Roanoke College

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Roanoke College

Motto "palmam qui meruit ferat" (let him who has deserved it bear the palm)
Established 1842
Type Private, liberal arts
President Michael C. Maxey
Faculty 117 (2006)
Undergraduates 1,970 (2006)
Location Salem, Virginia, USA
Campus Suburban
Endowment $107 million (2006)
Nickname Maroons

Roanoke College is an independent, four-year, private, coeducational, liberal-arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The college is located in Salem, Virginia, a suburban independent city adjacent to Roanoke, Virginia. Established in 1842, Roanoke is the second oldest Lutheran-affiliated college in the United States.

Roanoke has approximately 1,900 students (55% female, 45% male) who represent approximately 40 states and 25 countries. The college offers 34 majors, 28 minors, 17 concentrations, and pre-professional programs in law, medicine, dentistry, engineering, and ministry. Roanoke awards bachelor's degrees in arts, science, and business administration and is one of 276 colleges with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious 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.


  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Early years
    • 1.2 International students
    • 1.3 Coeducation
    • 1.4 National championships
    • 1.5 Recent years
    • 1.6 New leadership
  • 2 Leaders
    • 2.1 Principals of Virginia Institute, 1842-1853
    • 2.2 Presidents of Roanoke College, 1853-present
  • 3 Lutheran heritage
  • 4 Academics
  • 5 Statistics
  • 6 Greek life
  • 7 Campus
    • 7.1 Quadrangles
    • 7.2 Architecture
    • 7.3 Residence halls
    • 7.4 President's House
    • 7.5 Elizabeth campus
    • 7.6 New construction
  • 8 Roanoke in Germany
  • 9 Athletics
    • 9.1 History
    • 9.2 Recent achievements
    • 9.3 Teams
    • 9.4 Football
    • 9.5 Rivalries
  • 10 In the press
  • 11 Alumni
    • 11.1 Business
    • 11.2 Education
    • 11.3 Government
    • 11.4 Other
  • 12 External links


Early years

Roanoke College was founded in 1842 as a boys' preparatory school by Lutheran pastors David F. Bittle and Christopher C. Baughmann. Originally located near Staunton, Virginia, the school was called the "Virginia Institute." In 1847, the institute moved to Salem which was developing into a center of commerce and transportation in the region; the institute moved all of its possessions in a single covered wagon. In 1853, the Virginia General Assembly granted a college charter 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 at the Battle of Hanging Rock, which occurred a short distance from the college's campus. The students were outmatched and quickly forced to surrender, but the Union commander allowed them to return to the college in exchange for a promise to put down their arms and return to their studies. A monument honoring Salem's Confederate soldiers, erected by the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, is on the Roanoke campus (on the grounds of the former Roanoke County courthouse; now a college academic building).

International students

Roanoke enrolled its first international students in the late 1800s; 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 when women were admitted to counter a decline in male enrollment caused by the Great Depression. A small number of women (mostly students from Elizabeth College, a sister Lutheran women's college in Salem that burned in 1921; its students finished the 1921-1922 academic year at Roanoke) were previously offered limited admission, but not as degree seeking students. The first women's residence hall, Smith Hall, opened in 1941. Roanoke's student body is now more than fifty percent female.

Roanoke adopted the alumnae of Marion College, a sister Lutheran women's college in Marion, Virginia, when it closed in 1967. Marion Hall, a large residence hall constructed in 1968, honors the college and its alumnae.

National championships

Roanoke athletic teams have won two national championships; the 1972 NCAA Division II men's basketball championship and the 1978 Division II men's lacrosse championship. Roanoke's third national championship occurred in 2001; student Casey Smith won an individual championship in the Division III women's 10,000m track and field event.

Recent years

Roanoke experienced exceptional growth in the 1980s and 1990s. Two strategic plans, the 1992 Sesquicentennial Campaign and the 2002 Plan (also known as "The Difference"), were successfully completed with well 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 as well as increases in the size and quality of the faculty and the student body.

Roanoke's tenth president (and first female president), Dr. Sabine O'Hara, took office in August 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 March 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. Successful completion of the plan is ongoing; 1,970 students were enrolled for fall semester 2006, the most in college history; and four new residence halls have opened since 2005.

New leadership

On 16 March 2007, Dr. Sabine O'Hara, Roanoke's tenth president, announced her resignation effective 30 June. O'Hara told the college community that she had accomplished her primary objective at Roanoke by unveiling "The 2015 Plan", the college's current strategic plan, and that new leadership could better achieve the articulated goals. O'Hara's three-year tenure as president was short, but productive; four new residence halls were constructed, two academic buildings were renovated, a new sports stadium opened, records were set for applications and enrollment, and the tradition of balanced budgets was continued (Roanoke has had a balanced budget for 52 consecutive years).

Michael C. Maxey became Roanoke's eleventh president on 1 July 2007. Maxey previously served as Roanoke's vice president for college relations and dean of admissions and financial aid from 1992 until his selection as president. Roanoke received a record number of applications nine times during Maxey's tenure as vice president, and in May 2007, graduated 410 students, the largest class in college history. In lieu of naming an interim president while a national search was conducted to replace O'Hara, the board of trustees unanimously elected Maxey to become Roanoke's eleventh president.


David F. Bittle, first Principal of Virginia Institute and first President of Roanoke College
David F. Bittle, first Principal of Virginia Institute and first President of Roanoke College

Principals of Virginia Institute, 1842-1853

  • David F. Bittle, 1842-1845
  • Christopher C. Baughman, 1845-1853

Presidents of Roanoke College, 1853-present

  • David F. Bittle, 1853-1876
  • Thomas W. Dosh, 1877-1878
  • Julius D. Dreher, 1878-1903
  • John A. Morehead, 1903-1920
  • Charles J. Smith, 1920-1949
  • H. Sherman Oberly, 1949-1963
  • Perry F. Kendig, 1963-1975
  • Norman D. Fintel, 1975-1989
  • David M. Gring, 1989-2004
  • Sabine U. O'Hara, 2004-2007
  • Michael C. Maxey, 2007-

Lutheran heritage

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 Western Maryland Synod. The Virginia Synod is headquartered on the Roanoke campus (in Bittle Hall; the college's first library now occupied by the Bishop of the Virginia Synod).

Historically, the state of Virginia has had a small Lutheran population. As a result, Roanoke has admitted many students from other religious denominations. Approximately 20 religious groups are now represented in the student body with Roman Catholic the most prevalent; Lutherans total less than 20% of the student body.

Roanoke has an active religious life program for students seeking that experience, however, religion is not prominent on the Roanoke campus; students are not required to attend religious services or to take classes in religion. Roanoke has an independent board of trustees and is not controlled by the church.

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. Roanoke aims to produce resourceful and responsible citizens who are well-educated in the Lutheran tradition of intellectual freedom.


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 Virginia Department of Education; and the athletic training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Roanoke offers 34 majors, 28 minors, and 17 concentrations. The college also offers dual degree programs with Virginia Tech and the University of Tennessee that lead to a Roanoke degree and an engineering degree from the other school. Each year, Roanoke invites 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 "Centers of Distinction" Curriculum. Honors students are offered numerous special learning experiences including plays, lectures, concerts, and service projects.

Roanoke is one of 276 colleges with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society.

Roanoke is one of the few colleges with two sets of school colors; blue and yellow are the academic colors; maroon and gray are the athletic colors. In the early days of the baseball program (first team fielded in 1870; exact date of the colors change is uncertain), the team needed new uniforms, but the supplier was sold-out of blue and yellow. Maroon and gray uniforms were purchased as a substitute. Roanoke's athletic department embraced the colors and adopted them as the college's official athletic colors; the college's athletic nickname became "Maroons" as well. Roanoke's traditional blue and yellow, however, remain as the college's academic colors although commencement is generally the only time they are used.


Roanoke has approximately 1,900 students (55% female, 45% male) who represent approximately 40 states and 25 countries. Approximately 60% of the student body is from Virginia; the majority of out-of-state students are from Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. In 2007, for the seventh consecutive year, Roanoke received a record number of freshman applications; over 3,200 for approximately 540 openings.

Roanoke has a tenure-track faculty of 117 (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. Faculty members teach in 13 academic departments: Biology; Business Administration and Economics; Chemistry; Education, Health and Human Performance; English; Fine Arts; Foreign Language; History; Math, Computer Science and Physics; Public Affairs; Religion and Philosophy; Psychology; and Sociology.

Roanoke has an operating budget of more than $65 million supported by an endowment of more than $100 million.

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 is respected for its Henry H. Fowler Public Affairs Lecture Series that brings 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 Walesa, former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt, former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and numerous other diplomats and public officials.

Roanoke is also respected for its Copenhaver Artist-in-Residence Program that brings visiting artists to campus, including theatrical productions, and the Charles H. Fisher Lecture Series that brings distinguished scientists to campus.

Roanoke has over 100 student organizations that provide learning experiences outside the classroom. Students may choose from academic, religious, service, and social organizations including a campus newspaper, a student-operated radio station, a literary magazine, and eight Greek social organizations. Intramural sports are also offered.

Greek life

Roanoke has recognized chapters of eight social Greek organizations.


  • Kappa Alpha Order (Beta Rho Chapter, established 1924, revived 1988)
  • Pi Kappa Alpha (Phi Chapter, established 1896, revived 2001)
  • Pi Kappa Phi (Xi Chapter, established 1916, revived 2005)
  • Sigma Chi (Tau Chapter, established 1872, revived 1923)


  • Alpha Sigma Alpha (Theta Beta Chapter, established 2002)
  • Chi Omega (Pi Epsilon Chapter, established 1955)
  • Delta Gamma (Gamma Pi Chapter, established 1955)
  • Phi Mu (Gamma Eta Chapter, established 1955)

Roanoke's Greek organizations reside in college-owned housing. Roanoke's fraternity row, however, constructed in the 1960s, no longer houses the college's fraternities (the buildings have been converted into residence halls; one building houses Honors students). The Greek organizations are now housed in various locations on the Roanoke campus. Kappa Alpha Order, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Chi, and Alpha Sigma Alpha have houses. Delta Gamma, Chi Omega, Phi Mu, and Pi Kappa Phi occupy Chesapeake Hall, a new residence hall that opened in 2006; each organization has a floor in the four-story building.

Roanoke has a long history of Greek organizations. The Black Badge Society, established at Roanoke in 1859, was the second Southern Greek social organization (Sigma Alpha Epsilon was the first). The Black Badge Society did not survive the Civil War, but remains a part of Roanoke's Greek history.

Roanoke's Greek organizations have a prominent role on campus, but are not dominant; approximately 20% of the Roanoke student body participates in Greek life. Freshmen students must wait until spring semester to join a fraternity or sorority. Roanoke has over 100 student organizations that provide many extracurricular opportunities other than Greek life.



Roanoke's Administration Building
Roanoke's Administration Building

Roanoke's campus is relatively self-contained with most academic buildings and residence halls built around two quads; the John R. Turbyfill Front Quad and the "Back" Quad. Newer residence halls and athletic facilities form a partial outer ring around the traditional quads. The campus is lined with brick sidewalks and has been recognized for its landscaping and views of the surrounding mountains.


The campus architecture is a mix of traditional and modern styles. The Administration Building, constructed in 1848 with bricks made on-site, and several other buildings, Miller Hall, Trout Hall, Bittle Hall, Francis T. West Hall, and Monterey House, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Fintel Library, the Colket Student Center, and several other recent buildings follow the traditional style of the older structures. Other newer buildings including Antrim Chapel, the science complex (Trexler Hall, Massengill Auditorium, and Life Science Building), the arts and performance center (F. W. Olin Hall), and the C. Homer Bast Physical Education and Recreational Center have a more modern look.

Residence halls

Approximately 65% of the student body resides on campus. Residence halls for freshman students include Bartlett Hall, Smith Hall, Crawford Hall, Marion Hall, Blue Ridge Hall, and Shenandoah Hall. Upperclass students reside in Bowman Hall, Chalmers Hall, Wells Hall, Yonce Hall, Fox Hall, Tabor Hall, Catawba Hall, Augusta Hall, Caldwell Hall, Allegheny Hall, Ritter Hall, Chesapeake Hall, and Elizabeth Hall.

Roanoke's Fintel Library
Roanoke's Fintel Library

President's House

The President's House is in a residential district approximately one-half mile north of the Roanoke campus. The colonial revival mansion, one of the largest private homes in the area, was constructed in the late 1930s; was purchased in the mid-1950s by John P. Fishwick, president of the Norfolk and Western Railway and a Roanoke alumnus; and was acquired by the college in 1968. Presidents Kendig, Fintel, Gring, and O'Hara have lived in the house.

Elizabeth campus

Additional college facilities, mostly residence halls and athletic fields, are located on the site of the former Elizabeth College, a Lutheran women's college that closed in 1922. The area, approximately two miles east of the main campus, is now referred to as Roanoke's "Elizabeth campus". Houses for Kappa Alpha Order, Pi Kappa Alpha, and Alpha Sigma Alpha are on Elizabeth campus along with Elizabeth Hall, a large residence hall with apartments for non-freshman students.

Roanoke's Back Quad with Alumni Gymnasium (left) and Colket Student Center (right)
Roanoke's Back Quad with Alumni Gymnasium (left) and Colket Student Center (right)

New construction

With the opening of three newly-constructed residence halls in 2005, Caldwell Hall, Allegheny Hall, and Ritter Hall, known collectively as "CAR", the Roanoke campus has more than 50 buildings. Chesapeake Hall, another new residence hall, opened in 2006.

Trout Hall and Miller Hall, two of Roanoke's oldest buildings, reopened in 2005 and 2006 after complete renovation and a new campus entrance, highlighted by a large colonnade, opened in 2005.

Donald J. Kerr Stadium, a 1,000 seat multi-sport artificial turf athletic complex, opened in 2007. The artificial surface complements the college's natural surface athletic fields. The field is used primarily as the home venue of the men's and women's lacrosse teams, but is also suitable for soccer and field hockey.

Roanoke in Germany

Roanoke offers numerous study abroad programs including the "Roanoke College in Wittenberg" spring semester in Germany. The program is a link to Roanoke's heritage as the second oldest Lutheran-affiliated college in the United States; Martin Luther's Protestant Reformation originated in Wittenberg where he posted the 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church. Roanoke professors provide the instruction; courses in German language and literature, history, humanities, religion, and other topics are offered. Various off-site opportunities are also offered including excursions to historic sites in Berlin, Leipzig, and other nearby cities.


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.


Roanoke athletics began in 1870 when the college fielded its first baseball team. The men's basketball program, added in 1911, received national recognition in 1939 when the team finished third in the National Invitational Tournament, the premiere postseason tournament of that era; and with more than 1,200 wins (almost 2,000 games played; better than 60% winning percentage over more than 90 years) is among the most successful in the nation. Frankie Allen, arguably the greatest men's basketball player in Virginia college history (2,780 points and 1,758 rebounds), graduated from Roanoke in 1971.

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.

Roanoke teams have won 84 conference championships (as of May 2007; 41 in men's sports, 43 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 (15), women's basketball (13), women's lacrosse (9) and softball (7). Roanoke and Hampden-Sydney College are tied for the most conference championships in men's basketball (10).

Recent achievements

Roanoke completed the 2006-2007 academic year having won three ODAC championships; women's indoor track and field, women's outdoor track and field, and men's lacrosse. Roanoke finished second in men's basketball, men's tennis, women's lacrosse, and women's cross country. In individual action, freshman Billy McDonald won the Virginia Division III golf tournament; freshman Mallory McClaine won the Virginia Division II/III women's cross country championship; and senior Eric Johnson won the ODAC men's cross country championship.

The men's and women's lacrosse teams advanced to the 2007 NCAA Division III tournament quarter-finals; both were defeated by the number #1 teams in the country. The men's team, after winning it fifteenth ODAC championship, ended the season with 15 wins, which for the third straight year, tied the college record for wins in a season. The women's team, after finishing second in the ODAC, ended its season with 15 wins as well, the second most in team history.

The women's outdoor track and field team finished second in the 4x100 relay event at the 2007 NCAA Division III tournament; the team set a new college and ODAC record with their NCAA second-place time.


Roanoke teams compete in the following sports:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball, Men's
  • Basketball, Women's
  • Cross-Country, Men's
  • Cross-Country, Women's
  • Field Hockey
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse, Men's
  • Lacrosse, Women's
  • Soccer, Men's
  • Soccer, Women's
  • Softball
  • Tennis, Men's
  • Tennis, Women's
  • Track and Field (Indoor), Men's
  • Track and Field (Indoor), Women's
  • Track and Field (Outdoor), Men's
  • Track and Field (Outdoor), Women's
  • Volleyball


Roanoke does not compete in football; discontinued during World War II, the program was not revived. The final game was a 42-0 loss to Catawba College on 13 November 1942. In 1985, the Salem city government constructed an 8,000 seat stadium adjacent to Roanoke's "Elizabeth campus", two miles from the main campus, location of athletic fields and residence halls. Constructed for Salem's public high school, many hoped the college would revive its football program and that the team would play in the stadium, but the college declined. Interestingly, the stadium hosts the annual NCAA Division III football championship even though Roanoke does not compete in the sport.


Roanoke does not have an archrival in athletics primarily because the college does not compete in football. Washington and Lee University, Hampden-Sydney College, and Randolph-Macon College draw the most attention in men's sports. Hollins University draws attention in women's sports. All are members of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

Roanoke and Virginia Tech were rivals in the late 1800s and early 1900s when Virginia Tech was a small college. In 1877, the schools competed in Virginia Tech's first intercollegiate baseball game (Virginia Tech won 53-13; an amazing score); and in 1896, Virginia Tech first wore its current athletic colors -- maroon and burnt orange -- in a football game against Roanoke. In 1895, Roanoke and Virginia Tech were charter members of the now defunct Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Association along with Randolph-Macon College, the University of Richmond, and the College of William and Mary; and in 1926, Roanoke and Virginia Tech played the inaugural football game at Virginia Tech's Miles Stadium.

In the press

Roanoke is listed favorably in many national publications. U.S. News and World Report ranks Roanoke as a national liberal arts college; the Princeton Review lists Roanoke among the "Best in the Southeast"; and the Templeton Guide names Roanoke as a college that encourages character development. Roanoke is also listed as a College of Distinction; and in 2006, Men's Fitness magazine named Roanoke the 19th "fittest campus" in the United States based on the college's fitness facilities and healthy food options made available for students.

In 2005, George Keller, a noted American expert on higher education, authored Prologue to Prominence, A Half Century at Roanoke College. Published by Lutheran University Press, the book documents the college's academic and financial success over the past half century. Other books about Roanoke College include The First Hundred Years, Roanoke College 1842-1942 by William E. Eisenberg and Dear Ole Roanoke, a Sesquicentennial Portrait, 1842-1992 by Dr. Mark F. Miller. These books were written as a part of the college's centennial and sesquicentennial celebrations.


Roanoke alumni live in all 50 states and in more than 35 countries. Notable alumni include:


  • D. R. "Dee" Carpenter - vice president, Landmark Publishing; past president and publisher of The Virginian Pilot
  • Warner N. Dalhouse - vice chairman (ret), First Union National Bank
  • Frank W. DeFriece, Jr. - president (ret), S.E. Massengill Company
  • John P. Fishwick - president (ret), Norfolk and Western Railway
  • John T. Lupton - one of three partners who obtained exclusive bottling rights for Coca-Cola; a founder of the first Coca-Cola Bottling Company
  • John McAfee - software entrepreneur; founder of McAfee
  • John A. Mulheren - noted Wall Street trader and philanthropist
  • Jay Piccola - president, PUMA AG North America
  • Albert L. Prillaman - chairman (ret), Stanley Furniture Corporation
  • David C. Robinson - movie producer; vice president, Morgan Creek Productions
  • Stuart T. Saunders - founding chairman, Penn Central Railroad
  • John S. Shannon - executive vice president (ret), Norfolk Southern Corporation
  • John R. Turbyfill - vice chairman (ret), Norfolk Southern Corporation


  • Frankie Allen - arguably the greatest men's basketball player in Virginia college history; former head men's basketball coach at Virginia Tech, Tennessee State University, and Howard University; 1993 NCAA Division I national coach of the year
  • Donald Armentrout - author and long-time professor of religion, University of the South
  • Denvy A. Bowman - president, Capital University
  • M. Paul Capp - professor emeritus of radiology, University of Arizona; executive director (ret), The American Board of Radiology
  • Eldridge H. Copenhaver - past president, Marion College
  • R. H. W. Dillard - award-winning poet and author; long-time professor of English and creative writing at Hollins University
  • Charles H. Fisher - author of more than 200 publications and holder of 72 patents in the fields of organic and polymer chemistry
  • Kenneth R. Garren - president, Lynchburg College
  • Dolphus E. Henry - president, Tusculum College
  • Cornelius T. Jordan - past president, New Mexico State University
  • Charles B. King - past president, Elizabeth College
  • Lewis R. Lancaster - Buddist scholar; professor emeritus, University of California, Berkeley; past president, University of the West
  • Vernon Mountcastle - neuroscientist who discovered and characterized the columnar organization of the cerebral cortex
  • David W. Peters - past president, Radford University
  • Miller A. F. Ritchie - past president, Hartwick College and Pacific University
  • James A. B. Scherer - past president, Newberry College and Throop College of Technology now named California Institute of Technology
  • Surh Beung Kiu - the first Korean to graduate from an American college; Roanoke class of 1898
  • Carol M. Swain - African-American author; Pulitzer Prize nominee
  • David F. Thornton - senior development officer, Harvard Law School
  • Munsey S. Wheby - professor of internal medicine, University of Virginia; past president, American College of Physicians


  • Frederick C. Boucher - United States Representative, Virginia's 9th Congressional district
  • Henry H. Fowler - United States Treasury Secretary in the administration of President Lyndon Johnson
  • Donald H. Kent, Jr. - Assistant Secretary, United States Department of Homeland Security in the administration of President George W. Bush
  • Kim Kyu-shik - Korean independence leader; represented Korea at the Paris peace conference at the end of World War I
  • James W. Marshall - former United States Representative, Virginia's 9th Congressional district
  • Edward Pipkin - member, Maryland State Senate; 2004 candidate for United States Senate
  • Gilbert A. Robinson - career diplomat; awarded personal Ambassador rank by President Ronald Reagan; coordinated the Nixon-Khrushchev Kitchen Debate
  • Robert P. Spellane - member, Massachusetts House of Representatives
  • James C. Turk - Senior Judge, Federal District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • James P. Woods - former United States Representative, Virginia's 6th Congressional district


  • Sean Burch - the first Virginian to summit Mount Everest (2003); set the world record for the fastest ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro (2005)
  • Charles E. Davis, Jr. - surgeon; past president, Medical Society of Virginia
  • W. A. R. Goodwin - rector of Bruton Parish Church who assisted John D. Rockefeller, Jr. with the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg; known as the "Father of Colonial Williamsburg"
  • Roanoke College - Fast Facts
  • Roanoke College - Campus Map
  • Roanoke College - Athletics
  • Colleges of Distinction - Roanoke College
  • WRKE - Roanoke College Radio
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