On Aug. 24, more than 630 new students arrived at Roanoke College for orientation weekend. It was an exciting, bustling time, as orientation weekend is on all college and university campuses. For all of us involved in higher education, it is a favorite time of the year.

Our orientation has its own unique traditions for incoming students: the building of a Habitat for Humanity house (our fourteenth this year); a ceremonial student pledge to living a life of integrity that adheres to Roanoke College’s core values; and for the past 10 years, a festive introduction to life off campus in Roanoke City.

Since 2010, on the Sunday evening of orientation weekend, the City of Roanoke closes the downtown Market Square area, and our students enjoy live music, excellent food, and the goods and services of local vendors and crafts people. It’s great fun and it lets students know the wonderful assets of our namesake city.

On this festive night, the City of Roanoke has opened its arms wide to incoming Roanoke College students for the past decade. For that, we say “Thank you.”

To the Roanoke City Police Department, for watching over our new students, many of them away from home for the first time. To the Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea and other members of Roanoke City Council, for taking time to personally welcome new students to part of the community they will call home for the next four years. To local small business owner, Bruce Bryan of B2C Enterprises, for partnering with us to ensure the big details and small logistics are covered. To the many vendors and performers who enlivened the night for new Roanoke Maroons. Thank you.

Thank you, City of Roanoke, for a decade of rolling out such a warm, friendly welcome to our students, in the heart of Virginia’s Star City.




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