Highlander Family Tour has an inspired beginning
President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. and First Lady Marisela Rosas Hemphill, Ph.D. kicked off the Highlander Family Tour on April 2, 2019 at The Olde Farm located in Bristol, Virginia.
The picturesque setting made the perfect backdrop for a joyous gathering of the Radford University family. Attendees included Radford University alumni, friends, supporters, students, faculty and staff, as they engaged with one another and celebrated the traditions of Radford University, while discussing with excitement the future that lies ahead.
“We have a lot of exciting work to do, and we have the right team in place to help move this institution forward! We take very seriously the role and responsibility that we have as public servants in meeting the needs across the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Hemphill said.
President Hemphill provided a comprehensive update highlighting the great work being accomplished by students, faculty and staff at Radford University and within the surrounding community. “We have to be intentional about being innovative within the work we are conducting,” Hemphill said.
Updates were also provided regarding the merger with Jefferson College of Health Sciences, a public-private partnership that will grow Radford University by nearly 1,000 students this coming fall. This collaboration also aligns with goals specified in the Radford University 2018-2023 Strategic Plan: Embracing the Tradition and Envisioning the Future, as the University continues to develop signature academic programs in health sciences, healthcare and human services across the lifespan.
“This was a strategic move around health sciences for our institution that will allow us to venture into additional areas of need,” Hemphill said.
He praised the passionate work from current students, including junior elementary education major Emily Stinson, who was featured in a video presentation during the event.
“At Radford, they’re preparing us to be really intentional teachers,” Stinson said within the video. “I think the professors and the program here do a great job at thinking about what students really need and helping us to be prepared to meet those needs.”
During the event, Tom McGlothlin, president of the McGlothin Foundation and unwavering supporter of Radford University, was presented with The Spirit of the Tartan Award. This new honor was unveiled at the event and is designed to recognize a Radford University alumnus or friend, who consistently demonstrates a desire to positively impact Radford University and his or her community.
Alumni shared their Highlander pride during a social before and after the event and reflected on what promises to be an exciting time in Highlander history.
“I fully support the strategic direction the President is taking the University in,” said Justin Triplett ’10, MBA ’11, who currently serves as a strategy manager for Eastman Chemical Company. “I’m really encouraged by the direction we are headed in and proud to be an alumnus of the University. It is invigorating.”
Emily Gibson ’02, a pre-kindergarten teacher at Wataga Elementary School agreed.
“It was very uplifting, and we’re right on target for growing with the times, but staying with the hometown everybody knows,” Gibson said.
She applauded Hemphill and the University for expanding further into medical and cyber security fields. She said, by having events like this, alumni can help make Radford University a better place.
Coming together to celebrate the strength of the Highlander family and to look with excitement toward the future was nothing short of inspiring. “I am convinced that, by coming together as a Highlander family, we will make significant differences in this community,” Hemphill said.