President Hemphill hosts reception to recognize Honors College students
Mingling with friends and enjoying light refreshments, Breon Case summed up in three words his thoughts on being invited to the home of Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill.
“It’s quite refreshing,” Case said with a smile. “I don’t think students at most colleges get an opportunity like this.”
Case, a sophomore business management major from Norfolk, was among the 300 Honors College students who received an invitation from the president to the Governor Tyler House Oct. 2 for a reception to recognize the accomplishments of those students enrolled in the university’s prestigious Honors College.
It’s welcoming, Case continued, to have an opportunity “to form a connection with the president of your university. President Hemphill is student-oriented and inviting. Just to be able to come here really does show how much he cares about the students here at the university.”
Each year, President Hemphill and his family welcome to their home students enrolled in the Honors College, an academic program and vibrant community defined by intellectual curiosity and active engagement in the educational process.
As students arrived to the residence by transit bus, President Hemphill, First Lady Marisela Rosas Hemphill and their twins, Cruz and Catalina, welcomed the dapperly-dressed honors students, greeting them with handshakes and warm hellos.
“It’s great to be here, and to be greeted by the president is a nice honor,” said Jessi Wollmann, a senior anthropology major from Blacksburg. “The fact that he takes time to meet every student and introduce himself is really nice.”
Later, President Hemphill formally welcomed the group, speaking under a large tent where students, faculty and many other university representatives mingled.
He acknowledged those in attendance, including many of the university’s Board of Visitors members, and thanked the students for choosing Radford University.
“I think about you as being the best of the best because you had a lot of different options,” President Hemphill said. “You could have gone anywhere in the country. There was something that spoke to you about Radford University.”
The president said it is “always a treat and an honor for us to have you in our home and spend time with our family. It’s always a joy to get to know you and talk a little more and understand a little about where you came from, your background and what led you to this great institution.”
He spoke of his pride for each student and “the work I know you’re going to do on behalf of this country, on behalf of this university and on behalf of your cities and towns. There is so much potential among this group. I am happy that you’re here. I look forward to each of you having a bright future.”
Aside from meeting the president, the reception gave Honors students an opportunity to meet other students enrolled in their college.
“The Honors College is a great network of people,” said Courtenay Kaplan, a junior marketing major form Leesburg. “I’ve met a lot of different people from different majors through the Honors College and events like this. I don’t think I would have done so otherwise.”
Case agreed and said he welcomed the opportunity to walk around the lawn and get to know other students.
“It’s great to get to see everybody here,” he said. “This is a great chance to see some new faces in the Honors College.”