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"Partners in Excellence" Recognizes RU Scholarship Students and Donors

RADFORD – More than 200 students and some of the donors who made their scholarships possible were recently recognized during the Radford University Foundation’s annual “Partners in Excellence” luncheon.

After acknowledging the scholarship winners, Radford University President Penelope Kyle cited the critical role played by university donors in helping the “impressive students whose opportunities for future success might not have been possible without your partnership, your philanthropy – without, quite literally, your love and commitment to your fellow man and woman.”

Stacey Fernandez, a senior dance education major from Bridgeport, WV, spoke on behalf of the scholarship recipients and expressed her appreciation to the donors in the audience.

Stacey Fernandez“I cannot even begin to thank you enough for your support and generosity,” said Fernandez. “You have given every student here today the momentous gift of education. It is amazing to me how the simple kindness of one person can affect so many, and as we enter our adult careers, I hope we may pass along the kindness you have shown us to help others in need.”

Seven Presidential Scholarship winners were recognized and presented custom-designed bronze medallions that commemorated their receipt of the university’s most prestigious scholarships.

Honorees included Ayla Combs of Cana, Va. Christina Harper of Chesterfield, Va., James Johnson of Cana, Va., Heidi Mock of Blacksburg, Va., Samantha Mullins of Clinchco, Va., Paige Waddell of Dublin, Va. and Maggie Wissler of Pittsburgh, Pa. The Presidential Scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen for their strong academic record, demonstrated leadership in extracurricular activities, community service and personal achievement. Presidential Scholarships include full tuition, room and board, fees and a book stipend.

The Partners In Excellence luncheon also featured the announcement of six new scholarships that have been created as the result of donor generosity:

  • The John Harves Scholarship was established and endowed by former players and friends of John Harves, former RU men’s soccer coach, to benefit a student-athlete in the men’s soccer program.
  • The Pollard/Lyon Scholarship for Teachers was established and endowed by Dr. Cynthia Pollard Lyon and her husband, Mr. James W. Lyon, IV, to assist students studying to become teachers.
  • The Dr. Susan Barnard Scholarship for Interior Design was established and endowed through contributions in honor of Dr. Susan Barnard, Professor Emeritus of Interior Design, to reward excellence in the interior design major.
  • The Frano Jelincic Memorial Scholarship was established and endowed in honor of the late Frano Jelincic, Professor Emeritus of Dance, to assist deserving students majoring in classical ballet.
  • The Willie G. Nelson RN Scholarship was established and endowed by Mrs. Willie G. Nelson to support students in the Waldron College of Health & Human Services majoring in nursing.
  • The Malissa O. and Amanda L. Bowman Memorial Scholarship was created by Howard and Cindy Sprinkle to support a student in the College of Education & Human Development with plans to pursue a career in teaching.

The Radford University Foundation, led by President David DeHart, currently has assets exceeding $53 million. The foundation awarded over $850,000 for scholarships in 2008-2009.

Oct. 8, 2009
Contact: Don Bowman(; 540-831-7523)

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