TOGETHER We Thrive with Dave Mattingly '86

In this inaugural episode of TOGETHER We Thrive,
Radford University alumnus Dave Mattingly ’86 shares his student experience,
career and why he chooses to give back to his alma mater.


“I’m most proud of where I started to where I have gotten,” says Mattingly. “Starting at WVRU [Radford University’s radio station] and knowing nothing about radio other than I was very interested in it and learning as I went along…I was a squeaky kid who was a sophomore trying to learn what radio was about, but I was just fascinated by the work at WVRU. To be able to go from that kid to having a career that I feel very proud of…I’ve been fortunate to get to be a morning network news anchor on the radio.”

Dave Mattingly ’86 is an NPR News anchor with seven newscasts daily on weekday mornings.

Mattingly is the morning newscast anchor at National Public Radio (NPR), where he began as a producer and worked for 15 years before shifting to on-air in 2013. He has seven newscasts each morning with about 27 million listeners, which is more than any other newscast and more than all of the other commercial networks combined.

“It all goes back to WVRU. I was a student at Radford with no experience just like everyone else. I got experience from working at WVRU for three years. I was able to make mistakes and to learn what it means to be live on the air, how to edit tapes and how to write for the air. We learned all of that.”

Mattingly is motivated to give back to Radford University because of his experience as a student and the impact that his education has had on his life and career.

“I owe so much to Radford, WVRU and The Tartan,” he shared.

Mattingly chooses to support Radford University with his time and resources. He gives back as a volunteer and donor.

Dave Mattingly ’86 and his wife, Jennifer Mattingly ’86, met while students at Radford University. Dave is a graduate of Radford University’s School of Communication. He has received a number of awards from the Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters. He received Radford’s College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award in 2019 and has been inducted into the WVRU Wall of Fame.

“I asked, ‘What can I do to help somebody like me who is at Radford now? What can I do to help [students] to advance when they leave Radford? To get a job or career that they really enjoy and have worked hard for?’” says Mattingly. “That’s led me to come to Radford to speak to students."

“My wife and I started the Mattingly Scholarship for WVRU to try to help students in journalism and at least take a little bit of the financial burden off of them why they are at Radford. We are hopeful that the scholarship is helping students each year to focus on their studies and broadcast experience at Radford…maybe not having to work so much outside of campus to pay their bills.”

Mattingly shared advice for fellow alumni and friends of Radford who want to support the University, “‘Don’t wait to be asked, find a need and fill it’ is some the best advice that I ever received,” he said.

Those words echoed in his mind when considering how to give back to Radford University.

“My advice to others is to reach out to Radford and ask ‘is there anything that I can do to help students who are there now?’” says Mattingly. “I think they would be surprised to find that Radford would very much appreciate that kind of outreach and would be able to use their talents and advice to help kids that are there now.”