Virginia Tech and Radford University’s relationship over the years

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Emily Hawkins |

It is time that Radford University has a nice heart to heart with Virginia Tech. Our relationship with Virginia Tech over the years has changed. Virginia Tech is only about thirty minutes from our campus. While we share the New River Valley with each other, the space can seem a little cramped at times. Especially when there is a Twitter fight, when students hold up degrading signs, and when students are having verbal disagreements with each other. To understand our complicated relationship with Virginia Tech, we need to step back in time.

Virginia Tech and Radford have developed a relationship over a long period of time.  As we all know, Radford University started off as Radford College. It was an all- women’s school known for its excellent education programs as well as its beautiful students. During this same time period, Virginia Tech was known for being an all-male school with men who were going places.

Like many schools, Radford College women would often date Virginia Tech men. The women would famously go to Radford College to meet a nice Tech boy and get their “Mrs. Degree.” According to professors as well as alumnae, Radford College had a friendly relationship with Virginia Tech and often had social gatherings. Virginia Tech men were considered to be one the best catches in the New River Valley for a Radford College girl.

Flash forward to around 2013 and our relationship with Virginia Tech has started to change. Virginia Tech students would often come over for social gatherings on dark and light side and Radford students also visit Blacksburg. However, as time went by, the looming grey fortress of their campus started to become colder in comparison to our beige and red brick.

“Dread The Red” shirts started to become even more important when our sports teams started to rise in prestige. Basketball games had started to become the place to go on weekends and our rivalry was starting to develop. Virginia Tech is known for its football team, its science programs, and its famous mascot the “Hokie.” Radford is known for its excellent basketball teams, our world-class liberal arts programs, and our even better educational programs. So why are we giving each other so much grief?

Recently the Internet here in the New River Valley started to swirl with controversy. Pictures of students holding up signs stating that Radford University degrees are worthless started to appear at Radford’s away games. Worse yet, students started to heckle each other at sporting events. The most hateful speeches were coming from both sides. Radford University students took to Twitter and Facebook to defend our beloved school. Some choosing more peaceful and eloquent statements, while others went straight for the jugular.

As a Radford student, I have heard insults that would make your grandmother blush. Most insults that we have heard are too slanderous to put into our paper. Nobody really knows why the relationship between Virginia Tech and Radford has become so strained. The Montagues and The Capulets would shake their heads at the ridiculousness of it all.

What this feud boils down to is here at Radford, we take a lot of pride in our name. We work hard, we party hard, and we go out into the world to show that our school is top notch. We have street smarts and book smarts, and we have had better classroom opportunities, since we have a much smaller student population. It is no secret that we love our school and that we take a lot of pride in our studies. So when we hear another school bashing our good name, it is a given that we will have something to say in return. It is our hope here at Radford that we can heal the severed bond that we now have with Virginia Tech.