CLOCKWISE FROM FAR LEFT: The quad at Radford
University; Roanoke College graduation
ceremony; Hollins University science course;
Virginia Tech Hokies football game.
THE HIGHER ED INSTITUTIONS OF ROANOKE AND
THE NEW RIVER VALLEY FEED SOUTHWEST
MOST INNOVATIVE AND IMPORTANT INDUSTRIES.
BY SELENA FRAGASSI
Even with all of its gilded history, Southwest
Virginia has its hands in the future. This
center of modern innovation is driven largely
by the advancements of progressive learning
as research champion
Virginia Tech and haven Hollins
University. To that end, the area has reared
some of the greatest minds of the past few generations, including
former director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency,
Letitia Long (who was the first woman to lead a major U.S. intelligence
agency) as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Annie Dillard and
Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown.
The 25-plus institutions in a 60-mile radius provide
assets for higher says Beth Doughty, executive direc-
THE BASICS: This university has long believed the
future is female. Founded in 1842, the liberal arts
school was first chartered
college. Today, more than 20 countries are
represented in the student body. Its undergrad
programs remain female-only, while men are
admitted to graduate-level programs.
ACHIEVEMENTS: theater and creative writing programs are nationally recognized. In 2015,
the university was credited with having one of
the top 20 college theater programs in the nation
by The Princeton Review. The school has also
earned the nickname of recognizing
the four alumnae who have received
UNIQUE PROGRAMS: The university celebrates its
175th birthday in 2017 with the sixth edition of its
popular Career Connection Conference, welcoming 75 alumnae back to campus to share how they
transitioned into successful careers.
THE BASICS: One of the key benefits for the 9,400
students who attend Radford (founded in 1910)
is access to an affordable education. been
a hallmark, particularly given the increasing
costs of [tuition] across the says Joe
Carpenter, vice president for university relations
and chief communications officer. That mission
includes access for 2016, 33 percent of
incoming freshmen identified as minorities.
ACHIEVEMENTS: As part of its global awareness,
International Education Center offers
support to international students and encourages study abroad experiences. The university has
extended its reach into the community, partnering with the Jefferson College of Health Sciences
at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital to offer
I A OY A D) A I A I VA OA A I I I I A
tor of the Roanoke Regional Partnership. For
instance, Virginia research focus matches
the business profile, she adds, particularly because businesses can claim a state tax
credit for qualified research and development
more so if conducted at a
Virginia college or university.
brings some of the brightest minds to
the area in a host of fields, including highperformance manufacturing, life science, power
electronics, transportation and even beer and
Here are just some of the learning institutions helping Southwest Virginia write even
more new chapters.