I have had the privilege of serving as dean of the College of Visual & Performing Arts (CVPA) for more than two decades. During that time, we have worked to expand our academic programming, physical space, wonderfully qualified faculty, and significant presence in the community and the commonwealth. To that last point, I have always strongly believed that we possess a “product” that must be freely shared with the campus and community.
In addition to the extremely impressive presentations, performances and exhibits produced within our college, we have hosted and presented to the campus artists, actors, performers, designers, choreographers, educators and ensembles—all truly world-class—who have added immeasurably to the cultural experience of the region and, most importantly, the student body at Radford University.
I must also recognize the success of the Arts Society whose mission and purpose is to raise scholarship funds for deserving and accomplished students in the visual and performing arts. Two decades ago, we awarded less than $1,000 per year in scholarships; now we award almost $100,000 per year!
This has been the result of an extraordinary partnership between the university and members of the community who share in the belief that the arts, and the students who come to RU to develop as professionals in the arts, are most worthy of as much support as we can provide.
That leads to my point of greatest pride ... the fact that the CVPA has attracted, prepared and graduated thousands of students who have taken their experiences in the college and gone on to make countless contributions to society as teachers, designers, performers, artists and therapists. Many have indeed reached the big time! I am equally proud, however, of all the graduates from our programs, who are contributing to individual quality of life in their communities and making invaluable improvements to our world one person at a time.