Transfer students find new home at Radford University

A Quest Assistant (QA) helps a new student sign up for spring semester classes during Transfer Quest on Jan. 19.
A Quest Assistant (QA) helps a new student sign up for spring semester classes during Transfer Quest on Jan. 19.

Madison Lentz experienced a range emotions on Jan. 19, along with 200 other new members of the Highlander family.

Lentz participated in Radford University’s first Transfer Quest session of 2019 – a daylong Saturday orientation program, specifically tailored for transfer students and their families. Lentz and her parents traveled all the way from Louisville, Kentucky to participate. It was their first trip to Radford, and her first visit to Virginia.

Lentz is transferring to Radford to play for the women’s volleyball team and major in finance. She described her former institution as a “commuter campus.”

“I looked at photos of Radford online and really liked that it was more of a traditional campus,” she said. “It felt like I would be more at home here.”

President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. was among the many university administrators, faculty, staff and currents students to welcome, embrace and reassure incoming students and their families at the opening Quest presentation on Saturday morning.

 “I want you to know that these are emotions you should be feeling. They are normal,” President Hemphill told Quest guests. “Radford is truly a place where students find their passion and bring their dreams to life, whatever they may be. But let’s not forget that today is just the start, and today’s orientation is an important part of that beginning. It is a rite of passage that inducts you as a member of the University community, but more importantly, as a member of the Radford family.”

For 40 years, Quest has been a “Radford University event” driven by a spirited campus-wide collaboration of faculty, staff and students who are dedicated to the success of all Highlanders.

Connecting students to campus and fostering a sense of community are top priorities of the program, which is organized each year by the staff of New Student and Family Programs (NSFP), an office within Enrollment Management. Parent Orientation Guides, Quest Assistants, or QAs, student directors and professional staff are trained to engage with new students and families and make them feel that Radford University is the right choice.

The program highlights the Highlander community, including its state-of-the-art facilities, talented faculty, devoted staff and nationally-renowned colleges and curriculum. Students mingle with one another through fun and engaging activities, register for classes and receive their campus ID cards that gain them access to the university’s recreation center, dining halls and other campus amenities.

The director of NSPF is Joel Hanlon, a proud Highlander alumnus. Along with his staff, he helps organize Quest each year and is always eager to share his Radford University experience.

“It really is a great time to be a Highlander. This is a place of opportunity, and we have some fantastic programs and facilities to help support your education,” Hanlon told the new Highlanders. “I’m incredibly passionate about new student programs, orientation and working with families through the transition progress. I was a student here and found my passion for higher education…I was an orientation leader for a summer, and I couldn’t believe that people actually got to do this for a living. I jumped at the chance to go to graduate school at another institution, I worked at another institution, and when the opportunity came to come back to Radford, I couldn’t think of a better place to be.”

More information about Quest can be found on the New Student and Family Programs website.


Jan 23, 2019
Mary Hardbarger
(540) 831-5150