Bradshaw receives first student-funded scholarship at Radford University

Oak Bradshaw

Oak Bradshaw of Bland, Va., has been awarded the first ever student-funded scholarship at Radford University. Fund raising for the Highlander Senior Class Scholarship began in 2017, and the fund reached endowment level in December 2021. In four short years, more than 1,600 seniors made gifts to support this scholarship that goes to a deserving senior.

"It was so helpful to not have to worry about how I was going to pay for my education," Bradshaw said. "It opened up more opportunities for me to focus on my campus involvement so I could contribute to the Radford community."

Due to the collective generosity of these Highlanders, the scholarship can now be awarded every year, and the award size will grow as the endowment continues to gain strength. Seniors who contribute to this scholarship are recognized at graduation with a red and white philanthropy cord in recognition of their first gift.

"Seeing cords around the necks of graduates at commencement ceremonies is a statement of affirmation that Highlanders truly do give back!" said Carolyn Clayton, Director of Annual Giving.

As a member of SGA, Alpha Phi Omega, and Housing and Residential Life, Bradshaw stays busy finding ways to give back to the Highlander Community. He serves as Secretary of Sustainability in the Student Government Association. This role is centered around the preservation of our campus environment and the promotion of sustainable practices.

"We're so close to reaching our goal of having a bench made from all the plastic bags we've collected for Bags to Benches. We're really excited to have a representation of all of our hard work towards being a more sustainable campus," Bradshaw said.

As president of the community service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, finds it rewarding to reinvest in his campus though acts of service. The organization plans lots of events that focus on needs of the campus and community.

"I'm not sure that I would've been able to take on these roles without the generosity of the donors. It's really made a tremendous impact on my educational and personal journeys," Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw initially wanted a school where he felt valued. Upon his arrival to Radford, he knew this was a place where he could thrive. Coming from the small town of Bland, the close-knit Highlander community brought him a sense of comfort.

"There's a very giving attitude on the Radford campus," said Bradshaw. "Being able to receive has been very inspiring to continue my work giving to the community and advocating for others to have the same opportunities that I've had." He is scheduled to graduate in 2022 with a B.S. in political science.

Dec 1, 2021
Grace Hurst