Named Endowments

The Importance of Named Endowments

An endowment gift is the most long-lasting gift a donor can make to Roanoke College. These gifts are invested and managed carefully so that they will grow over time. Each year a portion of the endowment’s earnings are distributed for the donor’s chosen purpose, while the corpus continues to grow in perpetuity.

The permanence of such a gift is powerful.  Endowments affect many more lives than would otherwise be touched by a donor’s generosity. Many endowments inspire additional gifts and are a meaningful way to create a legacy in one’s own name or to pay tribute to family members, friends, mentors, teachers, or special people in one’s life.


Minimum Named Endowment Levels:

Dean’s Chair

$2 million

The person appointed to the position of Dean is charged with maintaining and enhancing the academic quality of the College.  As the chief academic officer of Roanoke College, the Dean must ensure that Roanoke’s educational experiences are of a national caliber. The Dean’s charge is always to look beyond the best academic practices of today to lead Roanoke into the big ideas of tomorrow. The Dean’s Chair provides discretionary funds that enable the Dean to establish or advance teaching methods, scholarship, research and programs that will rank among the best of their kind.

The Dean’s Chair is the most prestigious named endowment at Roanoke College. It pays tribute to a person who espouses the ideals of Roanoke.

Faculty Chair

$1.5 million

Endowed faculty chairs have long been recognized as both a hallmark of academic quality and a means by which Roanoke honors its most esteemed scholars and teachers. Faculty chairs are reserved for scholars of national, or even international, stature with highly distinguished records of teaching and publication. Chairs constitute a time-honored way to recruit or retain scholars with exceptional records of achievement.

By providing funds to endow a faculty chair, donors can make a prominent and permanent investment in the College. Faculty chairs may be named in honor of the donor or another person deserving of this tribute.


$1 million

Professorships honor the career contributions of tenured faculty members to the College whose work is of the highest quality. Professorships are often funded through endowment gifts from individuals who wish to recognize some of the College’s foremost teachers and scholars.

Program Endowment


This support directly enhances a college program. In collaboration with the Dean and their academic chairs, faculty can tap these funds for items such as the purchase of needed equipment or materials, professional development, travel, or to promote student research and discovery.



Advancement of knowledge is one of the primary responsibilities of a college professor. Fellowships support the teaching and research of professors who undertake major new initiatives or whose work shows unusual promise. Stipends may provide partial salary support, classroom release time, equipment, professional training and development, and/or travel funds to enhance teaching expertise. By encouraging these individuals to persist in their fields of study, fellowships become an important means of retaining valued faculty members and supporting productive scholarship.

Donors who are committed to a particular field or discipline can endow a fellowship in that area of study, if the position is a priority for the College, or create a fellowship that can be filled from outstanding faculty across the arts and sciences. Fellowships may be named for the donor or someone the donor wishes to honor.


Lecture Series Fund


An endowed lecture series fund provides support for an honorarium, travel costs, printing of program materials, advertising, and other expenses incurred in bringing a distinguished speaker to campus.  Expert presenters broaden students’ educational perspective, enhance faculty’s exposure to current thinking in a field, and inform the campus and local community about issues and topics of national or international importance. The series can carry the name of the donor or another person(s) who is to be honored.


Department Fund for Excellence


The Department Fund for Excellence is established to provide unrestricted funds to the department head who, with the approval of the Dean of the College, may use the funds at his or her discretion in support of the most pressing needs of the department. These funds allow department heads to respond quickly to evolving opportunities in a discipline or to ensure that a department is advancing in its field. The Department Fund for Excellence is a way to make a mark in one’s own major or field of interest, in the donor’s name or another person who deserves recognition.


Discovery Endowment


A discovery endowment provides support for one or more students to engage in the advancement of a special, intensive area of study. The endowment will enable these young scholars to explore their potential by focusing on significant research or writing projects. A discovery endowment can provide a transformational experience for the student. These endowments are generally named for the donor or someone the donor wishes to honor.


Need or Merit-Based Scholarship


A scholarship provides a supporting grant to assist with payment for tuition and fees for one or more students each year. This scholarship will be used to recruit and/or retain the most promising students. Many scholarship contributors chose to establish these funds in their name or in the name of someone who ensured their education.


Study Abroad Endowment


Roanoke College recognizes the inherent value of international education and its contribution to a thriving campus. Study abroad is a life changing experience that Roanoke would like to make accessible to every student. A study abroad endowment will directly support a student by covering costs associated with an international travel experience.


Book Fund


The Book Fund Endowment is established to provide funds to be used by the library to purchase print and electronic publications in support of the most pressing needs of the College. Access to the newest research and writings are critical to a high quality education, and library resources are representative of an institution’s academic strength.


Campus Preservation Fund


The Campus Preservation Fund Endowment is established to provide the College with funds to support projects that preserve and beautify the facilities and grounds of the campus. A premier environment is critical to the College’s success. Roanoke’s nationally recognized, stunning campus attracts prospective students and welcomes alumni and friends home.


President’s Fund for Excellence


Gifts made without restriction are among the College’s most valuable. The President’s Fund for Excellence is designed to give the College additional resources to capitalize on serendipitous circumstances. Income from this endowment gives Roanoke’s leaders the latitude and the financial means to build upon our current advantages and act decisively as new opportunities arise.  The President believes every person is important to the College’s vision and future, and this fund invites other to dream boldly with Roanoke.