President's Message


President Hemphill
Interim President Carolyn Ringer Lepre, Ph.D.

It’s an incredible time to be a Highlander! I love this time of year, especially watching our soon-to-be-graduating students abuzz with excitement and looking ahead toward their next steps. This spring we are celebrating the Class of 2022 during our first campus commencement of this magnitude since the start of the pandemic, a sign of better things to come. Seeing students walk with confidence and ambition in their eyes across the stage to become alumni and hearing cheers of joyful families in the crowd on Moffett Lawn are both heartwarming and reassuring, knowing that our future is in good hands.

These students deserve a celebration like none other. They’ve persevered through one of the most challenging moments of our lifetimes. These last two extraordinary years tested us like never before, but revealed the breadth of our strengths and resilience as a Highlander family. Our outstanding students and exceptional faculty and staff were responsive to our efforts to keep campus safe so we could do our best to provide the best academic experience possible. Our ingenuity endured, and so did our Highlanders.

This is evident through the stories you will find on every page of this magazine.

Stories like our profile of Judy Jenks ’95, M.S.N. ’02, D.N.P. ’16, FNP-BC ’21, who earned three degrees and one certificate from Radford University and empowers students to continue their academic dreams no regardless of life’s blessings and hurdles.

Or our cover story about an incredible new opportunity for students who want to expand their pathways toward careers in law. Our talented faculty created a mock trial team, expanded an existing pre-law society and have plans to create a legal studies minor after our students expressed a heightened interest in learning more about the legal system.

I’m eager for you to read about the successes of our alumni and prosperous academic programs both on main campus and at RUC. I know you will be inspired by these stories.

Lastly, my time as interim president is nearing an end. It has been an incredible honor and privilege to serve our university in this capacity. Like our graduating students, I am excited about the future of Radford University as Bret Danilowicz, Ph.D., joins our community as Radford’s eighth president. His drive and passion to build off an exciting momentum here is contagious, and his energy and commitment to higher education is encouraging. We look forward to welcoming him to campus on July 1.

Thank you for entrusting me to lead this university for a year and for your dedication and belief in our beloved Radford. With all my heart, I believe that the best days for Radford University are to come, as we continue to do what we do best: work together on behalf of our extraordinary students.  

With Highlander Pride,


Carolyn Ringer Lepre, Ph.D.
Interim President