Beamer to serve as Radford University 2017 Commencement Speaker

RADFORD, Va. - Radford University announced today that Radford alumnus Frank Beamer will serve as the keynote speaker for the 2017 Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 6, at 10 a.m. on the university’s Moffett Lawn.

Beamer has received national recognition as a successful and admired collegiate football coach. After 29 seasons at Virginia Tech, Beamer retired following the 2015 season, having earned 23 straight winning seasons and 23 consecutive bowl appearances. Prior to Virginia Tech, he coached at Murray State and The Citadel. Beamer began his coaching career at Radford High School as an assistant under another coaching legend, Norman Lineburg, while working on his graduate degree at Radford.

“The Radford family is so pleased to be able to recognize an outstanding alumnus and someone who has given so much to the New River Valley,” said President Brian O. Hemphill. “Throughout Frank’s professional career, he has garnered the respect of many for his dedication to his program and the development of student-athletes. He embodies the spirit of Radford University by his commitment to positively shaping the lives of young people and serving the Commonwealth.”

Beamer’s role as the 2017 Spring Commencement speaker is a natural fit, given his family’s rich history in education and deep ties with Radford University.

Beamer, who received his Master of Science in Guidance and Counseling in 1972 from then Radford College, grew up in nearby Carroll County. He was influenced early in life by his mother, Herma, who graduated from what was then the Radford State Teachers College in 1936. She spent her career as a teacher, which inspired Beamer to establish Herma’s Readers in 2008, thereby promoting literacy among local children. She retired from Fancy Gap Elementary School with 30 years of service. Beamer’s sisters, Billie Jean and Betty, also graduated from Radford College in 1961 and 1966, respectively. Several other family members also proudly call Radford University their alma mater.

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