Radford University holds graduation ceremony for student-athletes

Radford University kicked off its Spring Commencement week May 6 with a ceremony to confer degrees upon student-athletes
Nine student-athletes were recognized during a special Commencement ceremony May 6 in Bondurant Auditorium. The graduates were joined by Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kenna Colley, Ed.D. (left) and Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., (right) as well as their families.

Radford University kicked off its Spring Commencement week May 6 with a ceremony to confer degrees upon student-athletes who were unable to participate in the Commencement weekend celebration for the Class of 2019.

The athletes were graduating senior members of the Highlander baseball and softball teams. They were competing with their respective teams on Saturday, May 11, when the University held its Spring Commencement celebration.

The baseball team was competing in Asheville, North Carolina, and the softball team traveled to Buies Creek, North Carolina, to participate in the Big South Conference tournament.

The kickoff Commencement ceremony, held in Bondurant Auditorium in Preston Hall, began with Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kenna Colley, Ed.D., offering Radford University's deepest congratulations to the graduates and their families and friends who gathered.

Soon thereafter, the nine graduates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas from Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. As the graduates were seated, President Hemphill instructed them to move their tassels from the right to the left of their graduation caps, “signifying that you have earned your baccalaureate degree,” he said.

President Hemphill told the group that they have the potential to meet and exceed the great expectations that lie ahead.

“I am confident that the world will find in you what they find in so many Highlanders,” President Hemphill said. That is “a dedicated pursuit of lifelong learning, an unwavering champion of social justice, an unparalleled drive and an immense passion for the betterment of mankind.”

President Hemphill reminded the group that they “are now graduates of one of the finest universities in the country,” and to take a moment to reflect and think about the tremendous support they have received from family, friends, staff and mentors, many of whom were in in attendance.

Following the ceremony, softball player Maggie Rowe of Richmond, said the ceremony “shows how much the University cares about their athletes. Even though, we won’t be here for the main ceremony on Saturday, they wanted to make it as special as they could.”

Her mother, Beth Rowe, agreed as she stood beside Maggie after the ceremony, speaking about the pride she felt for her daughter, the team, and University.

“She has become a leader here, and I am so proud of her,” Beth Rowe said of Maggie, wiping tears from her cheeks. “Radford and its athletic department are truly fabulous.”

Maggie Rowe’s teammate, Hannah Medlam, said the ceremony was “super special,” because she had the opportunity to share it with her fellow graduating seniors on the softball and baseball teams.

“The ceremony is really cool, just because it is so small with just us and family,” said Medlam, a marketing major from Bethlehem, Georgia. “We get the real experience of Commencement and it is very personable.”

Following the ceremony, baseball pitcher Zack Ridgely, said he was grateful to the University for holding the special ceremony for its athletes.

“It was really nice for the University to do this for us, especially since we can’t be at Commencement this weekend,” said Ridgley, a management and marketing double major from Baltimore, Maryland. “It means a lot, and it shows they are willing to support us through anything, and it’s great they took the time to celebrate with us.”

Members of the baseball and softball teams recognized at the graduation ceremony were:

  • Kyle J. Butler
  • Cameron Fritz
  • Hannah L. Medlam
  • Anthony S. Miano
  • Andrew G. Nardi
  • Zack Ridgley
  • Matthew D. Roth
  • Ellie Rowe
  • Andrew Szamski


May 13, 2019
Chad Osborne