Roanoke Rising: Cregger Center Plans

November 27, 2013

The following article was written by Meagan Cole ’14, student writer for The Brackety-Ack, Roanoke College’s student newspaper. The article appeared in the Nov. 15 edition of the newspaper.

Since the beginning of the Roanoke Rising campaign in April 2013, a lot of talk has been generated throughout the Roanoke College community about erecting the campus’s two latest buildings. The first, the Cregger Center, is an all-new sports center that will house a gymnasium, fitness area, and one of the largest indoor tracks a college has to offer. The next project will upgrade the Science Complex, both Trexler and Life Science, some years later. The latest hum of excitement came on November 5 when President Maxey released an official video to discuss the future of both projects.

The video chose to highlight Roanoke College’s most recent developments, such as Lucas and New Halls, to first recap how much the campus has grown in the past decade. In fact, some current students still remember when the Market Street Complex was the latest and greatest, which opened for the 2009 fall semester. Since then, Lucas was the chosen academic building to be refurbished with an entirely “green” mentality. Lucas is home to the foreign language department and is LEED certified, meaning the building conserves energy and saves the environment. New Hall, on the other hand, is much more luxurious. It’s even been given the nickname “the Hotel” by students who live within the dorm.

All of these accomplishments have moved the campus forward in regards to college standings, but the Cregger Center and Science Complex intend to put Roanoke College prominently on the map. Bowman Hall is seeing its last residents this school year and will be torn down to make way for the Cregger Center. Not only will the Cregger Center give birth to an improved athletics department nearby the soccer and lacrosse field, but additional dining and academic areas will go into its construction as well. The current timeline suggests that the Cregger Center will be opened for the start of the 2015-2016 school year.

While the Science Complex is currently in an anticipated project without specific years tying it down, President Maxey touches on how the science departments have received recent renovations within the video. The green house, laboratories, and state-of-the-art equipment have really stood out, expanding the students’ horizons in ways very few undergraduate schools can offer. And, when the Science Complex is completed, the facilities will be seen in an impressive, modern light.

President Maxey concludes the video by reminding its viewers that none of this could be possible without the generosity of the campus community’s donors. Every building is a tribute, a literal monument to those whose names are on each placard, and their continual support is how Roanoke College stands above the rest. To become a part of the giving family, be sure to check out the Roanoke Rising campaign in more detail.

SWVA/East TN, Roanoke Valley & Atlanta Campaign Events

November 27, 2013

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In Southwest Virginia, the Roanoke Rising campaign kicked off on Sept. 10 with an alumni gathering at the historic Martha Washington Inn in Abingdon.  John Stafford ’57, the chapter chair and a campaign steering committee member, welcomed the group of Roanoke and Marion alumni and told them about the campaign. Nancy DeFriece is a co-chair of the campaign in Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee. President Mike Maxey also spoke to the group about the College’s recent Up and Coming ranking with U.S. News and gave more details about the campaign’s priorities.

Barry Firebaugh ’67 talked about how important it is for all alumni to participate in the campaign, even if they can’t give a large amount. The Southwest Virginia/East Tennessee chapter knows participation well, having won the Henry Hill Alumni Chapter Challenge previously.  Last year, the Charlotte, North Carolina chapter won the Hill award, which comes along with a bell trophy.

“There are those at Roanoke College who will say this is a friendly competition,” Firebaugh said. “But we want to go after Charlotte and bring that bell back,” he said as he encouraged alumni to participate in the Roanoke Rising campaign.

See event photo gallery here.


 

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The annual Roanoke Valley alumni gathering was held at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center on Sept. 12. A large group of alumni reconnected at the regional campaign kickoff and enjoyed a lovely evening. Bob and Wendy Rotanz are co-chairs of the Roanoke Valley campaign, and they welcomed the group and talked about the importance of the next few years for Roanoke College.

William and Mimi Coles also are co-chairs of the campaign, and they stressed the importance of having wide participation in the campaign. Attendees watched a video about the campaign. Also, it is available online for anyone who missed the local event. 

See event photo gallery here.


 

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In Atlanta, Roanoke alumni gathered on Oct. 8 at the Cherokee Town & Country Club to reconnect with each other and get updates on the Roanoke Rising campaign from President Mike Maxey.

Malon Courts ’92, one of the Atlanta co-chairs, invited the attendees to join him in participating in the campaign. “The opportunity is before us,” Courts said. “We have a strong vision for the future.”

Peggy F. Horn ’78, co-chair of the Atlanta regional campaign, talked about the strong impact Roanoke professors have on their students.

“Dr. John Spitz and Dr. Ed Siefried changed my life,” she said.

See event photo gallery here.

Finkenstadts donate artwork to Roanoke College

November 13, 2013

TogetherIt started as a way for Hilton Head, S.C. residents Ernie and Joyce Finkenstadt to honor their daughter and son at Roanoke College, the children’s alma mater in Salem, Va.

Nearly 25 years ago, the college offered parents an opportunity to name a study room in the Fintel Library, then under construction on campus. Each room would have a nice plaque displayed outside the door so people could see who helped build the state-of-the-art facility.

The library, which opened in 1991, includes a third-floor study room with a plaque outside its door bearing the names of the Finkenstadt’s daughter Pamela, a 1986 graduate, and son Todd, who graduated in 1991.

The Finkenstadts, who lived in Upper Saddle River, N.J. prior to their move to Hilton Head, have since stayed connected to Roanoke College throughout the years.

“We were asked to be co-chairs of their Parent Leadership Council,” Ernie Finkenstadt said recently. “We thought they were doing some very fine things at the College and our children were benefiting from the many advances the College was implementing.”

Roanoke College has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s Up & Coming national liberal arts colleges, ranking this year as No. 2 up-and-comer. The Princeton Review has named Roanoke College one of the best in the United States in its “Best 378 Colleges” 2014 guidebook.  Roanoke is one of just 7 percent of colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

Joyce Finkenstadt, an accomplished artist who has produced paintings of landscapes and outdoor scenes of the Northeast, said she knows Roanoke College recruits many students from the Northeast. “We thought they might relate to some of the scenes I had painted,” she said.

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Joyce contacted Jack Williams, director of regional programs in the College’s Resource Development department, and asked if it would be possible to hang some of her paintings in the study room. In August, eight of her paintings were hung on the study room walls.

While “it is nice to leave some type of legacy,” Joyce said, “Ernie and I wanted it to be even more personal than just a sign.”

Regional Campaign Events

October 25, 2013
Region Date Time Location
SWVA/East TN Sept. 10 6:00-8:00 Martha Washington Inn
Abingdon, VA
 Roanoke Valley  Sept. 12 6:00-8:00 The Hotel Roanoke
Roanoke, VA
 Atlanta Oct. 8 7:00-8:30 Cherokee Town & Country Club
Atlanta, GA
Charlotte  Oct. 10 6:00-8:00 Mint Museum Randolph
Charlotte, NC
 Baltimore Nov. 6  7:00-8:30 The Maryland Club
Baltimore, MD
 Charlottesville Nov. 7 6:00-8:00 Boar’s Head Inn
Charlottesville, VA
 Washington, D.C. Nov. 17  5:00-7:00 The University Club
Washington, D.C.
Philadelphia Nov. 21 6:00-8:00 Merion Cricket Club
Haverford, PA
New York Dec. 4  7:00-8:30 New York Athletic Club
New York, NY
 New England Dec. 9  7:00-8:30 TD Garden
Boston, MA
Hampton Roads Dec. 16 6:30-8:30 Town Point Club
Norfolk, VA
 Richmond  Dec. 17 6:30-8:30 The Jefferson Hotel
Richmond, VA

 

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Briscoe and Kenan White pose with Roanoke's mascot, Rooney.

Family creates Good Shepherd Endowment Fund to support environmental studies

July 12, 2013

Salem – When Ben White ’11 was a student at Roanoke College, one of the most powerful experiences he had was to work with a small group of students to study the use of green roofs on buildings owned by the City of Roanoke.

These efforts were not only educational, but the students presented their ideas to the city, received recognition from the sustainability board and helped the city confirm its path toward developing the green roof in place today at its Noel C. Taylor Administration Building.

White, an environmental studies major at Roanoke, said this type of firsthand learning experience was a critical component of his environmental education.

Today, White and his parents, Briscoe and Kenan White (pictured above), are helping to ensure that future Roanoke students have similar experiences. Through their family foundation, the Good Shepherd Fund, the Whites have created the Good Shepherd Endowment Fund for Environmental Studies. The endowment fund supports experiential and firsthand learning opportunities for upper-level students in Roanoke’s environmental studies program.

“We had two goals in mind: to support the environmental studies program and to create a fund that hopefully others will be attracted to,” said Kenan White. “We hope others will give to this fund. I’d like to see it grow and grow. If such a fund had been in place when Ben was a student, we would have given to it, so now we are hoping for support for the Good Shepherd Endowment Fund’s continued growth.”

“Roanoke is a wonderful resource,” she added. “This funding will allow the students to get tied in with things going on already.”

The White family knows about the environment. Their family farm, Sandy Fields Farm in Virginia’s Charles City County, was the first in the country to be 100 percent compliant with the Chesapeake Bay Act. The farm also uses no-till farming methods and filter strips to ensure that all waterways have been protected. They use rotational grazing methods in managing their Dexter Cattle herd as well.

The Whites’ business, The Growers Exchange, grows and sells over 150 varieties of herbs throughout the continental United  States. They use biologically sound principles in growing and in all aspects of the business, from packaging to the choice of shippers, reflecting a business model that they refer to as “grown right.”

Both Briscoe and Kenan White have been involved with numerous environmental organizations, including Delta Waterfowl, The James River Association and The Nature Conservancy of Virginia, the country’s leading conservation organization which protects ecologically important land and water globally.

After graduation from Roanoke, Ben White took a semester-long course in Chile through the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Now, he works for a Google Ventures company in Colorado.

“It excites me now that this [fund] will help revitalize the environmental studies program, to allow more intensive and hands-on learning,” he said.

While at Roanoke, Ben White also was involved with RC Electric, a student group working to convert a classic gas-powered car into a fully electric vehicle. The project continues and the students involved hope to have the car running with its new engine during the 2013-14 academic year.

Dr. Gail Steehler, who coordinates Roanoke College’s Environmental Studies Program, believes the Good Shepherd Fund will have a huge impact on the program.

“It will help us to realize some things we’ve wanted to do,” she said. “Now, we will be able to implement them on a larger scale. We are seeing significant student growth in the program, so it’s perfect timing for additional resources.”

Steehler expects the Good Shepherd Fund to support student projects, such as those connected to a class project as well as ideas suggested by students. The fund also will provide support for projects in the environmental practicum, a capstone course for environmental studies majors.

“It will also help strengthen ties with the community,” Steehler said. “We plan to name a faculty member as the experiential project coordinator, and the Good Shepherd Fund will help the coordinator to make connections in the community.”

Roanoke College, a classic liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a beautiful, undergraduate setting. Roanoke is one of just seven percent of colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review lists Roanoke as the 18th most beautiful campus in its “Best 376 Colleges” 2012 guidebook.

Follow Roanoke College on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.

Roanoke Launches $200 Million Campaign with Surprise $25 Million Pledge

April 13, 2013

Roanoke College is undertaking the largest campaign in its 171-year history, with one of the largest single gifts ever given in the Roanoke Valley fueling the $200 million campaign. Roanoke Rising: The Campaign for Roanoke College, which publicly kicked off on April 13 at the College’s Alumni Weekend, had already reached more than 50% of its goal when Roanoke President Michael Maxey announced a significant gift from the Mulheren family of Rumson, NJ, and Paint Bank, VA. Alumna Nancy Mulheren ’72 and her family, which includes son Sandy ’02, his wife Vanessa ’02 and her late husband John ’71, made the $25 million pledge to the surprise of the 1,100 guests in attendance. This pledge is the largest gift ever given to the College.

“I have no doubt that Roanoke is among the finest liberal arts colleges in the nation,” says Mulheren, who serves on the College’s Board of Trustees. “I believe in Roanoke. Roanoke College has always been deep in our hearts and my family wants to do all that we can to make a difference. In honor of my family’s life changing experiences at Roanoke and in support of generations of young Maroons to come, I am pleased to share our gift of $25,000,000.”

“The world needs people and institutions who out-think, out-perform and out-do the expected,” says College President Michael Maxey, “and Roanoke graduates embody this idea.  This gift is a tremendous testament to the way Roanoke alumni go on to make an impact on the world and to aspire beyond ‘business as usual.’”

According to the College’s Vice President for Resource Development Connie Carmack, “This campaign will have a transformational impact on Roanoke College.  To be able to launch our campaign with a gift of this magnitude is exceptional. The generosity and loyalty of Roanoke alumni is remarkable. We are positioned for unprecedented success.”

Roanoke Rising: The Campaign for Roanoke College will raise funds for five priorities:

  • Facilities and Capital Projects—Two primary endeavors are the new Cregger Center, a campus center for athletics, academics and community; and renovation and expansion of a comprehensive science complex; as well as various smaller projects.
  • Academic Programs and Faculty Support—Academic programs and faculty support will include enhancements in the core curriculum, majors, and experiential learning programs; and funding for endowed positions and professional development.
  • Scholarships and Student Support—Scholarships will allow more students pursue a Roanoke education, and student support will enable students to participate in study abroad, research, creative works, service learning, and internships.
  • The Roanoke Fund—Roanoke’s annual giving program helps provide additional college aid and meet its operating needs each year.
  • The President’s Fund for Excellence—This opportunity fund will allow Roanoke to take advantage of concepts and programs that will emerge over time.

The Cregger Center will be named for Morris Cregger ’64, Roanoke’s Chairman of the Board and the lead donor for the facility. The Cregger Center will house a performance gymnasium with a 2,500 seat capacity, a field house with the Roanoke Valley’s only competitive indoor track, a fitness center for the entire campus and an athletic training facility. The College’s Health and Human Performance faculty, as well as academic and lab space, will be housed in the building, allowing students immediate access to experiential study.  The field house can be converted to a mid-size event and auditorium space for lectures, concerts, community activities, and college functions such as commencement.

Roanoke’s plan for the science facilities includes renovating the current Massengill Auditorium and connecting it to two adjacent buildings, Life Sciences and Trexler Hall, which will also be modernized over subsequent years.

Roanoke President Michael Maxey says, “What excites me most about this campaign is that it fuels the basic human transaction that happens on campus between professor and student, between coach and athlete, between mentor and protégé. Roanoke Rising is about enhancing our unique environment for making these connections happen in ways that answer the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s students.”

More about Roanoke Rising, including a new video outlining the campaign, may be found on the campaign website at RoanokeRising.com.

In less than two decades Roanoke has advanced from being called one of the best regional colleges in the South to being twice recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a Top 10 Up and Comer among the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges.

Roanoke College, a classic liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a beautiful, undergraduate setting. Roanoke is one of just seven percent of colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review listed Roanoke as the 18th most beautiful campus in its “Best 376 Colleges” 2012 guidebook.

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Campaign kicks off with gala celebration

April 13, 2013

Roanoke Rising: The Campaign for Roanoke College fundraising campaign launched Saturday, April 13, at Alumni Weekend. The College announced the largest campaign in its history, with a fundraising goal of $200 million and five priorities:  capital and building projects, scholarships and student support, academic programs and faculty support, the Roanoke Fund, and the President’s Fund for Excellence.

The evening’s biggest news was a surprise announcement of a $25 million pledge from Roanoke alumna and Board member Nancy Mulheren ’72 and her family, which includes son Sandy ’02, his wife Vanessa ’02, and her late husband John ‘71. Mulheren shared, “I believe in Roanoke. Roanoke College has always been deep in our hearts, and my family wants to do all that we can to make a difference. In honor of my family’s life changing experiences at Roanoke and in support of generations of young Maroons to come, I am pleased to share our gift of $25,000,000.”

This pledge, the largest in the College’s history, brings Roanoke to well more than half way to its campaign goal.

According to the College’s Vice President for Resource Development Connie Carmack, “To be able to launch our campaign with a gift of this magnitude is exceptional. The generosity and loyalty of Roanoke alumni is remarkable. We are positioned for unprecedented success.”

More than 1100 alumni, students and friends of Roanoke College celebrated the momentous kick-off with food and festivities under a large tent on the College’s back quad. The evening began with a reception and personal testimonies of how Roanoke has inspired a student, an alumnus and a staff member. Bob Rotanz ’78 emceed the event.

“We are here because we believe in the future of Roanoke College,” said Rotanz, a standout lacrosse player for Roanoke in the seventies who now owns Mac & Bob’s restaurant in Salem. “You believe, as you always have, that you have a part to play in that vision.”

President Mike Maxey addressed the crowd with details about how the campaign will change Roanoke’s future through its five priorities. They include funding for building and capital projects, student scholarships and support, academic programs and faculty support, the president’s opportunity fund and the Roanoke Fund.

The capital projects include construction of the Cregger Center, an athletic and educational building that will house a 2,500 seat performance gymnasium, the Roanoke Valley’s only indoor competitive track, a fitness center, an athletic training facility and classrooms and labs. The center will be a crossroads for campus life and a center for health and wellness.  The center is named for Morris Cregger ’64, who is the chair of Roanoke’s Board of Trustees.

Roanoke track and cross country athlete, Emily Reichenbach ’13, said the center’s planned indoor track will be a great enhancement to the campus. “Academics and athletics are at the core of Roanoke College,” she said.

The second capital project is a state-of-the-art science complex that will connect three campus buildings, Massengill Auditorium, Trexler Hall and Life Science into a cutting-edge modern science facility.

“I sincerely believe that when we have reached the successful conclusion of this campaign, you will look back over a transformational period in the history of Roanoke—a transformation that will enable the college to rise to a new level of excellence and national acclaim,” Maxey said.

In the last three years, Roanoke has twice been named as  a U.S. News & World Report’s Top 10 Up and Comer among the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges.

The program for the event featured a video history of Roanoke College by Steve Mason ’91 and featured music by Roanoke College student ensembles, including the Roanoke College Choir, the Oriana Singers and the Roanoke College Jazz and Wind Ensembles. After the program, the kickoff became a campus-wide celebration, with dancing and music by the Waller Family Band.

 

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