Office of the President
On June 1, 2005, Penelope Ward Kyle, J.D. became Radford University’s sixth, and first female, president. Prior to her appointment at Radford, she had more than 30 years of experience in state government, higher education, and the corporate and legal worlds.
Since her arrival, Radford University has secured approval and funding for more than $330 million in capital projects, including both new construction and renovation. In 2008, Radford opened the state-of-the-art Covington Center for Visual and Performing Arts and in 2012, opened a new building for the College of Business and Economics. The university also has renovated several major campus buildings, including the technologically advanced Young Hall. Future expansion includes a new student fitness and wellness center, a new sciences building, new residence halls, and an addition to the Hurlburt Student Center.
During President Kyle’s tenure, approval was secured from the Commonwealth of Virginia for Radford to offer its first doctoral degree, the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Counseling Psychology. More recently, Radford University has sought and gained approval for additional doctorates in physical therapy and nursing practice, and a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Radford University now offers 67 degree programs and two certificate at the undergraduate level and 19 degree programs with 24 concentrations at the graduate level and five post-baccalaureate certificates.
Radford University for the first time was named one of the nation’s “Top Up-and-Coming Schools” in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 Guide to America’s Best Colleges. In 2009, President Kyle signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, pledging to help make Radford University a sustainable and environmentally friendly campus. Just a year later, in 2010, Radford University was named to the Princeton Review’s first “Guide to 286 Green Colleges.”
President Kyle is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Directors of PRA, Inc., a publicly traded company. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Educational Exchange Between Canada and the United States, which encourages and provides support for academic exchange between students and faculty in both countries through the prestigious Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program. In 2011, she was elected president of the Big South Athletic Conference, the first woman to hold that office.
She holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law and a Master of Business Administration degree from the College of William and Mary. She received her undergraduate degree from Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C.