Strong partnerships between Radford University and local businesses on full display
While taking in the full hospitality of Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., and First Lady Marisela Rosas Hemphill, Ph.D., leaders from around the local business community gathered for a special reception at the Governor Tyler House.
University administrators joined guests for an evening of networking, conversation and food, while discussing the University’s continued progress and bright future.
“On behalf of the Board, it is an exciting time to be associated with Radford University,” said Bob Archer, rector of Radford University’s Board of Visitors. “It is extremely exciting to see the innovation, our faculty, the administration and everyone involved. It has been fantastic working with them as we move forward in today’s world.”
And move forward Radford University has.
In 2017, Radford University was the first four-year public institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia to launch a competency-based education (CBE) program. Eight students were a part of the inaugural group to participate in the program. Now, that number is 2,000 and Radford is still the only four-year public institution to have a CBE program.
On July 10, 2019, Radford University’s merger with Jefferson College of Health Sciences was completed, establishing Radford University Carilion and positively impacting the healthcare workforce pipeline in the New River and Roanoke valleys, the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond.
“We are so excited about the momentum and the way that people are stepping forward to support the institution,” President Hemphill said to the crowd of more than 70 business leaders. “It is individuals such as yourselves that are doing so much to make a difference in the lives of our students.”
There are many ways in which businesses partner with the University to provide unique experiences for current students and future professionals. One example is the Capitalism Lecture Series, sponsored by BB&T, which is a semiannual symposium to stimulate thought and discussion about capitalism, the tenets of free enterprise and the best practices of successful organizations. BB&T also sponsors the Innovation Competition, a fall semester-long project, which is designed by Davis College faculty to spark creative and innovative thinking in the campus community. It ascribes to the University’s keen focus on teaching, research and service. Supported by BB&T and presented by Davis College’s Center for Innovation and Analytics, the contest gives students an opportunity to develop solutions to real-world problems.
BB&T is a proud sponsor of Radford University and was honored to attend the reception and share the organization’s appreciation for the opportunity to engage and inspire current and future Highlanders.
“BB&T believes that partnership with academic community is an important part of our Bank’s mission, which is to make the world a better place to live,” a spokesperson for BB&T said. “Engagement between private enterprise and universities, such as Radford, can provide a great benefit to the academic community as well. Regardless of the method of engagement, involvement and dialogue with the private sector can provide an important connectivity between campus staff, students, and the business community. This connectivity can help provide a richer educational experience by allowing students to hear and learn from individuals currently working in the private sector and also provide students with invaluable networking opportunities.”
City of Radford Mayor David Horton complemented the partnership between the city and the University.
“It is a wonderful partnership where the city of Radford and Radford University work together hand in hand to make it a nice place to live, work, earn and grow,” Horton said. “I want to thank all of you who are a part of this effort. Everyone in this room has a role to play. We appreciate all of you so much.”
Dr. Scott Mann, an optometrist in Christiansburg, Virginia, emphasized the importance that local businesses have on the economy.
“The graduates that come here can get good jobs and stay in the area, which helps the local economy,” said Mann, who has a son that attends Radford. “We need qualified, trained people which Radford provides. It is a good synergy between the community and the University.”
Radford University is dedicated to the lasting economic success of the region through its relationships with local citizens, governments and community agencies. Additional ways in which Radford contributes to the entire region is through the establishment of the Appalachian Community Outreach Institute, located in Abingdon, Virginia, and through the creation of the Student Venture Lab in the Davis College of Business and Economics.
Through the continued facilitation of partnerships with surrounding businesses and positioning of Radford students, these students are able to contribute to the local economy, not only while enrolled at the University, but also after graduation.