Message from President Brian O. Hemphill

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Welcome to the Spring 2019 semester at Radford University! Like every new beginning, this semester presents an incredible opportunity to engage with fellow members of the Radford family in making a significant impact across our beautiful campus and in our caring community.

In looking back, the same was true for the Fall 2018 semester, which provided many special memories, such as the October 3, 2018 momentous occasion where I was honored to announce the largest gift in the history of the University. The remarkable generosity of Sandy and Jack Davis will provide scholarship support for countless Highlanders. It was a great day as we celebrated their historic gift and announced the naming of the Sandra C. Davis and William C. Davis College of Business and Economics and the Sandra C. Davis and William C. Davis Performance Hall located in the Covington Center. The past semester also included many notable accomplishments of students, faculty and staff and annual celebrations of the past, present and future with unique experiences during Fall Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, Family Weekend and the Highlanders Festival, which will return to campus for this year’s event to be held on October 12, 2019.

The memorable and vast experiences of the Radford family this past fall contributed significantly to our collective progress in implementing and achieving the goals outlined in our five-year strategic plan, Embracing the Tradition and Envisioning the Future. For detailed information regarding our most recent progress, please visit the Strategic Plan website. Progress reports will continue to be released each semester and will be made available on the University’s website throughout the planning period.

I am confident that the excitement and progress from the past semester will continue throughout the remainder of the 2018-2019 academic year. Just last week, approximately 125 individuals devoted an entire day to participate in the University’s inaugural Retention Summit, which was aimed at providing a platform to engage in a broad and collaborative discussion as we continue to serve current and future generations of Highlanders in an outstanding academic and fully supportive environment that is second to none. In addition to the day-long Summit, nearly 300 students, faculty and staff attended the morning session, which featured a keynote address from Timothy D. Culver, Ph.D. from Ruffalo Noel Levitz and a data-driven presentation by Assistant Vice President for Student Success and Retention James Penven, Ph.D. The Summit resulted in more than 100 observations and recommendations, which are being reviewed and will be summarized in the form of a full report to be distributed campus-wide in the coming weeks.

And, this past Friday, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of the public announcement regarding the merger of Jefferson College of Health Sciences into Radford University beginning with the Fall 2019 semester pending state and accreditor approvals. The forward momentum continued yesterday as we joined together as one Radford family for the sixth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. This year’s event featured record-breaking attendance with more than 400 volunteers, who served at various sites in the New River and Roanoke valleys. I am so incredibly proud of these Highlanders for demonstrating their Radford value of inclusiveness by committing to a spirit of cooperation and collaboration, while embracing and honoring the diversity of our community. At Radford University’s core, we have consistently demonstrated an enduring commitment to our community through our continued efforts to foster relationships and a culture of service within and beyond our university community.

This great work on our campus and in our community is happening at a critical time when state leaders are gathered in Richmond for the annual convening of the General Assembly. Over the course of the 2019 session, University officials will be working closely with senators, delegates and other state officials to advocate for Radford University, our students and our programs with a strong focus on the Jefferson College of Health Sciences merger, increased funding for financial aid and project funding for the Center for Adaptive Innovation and Creativity. For additional information about the University’s 2019 state priorities, please visit the Government Relations page.

Without question, Highlanders are responsive, resilient and real. As such, our accomplishments in the academic setting and competitive play, as well as across our local communities, are making a difference both near and far. With much excitement and optimism, I look forward to our continued journey throughout the Spring 2019 semester and beyond as we empower talented students from diverse backgrounds by providing transformative educational experiences, which would not be possible without the strong support and hard work of our world-class faculty and dedicated staff!

With Highlander Pride,
Brian O Hemphill Signature

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.
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