Peggy Patrick. woman from 1951 yearbook with dark top and dark hair

Peggy Patrick as pictured in her senior yearbook in 1951.

3.14.2022
By Roanoke College News

Alumna establishes Roanoke College Women’s Athletic Endowment

Roanoke College alumna and former student-athlete Peggy Patrick ‘51 has announced a planned gift to create the Roanoke College Women’s Athletic Endowment, supporting the College’s 10 varsity athletic programs for women. Such endowments are rare in NCAA Division III, where Roanoke College competes in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.  

Patrick, an economics major from Washington, D.C., earned a varsity letter in field hockey and basketball. She played for legendary Maroons coach Fran Ramser and was teammates with another coaching legend, Billie “Jean” Beamer '52.   

Patrick had a 40-year career in accounting at General Electric, ascending the corporate ladder to become one of the first women to hold a management position at GE. 

“Athletics had a tremendous impact on my life,” said Patrick. She is using her gift as a challenge to encourage others to support women’s athletics at Roanoke College on Giving Day 2022, to be held on April 6. 

“It is my hope that other women will use this endowment as a springboard, to donate as they are able to their respective sport to ensure that our efforts will help our future female student-athletes,” Patrick said. 

“We’re so fortunate that Peggy had such a positive experience with her coaches and teammates during her time at Roanoke College,” Scott Allison ‘79, director of athletics, said. “Her gesture of thanks - an endowment for women’s athletics - is, in a word, groundbreaking.”   

The endowment is the first of its kind for women’s athletics at Roanoke College and comes in the 50th anniversary year of Title IX, a federal civil rights law that was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. The law protects people from sex-based discrimination in schools or other educational programs that receive federal funding. 

“Peggy Patrick’s commitment to female athletics is inspiring,” said Kim Blair, vice president of resource development at Roanoke College. The funds generated from this endowment will help all women’s sports teams to compete in the best environment possible.” 

“It is my hope that other women will use this endowment as a springboard, to donate as they are able to their respective sport to ensure that our efforts will help our future female student-athletes. ”

Peggy Patrick '51

How to meet the Peggy Patrick Giving Challenge: 

  • All gifts made to Women’s Varsity Athletic Programs, designated to the program’s specific operating fund, will count toward the challenge.  
  • Online gifts: Visit www.roanoke.edu/patrickchallenge. You can now give by PayPal or Venmo! (Venmo is available when using your cellphone and the mobile app) 
  • Checks: Make checks payable to Roanoke College and list which athletic program you would like to support in the memo line.  
    Send to: Roanoke College Resource Development 
    221 College Lane 
    Salem, VA  24153-3794 
  • Call 1-866-724-4831 to charge a gift or to make a gift of stock.