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A Radford University family completes their Legacy (WDBJ)

Kathy Grimes '75 and her four sons, all as different as could be, are full of pride for the one place they all have in common: Radford University.

When John Grimes, the youngest family member, received his B.A. in criminal justice during the 2014 Spring Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 10, WDBJ7 news in Roanoke was on hand to help celebrate the event and tell the story of this extraordinary Radford family.

“It's a very special moment. I loved it at Radford and I never thought that I would have four sons that would come to Radford,” said Kathy Grimes, of Ocean City, Maryland.

When Grimes graduated from RU with a degree in health and physical education she didn't know she'd be coming back to see all four of her sons graduate from the institution she loves. During her days as a student, Grimes had a hand in myriad organizations such as the swim team, volleyball team, Sigma Sigma Sigma and other clubs. She also worked as an assistant swim teacher.

"I love the memories I have from that time in my life!" she said. "I loved running back to my room in the winter, with snow on the ground, from Peters Hall swimming pool barefoot and with wet hair. When I got to my room my hair was frozen."

The love for RU never abated and Grimes continued to serve the university as the first president of the RU Parents Council and as a representative at high school college fairs. The passion she shows the school was transferred to her sons – John and older brothers Christopher Flor '00, Scott Flor '02 and Doug Grimes '10 - all of whom grew up visiting the RU campus.

Christopher Flor chose Radford for its reputation in information systems and mathematics, he said. Now, living in Belton, Texas, Flor is the director of operations for CGI's US Onshore Delivery Center. Flor is married to RU alumna RaeAnn Graef '99.

Scott Flor graduated as business major. He currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is the president of American Pool and Pearl Plaster, a company that performs maintenance, management and construction of swimming pools. Flor also married an RU alumna, Andrea Carbaugh '04.

The third son to join the Highlanders was Doug Grimes, a media studies major. Grimes is now a radio personality and host, known as "Coach," on The Rude Awakening Show on 98.1 WOCM in Ocean City, Maryland.

During John Grimes' time at Radford, he became a Highlander Scholar, a member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity and Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honor Fraternity. After graduation, he plans to work as an Ocean City police officer this summer and attend graduate school in the fall. Eventually, he hopes to work in law enforcement for the federal government.

"I have loved coming into Radford with having family as alumni," Grimes said. "But I did not choose Radford for this purpose. I chose Radford for the beautiful campus and one of the most reputable criminal justice programs in Virginia. I have loved being a part of Radford for the past four years."

Despite having his own reasons for attending RU, John Grimes recognizes his mother's influence in his success.

“She's the best mom ever," he said. "She's a strong woman and she's been there to be the wind beneath my wings, so to speak, so it's a great feeling."

Photo of the Grimes family

Kathy Grimes and family celebrate youngest son John's graduation during a soggy Spring Commencement.

May 13, 2014