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The Tartan

Letter to the Editor: Family of Hunter Liebold thanks university

At this holiday time, we take a look at all we have to be thankful for and count our blessings. Our family would like to take a moment to thank the Radford University family which includes both the staff and students for the gifts you have given our family. Our son, Hunter Liebold was a rising junior at Radford when he died at the much too early age of 20, only days before he was to return to campus to start this school year.  At a time that seems like you could not possibly find a reason to smile and feel good about such a tragedy, we found so many amazing events happening in the loving memory of Hunter.

A very warm and heartfelt letter of condolence was sent by Penelope Kyle, president of the university.  The office of student affairs sent us a beautifully framed certificate of attendance in Hunter’s name indicating that he was working toward the Bachelors’ degree in Political Science. It looked exactly like the degree he was working so hard to achieve at Radford and will hang in a place of honor in our home. The Department of Political Science sent a donation to a local children’s hospital in Hunter’s memory. Barbara Clark, Hunter’s advocate in the disability resource office helped us through his entire time at Radford to enable him to accomplish so much while enrolled in the university. These gifts of love and compassion were greatly appreciated by our family.

When Hunter was unable to return to school for the spring semester last year after his surgery at Johns Hopkins, Margaret Hrezo, his department advisor and professor, helped Hunter arrange remote studies.  This allowed him to fulfill a course requirement through an internship with his mentor, our Commonwealth Attorney, and provided the opportunity to be the lawyer he was so passionate about becoming. Looking back, this gave him the opportunity to fulfill his life’s dream that he was working so hard to accomplish. Because he felt so strongly about education, we have established a scholarship at Hunter’s church in his name for high school graduates going for higher education.

We extend a special thanks to Hunter’s roommates who have allowed us to continue to experience Radford student life through them and their tribute to Hunter’s memory as well. Neil, Greg and Martin not only dealt with a very hard loss in their young lives but found a peace and comfort to share Hunter’s memory in a positive way that allows his life to continue to shine through their memories and actions. Our family calls this “The Hunter Effect” where, through our faith in God, we know that God’s  love will sustain us in bad times and allow us to find amazing strength to overcome and find good in all situations in life. It is our wish for you to find or make “The Hunter Effect” a part of your life.  Make the most of each day, appreciate what you have and tell those who are special to you that you love them.

Proud Radford Parents & Sister,
Scott, Kim & Samantha Liebold

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