Radford University alumni celebrate accomplishments, reconnect in Charlotte

Radford University alumni and friends gather in Charlotte, North Carolina during the Highlander Family Tour.

For Dale Ardizzone ’85, M.S. ’86, a day at the office entails honoring pioneers, who bravely settled the West and lawmen who defend freedom. As the chief operating officer for INSP, a television and movie network based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Ardizzone strives to identify programing that celebrates integrity and a heroic spirit.

At the most recent Highlander Family Tour stop in Charlotte, Ardizzone was honored for having traits reminiscent of those highlighted by INSP. He received the Spirit of the Tartan Award, which celebrates an alumnus or supporter of the University, who consistently demonstrates a commitment to positively impact Radford University and his or her community.

“It’s an incredible honor. I certainly don’t feel worthy of it. I’m so appreciative that 30 plus years later the school continues to support its alumni,” Ardizzone said. He credits his successes in life, including his current position as a television network executive, to his alma mater.

“I have been very fortunate in my career. It started at Radford, and I make no bones about that. I’m very proud of it, and I’m proud of where we’re going as a group,” Ardizzone said to dozens of Radford University alumni and friends gathered at the home of Tariq Bokhari ’03 and Krista Bokhari ’03.

The home in the South Park area of the Queen City hosted members of the Radford family from the surrounding area for a night of networking, reminiscing and learning about new programs and opportunities at Radford University.

“Radford is very innovative, and it’s at the right size to capitalize on changes and be the first to market to reinvent the University of the future,” Tariq Bokhari said.

Out of the 18,000 teachers they have here, they chose me. I can only thank Radford University for that, because they did provide me with the right training and the support.

Kim Tuttle '96, M.S. '98

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools 2019 Teacher of the Year

President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., and First Lady Marisela Rosas Hemphill, Ph.D., as well as other Radford University administrators welcomed alumni and friends, who had a chance to ask questions about the future, specific majors and organizations that matter to them.

One person, who came to network with other Charlotte Highlanders, is no stranger to the spotlight. Kim Tuttle ’96, M.S. ’98 has spent 20 years in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and was recently awarded the school system’s teacher of the year honor. She gives credit to her educational experiences at Radford University.

“Out of the 18,000 teachers they have here, they chose me. I can only thank Radford University for that, because they did provide me with the right training and the support. My education professors became my friends. They taught me everything I know,” Tuttle said.

When she thinks of Radford University, she thinks of home. Tuttle grew up a few miles away in Blacksburg, Virginia.

“There is no other school greater than Radford University. Why go anywhere else when you can go to Radford?” Tuttle said enthusiastically.

Helping people find good jobs is Holly Crawford’s ’02 full-time job. As a job recruiter, she finds the news of competency-based and cyber security programs encouraging.

“I know what it’s going to take to get really good jobs right out of school, and I know what the market looks like. We could always use more folks in those competencies. I get really excited that they’re ahead of the curve on a lot of those very sought-after skillsets,” Crawford said.

Charlotte is one of eight stops during the Highlander Family Tour, which connects alumni and friends from Georgia to the nation’s capital. These events provide the Radford family with the opportunity to come together in celebration of all that has been accomplished, while looking toward the future and all the excitement that lies ahead.

May 24, 2019
Justin Ward