Highlanders in the News: Week of Oct. 3

Every week, our Highlanders are using their education to do extraordinary things. Here, we’ll highlight some notable mentions from local, regional, national and international news media. Whether our students, alumni, faculty and staff are featured as subject matter experts in high-profile stories or simply helping make the world a better place, we’ll feature their stories.

Radford University’s first athletic director and men's basketball coach, Chuck Taylor

Possibilities, not limitations

A Sept. 25 news obituary in The Roanoke Times takes a fond look back at Chuck Taylor, who passed away late last month at age 76.

Taylor served as Radford University’s first men’s basketball coach across a four-year stretch but was best known as its inaugural athletic director, overseeing the school’s sports programs for more than two decades, from 1974 to 1996.

“Taylor engineered Radford’s rise from a small athletic department with only six sports to a school that joined NCAA Division I in 1984,” sportswriter Mark Berman writes in his profile.

The article covers key moments in Taylor’s career – including his 1997 induction into the Highlanders Hall of Fame and his ascension into the Big South Conference Hall of Fame in 2006 – and it talks to many who knew him well

“He’s a person that saw possibilities and not limitations,” former colleague John Montgomery told the newspaper.

“He was a champion for the women’s side,” noted Tom Lillard, who previously coached Radford men’s and women’s soccer. “He cared about all the sports.”

Further recollections from Taylor’s friends and coworkers can be found in this 7-minute video recently presented by Radford Athletics, and his passing was also acknowledged on the Big South Sports website.

In the official statement that announced Taylor’s passing, Radford University Director of Athletics Robert Lineburg explained that Taylor “battled myelodysplastic syndromes, a form of blood cancer, and his life was improved by the generosity of blood and platelet donors.”

“Chuck’s family requests that if you are able to, to please consider donating blood or platelets to help others like him,” Lineburg wrote.

More information about blood and platelet donations can be found on the American Red Cross’ website

President Bret Danilowicz was formally installed into office at an inauguration ceremony held on the McConnell Library lawn on Sept. 30, 2022.

Inaugural reports

Although he began his term as Radford University’s eighth president at the top of July, President Bret Danilowicz was formally installed into office at an inauguration ceremony held on the McConnell Library lawn on Sept. 30, 2022.

Anyone who wasn’t able to attend the event, however, can survey a thorough sampling of the morning through the local media coverage it yielded.

A two-minute video by WDBJ7 walks viewers through the ceremony and also underscores some of the new president’s goals, including his hopes for a public amphitheater shared between the school and the city.

WSLS 10 News focused on Danilowicz’s drive to provide more local opportunities for higher education through resources like a partnership with Virginia Tech.

“We will again strengthen our relationship as sibling institutions to make higher education in our region stronger,” Danilowicz says in a video clip posted by the channel.

A photo gallery by The Roanoke Times offered portraits from the day, including the president’s wife, First Lady Kay Danilowicz, and featured speakers such as Virginia Secretary of Education Aimee Rogstad Guidera and Radford University Board of Visitors Rector Debra McMahon, Ph.D.

The gallery also includes a video recording of the opening minutes of Danilowicz’s inaugural address.

The Radford News Journal and Montgomery County’s News Messenger featured reports about the day, and Radford University offered extensive coverage as well.

Coach and pianist Erica Sipes

Master keys

A Radford University practice coach and collaborative pianist will put her skills on display this weekend as part of Virginia's Blue Ridge Music Festival.

An Oct. 3 news item in SWVA Today spotlights Erica Sipes’ upcoming performance at the Floyd Event Center alongside Maestro David Stewart Wiley, conductor of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra.

The pair is scheduled to perform, with Sipes at the helm of the center's grand piano.

Compositions by Bach, Mahler and Schubert and also Joplin and Gershwin are part of the program, as well as passes through works by more contemporary musicians such as Vangelis and even Wiley himself.

The performance begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9. More information about it can be found at www.vbrmf.org.

Oct 7, 2022
Neil Harvey
(540) 831-5150