Surprise $25 Million Pledge Launches Roanoke College Campaign

Roanoke College 2Roanoke College is undertaking the largest campaign in its 171-year history, with one of the largest single gifts ever given in the Roanoke Valley fueling the 0 million campaign.

Roanoke Rising: The Campaign for Roanoke College, which publicly kicked off on April 13 at the College’s Alumni Weekend, had already reached more than 50% of its goal when Roanoke President Michael Maxey announced a significant gift from the Mulheren family of Rumson, N.J., and Paint Bank, Va. Alumna Nancy Mulheren ’72 and her family, which includes son Sandy ’02, his wife Vanessa ’02 and her late husband John ’71, made the $25 million pledge to the surprise of the 1,100 guests in attendance. This pledge is the largest gift ever given to the College.

 “I have no doubt that Roanoke is among the finest liberal arts colleges in the nation,” says Mulheren, who serves on the College’s Board of Trustees. “I believe in Roanoke. Roanoke College has always been deep in our hearts and my family wants to do all that we can to make a difference. In honor of my family’s life changing experiences at Roanoke and in support of generations of young Maroons to come, I am pleased to share our gift of $25,000,000.”

 “The world needs people and institutions who out-think, out-perform and out-do the expected,” says College President Michael Maxey, “and Roanoke graduates embody this idea. This gift is a tremendous testament to the way Roanoke alumni go on to make an impact on the world and to aspire beyond ‘business as usual.’”

According to the College’s Vice President for Resource Development Connie Carmack, “This campaign will have a transformational impact on Roanoke College. To be able to launch our campaign with a gift of this magnitude is exceptional. The generosity and loyalty of Roanoke alumni is remarkable. We are positioned for unprecedented success.”

Roanoke Rising: The Campaign for Roanoke College will raise funds for five priorities:

  • Facilities and Capital Projects—Two primary endeavors are the new Cregger Center, a campus center for athletics, academics and community; and renovation and expansion of a comprehensive science complex; as well as various smaller projects.
  • Academic Programs and Faculty Support—Academic programs and faculty support will include enhancements in the core curriculum, majors, and experiential learning programs; and funding for endowed positions and professional development.
  • Scholarships and Student Support—Scholarships will allow more students pursue a Roanoke education, and student support will enable students to participate in study abroad, research, creative works, service learning, and internships.
  • The Roanoke Fund—Roanoke’s annual giving program helps provide additional college aid and meet its operating needs each year.
  • The President’s Fund for Excellence—This opportunity fund will allow Roanoke to take advantage of concepts and programs that will emerge over time.

The Cregger Center will be named for Morris Cregger ’64, Roanoke’s Chairman of the Board and the lead donor for the facility. The Cregger Center will house a performance gymnasium with a 2,500 seat capacity, a field house with the Roanoke Valley’s only competitive indoor track, a fitness center for the entire campus and an athletic training facility. The College’s Health and Human Performance faculty, as well as academic and lab space, will be housed in the building, allowing students immediate access to experiential study. The field house can be converted to a mid-size event and auditorium space for lectures, concerts, community activities, and college functions such as commencement.

Roanoke’s plan for the science facilities includes renovating the current Massengill Auditorium and connecting it to two adjacent buildings, Life Sciences and Trexler Hall, which will also be modernized over subsequent years.

Roanoke President Michael Maxey said, “What excites me most about this campaign is that it fuels the basic human transaction that happens on campus between professor and student, between coach and athlete, between mentor and protégé. Roanoke Rising is about enhancing our unique environment for making these connections happen in ways that answer the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s students.”

More about Roanoke Rising, including a new video outlining the campaign, may be found on the campaign website at

In less than two decades Roanoke has advanced from being called one of the best regional colleges in the South to being twice recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a Top 10 Up and Comer among the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges.

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