Bagpipes blared, and family and friends gathered as the Radford University community officially welcomed and inaugurated President Brian O. Hemphill, the 7th president of the University on Thursday, October 13.
Special guests and speakers came from all over to support and congratulate not only President Hemphill, but also Radford University itself. The buzz of optimism and pure excitement filled the air as guest after guest sang the praises of President Hemphill.
The message of student-centeredness was one that was a common thread through the ceremony. President Hemphill’s message was one of the promise of excellence and commitment. His mantra of “Embracing the tradition and envisioning the future” rang true throughout the service as more than a phrase or motto, but as a promise to his fellow Highlanders. It became very clear throughout the ceremony that President Hemphill is not only more than qualified to run this university, but most importantly, he has a heart for our school. “[President Hemphill] is the right fit for the right time,” State Council of Higher Education for Virginia member Peter A. Blake said. President Hemphill’s focus lies with us as students along with service, research, and teaching as he begins his tenure here at Radford University.
As the ceremony came to an end, the bagpipes blared once again, which not only symbolized the celebration of the ceremony and marked the end of it, but also kicked off the campus BBQ. The campus BBQ was a fun-filled and food-filled time of fellowship, and it also was a great kick off into Homecoming/Family Weekend festivities.