|Motto||"Palmam Qui Meruit Ferat"|
Motto in English
|"Let he who earns the palm bear it."|
|Type||Private liberal arts college|
|Evangelical Lutheran Church in America|
|Endowment||$142.3 million (2020)|
|Undergraduates||1,920 (all undergraduate)|
|Colors||Old Maroon and Grey (athletic)|
Blue and Yellow (academic)
|Mascot||Rooney (a "Maroon-tailed Hawk")|
Roanoke College is a private liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia. It has approximately 2,000 students who represent approximately 40 states and 30 countries. The college offers 35 majors, 57 minors and concentrations, and pre-professional programs. Roanoke awards bachelor's degrees in arts, science, and business administration and is one of 280 colleges with a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
Roanoke is an NCAA Division III school competing in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The college fields varsity teams in nine men's and ten women's sports. Roanoke's athletic nickname is Maroons and the mascot is Rooney, a maroon-tailed hawk.
Roanoke College was founded in 1842, as a boys' preparatory school by Lutheran pastors David F. Bittle and Christopher C. Baughmann. Originally located in Augusta County near Staunton, the school was named Virginia Institute until chartered on January 30, 1845, as Virginia Collegiate Institute. In 1847, the institute moved to Salem which was developing into a center of commerce and transportation in the region; the school moved all of its possessions in a single covered wagon. The Virginia General Assembly granted a college charter on March 14, 1853 and approved the name Roanoke College, chosen in honor of the Roanoke Valley. Bittle then served as the college's first president.
Roanoke was one of the few Southern colleges that remained open throughout the American Civil War. The student body was organized into a corps of cadets and fought with Confederate forces near Salem in December 1863. The students were outmatched and quickly forced to surrender, but the Union commander paroled them and allowed them to return to their studies. The college company was formally mustered into the Confederate Army, Virginia Reserves, on September 1, 1864, but the students did not see combat before the war ended.
Roanoke enrolled its first international students in the late 19th century; the first Mexican student in 1876 and the first Japanese student in 1888. The first Korean to graduate from an American college or university, Surh Beung Kiu, graduated in 1898.
Roanoke became coeducational in 1930. A small number of non-degree-seeking women, mostly from Elizabeth College in Salem, were previously enrolled. Originally named Roanoke Women's College, Elizabeth was a sister Lutheran women's college destroyed by fire in 1921 and closed; the female students finished the 1921–22 academic year at Roanoke.
Roanoke opened its first women's residence hall, Smith Hall, in 1941. Smith Hall has a prominent position on the John R. Turbyfill Front Quad. Roanoke retains the Roanoke Women's College campus as its Elizabeth Campus, named for Elizabeth College. The campus, located approximately two miles from the Roanoke main campus, houses residence halls, athletic fields, and the college tennis complex.
Roanoke adopted the alumnae of Marion College, a sister Lutheran women's college in Marion, Virginia, when it closed in 1967. Marion Hall, a residence hall constructed in 1968, honors the college and its alumnae.
Roanoke athletic teams have won two national championships: the 1972 NCAA Men's College Division Basketball Championship and the 1978 Division II men's lacrosse championship. Roanoke's third national championship occurred in 2001 when student Casey Smith won an individual championship in the Division III women's 10,000m track and field event. In 2009, student Robin Yerkes secured Roanoke's fourth national championship when she won an individual championship in the Division III women's 400m track and field event.
Roanoke experienced exceptional growth in the 1980s and 1990s. Two campaign plans, the 1992 Sesquicentennial Campaign and the 2002 Plan, also known as "The Difference", were successfully completed with over $150 million raised. The campaigns financed the renovation and construction of numerous facilities including the library, the student center, and the arts and performance center.
Roanoke's tenth president, and first female president, Sabine O'Hara, took office in 2004. O'Hara, an expert in sustainable economic development, was recruited to lead formulation of a new strategic plan, one that would advance the college into the next decade. In 2006, Roanoke unveiled "The 2015 Plan", which calls for expanded academic offerings, an increase in enrollment from 1,900 to 2,100 students, renovation and construction of facilities to support increased enrollment, and growth in endowment resources to support financial aid for more students. O'Hara resigned in 2007 after unveiling the plan; her tenure was short, but productive with four new residence halls constructed, two academic buildings renovated, a new sports stadium completed, and records set for applications and enrollment.
Established in 1842, Roanoke is the second-oldest (Gettysburg College is the oldest) Lutheran-affiliated college in the United States and is associated with three synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: the Virginia Synod, the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod, and the West Virginia–Western Maryland Synod. The Virginia Synod is headquartered in Bittle Hall, the college's first library now occupied by the Bishop of the Virginia Synod.
Historically, the college has had a small Lutheran population. Roanoke's student body represents numerous religious denominations; Roman Catholicism is the most prevalent, and Lutherans total less than ten percent. Roanoke has an active religious life program for students seeking that experience, but religion is not prominent; students are not required to attend religious services or to take classes in religion.
Roanoke honors its Lutheran heritage with an independent board of trustees; the church does not control administration. The dominant aspect of Roanoke's Lutheran heritage is the college's commitment to academic freedom. Martin Luther encouraged freedom from oppression along with freedom for learning and freedom for service in the community.
|Liberal arts colleges|
|U.S. News & World Report||138|
Roanoke is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor's degrees in arts, science, and business administration. In addition, the business administration program is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs; the chemistry program is accredited by the American Chemical Society; the teacher licensure program is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council; and the athletic training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
Roanoke offers 35 majors with 57 minors and concentrations. The college also offers a dual degree engineering program that leads to a Roanoke liberal arts degree and an engineering degree from Virginia Tech. Each year, Roanoke accepts approximately 35 incoming freshmen and first-term sophomores to become members of the Honors Program. These students complete the Honors Curriculum in lieu of the Roanoke College Core Curriculum. Honors students are offered numerous special learning experiences including plays, lectures, concerts, and service projects.
Roanoke has 16 academic departments:
Roanoke also has eight pre-professional programs:
The Roanoke College Seal was designed in 1964 by Professor Guy A. Ritter. The Board of Trustees subsequently approved the seal and it is now used to represent the college in all academic settings.
The blue shield on the seal emblazoned with a gold cross represents the College's strong history and relationship with the Christian church. The white dogwood flower represents the Commonwealth of Virginia The Lamp above symbolizes the lamp of knowledge. The motto, "Palmam Qui Meruit Ferat", means in English, "Let he who earns the palm bear it". The palm is symbolic of the honor-laden palm leaf given during antiquity in Greece.
Roanoke has several special programs that bring distinguished visitors to the college.
The Henry H. Fowler Public Affairs Lecture Series brings respected world leaders to campus. Guest lecturers have included former presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Lawrence Eagleburger, former Polish president Lech Wałęsa, former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt, former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and numerous other diplomats and public officials. In addition, the Copenhaver Artist-in-Residence Program brings visiting artists to campus, including theatrical productions, while the Charles H. Fisher Lecture Series brings distinguished scientists to campus.
The Roanoke College Upward Bound Program (a TRIO program) was established in 1965 and has helped more than 1,200 socio-economically challenged high school students prepare for college. The program serves students attending high school in Salem, Roanoke, Roanoke County and Bedford County; the schools are Glenvar, Liberty, Northside, Patrick Henry, Salem, Staunton River and William Fleming. The program offers classes in math, science, English, foreign languages, computer science, and physical education during the summer and during the academic year.
Roanoke has approximately 2,000 students who represent approximately 40 states and 30 countries. Approximately 50% of the student body is from Virginia; the majority of out-of-state students are from Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. It is also known for its famous radio show John Dodd’s Chalk Talk.
Roanoke has a tenure-track faculty of 131 (95% hold the highest degrees in their fields) plus a variety of adjunct professors selected from the business, political, and other communities for their subject matter expertise.
Roanoke's Fintel Library, named after Dr. Norman Fintel, eighth president of the college, has a collection of over half a million items. Roanoke and nearby Hollins University have a reciprocal borrowing agreement, expanding the size of the library collection by another 300,000 items.
Roanoke has over 100 student organizations that provide learning experiences outside the classroom. Students may choose from academic, cultural, religious, service, and social organizations including nine Greek organizations.
The Student Government Association at Roanoke exists to give students a voice in the administration. It is the highest level student organization. It is made up of an executive board (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Attorney General) and the Senate (41 members).
Student publications and media opportunities include the Brackety-Ack campus newspaper, a literary magazine titled On Concept's Edge, the Roanoke Review literary journal, and the student-operated radio station named WRKE-LP. Intramural sports are also offered.
Roanoke has recognized chapters of nine social and two service Greek organizations.
Service fraternities and sororities:
Roanoke has a long history of Greek organizations. The Black Badge Society, organized at Roanoke in 1859, was one of the earliest Greek organizations established in the South. The fraternity became inactive at Roanoke in 1879, but had expanded to include chapters at eight other colleges and universities, the last of which became inactive in 1882.
In addition to the Black Badge Society, Roanoke's inactive fraternities include:
Roanoke added sororities for the first time in 1955; the three organizations, Chi Omega, Delta Gamma and Phi Mu, were housed in Bowman Hall for many years until they moved to Chesapeake Hall in 2006. Alpha Sigma Alpha, the fourth sorority, was established in 2002. Roanoke's newest sorority is Delta Sigma Theta, the college's first historically African-American sorority, established in 2005. Phi Mu (Gamma Eta Chapter) became inactive in 2014.
Roanoke's Greek organizations reside in college-owned housing. Roanoke's original fraternity row, constructed in the 1960s, no longer houses the college's fraternities; the buildings have been converted into residence halls. The Greek organizations are now housed in two locations on the Roanoke campus. Kappa Alpha Order, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Lambda Phi and Sigma Chi have houses on the Elizabeth Campus. Alpha Sigma Alpha, Chi Omega, Delta Gamma and Pi Kappa Phi occupy Chesapeake Hall, a residence hall on the main campus; each organization has a floor in the four-story building.
Roanoke's Greek organizations have a prominent role on campus, but are not dominant; approximately 25% of the Roanoke student body participates in Greek life. Roanoke has over 100 student organizations that provide many extracurricular opportunities other than Greek life.
Main Campus Complex, Roanoke College
|Location||Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia|
|Architectural style||Greek Revival, Gothic|
|NRHP reference No.||73002226|
|Added to NRHP||March 7, 1973|
|Designated VLR||May 16, 1972|
Roanoke's main campus is relatively self-contained with most academic buildings and residence halls built around three quadrangles: the John R. Turbyfill Front Quad, the Back Quad (central campus), and the Athletic Quad, which surrounds the college's newest athletic facilities and residence halls. The campus is lined with brick sidewalks and has been recognized for its landscaping and views of the surrounding mountains. The largest Rock Elm in the United States is located near the library. The only Alice Aycock sculpture in Virginia is on the Back Quad.
The campus architecture is a blend of traditional collegiate and modern styles. The Administration Building, constructed in 1848 with bricks made on-site, and six other buildings, Miller Hall, Trout Hall, Bittle Hall, Monterey House, West Hall, and the Old Salem Post Office are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Two of these buildings, the Administration Building and Monterey House, were built by the Deyerle brothers, Joseph and Benjamin Deyerle. The designers of some of the other historic buildings are unknown, but may have also included members of the Deyerle family. Fintel Library, Colket Student Center, and most residence halls have the traditional style of the older structures. Other newer buildings are more modern; these include Antrim Chapel, the science complex comprising Trexler Hall, Massengill Auditorium, and the Life Science Building, the fine arts building named F. W. Olin Hall, and C. Homer Bast Physical Education and Recreational Center.
Seven college buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The buildings, with year of construction, are:
Approximately 70% of the student body resides on campus. Residence halls for freshman students include Bartlett Hall, Smith Hall, Crawford Hall, Marion Hall, Blue Ridge Hall, Shenandoah Hall, and Tabor Hall. Upperclass students reside in Afton Hall, Chalmers Hall, Wells Hall, Yonce Hall, Fox Hall, Catawba Hall, Augusta Hall, Caldwell Hall, Beamer Hall, Ritter Hall, Chesapeake Hall, New Hall, and Elizabeth Hall.
Wells Hall, Yonce Hall, and Fox Hall, known collectively as "The Sections", are Roanoke's most notable residence halls. Located on the Back Quad, the buildings were constructed in six stages from 1910 to 1958.
The President's House is in a residential district approximately one-half-mile north of the Roanoke campus on North Market Street. The colonial revival mansion, one of the largest private homes in the area, was constructed in the late 1930s. It was purchased in the mid-1950s by John P. Fishwick, president of the Norfolk and Western Railway and a Roanoke & Harvard Law School alumnus, and was acquired by the college in 1968. Presidents Kendig, Fintel, Gring, O'Hara, and Maxey have lived in the house.
In April 2011, the President's House and its garden were opened to the public during Virginia's Historic Garden Week. Selection of sites to participate is very competitive; only five Roanoke Valley residences were featured in 2011.
Additional college facilities, mostly residence halls and athletic fields, are located on the site of Elizabeth College, a Lutheran women's college that closed in 1922. The area, approximately two miles east of the main campus, is referred to as Elizabeth Campus. Houses for Kappa Alpha Order, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Lambda Phi and Sigma Chi are on Elizabeth Campus along with Elizabeth Hall, a large residence hall with apartments for non-freshman students.
Roanoke acquired three office buildings on College Avenue across from West Hall in 2005–06. The buildings have been renovated to provide classroom and office space for various college departments. With the acquisitions, the Roanoke campus occupies both sides of College Avenue from Main Street north to the traditional campus entrance.
In 2013, Roanoke purchased two Main Street buildings: the Bank Building, located on the corner of College Avenue and Main Street across from West Hall, and the Old Salem Post Office, located on the corner of Main and Market Streets. Roanoke had leased the bank building for several years preceding the purchase and will continue to use it for academic purposes. The post office building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the seventh building on the Roanoke campus listed on the national register; it will be renovated for academic use.
Roanoke opened a new 200-bed residence hall in 2012; the building, the college's second LEED certified building, completes the third quadrangle along with Kerr Stadium and Caldwell, Beamer, and Ritter Halls. The college previously completed an eight-court competition tennis complex on the Elizabeth Campus and a large parking lot on the main campus; the projects replaced existing facilities and made land available for the new residence hall. In addition, McClanahan Hall on the Elizabeth Campus reopened in 2012 as the Sigma Chi house; the Sigma Chi house on the main campus was razed and is now green space.
Roanoke's most recent major project opened in 2016; the Morris M. Cregger Center is a multi-purpose athletic and recreation center with a 2,500 seat performance arena (basketball and volleyball), a 200-meter indoor track and field facility, athletic department and faculty offices, classrooms, fitness and workout facilities, and a sports medicine clinic. The center is on the north side of campus; Bowman Hall, a large residence hall that opened in 1965, was razed to make land available. Kerr Stadium was incorporated as a part of the western facade so the two facilities form a unified complex; the center overlooks the stadium.
Roanoke, in anticipation of future growth, has purchased a significant number of private homes on Market Street adjacent to campus, which will provide land for expansion.
Main article: Roanoke Maroons
Roanoke is an NCAA Division III school competing in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The college fields varsity teams (known as "Maroons"; the college's athletic colors are maroon and gray) in nine men's and ten women's sports. Roanoke is particularly noted for the strength of its men's lacrosse program and women's track and field.
Roanoke teams have won two national championships: the 1972 NCAA Division II men's basketball championship and the 1978 Division II men's lacrosse championship. In 2001, Roanoke student Casey Smith won an individual national championship in the Division III women's 10,000m track and field event. In 2009, student Robin Yerkes secured Roanoke's fourth national championship when she won an individual championship in the Division III women's 400m track and field event. Yerkes is the most decorated athlete ever to graduate from Roanoke, earning 12 All-American honors in multiple events.
Roanoke teams have won 101 conference championships (as of May 2013; 47 in men's sports, 54 in women's sports) since the college joined the ODAC as a founding member in 1976. Roanoke has won more conference championships than any other ODAC school in men's lacrosse (18), women's basketball (13), women's lacrosse (10) and softball (8). Roanoke and Hampden–Sydney College are tied for the most conference championships in men's basketball (10).
The Norfolk and Western Railway, now Norfolk Southern Corporation, has provided career opportunities for many Roanoke alumni; the NWR was headquartered in Roanoke until 1982 and is a major employer in western Virginia. Roanoke graduates who have advanced to leadership positions include Stuart T. Saunders and John Fishwick, former presidents of the NWR; John R. Turbyfill, retired vice-chairman, NSC; John S. Shannon, retired executive vice president, NSC; and William T. Ross, Sr., retired assistant vice president, NWR.
Roanoke has strong historic ties to the railway due in part to its alumni connections. The NWR named a Pullman car "Roanoke College" in honor of the college and Fishwick's Salem residence is now the college President's House. Saunders and Turbyfill served as chairman of Roanoke's board of trustees. In 2007, David R. Goode, retired chairman, NSC, endowed Roanoke's Center for Learning and Teaching in honor of his father, sister, and brother-in-law, all Roanoke graduates.
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