Radford University hosts Community Foundation scholarship dinner
Radford University hosted, for the first time, the 15th Community Foundation of the New River Valley’s Scholarship Awards Dinner on May 11 in Kyle Hall.
Members of the Radford University family, community leaders and scholarship recipients gathered to celebrate the occasion.
“We're very pleased to host the Annual Scholarship Dinner for the Community Foundation of the New River Valley,” said Katherine Hawkins, dean of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences at Radford University. “Being awarded a scholarship by the Community Foundation can make all the difference for students struggling to achieve their dream of a college education.”
Radford University First Lady Marisela Rosas Hemphill, Ph.D., delivered the keynote address to the nearly 200 attendees.
“Attending college changed my life – and I can’t imagine where I’d be today if I had not taken advantage of the opportunities before me,” Hemphill said. “My parents wanted nothing more than for their children to go to college. Scholarships help ease that financial burden. As a first-generation college student, I would not be here telling this story without the assistance of multiple scholarships, which I pursued and received.”
Executive Director of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley Jessica Wirgau said that, “Too often we don’t recognize how generous and kind our community can be until we find that we need it. You fulfill a vision of what our community can be. You are essential to the community.”
- David Alcorta, $1,018 from the Warren Lloyd Holtzman Freedom Scholarship Fund to study political science
- Heaven Bailey, $1,000 from the Allen Mandelstamm Scholarship Fund to study healthcare management
- Graciela Cruz, $1,000 from the Ray and Mary Epperly Family Fund to study psychology
- Alexis Epperly, $1,000 from the Juanita Shelor Hall Memorial Scholarship Fund to study interdisciplinary studies
- Cynthia Gomez, $1,000 from the Wings Fund to study nursing
- Kyle Higginbotham, $1,000 from the Kiser Orthodontics Scholarship Fund to study cybersecurity
- Tayler Lewis, $1,000 from the Marie Mandelstamm Scholarship Fund to study biology
- Kaitlyn Linkous, $1,000 from the Eric Sutphin Memorial Scholarship Fund to study elementary education
- Julia Lucas, $1,000 from the Juanita Shelor Hall Scholarship Fund to study education
- Tabitha Poff, $1,000 from the James E. and Kate H. Board Scholarship Fund to study elementary education
- Evan Sparks, $1,000 from the James E. and Kate H. Board Scholarship Fund to study history and education
- Noah Staples, $1,000 from the Larry Turman Memorial Scholarship Fund to study criminal justice
- Justus Underwood, $1,000 from the Eric Sutphin Memorial Scholarship Fund to study elementary education
- Devon Watty, $1,000 from the Adrienne Marie Rhudy Memorial Scholarship Fund
Higginbotham, one of the future Highlanders, plans on studying cybersecurity. He was “ecstatic” when he found out that he received a scholarship. “I was very happy knowing that my hard work has paid off,” he added.
Higginbotham chose to study cybersecurity because of the job outlook in the field and his interest in technology.
“I hope to enter into the cybersecurity club here at Radford, which is very competitive,” Higginbotham said. “Hopefully I’ll go somewhere from there. Once I learned that they added cybersecurity, it set in stone what I wanted to do.”
One of the speakers at the dinner was Juralee Smith Miranda ’08, who is a school psychologist in Maryland. She said she was “grateful for all of the support” she received from the foundation when she was a scholarship recipient.
“I look forward to seeing the continued important work of the people in this room and I thank you for the long-lasting contributions that you make in building community foundations,” Miranda said.
Aaron Miller, a 2017 scholarship recipient, is attending New River Valley Community College with the hopes of transferring to Radford University to study criminal justice.
“The reason I’m in front of you today is because I’ve had goals that I’ve set,” Miller said. “Each of us have goals that we want to achieve.
“We all have a calling,” Miller continued. “It’s about what we’re going to do for each other. It’s about giving back to the community and those in need. It’s the attitude of the heart that matters. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, it’s going to pay off.”
The New River Valley Community Foundation Scholarship Program has awarded more than $470,000 in scholarships to NRV students since 2002.