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Radford University

Radford University
Established 1910
Type Public university
Endowment US $57 million[1]
President Penelope "Penny" W. Kyle, J.D.
Provost Dr. Sam Minner
Academic staff
Students 9,928 (2014)
Undergraduates 8,885
Postgraduates 913
Location Radford, Virginia, U.S.
Campus 191 acres (0.77 km2)
Colors Red and White
Athletics NCAA Division I, Big South Conference
Nickname Highlanders
Mascot The Highlander

Radford University, located in Radford in the U.S. state of Virginia, is one of the state's eight doctoral-degree-granting public universities. Originally founded in 1910, Radford offers comprehensive curricula for undergraduates in more than 100 fields, and graduate programs including the M.F.A., M.B.A. and specialized doctoral programs in health-related professions.[2]


  • Academics 1
  • Community and campus 2
  • Student life 3
  • Enrollment 4
  • History 5
  • Athletics 6
  • Accolades 7
  • Notable alumni 8
  • Administration 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


Radford's undergraduate programs emphasize the liberal arts, business, and teacher education. The graduate and undergraduate programs in business administration offered by the College of Business and Economics at Radford University are accredited by the AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Radford is among the 9 percent of the world's (top 10% in the United States) business schools that have achieved business and/or accounting accreditation from AACSB.

The university has a student/faculty ratio of 18:1 with an average class size of 34.[3]

The university is organized into six undergraduate colleges: Humanities and Behavioral Sciences, Business and Economics, Education and Human Development, Health and Human Services, Science and Technology, and Visual and Performing Arts. Within the colleges, some fields are designated as "Schools," such as the School of Nursing and School of Social Work (in the College of Health and Human Services) and the School of Communication (in the College of Humanities & Behavioral Sciences). The latter brings together former departments of media studies (journalism, broadcasting, Web design and advertising) and communication (speech and public relations).

The College of Graduate and Extended Education offers 19 degree programs in fields including art, business, communication, counseling, criminal justice, education, English, music, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychology and social work.[2] The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia has authorized three doctoral programs at Radford, in counseling psychology, physical therapy and nursing practice. The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program in Counseling Psychology admitted its first students in the fall of 2008. The doctorate in physical therapy program was scheduled to start in summer 2009. The university said its first Doctor of Nursing Practice students would begin studies in an online format in the fall of 2010.[4]

More than 80 percent of faculty members hold doctorates or other terminal degrees (M.F.A., etc.) in their fields.[3] Eight Radford professors have received Virginia’s highest honor for faculty since the inception of the state’s Outstanding Faculty Award in 1986. One of them, Radford anthropology professor Donna Boyd, was named 2006 U.S. Professor of the Year for master’s level universities and colleges by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching. Since 1981, nine Radford faculty members have been selected as Fulbright Scholars to teach or research in other countries.

Special programs include Study Abroad, Honors Academy, RU Connections freshmen living/learning communities, internships, co-ops, practica and service learning, Army ROTC, leading to commission in the U.S. Army, undergraduate research opportunities.

Radford was the first university in Virginia to integrate wireless technology campus wide.

Nearly 93 percent of Radford graduates obtain employment or enroll in graduate school within 3 to 8 months of graduation from the university.

In 2007, the Radford University Board of Visitors approved the University’s Strategic Plan, dubbed "7–17, Forging a Bold New Future," with a goal of establishing Radford as one of the top 50 master's degree-granting universities in the nation by 2017.

The university was formerly home to the Appalachian Regional & Rural Studies Center, a leading institute in the field of Appalachian Studies. For three decades, Radford's Appalachian Studies program had emphasized the importance of preserving the cultural and environmental heritage of the southern Appalachians. In the fall of 2013, the university administration ordered the closing of the Center, divesting the university of its long-held emphasis on regional heritage.[5]

Community and campus

Radford University is an 191-acre (0.77 km2) campus located in a residential area of Radford, Virginia. The town is located in the Virginia Highlands, between the Interstate 81, with accessibility to nearby I-77.

Bordering the Little River, and about five miles from campus, is the Selu Conservancy, a 376-acre (1.52 km2) preserve and conference center owned by the University Foundation.

Clocktower of the residence hall Muse Hall

Student life

3,150 students live on campus in 15 residence halls. There are more than 200 clubs and organizations. Radford has events, performances, and lectures throughout the academic year including the unofficial, student-led Quadfest.

Radford also has a wide variety of Greek life that is increasing in popularity among the students. Among it are chapters such as Alpha Kappa Psi, Alpha Sigma Phi, Alpha Chi Rho, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Alpha Sigma Tau, Delta Chi, Delta Sigma Pi, Delta Zeta, Kappa Delta Rho, Pi Lambda Phi, Phi Kappa Sigma, Phi Sigma Kappa, Phi Sigma Sigma, Sigma Kappa, Sigma Chi, Sigma Pi, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Theta Chi, Pi Kappa Phi, Zeta Tau Alpha, Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Sigma Phi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, Kappa Alpha Psi, Delta Sigma Theta, Phi Beta Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta, and Sigma Gamma Rho.

RU's student run newspaper is called The Tartan.


  • Number of students: 9,798
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 8,885
  • Graduate enrollment: 913
  • 91% undergraduate, 9% graduate
  • 58% female, 42% male
  • 42 states (including Washington, D.C.), 55 foreign countries represented


Radford was founded in 1910 as a women's college as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Radford.

In 1924 the school was renamed the State Teachers College at Radford and began an evolution toward a true college. Its primary focus was on training teachers for the rural Appalachian region nearby. In 1943 the college was renamed the Women's Division of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and merged into what is now known as the Virginia Tech which was 15 miles (24 km) away in Blacksburg, Virginia.

In 1979 Radford College became Radford University. Today, the school is a comprehensive state university. About 45% of the students come from southwestern Virginia, 40% from other parts of Virginia, and 15% from out-of-state. Penelope W. Kyle, J.D., M.B.A., became Radford's sixth president June 1, 2005, after a career in business and state government.


Radford Highlanders logo

The university's teams remain known as the Highlanders (in honor of the region's Scots-Irish heritage) and compete in the Big South Conference. Radford offers 19 NCAA varsity sports for men and women. The Radford men's basketball team won the Big South Conference tournament in 1998 and 2009. Radford also won the Big South Conference Men's Tennis Championship in 2007, 2008 and 2009 as well as the Big South Softball Championship in 2009.

The Radford men's Rugby club team won the Division II National Championship in 2003 and 2008.

Student athletes have exclusive use of the Dedmon Center, a recreational and convocation complex that opened in 1981. The Dedmon Center features a 1/6-mile indoor jogging track, a weight-training room, locker rooms, and several team rooms. The main arena features a main basketball floor and a secondary volleyball arena for intercollegiate competition and four recreational courts for basketball or volleyball. Adjoining facilities include intramural soccer, football and softball fields, and intercollegiate fields and courts for baseball, softball, field hockey and tennis. The Patrick D. Cupp Stadium adds an intercollegiate soccer, lacrosse, and track and field complex.


Radford was recognized in a national study as an "Institution of Excellence in the First College Year" for the breadth of quality of programs that assist students in their transition to college life.

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Radford in its "Best Regional Universities in the South" list for 2014.

Radford University was also placed on the "Best of the Southeast" list by the The Princeton Review for the sixth straight year. The Princeton Review also placed RU on its "Best 294 Business Schools" and "Top 311 Green Colleges In The Nation" lists for 2013.[6]

Radford University's residence halls have been named among the best in the state. Niche Rankings, an online ranking and review site, placed the dorms on its list of "Best Dorms in Virginia." Radford ranked No. 3 in the state and among the top 100 nationwide.[7]

Notable alumni


Radford University's current president is Penelope Ward Kyle, who has served in that role since 2005. The university's administration is overseen by a 15-member board, whose members are appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth and serve four-year terms. Each year the Board also selects a student and a faculty member to serve as advisory representatives on the Board.

List of past presidents


  1. ^ As of Dec. 5, 2014. "Radford University Foundation, Independent Auditors Report" (PDF). Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  2. ^ "Doctor of Psychology". Radford University. Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  3. ^ a b "Radford Facts and Figures". Radford University. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  4. ^ "Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree". Radford University. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Recognition | Radford University. Retrieved on 2013-10-01.
  7. ^ "Radford University dorms rank among the best". Retrieved 2015-07-13. 
  8. ^ "Radford University's Randal J. Kirk Receives Prestigious State Award". Radford University Office of University Relations. 2008-02-02. Retrieved 2009-03-15. 
  9. ^ "100 Moments in Radford Athletics History". The Official Home of Radford Athletics. Retrieved December 10, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Former Highlander Nava Qualifies for 2008 Summer Olympics". RU Toady. Radford University. July 30, 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2010. 
  11. ^ "North Carolina Official Athletic Site". Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  12. ^ Radford University Athletics – 2010–11 Men's Tennis Coaching Staff. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  • 2007–08 Catalog and resource books provided by Radford University.

External links

  • Radford University official website
  • Radford University Highlanders athletics website

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