Purpose & Principles

A better tomorrow

Will all the social, economic and technological changes occurring make a better world? This is the challenge facing us today: how to harness these forces for good. At Roanoke College we believe good will prevail, if more people are encouraged to find and live their passions. Those who live what they love make the world a better place. They care. They get involved. They find new ways to do things. Their energy and determination inspire us all to care, to strive, to fight for what we love.

At Roanoke, we believe more passionate lives will make a better tomorrow. Many colleges talk about finding passion; we believe that's only half the battle. Institutions of higher education need to help their students—and their alumni—live their passions. Our goal is to help all Roanoke students find and live what they love, and for our success to be a beacon to other schools. Imagine how much better the world will be with millions of passionate people working hard for positive change.

Because of our Lutheran heritage, we live at the intersection of faith and reason. Reason calls us to be honest. Faith calls us to be authentic.

Freedom of Purpose

Our core belief as a college is what we call "Freedom with Purpose." We believe it's not enough to be free politically, that each of us must have his or her own purpose and be prepared intellectually, morally and spiritually to pursue that through life. Freedom with Purpose challenges us to leave small, safe worlds and join larger, more interesting ones. It asks us to find our passion and be prepared to live it fully, and, through our passion, help to make the world a better place. 

As advocates for Freedom with Purpose, the College will do everything it can to help its students and alumni to live their passion. If you come to Roanoke, you will: 

  • Join a community of lifelong learners, who will encourage and work with you through your journey of discovery
  • Be encouraged to open yourself to wider perspectives, to discuss new topics, with new and different people
  • Live in a diverse and tolerant community
  • Sharpen your mind through critical thought, research and debate
  • Find your passion and build knowledge and expertise around something you truly love
  • Build your own code of ethics and tie it to your faith, your ultimate meaning
  • Develop the knowledge and skills you'll need to live and defend a life of freedom