Partners in Excellence Celebration unites scholarship students with benefactors
To illustrate the Radford story, more than 200 scholarship donors and recipients gathered for the Radford University Foundation’s annual “Partners in Excellence Celebration.”
The annual luncheon, held Oct. 18 in Kyle Hall, brought current students together with the faculty, retired faculty, alumni, parents, families of former students and corporate partners who underwrite and support the students’ educations and aspirations with donations to the Radford University Foundation.
“There are so many tremendous stories that make up the Radford story,” said Vice President for Advancement Wendy Lowery. “The spine of that ever-growing book of stories is the donors who challenge us to be the best version of ourselves. Today, you encapsulate all that Radford University is and will continue to be.”
Nancy Artis ’73, chair of the Radford University Foundation Board of Directors and benefactor of the Artis Endowed Scholarship and the Nancy Eisenhart Artis and H. Pat Artis Endowed Scholarship in Information Technology, announced to the guests that the Radford University Foundation paid out over $1.6 million to fund scholarships that helped more than 600 students in FY18.
A joint presentation by Assistant Director of Pre-Major Advising Rachel Hall and her daughter, Robyn, about Robyn’s journey to becoming a Radford University student while fighting Asperger’s Syndrome added poignancy. The Halls reflected on their challenging journey and celebrated the assistance they received from the faculty and students of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders whose students and services are supported by the Scottish Rite Foundation.
Among the scholarship recipients at the luncheon was Karryngton Harris, a sophomore design student from Oxon Hill, Maryland, who is one of the first recipients of one of 80 scholarships made possible by the recent momentous gift from Sandra C. and William C. Davis.
“Speaking for all of us, thank you for your help in making us successful. Someday, we can do the same for others,” said Harris.
Erin Dimino, a senior biology major from Sussex County, New Jersey, is the latest recipient of the Boyd Forensic and Anthropological Sciences Scholarship, underwritten by Professors Cliff and Donna Boyd. The luncheon was another opportunity for them to deepen a relationship that they both value.
Dimino, who sought Boyd out after her introductory anthropology class and volunteered to do research, said, “I never expected the opportunities I have had here at Radford and the doors that have opened for me. In a year and a half, the Boyds have helped me in so many ways to figure out who I am and what I want to be. It is an honor to work with them and I am proud to be recognized in this way.”
The feeling is mutual, according to Boyd.
“Erin has already distinguished herself as a researcher and as a student,” said Boyd. “To ensure the success of our students, Cliff and I are proud to help them financially, as mentors and as teachers.”
Julia Lucas, a senior history major from Riner, is one of two recipients of the Facilities Management scholarship. She reflected on the tangible impact of the help it provides her, saying, “The scholarship allows me to complete my education without debt. It relieves me and my family of a burden.”
Lucas and fellow Facilities Management Scholarship recipient Sara Lester, a senior management major from Radford, joined Executive Director of Facilities Management Jorge Coartney at the luncheon.
“I am representing a lot of people from all across our department who made gifts to this scholarship,” said Coartney. “All of us are happy to help students like these and we look forward to helping them go on and do great things.”