Partners Event Recognizes Benefactors, Scholarship Students

Dozens of Radford University’s most generous donors met Thursday with some of the student scholarship recipients whose lives they have touched.

The Radford University Foundation’s annual Partners in Excellence recognition ceremony brought the two groups together in the auditorium of the Hurlburt Student Center as the opening event of the weekend’s Fall Homecoming and Reunion and Family Weekend.

“This ceremony is really the most shining example of what our alumni and friends of the university have done and continue to do for Radford University,” President Penelope W. Kyle said. “It is a pleasure to join you today to celebrate the achievements of our students and to recognize the generosity of our donors.”

Thanks to private support from alumni, parents and friends of the university, the Radford University Foundation has provided more than $1 million for nearly 500 student scholarships this year alone, said Georgia Anne Snyder-Falkinham, its board president.

Donor and scholarship recipients

The Partners in Excellence recognition ceremony brought together donors and their scholarship recipients. Pictured above is Kathryn Garland Obenshain (center) with left to right: Erica Weiner, Sarah Poindexter, Erin O'Neil, and Brian Peters.

“Our role is to receive, manage and invest private gifts to Radford and to be good stewards of those assets,” she said. “Everyone in this room shares an understanding of what can be accomplished through private support for Radford University.”

Established in 1973, the foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation chartered in Virginia and governed by a 20-person board of directors. The foundation’s members represent diverse constituencies, Snyder-Falkinham said, but are united in their commitment to the highest standards of excellence for Radford University.

“The foundation's assets now total more than $52 million, including an endowment of over $42 million—funds invested to ensure support for students and academic programs today and far into the future,” Snyder-Falkinham said.

Kyle told the group that for students, earning a scholarship goes far beyond mere dollars and cents. She said the generous support of Radford’s benefactors has brought 343 students closer this year to their dream of attaining a college degree.

“Receiving a scholarship isn’t just a financial benefit, it is a tangible recognition of the academic success that these students maintain,” Kyle said.

The strong partnership between students and donors is a factor in the university’s enrollment this fall of its largest freshman class, with more than 2,000 students, Kyle said.

“We are convinced they are drawn to our institution because of the strength of our academic programs and by the student-first education that they receive from our dedicated faculty,” she said. “Faculty work closely in small environments directly with students, and I think our students thrive because of it.”

Oct 15, 2011
Keith Hagarty