Time, Talent and Treasure

Kathy Grimes ’75 and her four sons all graduated from Radford University.
Kathy Grimes ’75 and her four sons all graduated from Radford University.

When President Brian O. Hemphill spoke to alumni during his regional tour, he would make sure to mention at each stop how important it was for alumni to give their “time, talent and treasure.” Few Radford University alumni personify that mantra more than Kathy Grimes ’75 and her children Christopher Flor ’00, Scott Flor ’02, Doug Grimes ’10 and John Grimes ’14.

“The hours and years I have spent spreading ‘Radford Pride’ have been all volunteer,” Kathy explains. “Speaking with parents at college fairs or the street corner is an amazing story in itself. When they find out as an alum that all four of my children also attended Radford University, then they listen!”

During her days as a student, Grimes was involved in a myriad of organizations such as the swim team, volleyball team, Sigma Sigma Sigma and other clubs. Her love for Radford University never dwindled, and she continued to serve the University as the first president of the RU Parents Council, by helping at the alumni table and parent panel at Quest, hiring Highlanders for summer jobs and calling admitted and incoming students, in addition to serving as a representative at college fairs.

“I feel it is important to spread the word about Radford University,” she explains. “Word of mouth is everything. No matter where I am or who I am with, I will always hunt down a person with a Radford sweatshirt, hat or car sticker in order to meet another Highlander or prospective Highlander.”

With that level of dedication to her alma mater, it is no wonder that each of her children ended up as Highlanders themselves. Although that was not the plan. “My children were not going to attend Radford University because it was ‘mom’s school,’ says Kathy.

“In all honesty, I visited campus to humor Mom, but as soon as I set foot on campus it felt like home,” says Christopher. “Five years, two degrees and a future wife later, I was changed forever by the small classes, caring and invested faculty and staff, fulfilling extracurricular opportunities, and the beautiful surroundings.”

According to Christopher, the children also inherited their mother’s philanthropic spirit.

“Before leaving campus I helped to establish two endowed scholarships — one through National Residence Hall Honorary and one through Phi Sigma Pi — to ensure others could have similar experiences,” he explains. “I continue to stay involved with the University by hiring Highlanders, participating on advisory committees and giving to ensure that future Highlanders would have even better opportunities.

“Looking at the university now, I am amazed — and sometimes jealous — of the transformations that have only been possible due to the commitment and generosity of the extended Radford University alumni family.”

Kathy’s service to Radford is, at least in part, why Doug chose to attend. “It was very familiar to me since I had spent a lot of time on campus with two older brothers attending and my mom’s volunteering and attending events. I felt very comfortable there as if it were my ‘home away from home,’” he says.

“I have been involved in some alumni events here on the Eastern Shore, including hosting a cookout for alumni, incoming freshmen and Radford students that are working here for the summer. I also attended the Radford University Day at Nationals Park over the summer.”

Kathy says that her devotion to Radford University is tied to her time here. “Radford taught me how strong the bond is at the University and how important it is to stay connected. I am who I am today thanks to my time at Radford and my parents,” she says. “Radford University has brought much happiness into my life through meeting other alumni, students, incoming students and prospective students. Whenever and wherever I can find another Highlander, I cannot stop smiling. The experience you have at Radford is so special — I really do not think you can find this special feeling anywhere else. I never dreamed that I would have four children that would choose the path that I chose.

“It is so special knowing that they were able to share the Radford Pride with me.”