Open House and reception honors President Kyle
To recognize President Penelope W. Kyle who is retiring at the end of June after 11 years as Radford University’s sixth and first female president, the RU community gathered April 22 at the Governor Tyler House for an open house and reception.
More than 100 faculty, staff and friends of the university feted President Kyle, the sixth president in Radford University history and its first female president. Dr. Brian O. Hemphill will succeed President Kyle as Radford University’s 7th president, beginning July 1.
“In my view, it has been a great eleven years,” said College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences Dean Kate Hawkins. “The excellence of the facilities on campus now matches the excellence of the instruction within.”
Colby Bender, outgoing president of the Student Government Association, spoke for the Radford student body.
“All those who graduated during your tenure, we’re yours. We love you and will miss you,” Bender said.
Bender, a two-term SGA president, reflected on his relationship with President Kyle, which he characterized as a “professional mentor.”
“You taught me about life, networking and how to make my professional future rewarding,” said Bender.
Faculty Senate President Jerry Kopf, Administrative/Professional Senate President Chad Wall and Staff Senate President Marie Testerman joined Bender to extend farewell best wishes from their constituencies.
Kopf presented a unanimously approved Faculty Senate resolution of appreciation for President Kyle’s efforts on behalf of the university and its accomplishments under her leadership.
"These years have been extraordinary," said College of Graduate Studies and Research Dean Dennis Grady, who also chairs the Sustainability Committee. "Radford is now a recognized leader among green campuses. Until President Kyle arrived, we weren't even on the map."
Grady reflected on the day’s activities that also included a celebration to dedicate the College of Business and Economics Building as Kyle Hall. The luncheon, for which Virginia Secretary of Education Ann Holton was the keynote speaker, included legislators, college presidents and business leaders from across Virginia.
"Today's ceremonies reflect the breadth of impact that Radford University, under President Kyle’s leadership, has on the Commonwealth," Grady said.