The Radford University Board of Visitors unanimously approved a resolution at its most recent quarterly meeting to recognize outgoing President Brian O. Hemphill by renaming the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences building Hemphill Hall.
In a separate measure to honor Dr. Hemphill’s career and legacy as a champion of student engagement and success, the board established the President Brian O. Hemphill Student Scholarship Fund to provide life-changing opportunities for future generations of Highlanders.
President Hemphill joined the Radford family on July 1, 2016. He began his tenure with an impressive record of serving students and set forth a bold vision for Radford University’s future.
Significant accomplishments of his career at Radford University, reflected in the resolution, include the merger of Jefferson College of Health Sciences into Radford University, the $34 million renovation of Reed and Curie halls, the launch of the competency-based program IMPACT, and the ideation and current construction of a world-class hotel within close proximity to campus.
Under Dr. Hemphill’s leadership, Radford University saw the highest enrollment in history at 11,870 in fall 2019; the highest graduate enrollment in history at 3,903 in fall 2019; the highest percentage of first-generation students in history at 39% in fall 2019; the most new freshman applications in history at 16,138 in fall 2019; the highest average GPA in history at 3.32 in fall 2020; and the most degrees annually conferred in history at 2,430 in 2019-2020.
President Hemphill was also instrumental in Radford University’s historic fundraising efforts. The university saw its endowment increase by 42.3% during his tenure with an $8 million gift to name the Davis College of Business and Economics representing the largest gift by an individual in the history of the university; a $5 million gift to name the Artis College of Science and Technology representing the largest gift by an alumna in the history of the university; and the most ambitious comprehensive campaign in university history, having already raised $69 million of the $100 million goal.
The board’s resolution said, “While President Hemphill leaves a legacy of professional achievements at Radford University, what will be remembered most is who he is as a person, a character defined by integrity and genuine care for others, which formed the foundation for building trust, meaningful partnerships and long-lasting relationships, and a humility that never put himself in the spotlight, rather never missing an opportunity to give credit to others.”.
President Hemphill has been selected as Old Dominion University’s ninth president. He will start his new role there on July 1.