June 30, 2022
Dear Maroon Friends,
With many memories, I conclude my term as Roanoke’s eleventh president in a matter of days. After almost four decades of service to our College, I write to share deep gratitude for what you have meant to Terri and me.
Fifteen summers ago, Roanoke’s eighth president Norm Fintel visited my office with typically sage advice. In President Fintel’s words, “This work will be the most demanding and rewarding experience of your life.” He was prophetic.
The demands have been frequent, but the rewards far exceed them. Those overflowing rewards always came from you, your kind and generous acts, and your dedication to our wonderful College. The world would be a poorer place without the presence of Roanoke College, the way it changes students’ lives, and the manner in which Roanoke alumni and friends influence the world.
Looking back over the past fifteen years, I am reminded of what we have accomplished together. Because of you, Roanoke College is a richer and better environment for students. The teaching and learning at Roanoke is nationally recognized. The programs and curricula are widely known for their innovative excellence. The campus grounds and facilities are a stunning environment for learning and working. The accomplishments of students, faculty, and staff reach great heights. This College, nestled under Fort Lewis Mountain, exceeds even our highest expectations. That success is because of you.
I have often wished that everyone connected to Roanoke College would fully realize how sublime, how precious, how wonderful is this place. If I leave you with one thought to ponder, it is that Roanoke College is worth believing in.
Our College is worth believing in because we are a student-centered college. That focus is our North Star and the world needs Roanoke and more places like it.
Our College is worth believing in because it serves students and society by treasuring the worth of every young person who walks these brick paved walkways. Magical things happen when we challenge and support young people.
You make that magic happen.
Thank you for the privilege of leading our great College. Whether you attended, taught, served, contributed time or funds, or volunteered, you made an enormous difference.
Terri and I thank you for sharing this great privilege with us. You made the journey joyful for us. You made your mark on us for the remainder of our lives.
We also thank you for your future support for our successors, Frank and Kelly Shushok. They will need you as much as we did.
We also believe that Roanoke’s best days are ahead. The next decade will be a challenging one for all, including Roanoke, but our strong relationships and confidence in the nobility of our cause will allow us to prevail in ways we can only imagine.
God speed Maroons.
You live in our hearts and minds.
President Michael C. Maxey