A Personal Message from Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.

A Message from the Office of the President, Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.

Dear Radford Family:

Since my arrival at Radford University on July 1, 2016, I have witnessed first-hand the responsive and resilient nature of the Highlander spirit and the caring and compassionate nature of the Radford family. As a campus deeply rooted in tradition and highly regarded for quality, we have embraced innovation in recent years. Without question, we have certainly created new opportunities for current and future Highlanders!

Together, as a dedicated and supportive community of Highlanders, we have welcomed new students and celebrated our graduates, while supporting all students in their discovery through unique experiences and high-demand programs. Look no further than the establishment of the Vinod Chachra IMPACT Lab and Radford University Carilion (RUC) in which we coupled existing programs and traditional services with innovative delivery and expanded approaches. Furthermore, the recent renovation of Reed and Curie Halls and secured support for the Center for Adaptive Innovation and Creativity are excellent examples of how our University is providing a world-class learning environment for all Highlanders.

At Radford, students always come first, which is evident in our expanded student support through the Highlander Distinction Program, as well as our renewed and united focus on engagement and success through the Academic Success Center. Additionally, we have engaged in meaningful partnerships with George Mason University’s Scalia Law School, Emory & Henry College, and Appalachian College of Pharmacy, as well as Northern Virginia Community College and New River Community College, in order to provide expanded opportunities for graduate and transfer students.
One of our most notable accomplishments is the manner in which we came together to develop and implement a five-year strategic plan, thereby providing a clear path for our remaining work and sustained progress. Most recently, we adopted a ten-year master plan to provide the critical infrastructure needed for our campus to continue these important initiatives. And, let us not forget that we are in the midst of bringing a world-class hotel to the City of Radford.

These are just a few highlights of our many achievements across all levels of the campus and the community despite many challenges, including the year-long global health pandemic. With all of this excitement and success, I must share that, later today, a public announcement will be made regarding my forthcoming journey as the 9th President of Old Dominion University beginning this summer. Please know that the decision to leave Radford University was not made lightly. I am forever indebted to the Radford family and Southwest Virginia for an amazing journey since my family’s arrival in 2016.

Over the past five years, I have been continuously encouraged by the tireless efforts and unwavering passion of critical groups like the Foundation Board of Directors, the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and the Capital Campaign Steering Committee, just to name a few. Please know that I remain fully committed to Radford University, especially the students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and supporters who work daily to advance our University’s proud mission of access and opportunity. I am equally dedicated to working with the Board of Visitors and University leaders on a transition plan. I am confident that Radford University’s future has infinite possibilities, which will be realized through the skillful and thoughtful leadership of the Board with strong support from the campus and the community.

As a dedicated and proud Highlander, I pledge my continued commitment and diligent work over the next five months to ensure the forward momentum and sustained success of Radford University. My wife, Marisela, and I look forward to continuing to engage with each and every one of you as we prepare to bid a fond farewell to this caring community of educators and learners and the broader region of change makers and thought leaders. Please accept our sincere appreciation and everlasting gratitude for the honor and privilege of serving as your President and First Lady!

Forever a Highlander,


Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.