What happens when the Radford family connects on a common cause? We break barriers and unleash new levels of support for our students. During this year’s RAD48 crowdfunding challenge, we did just that.

At noon on Tuesday, February 7, the third annual RAD48 crowdfunding challenge began. Donors had 48 hours to choose the team or area within Radford Athletics they would like to support. Hopes were high, but the results were even higher. Previously, the most successful RAD48 challenge raised $58,000. This year, that amount was tripled. Within the 48-hour period ending on Thursday, February 9, Radford alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends came together to raise over $180,000.

The call to support this initiative was embraced by nearly 800 donors. For the first time in history, this challenge secured donors from all 50 states, as well as several other countries including Japan and the Netherlands.

Donors had the choice of supporting several areas within Radford Athletics, including each of Radford University’s 16 Division I programs, Cheer and Dance, the Strength and Conditioning Nutrition Station, Sports Medicine and three unrestricted funds. This challenge also included friendly competition between teams to see who could raise the most. Baseball came out on top by raising $44,000. One of their most successful ambassadors was Radford University senior and baseball player, Tanner Barrs. By utilizing the help of his network, he was able to secure over $3,000.

Tanner Barrs, Radford Baseball

When asked what he would say to those who donated, he responded with gratitude.

“Thank you. It is truly a blessing to see everyone who stepped up in all aspects. It is humbling to me to know that there are that many people that care enough to invest in us as a program. I wouldn’t trade anything to have a support system like the one we have,” said Barrs.

In addition to his success as an ambassador, Barrs also chose to make a gift to support Strength and Conditioning and Sports Medicine.

“There have been a lot of people that have given me their time and energy, so why shouldn’t I be able to help them? I want to see Radford Athletics succeed,” said Barrs. “I spend a lot of time in the training room . . . the staff has been nothing but helpful since I got here four years ago.”

Barrs is one of many student-athletes who value the positive impact that giving challenges like RAD48 make on their teams. Senior Camryn McClure reminisced on her time competing in the Big South Championship as part of the Women’s Tennis team.

“I have never experienced a feeling like that, and to be able to do that while surrounded by tons of support was truly an amazing experience,” said McClure. “The money we receive from fundraising allows us to have an enhanced travel experience, represent the team with new gear and help our coach be able to recruit new players for the coming years. It also helps to continue to improve our facilities. More than anything . . . it makes our overall athletic and academic experience at Radford that much better.”

Radford Women's Lacrosse

RAD48 not only provides support for individual student-athletes, but also their teams. This year, many teams established goals that served as motivation. For Women’s Lacrosse, it was raising enough to buy a new score board. After 48 hours, the team met this goal and came in third place overall, raising over $26,000. Men’s and Women’s Golf also made strides toward their new practice facility.

Over 600 gifts made during this crowdfunding challenge were less than $200. RAD48 is an excellent example of the endless possibilities that arise when Highlanders comes together. The funds raised will help student-athletes on and off the field, this semester and for many semesters to come. This year’s RAD48 supporters truly made Radford Athletics Tartan Proud.


The success of this giving challenge is just the beginning. There are many opportunities to help students succeed! Join the #HighlandersGiveBack tradition, April 4-6, as we focus our impact on the academic colleges and the experiences that shape our students during their time at Radford. Learn more at https://give.radford.edu/.