doorway decorated for holidays with pineapple and apples
By Roanoke College News

Doors and Décor contest provides ‘fun and seasonal’ alternative to in-person party

When Virginia’s Gov. Ralph Northam issued new COVID-19 restrictions, including a lower limit on the number of people allowed to attend an event, Roanoke College Director of Human Resources Kathryn Martin had to get creative to plan an event in place of the annual holiday party that still allowed faculty and staff to interact safely. 

“Requests [were sent in] to have an event in person,” Martin said. “People want to be safe, but they also want and need connection.”  

President Maxey and the Cabinet is hosting a virtual holiday gathering for faculty and staff via Zoom on Friday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. (details in your Roanoke email.) The virtual gathering will celebrate  service awards, retirements and STAR (Service To All Roanoke) recognition.  

Hearing feedback and later thinking about the “Christmas Tour of Homes” events, Martin was inspired to create a Doors and Décor contest. Twenty individuals and offices signed upParticipants were encouraged to get creative and decorate however they are able — even decorating a car or at-home workspace. 

“Seeing smiles and hearing laughter as people plan and challenge one another has been great! ”

Kathryn Martin, Roanoke College Director of Human Resources

On Friday, December 11, faculty and staff are invited to stroll around campus with a tour map (and a mask!) and enjoy the decorated spaces before submitting their vote. Photos of each space will be included on the voting form for those unable to come to campus and see the décor in person. Votes will be tallied automatically through 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 14, and prizes will be awarded to the top five doors or spaces. 

The Human Resources office is looking forward to the opportunity to connect and have some fun during the holiday season. Be on the lookout for a few surprises.  

“We’re excited to offer something that has gotten people talking to one another and pulling together to do something fun and seasonal,” Martin said. “Seeing smiles and hearing laughter as people plan and challenge one another has been great!”  

Tour map and other event details will be distributed by Human Resources on Thursday by email.  Questions regarding the event can be directed to