Alums and legacy students move in and share a meal before moving on

President Kyle chats with Wallen family at Legacy Luncheon

President Penelope W. Kyle chats with Justina Rowe, class of 2019, and her father Joey Wallen '03 during the Legacy Luncheon in the Bonnie on Aug. 28.

Anticipation mixed with nostalgia tinged the Alumni Legacy Luncheons hosted by the Radford University Office of Alumni Relations Aug. 27-28 as part of the Radford University Move-In activities.

More than 120 RU alumni and future alumni looked ahead and back while relaxing. On Friday, President Penelope W. Kyle greeted and welcomed the Highlanders families in the Bonnie Auditorium.

“I know the focus is on the academics and new buildings, but Radford is still the park-like setting that makes me feel very comfortable,” said Forest’s Terry Palazzi ’88, who was returning to the campus to install her son, Chris, in Muse Hall. “It is still the kind of a place where you walk across campus and see trees, flowers and people you know.”

Alumni dads and daughters

At the Legacy Luncheon as part of Radford University's Move-In activities, daughters Kellie McDowell (far left) and Cassidy Smith (far right) joined former roommates John McDowell '88 (left center) and Marquett Smith '85 (right center).

Julie Ligon ’87, M.S. ’93 of Christiansburg was relaxing after the year-long process to determine where daughter Olivia would go to college.

“From the time we stepped on campus, the people of Radford have gone out of their way to make us feel welcome,” she said.

Ligon observed the experience from three perspectives: as an alumnus, as a parent and as a professional.

“I really like what Radford has done,” said Julie. “As one who interviews and hires graduates of many schools, Radford graduates are always prepared. They have a good balance of liberal arts and specialized skills, with field experience and confidence from internships and practicums.”

The future and her child’s preparation for it was on the mind of Karen Poff ’87 of Woodstock, as were her own memories.

"My fondest memories of Radford are of faculty who provided me unique opportunities,” said Poff. “Their mentoring and encouragement I still treasure.”

Her daughter, Brook, had just completed move-in and was chatting with a new acquaintance about decorating their rooms, logging on to the RU computer system and what’s next in the process of making it on their own.

“I am excited to meet so many new people,” said Brook. “But I will miss the feeling of being together with my family.”

Advice from the alumni parents was offered up freely.

Jessica McPeak of Radford listened patiently while grandmother Linda Vanhoozier ’94 and mother Dusty Spence ’93 advocated the swift choice of a major and to not be shy about meeting new people and asking questions.

"I took away a well-rounded education that has applied to whatever situation I am faced with," said Spence. "If Jessica can come away with that and the confidence to open up and spread her wings, I will be happy."

Jessica McPeak and her mom and grandmother

Jessica McPeak was joined by her grandmother, Linda Vanhoozier '94 (left), and mother, Dusty Spence '93 (center), at the Legacy Luncheon on Aug. 28.

Sep 3, 2015