This Month in Radford History


May 1919:  The first May Day Festival was conducted.  Mamie Lush of Burkeville, Virginia was the first May Day Queen.

May 5, 1928:  Radford celebrated its 15th anniversary with a Founder’s Day program. 

May 22, 1928:  One of the oldest internationally- affiliated student organizations existing on campus was founded: the Virginia Epsilon Chapter of Pi Gamma Mu.

Highlander BandMay 2, 1953:   The Radford College band (renamed the Highlander Band) made its debut in new Scottish kilt uniforms.

May 15, 1958:  The Radford College Highlanders gained national recognition performing on the “Today” Show, live from Roanoke.  Also in 1958, the band performed at Macy’s Christmas parade in New York City.

May 1965:  Elsie Claytor Wiggins White received a master’s degree and became the first African American woman to graduate from Radford.

May 1965:  William Bernard Robertson received a master’s degree and became the first black male graduate.

May 3-8, 1976:  Actress Marion Ross of the long-running 1970’s television show, “Happy Days,” performed with Radford students in the drama “Cactus Flower” presented on the campus.

May 21, 1977:   Academy Award-winning actress Elizabeth Taylor visited Radford with her then-husband, U.S. Senator John Warner (R-VA).

May 15 and 16, 1980:  Radford’s Honors Program was initiated.

May 1981:  John Amos starred as Kunta Kinte in the T.V. series “Roots,” and acted in Radford’s play, “The Emperor Jones.”

May 29 and 30, 1992:  Ray Charles visited and recorded at Radford University.

May 3, 1996:  Martin Hall, Radford’s main administration building, was dedicated in honor of the University’s third president, Dr. Charles Martin, Jr. 

May 24, 2007:  Radford University’s Board of Visitors approved the creation of The College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences and the College of Science and Technology. 

May 3, 2008:  Radford’s Men’s Rugby Club won its second Division II Men’s Collegiate National Championship in Palo Alto, Calif. 

RU Home Page ---- Centennial Contact: