Radford University honors retiring President Penelope Kyle

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RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ7) It's an honor every Radford University president has received - a building named after him.

Friday, the tradition continued with the first female president of the university, Penelope Kyle.

Campus leaders unveiled the plaque that officially names the College of Business and Economics building, Kyle Hall.

"I cannot put into words what all this has meant. I don't think words just don't convey it," Kyle said.

"It's both a happy and sad time for me." said Virginia Delegate Joseph Yost.

The recognition also marks the end of her 11 year tenure as president.

"It's definitely, for a while I think was probably one of our underrated universities in Virginia but that has certainly changed," Yost said.

Kyle helped secure 330 million dollars for the construction of eight new buildings and facilities and 16 renovation projects.

Known as the builder president, she's also helped increase student enrollment, and oversaw the creation of the university's first doctoral program.

"Part of what made this so special, such a special calling for me is that I'm a Galax girl and I was delighted to return home to southwest Virginia," Kyle said.

"You've been especially blessed these last 11 years. I think of Penny's accomplishments under the three headings, infrastructure, reputation, and results," said Anne Holton, the Virginia Secretary of Education.

The Galax native is most proud of Radford University no longer being Southwest Virginia's best kept secret.

"I think more people know about us, they understand more about us, who we are and what we are and all the good things we do. We've been able to spread that word and I think we're attracting a lot more people," Kyle said.

Kyle's last day as president is in June. The university's next president, Brian Hemphill, takes over in July.