University Vice Presidents Sam Minner, Mark Shanley and Danny Kemp all took the plunge on Friday, Aug.15, joined by Dean of Students Irvin Clark and Interim Associate Dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies Laura Jacobsen.
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Ken Bonk was also iced, earlier in the day.
“We are proud to be a part of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge as representatives of the Radford University community,” said Shanley, vice president for Student Affairs. “This just goes to show that our Radford colleagues are always up to a challenge!”
In the Ice Bucket Challenge, participants have a bucket of ice water poured over their heads. Before the dunk, participants challenge others do the same or make a $100 donation to the ALS Association or ALS research within twenty-four hours.
“It’s a great cause, ALS research. I was called out and here I am, glad to do it,” said Minner, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “It’s been a busy time getting ready for our incoming class – we’ve got a really strong one – so this was a fun way to end the week.”
The icings at RU began on Thursday, Aug. 14, when Dean of Admissions James Pennix took up the challenge. Before long, he had called out most of RU’s senior administration. Kate Hawkins, dean of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences, and Matt Dunleavy, Interim Assistant Vice Provost also participated on Thursday.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. As the disease progresses, patients lose voluntary motor control, eventually leading to paralysis and death. The disease first came to public attention in 1939 when baseball player Lou Gehrig came forward about his diagnosis, which ended his career.
With only about half of the general public knowledgeable about ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, the Ice Bucket Challenge is making a profound difference.
“This feels very special for me because I just learned this past December that a very close family member was diagnosed with ALS,” said Clark. “I had heard about Lou Gehrig’s disease but I didn’t know much about it because it never impacted me personally. I fully understand now some of the devastating effects of ALS. It really touches my heart so when I had this opportunity to participate with my colleagues, I didn’t have a choice. It means a lot for me.”
Between July 29, and Aug. 12, the ALS Association and its 38 chapters received $4 million in donations, compared to $1.12 million during the same time period last year. Contributions further the association’s mission to find a cure for ALS while funding the highest quality of care for people living with the disease. Since July 29, the association has welcomed more than 70,000 new donors to the cause.