A Celebration of Giving

Student Government Association President Julianna Stanley speaks to guests at the “Celebration of Giving” stewardship event.
Student Government Association President Julianna Stanley speaks to guests at the “Celebration of Giving” stewardship event.

Radford University welcomed over 150 of its most generous supporters – alumni, friends, faculty and staff – to the “Celebration of Giving” stewardship event on Friday, April 6, 2018. Invitees included donors who have given $1,000 or more during this or the last fiscal year, lifetime donors of $25,000 or more, and Members of the Society of 1910, which recognizes alumni and friends who have included Radford University in their estate plans.

“Your contributions to Radford University have a long-lasting effect,” said Student Government Association President Julianna Stanley to guests at the annual event held at the Governor Tyler House.

“To receive a scholarship is to take away the burden of figuring out how to pay for an education and instead focus on academics,” she continued. Stanley, a junior mass communications major from Williamsburg, is the recipient of the Jerry and Mary Ingles Hutchens Scholarship.

“Your donations make a difference for our students,” said Nancy Artis ’73, chair of the Radford University Foundation Board of Directors. “You have made a good decision engaging with this university.” Artis also announced to the guests that over the last year the Radford University Foundation paid out over $1.7 million to fund more than 500 scholarships.

“We’re not giving back – we’re giving forward,” explained Joyce Esterhuizen, who, along with her husband William, is a benefactor of the Esterhuizen Family Scholarship for Student Teachers. “We wanted to make a difference. There is something special here – Radford is filled with warm, wonderful people.”

Alumna Penelope Gardner ’75 said that she gives back to the University to honor her parents. “I established a scholarship in my parents’ name – Harold and Vera Gardner Family Scholarship in Education Fund. They sent four children to college despite having never graduated from high school,” she explained. “After all they did for me, it means so much for me to be able to do that for them.”

Nancy Manning ’65, a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, explained how she was able to get her family, friends and co-workers to support Radford University. “During my nine years as principal at Cherry Run Elementary in Burke, Virginia, we had 36 student teachers from Radford University. When it was time for me to retire, I asked my family and friends to donate to a scholarship I had established – the Cherry Run Elementary School-Nancy Dyer Manning Scholarship.

“It was endowed in less than six months,” she said proudly.

Alumna Susan Walters ’58 explained how she was able to utilize the opportunities her Radford University education afforded her in order to give back to the region. “After being an elementary school teacher in Southern California for 36 years, I had accumulated a lot of teaching materials,” said Walters. “I didn’t want to just throw it away. Some people at Radford University were able to get me in contact with Grayson County Public Schools, and together we were able to arrange the donation of the supplies.”

She continued, “A Nautilus delivery truck drove all the way from Independence, Virginia, to my home in Thousand Oaks, California, to pick up the boxes of supplies [Nautilus Health & Fitness Group has a manufacturing plant in Grayson County]. The driver hopped out of the truck and said, ‘I don’t know what’s in these boxes, but I know you’re doing it for my kids, and I thank you.’ That was all of the thanks I needed.”

President Brian O. Hemphill addressed the gathering of supporters, “You are opening doors and you are transforming lives. Achievements like the Vinod Chachra IMPACT Lab, the SEED Grant Program, the potential merger with Jefferson College, as well as the men’s basketball NCAA tournament run – all of that is possible because of the people in this room.

“I want to let you in on a little secret,” President Hemphill continued. “We’re just getting started.”

Apr 10, 2018
Jeremy Norman