Radford University is a coeducational, state-funded, comprehensive public university located in the town of Radford, in southwestern Virginia. It features highly diverse liberal arts curricula for undergraduates and selected graduate programs. 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. The building housed administrative offices, a gymnasium, auditorium, library, and classrooms. 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. The college was also authorized to grant the Master of Science degree. 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. The 20 administrative, academic, student services, and 15 residence hall buildings are located on two large quadrangles in a 76 acre area. 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 university grounds and facilities are conveniently arranged, beautifully maintained and effectively designed in such a manner that it meets the academic, personal and extracurricular needs and interests of the students. Its undergraduate majors include 105 program options in the seven colleges: Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business and Economics, Education and Human Development, Health and Human Services, Information Science and Technology, and Visual and Performing 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.