President Hemphill discusses priorities with Northern Virginia alumni
“I’m very impressed. As soon as I walked in the room I felt a good vibe,” said Demetree Wiley ’15, who attended the Northern Virginia President Hemphill Alumni Tour event in Reston, Va. “He’s only been in the office a short time and I’m so impressed in the amount of studying he has done about Radford University,” he said.
Close to 200 alumni from the Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. area spent the evening at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, Va., on July 13, 2016 hearing about Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill’s priorities for their alma mater’s future. Kim Wilson ’88 is a member of the Radford University Alumni Association Board and her son Brandon is attending Radford. “President Hemphill has an awesome vision for the university and how he is going to take it to the next level. Hands down, it is the best university in the state of Virginia,” said Wilson.
President Hemphill said he will be engaging alumni, students, faculty and staff in transforming Radford University into an innovative premier university. “We are always going to focus on excellence in everything we do,” said President Hemphill.
He discussed telling the Radford University story with the many voices of alumni, students, parents, faculty and staff. He also challenged alumni in attendance to tell others about their experiences at Radford University. “We have to engage alumni, your foundation boards, the businesses you’re connected to. We desperately need you to reconnect. We want to touch base with as many people as possible to excite them about Radford University,” said President Hemphill.
Accounting and finance 2015 graduate Jarell Tillery, currently employed in Washington, D.C., understands the importance of talking about Radford to his colleagues and friends. “Radford University set me up for success. I talk to a lot of people about Radford because I had the best experience,” said Tillery.
President Hemphill discussed the need to help first year students to continue with their Radford University education – help them succeed. “Students are at the heart of every decision we make,” said Hemphill. He said that the university will look at retention and student success in a holistic way. He said students come from different backgrounds and may experience Radford in a completely different way. He said there may be challenges academically, the student may not be as connected with his or her peers or the student could be struggling with challenges at home. He said it is important to identify those students and ensure they have the mentoring to overcome those challenges.
Glenwood Morgan ’02, M.S. ’06 said that President Hemphill’s ideas on increasing student success hit home. “I liked his ideas about increasing the retention rate. I struggled at Radford and almost got caught up in the statistic. I was lucky and connected with the right people. But, I’ve been there and know what it’s like,” said Morgan who graduated with two degrees from Radford University’s College of Education and Human Development.
President Hemphill discussed other topics such as academic excellence and research, philanthropic support, strategic enrollment growth and economic development and community partnerships. After his presentation he opened the floor to questions from alumni.
“I like what I heard,” said Rodney Crowe ’89. “I like that he will look at the way the university runs and think outside the box. It’s exciting to hear him talk about it and talk about the Radford brand. He’s a very dynamic guy and will be a great president,” said Crowe.
President Hemphill will be continuing his alumni tour throughout Virginia with future stops in Richmond, Virginia Beach, Roanoke, New River Valley and Southwest Virginia.
To learn more or to RSVP for upcoming tour events, visit www.radford.edu/hemphill-tour.