Named Endowments

The Importance of Named Endowments

An endowment gift is the most long-lasting gift an individual can make to Roanoke College.

Gifts to our endowment are invested and managed carefully so that they will grow over time. Each year a portion of the endowment’s earnings are distributed for the donor’s chosen purpose, while the principal continues to grow in perpetuity.

The permanence of such a gift is powerful. Endowments affect many more lives than would otherwise be touched by a donor’s generosity. Endowments inspire additional gifts and are a meaningful way to create a legacy in one’s own name or to pay tribute to family members, friends, mentors, teachers or special people in one’s life.

Benefits of an Endowed Gift

  • Provides a consistent and permanent funding source that supports students, faculty, research and programs for generations to come.
  • Improves the College’s ability to recruit and retain exceptional faculty and students, as well as deliver critical funding to academic programs.
  • Gives individuals the opportunity to invest in something they care deeply about, while supporting the College in perpetuity.
  • Creates meaningful connections between donors and the students, faculty and programs that directly benefit from their generosity.
  • Memorializes a loved one or honors someone special in an impactful way—a true convergence of past, present and future—thus building a long-lasting relationship between the donor and the Roanoke family.

Named Endowment Opportunities

Faculty Chair


Endowed faculty chairs have long been recognized as both a hallmark of academic quality and a means by which Roanoke honors its most esteemed scholars and teachers. Faculty chairs are reserved for scholars of national and international stature with highly distinguished records of teaching, mentorship and publication. Chairs constitute a time-honored way to recruit or retain scholars with exceptional records of achievement. By providing funds to endow a faculty chair, donors can make a prominent and permanent investment in the College. Faculty chairs may be named in honor of the donor or another person deserving of this tribute.

Centers and Institutes


Roanoke’s Centers and Institutes serve as critical points of convergence for the student experience by combining academic excellence, a commitment to community, service to others and a means of personal distinction.

  • The Center for Civic Engagement provides opportunities for students to serve others through a variety of agencies and projects in the Roanoke Valley and beyond.
  • The Center for Community Health Innovation supports the development of resident-guided, cross-sector strategies to reduce community-level health inequities across the Roanoke Valley.
  • The Center for Economic Freedom explores the role of economic freedom and individual rights in prosperous societies through reading, writing, discussion and lectures.
  • The Center for Leadership and Entrepreneurial Innovation (CLEI) is committed to helping students discover their vocational passions and providing them with the educational tools needed to turn their ideas into viable innovations and businesses.
  • Center for Studying Structures of Race is an academic center dedicated to the study of historical and contemporary issues dealing with race and the legacies of slavery in modern American society. It will serve as a venue for teaching, research and community engagement about issues of race, and emphasize the examination of forms of institutional racism at local, national and international levels.
  • Institute for Policy and Opinion Research (IPOR) conducts surveys on political, economic and social issues of importance to the Commonwealth of Virginia, providing Virginians and state leaders with information regarding the opinions of its citizens.
  • The Language Resource Center provides students with audio, video and technological methods of learning and practicing languages offered at Roanoke College.



Professorships honor the career contributions of tenured faculty members to the College whose work is of the highest quality. Professorships are often funded through endowment gifts from individuals who wish to recognize some of the College’s foremost teachers and scholars.



Program endowment support directly enhances a college program. In collaboration with the Dean and their academic chairs, faculty can utilize these funds for the purchase of needed equipment or materials, professional development, travel or to promote student research and discovery.



Advancement of knowledge is one of the primary responsibilities of a college professor. Fellowships support the teaching and research of professors who undertake major new initiatives or whose work shows extraordinary promise. Stipends may provide partial salary support, classroom release time, equipment, professional training and development and/or travel funds to enhance teaching expertise. By encouraging these individuals to persist in their fields of study, fellowships become an important means of retaining valued faculty members and supporting productive scholarship. Donors who are committed to a particular field or discipline can endow a fellowship in that area of study if the position is a priority for the College or create a fellowship that can be filled from outstanding faculty across the arts and sciences.

Lecture Series Fund


An endowed lecture series fund provides support for an honorarium, travel costs, printing of program materials, advertising and other expenses incurred in bringing a distinguished speaker to campus. Expert presenters broaden students’ educational perspective, enhance faculty’s exposure to current thinking in a field and inform the campus and local community about issues and topics of national and international importance.

Department Fund for Excellence


Established to provide unrestricted funds to the department head who, with the approval of the Dean of the College, may use the funds at his or her discretion in support of the most pressing needs of the department. These funds allow department heads to respond quickly to evolving opportunities in a discipline or to ensure that a department is advancing in its field.

Discovery Endowment


A discovery endowment provides support for one or more students to engage in the advancement of a special, intensive area of study. The endowment will afford young scholars an opportunity to explore their potential by focusing on significant research or writing projects. A discovery endowment can provide a transformational experience for a student.

Need or Merit-Based Scholarship


A scholarship provides a supporting grant to assist with payment for tuition and fees for one or more students each year. Scholarships help Roanoke recruit and/or retain the most promising students. Many scholarship contributors choose to establish these funds in their name or in the name of someone who ensured their education.

Experiential Learning Endowment


Roanoke College’s overall mission is to prepare students for responsible lives of learning, service and leadership by promoting their intellectual, ethical, spiritual and personal growth. A key component to fulfilling this mission is forging a deliberate connection between knowledge gained in the classroom and experiences designed to put that knowledge into practice. Though experience itself is valuable, when set in a larger context of reflection, experience can be transformative. As such, Roanoke College seeks to transform the lives of our students through experiential learning opportunities which include undergraduate research, internships, service-learning, study away (both study abroad and May-Term travel courses) and creative works.

Athletic Programs


Programmatic endowment serves the Athletic Department and individual teams well in that it tends to be broad-based and designated to the highest program priority. Funds may be used for postseason, invitational or international team travel, equipment purchases, recruiting expenses and general team support. A particular sport or team may be designated as recipient of the funds.

Campus Preservation Fund


These funds are established to support projects that preserve and beautify the facilities and grounds of the campus. Roanoke’s stunning, nationally recognized campus attracts prospective students and welcomes alumni and friends home. A premier environment is critical to every student’s success.

President’s Fund for Excellence


Gifts made without restriction are among the College’s most necessary. The President’s Fund for Excellence is designed to give the College additional resources to capitalize on serendipitous circumstances. Income from this endowment gives Roanoke’s leaders the latitude and the financial means to build upon our current advantages and act decisively as new opportunities arise.