Highlander Days prepares enthusiastic students and families for Radford experience

Students and their families tour campus during Highlander Days on Feb. 25.

Identical twins Savion and Breon Case will start a new journey together this fall as they begin their freshman year at Radford University.

The Norfolk natives have committed to the university, and they spent Feb. 25 exploring their new home during Highlander Day.

Mom Tia Case couldn't be prouder, she said.

"I like Radford University for them," she said. "It's small; not too many people. The people that we have met have been very engaging. I really like the morale here, and I'm happy for my sons. Yea – they chose the right college."

The Case twins were among more than 200 students who participated in the daylong event that introduces students and their guests to campus, allows them to meet current students and faculty and ask questions about the enrollment process.

All of the students who attended the Feb. 25 event have been admitted to Radford University but not all have enrolled. Additional Highlander Days are scheduled for March 18, April 8 and April 29.

The day started in Preston Hall where students and their more than 350 guests heard from university President Brian O. Hemphill and Vice President for Enrollment Management Kitty McCarthy.

"Today, we look forward to introducing you to our university, our community and to show you why Radford is the place for you to obtain your degree," McCarthy said. "The more you learn about us, the more you will want to be part of this exciting and engaging community."

President Hemphill extended McCarthy's warm welcome and highlighted the many reasons why Radford University continues to stand apart from other higher education institutions.

"There's a new day dawning at Radford University," Hemphill said.

He spoke of Radford's expanding campus, students who engage with faculty in undergraduate research and of the numerous national rankings the university continues to earn each year.

"At Radford University, we truly invest in you," Hemphill said. "Students are always first in every conversation and in every decision."

On behalf of faculty, Associate Professor of Geospatial Science Andrew Foy, a Radford alumnus, shared his Highlander experience, which included study abroad opportunities, internships and undergraduate research.

Following Foy's presentation, a panel of Radford students and alumni took questions from attendees. Topics discussed included campus transportation and safety.

From Preston Hall, students and their guests scattered across campus to attend various activities that immersed them in the Radford experience.


Student browse booths set up at the Academic and Student Life Fair in Kyle Hall.

A campus guest tests a "bike that blends" at the Academic and Student Life Fair, part of Highlander Days.

Groups took campus tours while others visited the residence halls. In the afternoon, students mingled at a social while family members learned more about the enrollment process. Others sat in classrooms where they heard from professors speak about their respective colleges.

In Kyle Hall, dozens of students gathered to hear from College of Business and Economics Associate Dean Steve Beach. Nicholas Cuccaro and his father, Dominic, said they were impressed with the college and its faculty.

"Everyone has been really accommodating," Dominic Cuccaro said.

Nicholas Cuccaro hasn't committed to Radford yet, but Highlander Days will definitely impact his decision, he said.

"I already feel acclimated here," he said. "The faculty seem really outgoing and helpful."

Julie Hope, of Loudon County, visited several booths at the Academic and Student Life Fair while her mother, Micki Sorrell, reflected on their busy day.

"So far, so good," Sorrell said. "I love it here. The university is expanding and becoming a new school."

Sorrell said that Highlander Day gave her and her daughter a "real feel of what Radford is."

"You don't know until you get here," she said. "We're definitely getting the whole college experience."

Hope said she plans to pursue a career in nursing. While researching colleges that offered nursing programs, Radford stood out, she said.

"I was really impressed with the nursing program's pass rate," she said.

Michael Nance traveled to Radford from Maryland. He learned of the university from a Highlander representative who visited his high school.

"I really wanted to come down here and learn more about it," he said. "I've been really impressed so far."

Although he's still looking at other colleges, Highlander Days left a lasting impression on Nance, who said he already felt "at home."

"I don't know if other schools can top this," he said.

For more information on Highlander Day, visit the Undergraduate Admissions website.

Mar 2, 2017
Mary Hardbarger