Once a Highlander, Always a Highlander
By Chad Osborne
Andrew Ross made a significant impact on the Radford University community during his time as an assistant professor of photography. He is celebrated for his positive impact on students, passion for photography and dedication to the University.
Ross began teaching at Radford in August 2014, but stepped down from his position at the close of the spring 2018 semester, after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
In September 2018, the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) honored him with an intimate reception in the Joseph P. Scartelli Atrium at the Covington Center for Visual and Performing Arts.
During the reception, with a collection of Ross’ black and white photographs serving as a backdrop, CVPA announced the formation of an endowed scholarship for the photography program. The funding for this scholarship was provided by Ross’ parents, Coleman and Carol Ross.
“I have always been truly in awe of Andrew’s love for his students, his mission to share his love and knowledge of photography with our campus community and his overflowing support of all the arts on our campus,” CVPA Dean Margaret Devaney said at the reception. “In a relatively short time, our photography program expanded in the most amazing ways and our students flourished.”
Devaney spoke further of Ross’ commitment to students and the program, including his donation of photography and printing equipment and the reorganization of an art gallery in the Covington Center, which has now been renamed in his honor, the Andrew W. Ross Student Art Gallery.
Ross attended the reception; however, his medical condition has left him unable to speak. He prepared remarks, and his father read those words at the gathering.
At Radford, Andrew Ross said he found “students, colleagues and a campus community that I fell in love with. Radford University has what I was really looking for in a photography program.”
Ross said he was thankful to his parents and their generosity that will allow him “to continue to be a part of this program through the naming of a new scholarship in my honor,” Coleman Ross read. “By introducing this photography scholarship, my hope is it will help Radford to recruit, retain and reward talented students like those announced today, who will bring recognition to photography and the arts here at Radford University.”
The first recipients of the Andrew W. Ross Endowed Photography Scholarship are Amber Rodgers, a senior from Meadows of Dan, Virginia; Sarah Carriker, of Alexandria, Virginia; and Alex Moral, a second-year graduate student from Alicante, Spain.
“Amber, Sarah and Alex, I am so pleased to see you as the first recipients of the award. I’m sure you know how much I miss working with you and all of my students,” Coleman Ross said when reading Andrew’s written comments. “If your future success gives you the ability to be generous to this University, I hope you will remember the impact a scholarship like this can have on a budding artist.”
To learn more about endowed scholarships, contact the Office of University Advancement at 540-831-5407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrew Ross, Train Station Market, archival pigment print, 2006