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Alumni Weekend Saw Busy Schedule and Fun Spring Fest

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Written by Emma Grosskopf

Even the temperamental Virginia weather cooperated last weekend for the return of RC alumni.

Alumni Weekend kicked off on Friday, April 13, with the Society of 1842 Luncheon, in which this year’s Roanoke College Medalists s, Dr. D. Rae Carpenter, Jr. ‘49 and Wesley Graves VI ‘63, were recognized for their work and contribution to the school.

Under the much-appreciated sun on the back quad, Friday afternoon also saw the return of FOTQ, this time the Spring Fest edition, complete with a climbing wall, inflatable obstacle course and Ferris wheel.

After the FOTQ festivities, students and alumni headed over to Olin to see the art majors’ exhibition featuring students’ works of ceramics, painting, photography and more.

Additionally, the new Hall of Fame display in the Cregger Center Arena was dedicated while 2018 inductees were also honored Friday night. The 2018 honorees were Page Moir (longtime RC Men’s Basketball Coach), Dr. Finn Pincus (longtime RC Track/XC Coach), and Erin Hanson Sigmon ‘08 (Women’s Soccer and Women’s Basketball Student Athlete).

Saturday’s busy schedule involved events such as the RC Rite of Remembrance honoring alumni that have passed and the first annual Noke Hour, in which RC heard stories from alumni such as Anne Roemer ‘97, who is the NASA manager of astronaut selection and Tyler Coles ‘14, who is currently attending Vanderbilt Divinity School, as well as RC senior Haley Moe.

Saturday also saw many department receptions, as well as receptions for on-campus Greek life associations and the Honors program, as well as events such as the a cappella group Mainstreet’s 20th Anniversary performance. The evening ended with the Heritage Ball in the Wortmann Ballroom.

Alumni Weekend is the one weekend during the year where everyone, no matter when they graduated, is a Maroon again. After every Alumni Weekend ends, it’s always evident: once a Maroon, always a Maroon.

Jazz and Wind Ensembles Collaborate for Joint Concert

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Written by Jordan Hanson

On April 19, Olin Hall featured a joint jazz and wind ensemble concert directed by Dr. Joseph Blaha, who will be retiring from Roanoke after a 16-year career at the college.

Freshman Oliva Long, member of both jazz band and wind ensemble, enjoys the convenience of the joint concert, also stating that the two groups have gotten used to performing together. Of her director, Long said, “Dr. Blaha is always happy and excited to work on music. He has great ideas and pushes us to be the best we can be. We are all going to miss him next year.”

This concert is Dr. Blaha’s last at Roanoke College. Blaha said the challenge with working with a variety of instrumental arrangements is “bringing together those with different backgrounds into a cohesive ensemble.” His favorite thing about directing at Roanoke has been witnessing student growth alongside his own. In retirement, Dr. Blaha stated that he is looking forward to “exploring with total abandon literature, art, and of course, music.”

Congratulations to the music groups on a successful concert and to Dr. Blaha on his retirement. There was a reception after the concert to honor Dr. Blaha and his contribution to the music programs at RC.

Maroons Talk Back(ety-Ack)

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Written by Shamira James and Emma Grosskopf

Whether it’s for three months or for good, what are you going to miss most about RC?

Dr. Schultz, RC Professor, Overall Blessing to the English Department, “That’s easy. Most of all, I’ll miss my courageous students and seeing them change and grow over their four years here into remarkable students.”

Ben Mowers, senior, Arts Department Angel, “I’ll miss the community and the atmosphere. I won’t miss class but I’ll miss RC.”

Elly Goodwin, international student, British Invasion in the Best Way, “I’m gonna miss RC Sports, especially basketball!”

Jeremy Littlejohn and Max Menzel, freshmen, The Tallest Freshman I’ve Ever Met, “Definitely gonna miss hanging with my mates all the time, but I’ll be back!” “Yeah, I’m gonna miss having the freedom to do whatever I want but summer is about to be fun”

CEO Club Visits Entrepreneurial Themed Festival

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Written by Bradley Bommarito

Last Friday, April 13, a group of students in RC’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO) club spent the day in Charlottesville, Va. for the 2018 Tom Tom Founders Festival.  Members attended several summit speeches and a panel event.

According to a press statement, Tom Tom’s signature event is a week-long festival of ideas and culture that takes place in Charlottesville, Virginia, each April in conjunction with Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. This cross discipline, multi-venue experience transforms the historic downtown and empowers the innovators, who are envisioning a brighter future.

“The Tom Tom Festival was a fantastic experience, providing exposure to the facets of entrepreneurship spanning many industries.  It was great to hear the stories of those who have personified the spirit of innovation,” said Luke Aprile, a CEO club member.

According to the Foundation’s website, “The Tom Tom Foundation is the nonprofit organization that hosts the annual Tom Tom Founders Festival. Supporting high-impact events throughout the year, the Foundation seeks to empower the innovators whose creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and dedication to community help ensure a better future for cities across the nation.”

In total, about 44,925 attendees and 500 speakers participated in the event.  Attendance at the festival has grown by 670% since 2012. Many of the speakers were entrepreneurs, but other guests included business executives, scholars, and even representatives of nonprofit organizations.

“It was an amazing experience getting to hear such successful business owners speak and getting to ask them questions,” said Cassidy Sullivan, treasurer of CEO club.

The event offered opportunities to look at entrepreneurship from different perspectives.  It was also a forum in which best practices in business were explored in new contexts.

“This is definitely an event RC will have to go to again.  The Tom Tom Festival offered so many learning experiences in much more than just business,” said Sullivan.

The Tom Tom Festival is a great place for both curious millennials and aspiring entrepreneurs.

“Getting to hear the success stories of fellow entrepreneurs is an empowering thing.  It makes me want to get to work right then and there on the future business ideas I have floating around in my head,” said Nick Croswhite, president of CEO club.

The CEO club officer team has determined to return to the Tom Tom Festival next year.  The event would be free and open to all RC students.

“We will have to make Tom Tom Festival the next great event for the club,” said Croswhite.

A Semester in Review: What A Semester It’s Been!

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Written by Kaelyn Spickler

The 175th anniversary of Roanoke College has proven to be special for many different reasons. This semester in particular, we’ve had some very interesting and exciting things that kept our campus buzzing since students set foot back on campus in January. While we had some lows, like the Salem-wide water outage right after spring break, this crazy summer/winter/spring mix weather we’re having or the Commons dishwasher being broken for a fortnight and a half, let’s take a moment to look at the high points of the semester!

  1.     RC Named top producer of Fulbright Scholars: At least one Fulbright student has represented RC every year for the past five years. This year was a record-breaking year with six finalists, with one student winning, freshman Casey Wilson, and one student anxiously waiting her results.
  2.     Athletes Earn Recognition: Junior Josh Freund had his hard work on the basketball court payoff when he was awarded not only 1st Team All-ODAC Player of the Year, but also 2nd Team All-American. Freshman Quinn Harlan earned her title as the 2018 ODAC Women’s Track and Field Rookie of the Year as she clocked the second fastest 60M time in DIII history.
  3.     Women’s March Downtown: Despite the rainy, cold weather on Saturday, Jan. 20, thousands of students, children, men and women lined the streets of downtown Salem waving their posters to bring awareness, demanding a change. The march was not focused solely on women’s rights, but also equal rights for the LGBTQ community and immigrants.
  4.     Amanda Knox Speaks at RC: Olin Theater was packed as everyone was intrigued about Knox’s story and what it was like to be falsely accused of a crime. Knox told her story and about her experience in prison as the overflowing audience listened intently.
  5.     “Basically Tarantino” Film Festival: Six films created, directed, produced by and starring RC students were shown on the big screen of the Wortmann Ballroom for their fellow classmates and professors to enjoy.
  6.     Men’s Basketball Team Competes in ODAC Championship: The Maroons entered the ODAC Tournament as the number two seed, closely behind Randolph Macon. They fought their way through the tournament but fell short to Emory and Henry in a nail-biter championship, ending a strong season for the men’s team.
  7.     Paper Blooms Festival in Olin: For two years the community has been diligently working by hand to create flowers out of paper, and the finished product was put on display in Olin Gallery this semester. Many students were found sipping tea and taking some much needed rest and recuperation time while admiring the work. Once the exhibition closed, the flowers were arranged and donated locally.
  8.     Roanoke’s Got Talent: CAB provided RC students with the opportunity to let their talents shine. Many students took the stage to sing their hearts out or to break out their best dance moves. Senior Jose Alvarado won the audience over with his silent comedy routine.
  9.     Outlast- WRKE: Junior Elijah Wilhelm created and directed a live event held in the WRKE studio. 9 players signed up to see how long they could last without access to food, chairs, bathrooms or their cellphones, and were not allowed to sleep. Players were gradually eliminated until the remaining four forfeited after seven hours to make freshman Brice Hall the winner of the $300 grand prize.
  10.  Maroon Madness -Sponsored by SGA: The stands were packed in the Cregger Center on Saturday, Feb. 3 as the Men’s Basketball team took on Shenandoah followed by the women’s team taking on EMU. RC fans cheered on the Maroons and received free concessions and a t-shirt.