President Kyle welcomes Virginia Tech President Sands to campus

Radford University President Penelope W. Kyle recently welcomed Virginia Tech President Dr. Timothy Sands to campus for his first official visit to RU.

Sands officially started his new job as Tech's president this summer. He replaces former president Charles Steger.

During the tour, President Kyle and President Sands toured campus, including the construction sites at the $32 million, 112,000 square-foot Student Recreation and Wellness Center, the $49.5 million, 113,000 square-foot Center for the Sciences and the $52.8 million, 143,600 square-foot College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences.

President Sands said he was impressed with the new College of Business and Economics building which opened in the fall of 2012. The $44 million, 110,000 square-foot structure – currently the university's largest academic building – is Radford's first new construction project to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold status.

The LEED rating system is comprised of a number of credit categories, including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, material and resources, indoor environment quality and innovation/design process.

The COBE building joins RU's Madison, Jefferson and Moffett halls as campus buildings that have achieved LEED Gold status.

Although the two universities carry rich traditions of their own, Radford and Virginia Tech share a long history.

In 1943, during World War II, a merger was proposed between Radford State Teachers College (Radford University) and nearby Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech) as part of a statewide effort to consolidate higher education institutions and give students the most adequate opportunity for a broad professional and technical education. As the Women's Division of V.P.I., Radford students had the opportunity to pursue the same programs available to men and duplicate courses were eliminated between the two schools.

In 1964, due to the immense progress made at Radford, including increased enrollment and new construction and renovation, the "marriage" with V.P.I. was dissolved.

Radford proceeded to become known simply as Radford College and then a coeducational school with the admission of men in the summer of 1972. In 1979, Radford was granted university status by the General Assembly, resulting in the school's fifth name change – Radford University.


Virginia Tech President Dr. Timothy Sands (left) with President Penelope Kyle.

Sep 5, 2014