Lecture Series

COVID-19 STATEMENT as of Friday, March 13, 2020

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was made this week to temporarily send Roanoke College students home and continue classes online.  As a consequence, all events including the Elderscholar Lecture Program, scheduled this semester have been canceled.  We will make every effort to reschedule the spring lecture topics in the fall semester. 

Communication to registered participants was sent via email.  Please let us know if you prefer a refund or would like to apply your payment to the fall semester, by sending us a note at elderscholar@roanoke.edu.  For those who have already made the decision and notified us, your payment is being processed.  Please allow 2-3 weeks for the refund.  If you would like to defer payment to the fall, please remember to register in the fall so that we know which day you will be attending. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding. If you registered and did not receive notification, please contact us (540) 375-2323 to be sure your information is up-to-date. We appreciate all of your efforts to help us spread the word, as we attempt to contact our nearly 200 registered participants.

As President Maxey said: “Our highest priority continues to be the health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff.  We are working to act as fairly, compassionately and consistently as possible.”


Tanya Ridpath, Director

Community Programs

2020 Spring Semester Elderscholar SM Presents:

COVID-19 STATEMENT as of Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Out of an abundance of caution, Elderscholar spring lectures will be postponed beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, March 11 through Wednesday, March 18, (all of next week) after which point continuing will be reevaluated.  We are taking this precaution because older adults have been identified as at higher-risk for COVID-19, and given a recommendation to avoid crowds. The CDC offers the following recommendations for high risk populations.  

Communication method with Elderscholar registrants will be via email – if no email then we will attempt to reach you by phone. 

To follow the latest updates FOR THE ROANOKE COLLEGE CAMPUS on the Coronavirus Disease, visit https://www.roanoke.edu/covid19. Updates for the lecture scheduling are also available by calling the weather hotline at (540) 375-7777 and by checking the online event calendar https://www.roanoke.edu/events; as well as the Elderscholar webpage.

If you choose to NOT participate this semester due to concerns of the potential Coronavirus, you may receive a full refund or defer payment for the fall semester.  Please let Teresa Quinn or myself know as soon as possible.  Please contact us by email at elderscholar@roanoke.edu


Tanya Ridpath, Director

Community Programs


Tuesday's class will be held in the Colket Center, Pickle

(Tuesday begins at noon)

March 10          The Checkered History of the Peppered Moth: Evolution’s Reluctant Poster Child
Dr. Michael J. Wise, Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

March 17          Civil War Graffiti House
                          Mr. William Truitt, President of the Brandy Station Foundation

March 24          Mathematical Composers                                 
                          Dr. Margaret L. Rahmoeller, Assistant Professor of Math, Computer Science,
                          and Physics

March 31          When Inequality Makes Us Sick: Poverty, Mobility, and Poor Health
Dr. Kristen M. Schorpp, Assistant Professor of Sociology

April 7               The Civil Rights Movement as Seen Through the Visual Arts
                          Mr. H. Timothy Isaacs, Vice President of the Center for Teaching the Rule of Law
                          and Adjunct Lecturer of Public Affairs


Wednesday session will be held in the Colket Center, Pickle Lounge

(begins at 11:45am)

March 11         The Discovery of Insulin
Dr. Darwin J. Jorgensen, Thornhill Professor of Biology  

March 18         The Digital Hand and the Molecular Scalpel: Pharmaceutical Futures in the Making
Dr. Edward Nik-Khah, Professor of Business Administration and

March 25         Slavic Folklore
Dr. Tatyana V. Munsey, Adjunct Senior Lecturer of Modern Languages

April 1                Encountering Virginia in the Watercolors of Benjamin Henry Latrobe
                           Dr. Julia A. Sienkewicz, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts

April 8                Deep Changes in the Land: Soil, Sustainability, and the Earth’s Critical Zone
Dr. Katherine P. O’Neill, Associate Professor and Chair of Environmental

All lectures are followed by lunch in Sutton Commons. 

See Registration Page to register. 



Spring 2020 travel opportunities.

Go to Adventure Scholar for more details

Inclement weather and cancelation policies

In the event of inclement weather please call the weather hotline (540) 375-7777 or Teresa Quinn from Community Programs at (540) 375-5233 after 8 a.m. the day of the class to verify if the program will run as scheduled.

If the College is closed or closing early, there will be no Elderscholar program that day. If the College is under a delayed opening, or operating on a normal schedule, Elderscholar MAY BE CANCELED in order to protect the safety of the Elderscholars. If the program is canceled due to weather, Community Programs will make every effort to reschedule at a later date.

If the scheduled presenter is not available at a later date, an alternate lecture will be provided.

Substitutions may be approved by contacting the office of Community Programs or the trip vendor.

© 2019 Roanoke College. All rights reserved. Roanoke College, Elderscholar and associated logos are trademarks of Roanoke College.