President's Message

President Hemphill

My friends and colleagues,

As this edition of the Magazine of Radford University goes to press, spring is on the horizon. It’s one of my favorite seasons. I appreciate not only spring’s lush, tender beauty, but also its feeling of renewal. As we enjoy the season of rebirth, this edition focuses on the many ways our campus is growing opportunities for our students to follow their academic passions and the University’s future for many generations of Highlanders to come. Please consider the magazine a bouquet, picked from our garden and artistically arranged for you. 

In these pages, you will meet students, faculty and alumni who give us the beauty of knowledge, diversity of thought and personal commitment to the Radford family. I can think of no better example of the essence of Radford University and its antecedent Radford College than Mary Ann Hovis ’65. Mary Ann was a devoted member of the Radford family and a sitting member of the Board of Visitors upon her passing last summer. Mary Ann is memorialized in this edition and in the Mary Ann Jennings Hovis Memorial Board Room. The Radford family will always remember Mary Ann for her boundless energy and enthusiasm for Radford University.

I truly believe that Radford University is fulfilling its vision of being an innovative, premier university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond with a keen focus on teaching, research and service. Each day, we provide experiences and opportunities that are second to none. In this edition, you will read about a select few. 

Through the implementation of our strategic plan, we are moving proactively and intentionally. Titled Embracing the Tradition and Envisioning the Future, the plan orients our collective efforts through 2023. The visionary document is the product of Task Force Co-Chairs Jack Call and Kenna Colley and Task Force members, as well as subgroup co-chairs and members. Their dedication to detailed discussions, prescient planning, careful analysis — and an occasional friendly disagreement — will define Radford University.

The strategic plan, like this edition of the magazine, contains exciting initiatives and innovative programs. The Student Venture Lab, the Appalachian Outreach Institute and the Enrollment Data Council are but a few of the plan’s transformative features. In concert with the University’s pioneering IMPACT program, you see the Radford family enthusiastically embracing innovation.

No sooner had we bid farewell to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and members of his team last summer after they helped us launch the IMPACT program than Radford received the largest grant in its history. The IMPACT team will now develop and deliver content for regional special education teachers via our unique accelerated academic program and new delivery platform, cyber warriors who defend our digital infrastructure and healthcare providers who grapple with the scourges of substance use and addiction.

With the help of our friends and supporters in the New River and Roanoke valleys, across Virginia and the globe, Radford University is converting potential into power. Cornerstone principles of excellence, accountability, transparency and student-centeredness guide us. 

The pages of this edition are a showcase of our University. Please enjoy and . . .

Go Highlanders!


Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.