December 22, 2014
At Roanoke, parents are invaluable members of the College family.
After a serious biking accident sent Ryan Glascott ’16 to a local emergency room last October, his parents Jim and Deirdre Glascott rushed from their home in Bedford, N.Y., to be with him. When they arrived several hours later, they were surprised and heartened to find his fraternity brothers at the hospital, rallying to support their friend. And they were even more encouraged when Roanoke College President Michael Maxey dropped by the hospital to check on Ryan.
“It was just this incredibly warm and nurturing feeling we got when we arrived at the ER and found everybody to be just as concerned about Ryan as we were,” Deirdre Glascott says. “Roanoke is really a super special place.”
Jim Glascott adds: “We almost feel like we’re part of a family. It gives me comfort knowing that not only is my son getting a great education, but he’s in a place where people care about him.”
That positive experience is just one of many reasons the Glascotts enthusiastically support Roanoke College. As members of the Parent Leadership Council (PLC), the Glascotts feel they are able to bolster their son’s academic experience at Roanoke by offering feedback about Ryan’s college experience and by assisting with recruitment events in their hometown.
“If we didn’t believe in the school so much, we wouldn’t take the time to do these kinds of things,” Jim Glascott says.
Parent support and involvement is strong at Roanoke. The PLC — which engages parents through volunteer programs, communications and special events, and other leadership roles — includes the families of nearly 40 students and represents the geographic demographic of the student body and all class years. The group meets twice a year, where members are informed about the College’s activities, policies, programs, concerns and plans for future development. In return, these parents are a valuable sounding board for College officials, providing observations and suggestions about the College’s programs, plans and student life matters.
But serving on the PLC isn’t the only option for parent involvement at Roanoke. President Maxey shares updates about the College with all parents during presentations at Family Weekend and through other communications. Many parents have been instrumental in setting up internships for students or helping them find jobs after graduation. Others, like the Glascotts, are advocates for Roanoke, boosting admissions efforts by talking to the parents of prospective students about their own positive impressions of the College.
“Those are valuable ways every parent can contribute to Roanoke,” Maxey says. “In doing so, they help shape our admissions for the future. Parents also are in a unique position to compare us to other institutions — to share ideas from other places. That’s a valuable service parents can provide. They can give reactions to things we do to help us make the College better and stronger.”
A Family Feel
When Frank Wisneski and Lynn Dale, of Boston, brought their daughter Sarah Elizabeth Dale ’15 to Roanoke, they were impressed with the level of connection their entire family felt with Roanoke. They believed that Sarah, now a senior, would thrive in the close-knit environment. As co-chairs of the PLC, the couple have been pleasantly surprised to see how invested President Maxey is in the lives of the students and in every aspect of the College.
“Sarah talks about chatting with President Maxey at the gym, when they’re running on treadmills next to each other,” Dale says. “He’s very present on the campus, and he and Mrs. Maxey really want to know the students personally. That’s been important for us.”
The couple, who have hosted receptions for accepted students and their parents in their home, feel it’s important to give back to the campus community that has so enriched their daughter’s life.
“Anytime you can do that, whether through monetary gifts or by providing other services, you are helping to shape and enhance the value of the educational experience at Roanoke,” Dale says. “We also feel like we have the opportunity to set an example for our daughter of what it means to be a contributor and not a taker. It’s a way to show that we care about her and that her College matters to us.”
Wisneski adds: “It’s also a way we can help protect the financial investment we’re making into her college education. Parents can help make sure that the Roanoke College their kids leave is a better place.”
PLC members also take on an active role in helping the College reach its annual fund-raising goal through leadership gifts and by encouraging other parents to give to the Roanoke Fund. Over the years, PLC members have established various challenge gifts to foster a culture of philanthropy among all parents, as well as current students.
“This chain of giving makes the College experience better for everyone,” Maxey says.. “No one has ever paid the total cost to attend Roanoke. So when parents give back, it’s a nice way to express appreciation for others who gave in years past to make their child’s experience positive.”
Patton and Mimi Coles, parents of Quint Coles ’14 and Jimmy Coles ’18, are Roanoke Valley co-chairs of the $200 million Roanoke Rising campaign. They believe parents have an important role to play in strengthening the College for the future.
“We’ve been very involved with our children’s education from the time they were in elementary school,” Mimi Coles says. ‘We’ve enjoyed it, and have found it rewarding on lots of levels to help make our children’s schools the best places they can be and a good experience for everyone. When your child is happy and content, you’re happy and content as a parent.”
Hopes for Roanoke’s Future
Pat Leardo, a member of the Roanoke College Board of Trustees and the father of Patrick Leardo ’06, appreciates the openness and warmth of Roanoke’s staff and faculty. He finds their willingness to answer questions clearly and honestly a stark contrast to the larger institutions his other children have attended, where he has experienced frustration when trying to resolve problems or address concerns.
Pat Leardo, who makes an effort to cultivate good working relationships with all of the College’s top administrators, hopes to see Roanoke continue its rise in the college rankings and to achieve a national reputation among small, liberal arts colleges. He considers Roanoke one of the “best kept secrets” in the country and hopes that greater parent involvement can help Roanoke become more widely known, helping the College continue to carry out its mission.
“If more parents became involved at Roanoke, they would have a much greater understanding of the students’ and the College’s needs,” says Leardo, chair of the board’s Finance Committee. “They’ll feel more connected and will really be blessed by the emphasis on close, personal relationships that is embedded in the culture of the College.”
— Karen Doss Bowman
This is article is from the Roanoke Magazine, issue two, 2014.
November 20, 2014
Peggy Fintel Horn ’78 understands first-hand the value of a close-knit campus, where professors not only teach, but also guide students through the process of discovering their talents and passions. She had that kind of experience at Roanoke.
Peggy was a biology major at St. Olaf College when her father, Dr. Norman Fintel, became Roanoke College’s eighth president in 1975. When Peggy spent the summer on Roanoke’s campus with her parents — Dr. Fintel and wife, Jo — she took an economics course taught by Professor Ed Siefried. By the time she completed the course, Peggy had decided to transfer to Roanoke to pursue a major in business and economics.
“I was bitten by the bug — I loved economics,” says Peggy, a managing partner with Morneau Shepell SBC Ltd., a leading provider of technology and outsourcing services for employee benefit plans. “A light bulb went off for me, and that course really gave me direction. Economics combined my love of words with the analytical and numerical abilities that always were easy for me. That course changed my life.”
Horn and her husband, Doug Horn ’78, met at the College and share a deep affection for its role in their lives. They are now volunteers for Roanoke Rising: The Campaign for Roanoke College, serving as regional co-chairs in Atlanta.
“Roanoke is such a warm place, and we believe it’s important to help the College move forward with its mission to continue providing a great educational experience for young people,” says Peggy, who joined the College’s Board of Trustees in 2009. “A campaign is a long process, and it takes a lot of people to make something like that successful. We’re just happy to be a part of it.”
The Horns already have supported a number of campus projects, including the Pirro Patio that will adjoin the new Cregger Center and overlook Kerr Stadium. The patio will be named in memory of former Roanoke head lacrosse coach John Pirro, ’77, who died in 2013 after a long battle with Huntington’s disease. Pirro and Doug, both from Huntington, N.Y., were lacrosse teammates in high school and at Roanoke and remained close friends.
“John was the cornerstone of Roanoke lacrosse,” says Doug, who played on the College’s 1978 national championship lacrosse team. “He’s the person who encouraged me to go to Roanoke, and I’m grateful for that.”
Peggy is honored to share in her father’s impressive legacy at Roanoke. During his presidency, enrollment increased while academic standards improved; financial aid was expanded to include merit-based awards; and the Honors Program was established. Dr. Fintel also helped boost the College’s endowment and oversaw numerous building, expansion and campus beautification projects.
The Horns maintain close ties to the Roanoke Valley, where they still own a house and where Peggy’s parents live. They have three adult children; the youngest, Robert, is a member of Roanoke’s class of 2015.
“We’ve got such a history with and an affection for Roanoke,” says Doug, who serves as president of the SouthEastern Lacrosse Conference. “We have such great memories of the College, and we continue to have really close bonds with our friends 35 years later. We feel that the College does a great job in providing a quality education, and we’re happy to help it continue that excellence.”
—Karen Doss Bowman
This is article is from the Roanoke Magazine, issue two, 2014.
November 2, 2014
As guest speaker at the 46th Annual Associates Evening Oct. 24, Emmy award-winning journalist Byron Pitts delivered a strong and personally candid message about the importance of giving back. He shared one example after another of the life-changing, transformative power of people “stepping out” for those who simply need a helping hand.
Pitts was a college freshman at Ohio Wesleyan University, failing his freshman English class. He was at the point of withdrawing from the university when an English professor – a first-year faculty member – offered to help him.
“She stepped out on nothing and saved my life,” said Pitts. “She had no reason to talk to me, but she did.”
His class grade improved. He stayed at Ohio Wesleyan, graduating in 1982 with a degree in journalism and speech communication. He set his sights on becoming a journalist, with a goal of joining the staff of “60 Minutes.” He rose through the ranks of broadcast news, building from small local markets to larger ones, then eventually becoming chief national correspondent for “The CBS Evening News” and a contributor to “60 Minutes.” Currently, he works as anchor and chief national correspondent at ABC.
Pitts has repaid that English professor’s favor many times over in his adult life. He shared the story of meeting an 11-year-old girl, Pilar, during a visit to a charter school in Baltimore, his hometown. After speaking to a group of students, including Pilar, she approached him and asked: “Mr. Pitts, where do you go, where do you hide, when the world hurts too much?”
It was learned that Pilar’s mother had abandoned her. Pilar was placed in foster care and later sexually abused by an older boy in the foster home. Working with authorities, Pitts was able to help Pilar get out of that situation. Now, she is a high school junior who has never earned less than an A- in her classes.
Where does she go now when she wants to retreat from the world, Pitts has asked her? “Her mind, her imagination, ‘where no one can touch me’,” he said she told him.
What Pilar deserves “is an opportunity,” Pitts said to Associates guests. “And when that person in your space asks you that question, tell them ‘Come to me.’”
This is article is from the Roanoke Magazine, issue two, 2014.
July 28, 2014
Some people just have a knack for connecting. Consider Dale and Janet Sarjeant ’74 ’73. They met at Roanoke and became partners for life. They bonded with their Roanoke professors so well that, years later, they established the Wise-Walter English Major Endowed Scholarship to honor English professors Matthew Wise and Robert Walter.
The Sarjeants set down roots in Charlotte, N.C., more than 30 years ago and never left. Today, they’re doing everything possible to encourage younger Roanoke alumni in the Charlotte area to maintain their ties to the College.
In the early 1990s the Sarjeants started the Charlotte Alumni Chapter. They’ve been chapter chairs, but most of all they’ve served as guiding lights, hosting meetings of the chapter steering committee four times a year. To that end, they’ve helped plan events that attract younger graduates.
“We need to find out what they’re looking for to keep them involved,” Dale Sarjeant explains.
In addition to hosting events appealing to all ages, such as Charlotte Panther Tailgate parties, Charlotte Summer Pops gatherings and Charlotte Knight nights, the Chapter has created unusual events springing from what Dale terms the “HOG” (“habit of giving”) philosophy. Football Fantasy get-togethers, for example, feature a 50-50 from which half the proceeds go to the College. The Chapter also sells Roanoke T-shirts and Roanoke cup cozies, which instill spirit and benefit the College.
These creative efforts have paid big dividends. For three straight years, the Roanoke Alumni Chapter has won the annual Henry Hill Alumni Chapter Challenge, awarded to the alumni chapter with the highest giving percentage.
Why do the Sarjeants feel so tied to their alma mater? “We really got to know our professors at Roanoke,” says Janet Sarjeant. “The College enriched our lives in so many ways, and it keeps on giving, so it’s a joy to give back.”
Dale’s enthusiasm for the College was further enhanced when he joined the Board of Trustees in 2009. “It’s enlightening to work alongside such wonderful people of many generations as we wrestle with the future challenges and opportunities facing liberal arts colleges, he says. And it’s fascinating to walk across campus with [President] Mike Maxey and see him interacting with everyone he meets.”
“Mike Maxey has a strong vision for Roanoke,” says Janet, “and we buy into that vision.”
The Sarjeants are very involved in the Roanoke Rising campaign as Charlotte regional chairs, and as donors. Based on their history, it’s a safe bet they’ll be working on behalf of the College for many more years to come.
July 28, 2014
Two Roanoke College Hall of Famers — both businessmen, Board of Trustees members and strong supporters of the College — made the surprise announcement during Alumni Weekend of a joint $5 million gift toward construction of the new Cregger Center.
The gift, from Donald Kerr ’60 and Morris Cregger ’64, will be used specifically for construction of the Cregger Center Field House. The multi-purpose structure — to be named the Kerr-Cregger Field House — will include a 200-meter indoor track and event seating for 3,500.
Kerr and Cregger are close friends and continue to support athletic programs at Roanoke and support the College at other levels. Cregger, Board of Trustees chair, is CEO of Cregger Company Inc., headquartered in Columbia, S.C. He is a charter member of Roanoke College’s Hall of Fame and remains one of Roanoke’s top 20 scorers of all time. He lettered in basketball, soccer, track and tennis.
Kerr, chairman and CEO of Kerr Industries, Inc., was one of the top athletes at Roanoke during his years at the College. A two-sport athlete, he was a member of the men’s track team and was a member of the men’s soccer team from 1956-59, serving as a two-year team captain. He set the Virginia State Tournament scoring record as a senior and led Roanoke to the Virginia State Championship in 1957. Kerr was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.
Cregger Center work is officially underway. Utility work began in May, soon after Commencement and after students moved out of Bowman Hall. In June, Bowman will be demolished to further prepare the campus site for Cregger construction.
Construction is expected to be completed in 2016.
July 17, 2014
Construction is in full force at the future site of the new Cregger Center at Roanoke College.
Bowman Hall, a longtime campus residence hall, was demolished in late June to clear a site on High Street for the Cregger Center, a 155,000 square foot athletic and events facility.
The new multi-level complex will bring academics, athletics, recreation and community engagement under one roof. It will include a modern performance gymnasium with seating for 2,500, a multi-sport field house with a 200-meter indoor track, conference rooms and administration offices. New event seating space for 3,500, along with other social spaces and dining areas, will allow the College to host major events and bring the entire campus together in ways not currently possible.
Watch the video above to see the beginnings of the Bowman demolition and highlights of a June 26 campus ceremony to bid farewell to the building.
June 24, 2014
- Do this outrageous thing: buy yourself some stationary or just some small note cards with your name on them and establish the habit of sending hand written “thank you” notes to people who do nice things for you.
- When you are established in a job always do all that is expected of you every day, even in small tasks. And then when you have met that standard, do a little more.
- If you decide to change jobs, always use the Tarzan method of making your way through the jungle. Never let go of the vine you have in hand until the next one is firmly in your grasp.
- Vote – never miss casting your vote. Every time the polls open, show up, express yourself. The polling booth is the absolute only place where everyone is truly equal. … Democracy only works with citizen participation. The education you have gained at Roanoke College will sharpen your instincts and analysis of issues and candidates. America needs you to participate.
- When you begin to earn money and feel, finally, totally secure and financially stable, remember how much this has all meant to you – remember how much of who you’ve become began here on this campus with these friends and all this energizing intellectual and social environment. There will be nothing like this again. Remember it and begin early to make financial gifts to the annual fund of Roanoke College, and, when you can, give something significant, unrestricted, to a capital campaign like the one underway right now. And, if possible, remember the college in your will.
Others before you have done all those things. That’s why you found this place so ready for you when you arrived four years ago. Keep that tradition and this wonderful place as thriving in the future as it is today.
Wise words for all Maroons.
January 29, 2014
About 200 Roanoke College alumni, friends and parents enjoyed a festive evening of food, drinks and mingling at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond on Dec. 17. The decorated hotel, where Christmas wreaths dangled from wall sconces and a large Christmas tree rose high in the main lobby, served as a fitting backdrop for the celebratory occasion at which the College discussed its expectations for its $200 million campaign, Roanoke Rising.
“The Richmond region offers the dedication…and the Maroon spirit to drive us forward” to help the College reach its goal, said Elizabeth Rhodes ’78, one of Roanoke’s regional campaign chairs, in front of the crowd gathered in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom.
Of approximately 7,336 Roanoke alumni who live in Virginia, more than 900 live in the Richmond area, Rhodes said.
Stephen Rhodes ’74, another regional campaign chair, told the group that the Richmond area soon will set its own campaign fundraising goal.
Others, including President Michael Maxey, addressed the crowd. Maxey described the campaign as the College’s “booster rocket.”
“Our $200 million goal is ambitious, don’t you think?” he asked alumni and friends. “I know that we will succeed because of the commitment of alumni…Roanoke Rising will take this college to the greatest heights it has ever seen.”
New England alumni gathered at TD Garden in Boston on December 9th, 2013, to kick off the regional Roanoke Rising campaign. The annual alumni event was hosted by campaign chairs, John and Lynn Reichenbach (parents of Emily Reichenbach ’13). The Reichenbachs, along with campaign co-chairman Shaun McConnon ’66, welcomed guests and stressed the importance of the New England region to Roanoke College’s success. Mrs. Reichenbach pointed out to guests, “Your belief in Roanoke has helped us realize our potential… and that is a big part of the reason why you are here now.” She noted that the region’s leadership, dedication and Maroon Spirit would be the catalysts to propel Roanoke forward.
Alumni, parents and friends of Roanoke were excited to reunite on December 16th for the regional Roanoke Rising campaign kickoff and annual chapter reception at The Town Point Club in Norfolk. Campaign Chairs Joe Carpenter ’99 and Helen Whittemore ’80 welcomed guests and thanked the chapter hosts. Made possible by Marilyn Booker, Blake and Jennifer Boykin, Robert and Linda Braaten, and Clark and Bonnie Elverum, the evening’s program reminded guests that they can help the College rise to an even more exciting future. President Michael C. Maxey praised the chapter and its commitment. “That is the Maroon Way,” he said.
January 23, 2014
More than 100 alumni, parents and friends attended the Chapter Reception Kickoff Event for Washington, D.C. on Sunday, Nov. 17 at the historic University Club. Chapter hosts were White ’52 and Rosemarie Rhyne, Kayvon Sarmadi ’11, the Rev. Dr. Theodore F. and Doris Smith Schneider ’56 ’56, and Kevin and Kat Burns Swatt ’02.
Regional Campaign Co-Chair C. Steven Harkness ’69, who has been involved in a number of College campaigns, addressed attendees, marveling at the increasing size and scope of what have been very successful, goal-exceeding College campaigns in past years. “I am hopeful we will do the same this time,” he said, referring to Roanoke Rising: The Campaign for Roanoke College.
Harkness shared that a campaign goal will be set very soon for the Washington, D.C. region. Its success will require inspired, engaged support from all members of the College family, he said. “For the College to succeed, we must all be a part of Roanoke Rising,” he said.
Joining Harkness in addressing event attendees was his wife, Campaign Co-Chair and Board of Trustees member Kathryn S. Harkness ’73. She noted that Washington, D.C. is important to Roanoke Rising for several reasons: Of the College’s 17,383 living alumni, more than 1,500 live in the D.C. chapter region; nearly 2,000 Maroon Parents are in the D.C. community; and more than 800 are friends who support Roanoke.
“Based on these statistics, it is clear to us that the Washington, D.C. region offers the leadership, dedication and Maroon Spirit necessary to propel us forward,” Kathryn Harkness said.
News was shared that Tom Coyle’76, who has served as chair of the D.C. chapter since 2006, is moving to Indianapolis to be closer to his daughter. As a result, he will be relinquishing his role as chapter chair.
“He has been a great leader and we will miss him here in D.C.,” Steven Harkness said.
Roanoke College President Michael Maxey thanked attendees for their role in shaping the College’s future.
“Roanoke Rising will take us to new heights,” he said. “I promise great views for all when we reach those new heights.”
Philadelphia-area alumni gathered Nov. 19 at the Merion Cricket Club for the annual alumni reception. The event, which kicked off the regional campaign for Roanoke Rising, was hosted by Board of Trustee member and Philadelphia Regional Campaign Co-chair Morgan Churchman ’65, and his wife, Sonia.
Churchman stressed the importance of the Philadelphia chapter to the campaign, noting that out of 17,383 living alumni, nearly 800 live in the area along with 1,200 parents of current students and an additional 300 supporters. “The participation of alumni, parents and friends will be vital to our success,” he said.
New York area alumni gathered at the New York Athletic Club on Dec. 4 to kick off the Roanoke Rising campaign. The event was hosted by Sandy ’02 and Vanessa ’02 Mulheren, Nancy Mulheren ’72 and Robert ’60 and Mary Wortmann.
Judy Hall ’69, trustee and co-chair of the New York regional campaign committee, welcomed the crowd of almost 200 attendees. “I am glad that each of you has given your time to be with us this evening because this campaign is about participation,” said Hall.
Peter Treiber ’79, co-chair of the New York regional campaign committee, added “I hope each of you will join us in this very exciting journey — one that celebrates tradition, acknowledges advancement and honors the shared values that unite us.”
January 20, 2014
Charlotte, N.C., area Roanoke College alumni gathered Oct. 10 at the Mint Museum Randolph to reconnect and learn about the Roanoke Rising campaign. The crowd dined on traditional Southern fare, such as mini shrimp and grits skillets and small North Carolina barbecue sandwiches.
Dale ‘74 and Janet Sarjeant ’73 and Rick Oglesbee’95 were the event hosts.
During the presentation, Kerry Peterson Nadeau ‘07 announced a goal for the group – raise $25,000 to name the scoreboard inside Roanoke’s planned Cregger Center after the Charlotte chapter. About 1,000 Roanoke alumni live in the Charlotte region.
“We need Charlotte in Roanoke,” Nadeau said.
Baltimore alumni, parents and friends gathered in the Maryland Club to celebrate the kickoff of Roanoke Rising in Baltimore.
Joe Fields ’78 spoke along with Beth ’72 and Terry Purvis ’69. The three serve as the Baltimore co-chairs for Roanoke Rising. The group heard about the priorities of the campaign and viewed the campaign video. Purvis talked about the important connections between Maroons everywhere and especially in Baltimore. There was a clear feeling in the group of a connection between alumni of different class years and ages. Brooke Huff Dowell ’94 used the local term “Small-timore” to describe the many connections that bind Baltimore folks together. Although Baltimore is a big city, “small world” connections are often found in Baltimore and with Roanoke alumni. Dowell sent her best wishes back to campus for Hal Johnston, someone who influenced her during her years at Roanoke.
Charlottesville, Va., alumni enjoyed a reception and reunion at The Boar’s Head Inn on Nov. 7. Hosts Barry Meek ’91 and Dr. Munsey Wheby ’51 spoke to chapter members about the importance of supporting Roanoke’s new campaign, Roanoke Rising.
“The next several years of the campaign will give us the opportunity to seize on that legacy and catapult ourselves to the next level,” Meek said.