RADFORD – Oak Bradshaw of Bland, Va., has been awarded the first-ever student-funded scholarship at
Fund raising for the Highlander Senior Class Scholarship began in 2017, and the fund reached
endowment level in December 2021. In four short years, more than 1,600 seniors made gifts to support
this scholarship that goes to a deserving senior.
“It was so helpful to not have to worry about how I was going to pay for my education,” Bradshaw said.
“It opened up more opportunities for me to focus on my campus involvement so I could contribute to the
Due to the collective generosity of these Highlanders, the scholarship can now be awarded every year,
and the award size will grow as the endowment continues to gain strength. Seniors who contribute to this
scholarship are recognized at graduation with a red and white philanthropy cord in recognition of their
“Seeing cords around the necks of graduates at commencement ceremonies is a statement of affirmation
that Highlanders truly do give back,” said Carolyn Clayton, Director of Annual Giving.
As a member of the Student Government Association, Alpha Phi Omega, and Housing and Residential
Life, Bradshaw stays busy finding ways to give back to the Highlander Community. He serves as
Secretary of Sustainability in the SGA. This role is centered around the preservation of the RU campus
environment and the promotion of sustainable practices.
“We’re so close to reaching our goal of having a bench made from all the plastic bags we’ve collected for
Bags to Benches. We’re really excited to have a representation of all of our hard work towards being a
more sustainable campus,” Bradshaw said.
As president of the community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, Bradshaw finds it rewarding to
reinvest in his campus though acts of service. The organization plans events that focus on the needs of the
campus and community.
“I’m not sure that I would’ve been able to take on these roles without the generosity of the donors,”
Bradshaw said. “It’s really made a tremendous impact on my educational and personal journeys.”
Bradshaw initially wanted a school where he felt valued. Upon his arrival at Radford, he knew this was a
place where he could thrive. Coming from the small town of Bland, the close-knit Highlander community
brought him a sense of comfort.
“There’s a very giving attitude on the Radford campus,” said Bradshaw. “Being able to receive has been
very inspiring to continue my work giving to the community and advocating for others to have the same
opportunities that I’ve had.” He is scheduled to graduate in 2022 with a bachelor of science in political