New era ushered in at Radford University, CHBS

The College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences (CHBS) at Radford University officially ushered in a new era with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 16 that unveiled the building to the public.

Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill’s vision for Radford University is to transform the university “into an innovative, premier university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond with a keen focus on teaching, research and service.”

The academic learning spaces housed in the new building will help guide Radford University toward that vision.

“Innovation will become the new normal as this university moves forward,” said Hemphill. “In this building, you can see how Radford University is already innovating to achieve its teaching and learning missions.”

The 143,600 square-foot building is home to unique learning spaces, such as a broadcasting studio, a courtroom, an emergency operations center and a social media watch center. These learning spaces give students professional experience prior to entering the job market.


The ribbon-cutting ceremony officially unveiled the largest academic building on Radford University's campus.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was a culmination of the efforts of all involved in the planning, construction and move-in processes.

“The CHBS Building Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony was an important milestone for the entire college,” said CHBS Dean Katherine Hawkins. “Our faculty, staff and students are uniformly thrilled with our new home and are actively exploring the full potential of the building.”

“This is a great day,” said Faculty Senate President and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies Carter Turner. “For our college, this building is an enormous upgrade in the quality of office space we were in for a very long time. It’s hard to describe how a change like this affects you, but it definitely puts pep in your step. We’re better able to serve our students.”

President Hemphill recognized the contributions of President Emeritus Penelope W. Kyle, the first woman to serve as president of Radford University, to advocate for funding construction of the new CHBS building.

“Testaments to President Kyle’s leadership in advancing this university surround us,” Hemphill said. “There is Kyle Hall, the building that bears her name and is home to the College of Business and Economics. Her impact is visible in some of the other buildings and facilities that have transformed the campus landscape, such as the Center for the Sciences and the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. President Kyle’s impact on Radford University is profound and far-reaching.”

“It’s inevitable that the faculty in this college will interact more often and share ideas with more frequency,” Turner said. “This space – in both small ways and large – will add fuel to our intellectual lives and professional pursuits.”

SGA President Jacinda Jones, a media studies major, is eager to use the state-of-the-art facilities.

“I encourage each of my fellow Radford students to take advantage of everything it has to offer,” Jones said. “I encourage students in different colleges to take electives from departments within CHBS. The building now matches the faculty – top notch!”

Krisha Chachra, of Radford’s Board of Visitors, attended the ceremony and offered remarks on behalf of the Board.

“By experiencing integrated inquiry environments that accommodate faculty, student and community interaction, Radford students will graduate with the capacity and openness to contribute,” Chachra said. “They will be anchored in their disciplines, ready to understand, explore and create solutions to complex problems. They will be ready to make a difference in the world.”

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, CHBS hosted a reception in and tours of the new building.

“The ceremony provided the university community with a strong signal that the college has begun an exciting new chapter in its history,” Hawkins said. “Our future is definitely bright.”

Sep 16, 2016
Max Esterhuizen
(540) 831-7749