Changes at Radford University

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Student’s address the pros and cons of having a new president

Emily Hawkins

Like how winter changes into spring, “times are a changin’” on campus. President Penelope Kyle recently announced her retirement. For the Radford University community, this means many new changes are on the way. The new president of the university is named Brian Hemphill, who will become Radford’s seventh president in July. The opinions about this change vary from excitement to apprehension. While we love Penelope Kyle, it is time that the next chapter is written for Radford.

I spoke with a few of my peers to get a better understanding of the opinions about the new change. Some of the students were excited about a new president. Having a new president means a new perspective and possible funding approvals for different ventures on campus.

Others are worried because they do not know much about our new president beyond where he went to school and what has been said throughout the media. Overall, the feeling is that we are all hopeful that there will be good changes made on campus. It is only fitting that we are getting a new president with the presidential elections for our country right around the corner!  There are going to be a lot of changes this year.

The general consensus is that we have some wishes for the new president: that he learns to have a great “Rowdy Radford” spirit, that he takes the time to get to know our student body, that he comes to events and supports both our sports teams as well as the arts, and that he lets his opinions be known and makes some changes around campus.

This time is a transition for all of us here at Radford. What we have to keep in mind with this is to welcome our new president with the Highlander Spirit that we have all come to know and love.  Graduation will be different without President Kyle’s excitement carrying over Moffett Quad. What we have to look forward to is a new president with fresh ears and eyes that can address the concerns of our community.

For our new president, we would like to extend a message of welcome! While we understand that he will be settling in during the transitioning time and will be taking the reins shortly, there are a few traditions that surely should not be missed out on.

Mr. Radford President, here is a short list of Radford traditions: come to our sports events! Rumor has it that we are kicking butt this year! Come to a band concert – our bands work hard in rehearsal every week to put together world-class and professional performances for the community to enjoy. Sit in on a theatre rehearsal! Our theatre department has several plays and musicals that feature the most talented casts that you could ask for in the New River Valley!

Another thing you should do is attend Highlander Festival! Who does not love a good old fashioned plate of haggis? Visit with our pipe band! We are cool enough to have a pipe band and they perform at many of our school functions! Hear from student researchers in the psychology and science departments! They have a lot to say about what they are learning, and finally get to know some of our student body by milling around campus.

Here at Radford, we love to create a sense of community and get to know each other. It is not uncommon that we will wave hi to people that we know in class or let our buddies skip ahead of us in the Chick-Fil-A line.

While this transition happens, we understand that times are busy but would like our new president to know that he does not just come to work every morning, but he comes home. Radford University has been a place of learning and home to many students over the years.

It is our hope that the new president settles into the environment here and that he finds happiness. To President Kyle, we will miss you and will cherish your hard work. Most of all, we will miss your enthusiasm for providing the best for our school. Best of luck to you in retirement!