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Radford University is a coeducational, state-funded, comprehensive public university located in the town of Radford, in southwestern Virginia. The university is located rough 36 miles southwest of Roanoke, in the New River Valley, close to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.Radford was founded in 1910 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Radford by the State General Assembly. Construction of the first building, Founder's Hall, was completed in 14 months. It was dedicated on August 9, 1913, as a normal school and offered a two-year degree in "rural arts." The university became Radford State Teachers College in 1924 and was authorized to award the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1935. Its primary focus was on training teachers for the rural Appalachian region nearby.In 1944, the university was consolidated with the Virginia Polytechnic Institute as its Women's Division and renamed Radford College. The General Assembly severed the formal affiliation of Radford College with Virginia Tech in 1964, and an autonomous administration was established for Radford College. In 1972, after almost 60 years as an all-women's college, Radford became coeducational and in 1979, was granted university status by the Assembly. The school is currently a comprehensive state university.Radford University covers a total area of 177 acres. Radford's recreation and convocation complex, the Dedmon Center (completed in the fall of 1981) is located on a 78 acre tract of land along the New River across US Route 11 from the main campus. In addition to Radford's main campus, the university Foundation owns a 376 acre tract of land known as the Selu Conservancy.Radford places its emphasis on teacher education and the liberal arts. The College of Graduate and Extended Education offers 38 programs of study at the master's and specialist levels.Radford University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.