). Read More>>
(See a video clip of the ground-breaking ceremonies.)

RU Honors Outstanding Faculty and Staff at Commencement
The Radford University Foundation honored five outstanding faculty and staff members during the university's 2010 Commencement ceremony. Each year, the Radford University Foundation bestows awards upon teaching and administrative faculty whose performance has been exceptional. Read more to see this year's winners.

U.S. House of Representatives Honors Radford University
The United States House of Representatives has honored Radford University's Centennial by passing the bipartisan H.R. 1182, congratulating RU on the 100th anniversary of the signing of its charter. Read more>>

Welcome Back Reunion Planned for October
The Welcome Back Reunion will take place October 1-3 in conjunction with Family Weekend, providing a terrific opportunity for the RU community to gather on campus and enjoy numerous events. The events coincide with the 15th annual Highlanders Festival Weekend, and will offer a reception with Radford University President Penelope W. Kyle as well as a 5K run, Folk Arts Festival, open tours of RU art galleries and sculpture garden and the Museum of the Earth Sciences, RU Planetarium shows and the Fall Fashion Show. Many alumni reunions will take place that weekend, including lacrosse, baseball, swimming, softball and more. Numerous additional events are planned, and a full schedule will be available soon at A brochure and registration materials will also soon be mailed.

A Compass for a Lost Job Market
Start early, be flexible and be persistent. Three key pieces of advice offered from the Radford University Career Services Department to graduates as they anxiously take a deep breath and prepare to take their first post-collegiate plunge into the job market.

Since coming to Radford in 1999, Kathy Jordan, executive director of Radford University's Career Services, has had a front row seat for the nation's economic roller coaster. "There are really no hard and fast rules in an economy as volatile as this one," said Jordan, pointing to her 20 years of experience as professional counselor in both the corporate and academic arenas. To learn more, see the RU News Release.

Graduate Student of the Month: Laura Villada
Laura VilladaEach month, the College of Graduate and Professional Studies features on its website a graduate student of the month. For May, the spotlight is on MBA student Laura Villada, who has aspirations for a career in human resources, training and finance. Villada has served as a training coordinator in Celanese Mexicana, professor at the University of Guadalajara and has held numerous positions within private businesses. Villada is married and has two children, Adrian (11) and Alex (6), whom she says are her inspiration.

To learn more about Villada, read her Q&A on the College of Graduate and Professional Studies website.


Nursing Grad Excels with Delicate Balancing Act
Amanda StaffordFor the last four years, Amanda Stafford '10 has worn many hats -- top flight nursing student, honored ROTC cadet, active sorority member and academic achiever. She now can add Radford University graduate to her growing resume.

"I'm proud to say I came to school knowing what I wanted to do, and now I can almost say I have accomplished all my goals -- becoming an officer in the Nursing Corps," the Richmond native said. Read more >>

Take a Hike: Alumnus Publishes Account from the Appalachian Trail
Ben HammakerShortly after graduating from RU in 1999, Ben Hammaker set out on journey. His goal was to complete a walk-thru of the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine. Now, 10 years after his thru-hike on the trail, Hammaker has written a detailed account of his adventures. Northbound: The Daily Account of an Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike, published recently by PublishAmerica, is taken from Hammaker's daily journal and includes numerous stories about RU and the surrounding area. "I made sure to mention how I planned, what I ate, what type of equipment I used, et cetera," Hammaker explained. "Some things worked, others did not, but I hope that someone could use some of my experiences to their advantage." Northbound can be found at

Make a Centennial Gift
Celebrate your Radford experience with a special Centennial gift. You can designate your gift to your favorite Radford department, scholarship or team as part the Radford Fund drive. Every gift regardless of size will help influence additional support. A great example is the collective work of our College of Business and Economics alumni and friends who provided donations which leveraged $150,000 from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation. Make A Gift by June 30.

Upcoming Alumni Events

Saturday, May 22
Richmond Alumni & Friends Event
5:30 p.m.; Westminster Canterbury
Hosts: Cora Salzberg, Darius Johnson and Ron Wesley

Saturday, May 22
NRV Alumni & Athletic Donor Baseball Tailgate
11 a.m.; Featuring current coaches & staff
Fee: $5 pp. Includes food.
Dedmon Center – Pool patio
Contact: Kelly Underwood at

Saturday, May 22
NOVA - RU Alumni and Friends Mixer
7:30 p.m. at Caliente Mexican Restaurant – Brambleton, Va.
Contact: Rita DeFilippo '90 at

Wednesday, May 26
Southwest Va. Luncheon
11:30 a.m. at L'venia - 169 Suffolk Ave, Richlands, VA 24641
RSVP to or call (540) 831-6757

Thursday, May 27
NRV Luncheon
11:30 a.m. at Foster's -- 400 Turner St. NW, Suite 101, Blacksburg
RSVP to or call (540) 831-6757

Saturday, May 29
NRV Alumni & Friends Centennial Service Project
Run with the Law – Virginia Torch Run for Special Olympics
Event contact: Carla Cross at 731-3624 or

Saturday, May 29
RU Alumni & Friends Lacrosse Event
Tailgate prior to the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships in Baltimore, Md.
Contact: Mark Cumm '90 at

Wednesday, June 2
Roanoke Luncheon
11:30 a.m. at Montano's - 3733 Franklin Rd SW, Roanoke, Va.
RSVP to or call (540) 831-6757

Thursday, June 10
Roanoke Alumni & Friends Summer Kick-off
6 p.m. - Chapter planning session; 7 p.m. - Social
Location: Corned Beef & Co. (Patio)
RSVP to or call (540) 831-6757

June 11 & 12
1960 Golden Reunion Weekend
Contact: RU Alumni Relations at

Thursday, June 17
Richmond Luncheon
Noon at Brios - 9210 Stony Point Parkway Richmond, Va.
RSVP to or call (540) 831-6757

Friday, June 18
Richmond Luncheon
Noon at Hondo's - Innsbrook 4024-C Cox Rd, Glen Allen, Va.
RSVP to or call (540) 831-6757

Visit the Alumni Relations Web site for a complete events schedule.


Fresh off its second straight Big South Softball Championship, Radford (36-15) travels to Athens, Ga. and will face Florida State (43-16) at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, May 21 in the 2010 NCAA Softball Championships. The double elimination four-team regional takes place from May 21-23 at UGA Softball Stadium on the campus of University of Georgia.

Former RU men's basketball coach Ron Bradley has been elected for enshrinement in the Big South Conference Hall of Fame. During his 11-year tenure (1991-2002) as Radford's head coach, Bradley compiled a 109-47 regular-season Big South record and was 193-124 overall, becoming the conference's all-time leader in both categories upon his departure in 2002.

Following the spring season for the men's soccer Highlanders, caught up with head coach Marc Reeves for a question and answer session about his first spring with the Highlanders, and his impressions heading into the fall.

RU women's track and field team member Brittany Christian was one of 13 students honored with the Outstanding Student Award. Christian is a two-time recipient of the award. She carries a 3.96 grade point average and is majoring in chemistry and mathematics.

For more information on Highlander sports, visit RU Athletics.

We have email addresses for less than half of our 60,000 Radford University alumni, so to help keep your classmates connected, please encourage classmates and fellow alumni to email us and subscribe to the Radford University e-News.

To submit class notes for use in The Magazine of Radford University, please send your correspondence to Photographs may also be submitted; however, please note that photographs may not be returned to you.