Monday marked a milestone for proud grandparent Carolyn Jackson: granddaughter Zellyne Snead began her collegiate journey with Radford University.
Snead, of Richmond, and more than 1,300 other members of RU's incoming freshmen class are participating in the two-day Quest orientation program this summer. The first of four sessions kicked off Monday, June 23, as students and their guests navigated through campus.
Snead is the oldest and first of Jackson's grandchildren to attend college.
"I'm really excited," Snead said. "I wanted to go to a D1 [Division 1] school, and I heard so many good things about Radford."
Throughout the next two days, Quest participants will get a true taste of college life. They'll tour campus, meet with academic advisors, socialize with their future classmates and some will stay overnight in the dorms with other incoming freshmen. Quest Assistants will help students get acclimated with campus and each other through icebreaker activities designed to welcome and warm up conversation.
Parker Brackin and his father, Richie, of Blanch, North Carolina, examined a campus map and took in the scenery Monday morning before the opening ceremony.
"A lot of friends have been telling me about the fitness center," Brackin said. "I'm pretty impressed by it."
The university's new Recreation and Wellness Center is currently under construction and will house fitness, active recreation and wellness space designed to help students live healthy lifestyles.
Students and parents were welcomed to campus in Bondurant Auditorium by Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Sam Minner and Student Government Association President Colby Bender.
"I think of Radford University as kind of a launching pad," Minner said. "Your countdown begins today and ends when you graduate from RU and blast off to a fulfilling, exciting and rewarding life. That is your goal, I know, and that is our goal as well. That countdown for you begins today. What an exciting time in your life."