RU Parents and friends attend Conversation with the President


President Kyle talks with parents and family members during the "Conversation with the President."

Radford University President Penelope W. Kyle warmly welcomed RU family members to Saturday’s "Conversation with the President" as one of several events during the 2014 Family Weekend.

"We are focused on the education of your sons and daughters," Kyle said to the crowd in the Hurlburt Student Center Auditorium. "We are focused on giving them the best experience possible while they are at Radford and getting them started on their chosen career."

After an update on happenings around campus, the president took questions from the curious families, with students at all levels of study, who traveled both from around Virginia and out-of-state.

"Since I have been here, there have been lots of changes," Kyle said. "But one thing that hasn’t changed is Radford University’s focus on the students and their learning."

The parents, guardians and friends in attendance were curious about many aspects of life at Radford. The group raised questions about topics, such as on-campus housing, academics, advising, career placement and student activity opportunities.


From left: Parents Paul White, Judi Miller, from Broadway, Va., President Kyle and Stephanie Hairston of Roanoke, Va.

The president was joined at the conversation by several members of the senior administration, including Vice Presidents Mark Shanley (Student Affairs), Richard Alvarez (Finance and Administration), Melissa Wohlstein (advancement) and Joe Carpenter (University Relations); Dean of Students Irvin Clark; and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Ken Bonk. The officials provided more detailed answers to questions that fell under their purview.

One of the resounding sentiments expressed by the parents before, during and after the event was the accessibility and enthusiasm of the RU faculty.

April Sethmann and Anthony Brown, of Virginia Beach, attended the conversation to become better acquainted with their son Anthony’s new home.

"The professors and teachers here are in touch with the students," said Sethmann. "I think that makes Radford different from other universities."

"This was a very helpful event," Brown added. "It’s impressive to have the president up there answering these kinds of questions."

Billy Pritchett, in attendance with his wife Janet, agreed.

"I didn't attend college, so I didn’t know what to expect. I never thought I would talk to a president of the university like this and then feel like she’s really listening," Pritchett said. The pair, of Richmond, saw their son Will begin his freshman year this semester.

"It's been great sending our son here," Janet Pritchett said. "We have nothing but great things to say about Radford."

Oct 12, 2014