Move-in day reunites alumni as freshmen sons move on


As Jack Fraim, Patrick Phimmasone and Ryan Judd, three incoming freshmen, wrapped up the move-in process on Friday, a unique reunion occurred.

While resting from the rigors of unloading, moving and setting up a residence hall room, two generations of Highlanders reflected on the past and future.

Excited, and somewhat tired, the reunion included Jack’s parents, Tommy '87 and Julie '89; Ryan’s parents, Steve '90 and Regan '89; and Patrick’s parents, Annaput '88 and Stephanie. They were united by bonds that connect nervous parents and shared memories as RU alumni and friends from their fraternity and sorority days.

Nostalgia mixed with logistics as families helped sons transition from high school to college, or teenage boys to young men at a place they treasure.

"To think of the memories we share and the experiences he (Jack) will have is exciting," said Tommy Fraim, whose alumni connection to and appreciation of RU is strengthened by long service to RU, including two terms as Rector of the university’s Board of Visitors.

"I know the university is sound academically and that Jack has found a major (geospatial science) to challenge him and prepare him for a bright future," Fraim said.

Julie Fraim added: "Jack’s heard our stories and memories about our times at RU. I hope he learns to appreciate RU for himself and has his own experiences here."

Young Fraim, Phinnasome and Judd are part of a freshman class that could number more than 2,000. That freshman class joined 1,200 upper-class students to move into the residence halls for the new academic year.


Radford University freshmen Patrick Phimmasone (far left) and Ryan Judd (fifth from left) with their families at the RU Alumni Picnic, held Aug. 22.

"It is a feeling of security to know Ryan is beginning his college days in a place that we love and has such a family feel," said Ryan’s mother, Regan Judd. "RU has been great in welcoming and helping us."

Steve Judd said, "The collaboration by so many people today has made a success of a day that could have been stressful and anxious.

"For Patrick Phimmasone, a physics major and aspiring engineer, the choice of RU was easy and obvious.

"Dad’s memories were important, but I knew early that RU was where I wanted to go," he said.

His father, Annaput, is enthusiastic about RU and his son’s prospects.

"I know a lot of successful people who came from RU," he said. "My wife and I are comfortable that he will be taken care of here and challenged. As we were."

Jack Fraim is eager for a challenge and a new place, different from his Tidewater home.

"I love the outdoors - the mountains, the woods, the river and the trails to explore," he said. " Sure, there’s a little hesitation, but I am eager to get involved, to meet new people from different places and see what they are about."


Jack Fraim (left) and his father, Tommy ‘87, attend Radford University’s Quest orientation this summer. Jack Fraim is a freshman at RU, and Tommy Fraim served two terms as Rector of the university’s Board of Visitors.

Aug 26, 2014