President Hemphill hosted several events at the beginning of the fall semester to engage the campus community and its partners.
The start of the 2017-18 academic year was filled with events that engaged students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners.
Before fall semester classes began, President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. hosted a business leaders reception at the Governor Tyler House, the official residence of Radford University’s president. More than 100 regional business leaders gathered to learn about the University’s progress and discuss opportunities for collaboration.
Caitlyn Scaggs ’07, founder of Blue Mobius Marketing in Blacksburg, said she is impressed with President Hemphill’s leadership and the direction he is taking the University.
“He has a real vision, and he’s acting on it,” said Scaggs, who also served on the University’s Strategic Planning Task Force Brand Identity sub-group. “He’s making his vision a reality.”
As a new business owner and Radford University alumna, Scaggs realizes the important role the University can play in the local economy. She has already taken advantage of the University’s many helpful resources, including its students.
“My very first intern was a Radford University student,” she said. “He was eager to learn, well-equipped and hungry for the experience.”
During the first week of classes, President Hemphill and First Lady Marisela Rosas Hemphill invited the freshman class to their home for a cookout. The students enjoyed grilled treats, lawn games and time with the Hemphills and fellow Highlanders.
“It feels like a very welcoming environment here, said freshman Erica Fitch of Baltimore. “You’d never expect to be invited to the president’s house, especially in college.”
Several Student Government Association (SGA) members also attended the cookout to meet the freshmen.
“I think it’s amazing that the Hemphills are doing this,” said Cerra Ebbecke, SGA secretary of Highlander Pride. “It makes Radford University feel like a family.”
On Sept. 13, a reception was held for students involved in the University’s Honors Academy, an academic program and vibrant community defined by intellectual curiosity and active engagement in the educational process.
“You represent the innovation; you represent the bold spirit; you represent what many people refer to as grit,” Hemphill told Honors Academy students. “As I think about each of you, I think there are special things in store for you because of the great work you have the ability to do.”
Honors Academy member Aiden Cancasci said he was excited to be a part of the talented group of students.
“It will allow me to get outside my comfort zone, and I think it will push me to make myself better in all areas,” said the computer science and technology major shortly after talking with and having his photo taken with President Hemphill.
New and retired faculty also had the opportunity to engage with the president during two separate events.
On Sept. 12, President Hemphill hosted a reception for new faculty, followed by a reception to honor retired faculty on Sept. 13.
Although new to Radford, art instructor LouAnn Thompson said she already “feels like family.”
“From the art department to human resources, everybody has been so friendly and welcoming,” Thompson said. “It’s unbelievable. It made me feel like I went to school here and I knew everybody.”