Maroon Athletic Quad
By Roanoke College News

Return to Fall 2020: President Maxey Weekly Update 9/11

Dear Maroons -

Today, 9/11, is a solemn day. Every year on this day I take time to reflect at our Roanoke College memorial dedicated to the lives lost 19 years ago. We will never forget those senseless attacks in our country.

In my note to you today, I want to let you know I am optimistic about the semester ahead, knowing we have many students who will be returning to campus. Seeing these students arrive will bring all of us joy.

As of this writing, we are expecting 403 students to return and by Sunday will have close to 1,100 students living in residence halls. Approximately 800 others are living off campus, some nearby, and many at home. 

I write with gratitude to our students, faculty and staff for your patience and determination as we prepare for this next phase in the semester. No matter where our students reside, I am confident that we can provide a meaningful educational experience if we work together and support each other in the ways we always do. At Roanoke College, it’s the connection with (and support of) one another that gives me the greatest satisfaction in my work. 

Regarding COVID-19

Today, September 11, there are two active COVID-19 cases at Roanoke College. This is good news. We will be testing all students who are returning to campus this weekend. With more students on campus, the importance of remaining vigilant about safety and health is paramount. As we have already seen, here and in the media, one ill-advised gathering can turn a single case into an outbreak. Every time this happens, the implications are serious.

Over the past few months, all of us have received information overload about what we MUST do. We all must continue to: 1. wear a mask at all times except in your own residence hall room [corrected]; 2. keep 6 feet apart; 3. maintain health vigilance; and 4. avoid ALL parties and large gatherings. Many of you will be off campus for internships and jobs this semester, and all of these behaviors remain critical. I know all of you recognize this; I have heard from so many of you telling me how important it is for you to be able to remain on campus, and we will continue to address non-compliance issues when they arise.

It’s difficult to comprehend what we all, collectively, have been through over the past six months; and I’d like to focus positively on the semester ahead. Many of my communications have been about restrictions and expectations. I want to start talking to you about what we CAN do at Roanoke College. Some of you have provided ideas for connecting and engaging with each other. I know that Student Affairs and CAB are planning exciting events. Please share any ideas you have with them, and we can work together to make those ideas happen. 

“I am counting on all of you to remain vigilant throughout the semester and safely take advantage of all the ways we can connect, have fun and support each other. ”

President Michael Maxey

Thanks to everyone in our community for helping to make life at Roanoke College vibrant, no matter where we are.

  1. Tonight, the Activities Fair will take place on the Back Quad (with a rain date of Monday) from 5 to 8 p.m. We have over 100 clubs, from bass fishing to board games. Freshmen, check your email for group assignments of when to visit. Live streaming and individual club clips will be available on MaroonTube
  2. On Saturday, September 12, there’s an 8 p.m. movie screening of “Captain Marvel” on the Back Quad. 
  3. There’s also a Silent Disco being planned for September 18, so mark your calendars.

Here are a few more recommendations on how to safely take advantage of the months ahead. Have fun, connect with others and consider trying something completely new.

  • Join the social justice discussion on activism with grassroots leaders on September 15.
  • As mentioned above, we have our own YouTube channel MaroonTube for streaming events. Be sure to check it out.
  • Our gameroom in Colket is open every day. You can check out corn hole games, frisbees, croquet, dodgeballs, spike ball, horseshoes, and even Citronella candles.
  • Take part in the Diversity Dine-In with Campus Safety and the Salem Police Department on September 17. 
  • Enjoy some of America’s most beautiful natural surroundings right out our back door. Take a hike with Outdoor Adventures!  
  • Did you know you can rent a bike from Fintel Library? The path along the Roanoke River is one of my favorites. 
  • If you qualify to vote in the upcoming 2020 United States presidential election, make sure you are registered.
  • Sweat it out in the Belk Fitness Center. You may see me on an elliptical machine every once in a while.
  • Practice your bow tie-tying skills and stay tuned for another tutoring session from me as the holiday season gets closer. 
  • There are outdoor gathering spaces all around campus where you can hang out in small groups. You can find the map here

Reach out to Senn Boswell, your SGA president, to share ideas for other things you would like to see or do on campus.

You are receiving a lot of written information from the College; this will continue as we have a lot of news and information to share these days. Please continue to visit for answers to questions you may have. You will find a dashboard on our website where we will report Roanoke College COVID-19 cases on a weekly basis. Questions may also be sent to or you may leave us a voicemail with your question by calling 540-375-2244.

I am counting on all of you to remain vigilant throughout the semester and safely take advantage of all the ways we can connect, have fun and support each other.

Be well Maroons,

President Mike Maxey