By Roanoke College News

Profiles of Service, George Kegley '49

George Kegley '49 - Roanoke, Virginia; Community volunteer, retired journalist

George does everything from delivering Meals on Wheels to giving blood (he has donated 57 gallons over 50 years). Through the Lutheran Cooperative Ministry, he rounds up inner-city children each summer, outfits them with camping supplies and takes them to a week-long camp near Luray, Va. For years, he has worked with refugees, including families from Vietnam, Hungary, Afghanistan and Liberia. He is chairman of the Endangered Sites Committee of the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation. He has served on the boards of the Roanoke Rescue Mission, Pastoral Counseling Center, Western Virginia Land Trust, the Brandon Oaks Advisory Board and more. George edits the Journal of the Historical Society (he has worked for the Historical Society of Western Virginia for more than 30 years), as well as the monthly Virginia Lutheran and the quarterly insert for The Lutheran national magazine.  

"In the 20+ years since I retired, I have become increasingly aware of the many needs facing less fortunate people in our community. As I work with refugees, people at our church food pantry and those on my Meals on Wheels route, I see so many elderly and disabled folks who for many different reasons are barely getting by with little or no hope of a comfortable future. If I can make their lives a little brighter, I hope I have helped the community and I have a sense of fulfillment. In helping others, I am influenced by my mother, who was a very compassionate person."

"Although the College did not have a great emphasis on community service in my time, 60 years ago, I began to seriously consider such traits as responsibility and the College's great traditions through our president, Dr. Charlie Smith, and senior faculty members. I thought about my forefathers - my grandfather, Rev. James A. Brown, served on the College's first board of trustees. My father and four uncles, a great-uncle and a half-dozen cousins were Roanoke students. Could I contribute as much to society as they have? There must be a legacy there somewhere."

"Coming from a small-town high school in post-World War II days, I was impressed by the high quality of scholarship I found at Roanoke. I was an English major and many of my friends worked in the sciences and math but we all met high standards which led to successful, professional careers for many in the Class of '49."