President's Message

President Hemphill
Interim President Carolyn Ringer Lepre, Ph.D.

Dear Fellow Highlanders,

The close of the fall 2021 semester is upon us, and it absolutely flew by. It seems as though we were just holding convocation ceremonies at both Radford University and Radford University Carilion, and yet now, we are nearing our winter commencement. On a personal level, I have felt the emotions surrounding the start of a new semester particularly acutely, as my twin daughters, Sarah and Ainsley, just started their own college experiences as first-year students.

Time doesn’t stop for any of us, and I’m extremely proud of all that Radford University faculty, staff and students have accomplished in the last several months. Our faculty, staff and students continued to thrive through a change in leadership and ongoing uncertainty with COVID-19.

Our cover story shares one faculty member’s journey from reading an article on an airplane to proposing and implementing a revolutionary core curriculum. The REAL curriculum is innovative and practical all at the same time, and I am a fervent champion for it. Students will graduate from Radford University with a degree that paves the way for success in their chosen occupations and supports and enriches their lives in countless ways.

Speaking of innovation, we’ll also provide an update on Radford’s changing landscape. Our master plan reaches almost a decade into the future, so in addition to the obvious changes taking place now, many fantastic plans are on the horizon.

You’ll find much more that is wonderful about Radford University in these pages. Whether you read about faculty and students conducting research, donors who work at the university and give back generously or the success of our alumni, we celebrate these lives and their contributions to a family like no other — the Radford family.

Enjoy the fall 2021 magazine, and go Highlanders!


Carolyn Ringer Lepre, Ph.D.
Interim President