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                                                                                           November, 2018
                         The Virginia 
Bringing you news of the Virginia Synod since 1921.

Bishops decry violence
              ELCA Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, commenting on the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, said, "I write to you with a broken heart-for the lives lost, wounded and shattered by horrific hatred and violence at Tree of Life Congregation. We join our Jewish neighbors and enter into mourning for all that has been lost. In our grief, God is our comfort. "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34: 18)
Bishop Bob Humphrey said, "I want you to know how
Bishop Humphrey 
deeply and completely I decry and lament recent acts motivated by hate, prejudice and destructive public discourse. Adding to the millions of other horrible acts throughout history, given birth and fueled by widespread and indefensible hatred toward specific groups of other humans; in the past week, we have learned about not only the vicious attack on our Jewish siblings while they worshiped but also of more than a dozen bombs mailed to high profile figures in our country and two African-Americans killed while shopping for food."
            "This needs to be a time, not only of sympathy and prayers for others, and righteous indignation, but also of personal and corporate repentance and reformation."      
In This Issue
Lutherans in the news
Transformation walk held.
Grace celebrates 125 years.
WW i Armistice celebrated
Keeping Christ in the Center
Just Because boosts teacher morale
Southern Seminary plans two events.
Pray for Catholic children, leaders
In the Wilderness by Bishop Eaton
Cleaning up after Hurricane Michael..
Three priests walk into a bar..
Pastor Singer dies at 92.
Register now for Lost & Found!.
Glade Creek celebrates 190 yeara
Pastor Rachel Manke installed at Yorktown.
Roanoke Rising Campaign.
Lutherans in the news
           Pastor Leslie Scanlon, Grace, Chesapeake, has announced her engagement to
Scanlon (rt)
Jacob Weber, First Lutheran, Norfolk, and they will be married on Saturday, Jan. 12. Pastor Deanna Boynton, cousin of the groom, will preside, Pastor Jonathan Boynton, Grace, Winchester, will officiate and Pastor Cathy Mims, First, Norfolk, will preach. Both grew up in the Synod, Weber in Roanoke and Scanlon in Norfolk. Weber is an engineer at Newport News Shipyard.
            Pastor Andrew Bansemer, Ebenezer, Marion, has accepted a call to serve at
Grace First Lutheran, Bend, OR, effective Nov. 18. Bansemer has been active in Synod youth work, as chaplain for Virginia Lutheran Men in Mission annual gathering and has served at Ebenezer for more than nine years. He is the son of Bishop Emeritus Richard Bansemer and Mary Ann Bansemer.
            Pastor Dennis Bucholz, Grace, Franklin, will retire at the end of the year after more than 25 years of service. He was pastor of Holy Communion, Portsmouth, since 2007.
            Alexis Witt has accepted a call to Our Saviour, Norge, and she will be ordained at her home congregation, Epiphany, Richmond, on Nov. 10. A native of Red Lion, PA, she is a graduate of the University of Richmond and the Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago. She has been active in campus ministry at Epiphany.      
  Shea Berbaum, a student at Southern Seminary, is an intern at Trinity Ecumenical Parish, Moneta. A native of Asheboro, NC, he grew up in the Church of God but he became a Lutheran while attending Lenoir-Rhyne University. He worked at two camps and as director of youth and family ministries at Living Saviour, Charlotte. His wife, Charlotte, has taught school and works for an education company in Roanoke.
            Peace, Charlottesville, has a new art and faith experience, Create: Peace, started with a theme, "Woven Together in Love," featuring all sorts of woven arts.
            Members of Holy Trinity, Wytheville, were invited to a Veteran's Day service
on Sunday, Nov. 11. Program participants will be Bishop Emeritus Richard Bansemer, Lt. Gen. John Bansemer, Lt. Gen. Etthan Miller, Sergeant First Class Ramona Gibson and Vice Mayor Jackie King.
            Students at Andrew Lewis Middle School, Salem, are planning to operate a food pantry to serve more than 250 students, according to Garry Lautenschlager, College, Salem, and chairman of Salem Area Ecumenical Ministries. The Green Light pantry received a two-year grant from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth.
            When dogs and cats were brought to Good Shepherd, Rapidan Parish, for the annual Blessing of Animals service, members also collected supplies for the animal shelter in Orange.
            Members of First Lutheran, Norfolk, planned a Naval Base tour aboard the Victory Rover on Nov. 1. The two-hour cruise will provide sights of the world's largest naval base, home of the Atlantic Fleet with its, destroyers, guided missiles, cruisers, submarines and aircraft carriers.
            New offices of ELCA Advocacy and Federal Chaplaincy at 218 D Street, SE, Washington, will be dedicated on Thursday, Dec. 6, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
            First English, Richmond, held a joint Reformation service with Grace Covenant Presbyterian on Oct. 21. The purpose was "to emphasize the beliefs we hold in common as the two main poles of the Reformation, Lutheranism and Calvinism."
            After joining for a homecoming service in September, the congregation of Mount Nebo, Rapidan Parish, is marking its 140th anniversary on Nov. 2. Retired Pastor William Hall, who was ordained at Mount Nebo 48 years ago, preached at the homecoming service.
            "What would Jesus eat?" is a question from the newsletter of St. Philip, Roanoke. To answer that question, a potluck luncheon on Sunday, Nov. 11, will feature Mediterranean fare and explore scripture that mentions foods Jesus ate long ago. The congregation also plans its annual Thanksgiving feast at two sites---Melrose Towers and the church, on Saturday, Nov. 24.
            A family outing in the woods is planned at Grace and Glory, Palmyra, on 
Nov. 4. Helen Ida Moyer, a tree steward, will lead a tree walk, pointing out native trees.
Transformation walk held
           More than 150 people joined in a Pilgrimage of Transformation, walking in segments from Charlottesville to Jamestown in an effort calling for understanding of the racist events in the summer of 2017. The Pilgrimage on Oct. 6-13 was sponsored by the Charlottesville Clergy Collective.
            The walk enabled participants to learn more, grow in understanding and begin to repent for systemic racism that has been supported with faith and biblical claims for centuries, according to retired Pastor Sandy Wisco.
            They walked from Jefferson School to Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, passing the site of the last lynching of a black man in Charlottesville, near the site of an auction block for enslaved people. At Monticello, the names were read of 360 slaves owned by Jefferson.
            Other walks were planned at Fort Monroe and Jamestown.
          Leslie Green Bowman (at left), president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, spoke to the walkers at Monticello.

Grace celebrates 125 years 
           Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Waynesboro, has been celebrating its 125th Anniversary throughout the year 2018. Since April, six daughters of the congregation who were called to ordained ministry from Grace have come back to preach, one per month. They are The Revs. Patricia Nabers, Linda Mitchell Motley, Karen Shumate Van Stee, Tonya Eza, Kathryn Gosswein and Janice Marie Ely Lowden. A reception was held after each of the services.
            In addition $125 contributions were made to a mission or ministry that the pastors and/or their parishes were involved in. (The Rev. Joe Shumate, a son of the congregation, will preach in early 2019)
            Grace also took part in the Forwarding Faith campaign in its anniversary year, in which the congregation met and exceeded its $12,500 challenge goal in pledges and contributions.
            In addition, Grace celebrated with its sister churches--- Bethany, Waynesboro (LCMS); Bethlehem, Waynesboro; St. James, Fishersville, and Zion, Waynesboro - with a picnic and hymn sing at their "mother church," Trinity Lutheran, originally known as Spindle's Meeting House, and then Keinadt's (Koiner's) Church in Crimora. All five congregations were mission starts: Bethany, Bethlehem and Zion, from Trinity; St. James, from Zion; and Grace was a mission of Bethlehem beginning November, 1893.
            The anniversary culminates Sunday, November 18th with Bishop Robert F. Humphrey preaching. Bishop Humphrey was pastor of Grace from 1990 - 2010. The Rev. Paul Weber, professor emeritus of church music at Lenoir-Rhyne University, was commissioned to compose the celebratory anthem, Grace Upon Grace: The Promise and the Plan. He will also direct the choir and a brass group from James Madison University that will accompany the choir in addition to Michael Myers, Grace choir director and organist. After the service there will be a reception in the Fellowship Hall, a historical display and videos, and a proclamation from the City of Waynesboro presented by Mayor Terry Short.
            An updated 125th Anniversary History will be available in print and on the church website,
World War I Armistice celebrated at St. Mark's 
            When the armistice was signed ending World War I on Nov. 11, 1918, St. Mark's, Roanoke, had a role in the celebration of the "greatest war in history." The United Synod of the South was holding a convention at St. Mark's to disband after it was formed at St. Mark's 32 years earlier. The convention was held at the brick church on Campbell Avenue.
            When news of a big parade on Jefferson Street in downtown Roanoke was received at the convention, the meeting adjourned and Dr. M.G. G. Scherer, United Synod president, and the Rev. J. Luther Sieber, St. Mark's pastor, carried flags in the parade.
Keeping Christ in the Center
     by Pastor Kathleen Miko 
           Every Tuesday morning a group of Brandon Oaks residents gathers to do nothing at all.   They sit quietly and spend the next 20 minutes in total silence, communing with the Lord in their own individual ways.   It's the practice that's known as Centering Prayer.
At Brandon Oaks, Centering Prayer began two years ago and has been going strong ever since. It is open to residents of all faiths, or no faith at all.   Pastor Kathleen Miko has explained that it is not intended to replace other types of prayer but to add a new dimension to residents' prayer lives.
            Participants sit comfortably in a circle, eyes closed, totally relaxed. They're encouraged to mentally choose a sacred word or phrase as a symbol of their consent to God's presence. After 20 minutes of silent prayer, a brief spiritual reading concludes the experience.
            The scriptural basis for this includes Psalm 16:10: "Be Still and know that I am God." The practice hearkens back to the church's century-old tradition of contemplative prayer and to Christian mystics such as Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and, in recent times, Thomas Merton.  In the 1970s three Trappist monks at St. Joseph's Abbey in Massachusetts developed a contemporary simple method of silent practice.
             It has come to be known as centering prayer from the words of Merton who urged prayer ..."centered entirely on the presence of God." It has been said that "God's first language is silence."   Centering prayer at Brandon Oaks uses that language as a way to a greater awareness of God, enriching the lives of all who participate.
            Pastor Kathleen Miko is a chaplain at Brandon Oaks.
Just Because boosts teacher morale 
            One thousand Shenandoah County teachers and support staff have received random acts of kindness in a community project, Just Because, since Pastor Karen Caspersen started it in February.
            "Sometimes we forget how much they do for our children. It's nice to show appreciation where appreciation is due," Caspersen, vice pastor at Prince of Peace, Basye, told The Northern Virginia Daily. "Anyone can make a difference just cause," she said.
            Volunteers will be packing such items on a wish list as note pads, tissues, highlighters and dry erase markers on Nov. 25 at Bethel Lutheran, Edinburg. Distribution dates are in September, December, March and May. Notes of appreciation, popcorn, seasonal items and plants also are given.
            In supporting teachers, "just a little something, no matter how big or small, can brighten anyone's day, Caspersen said. As the mother of two teachers and friend of many, she began the project when she heard how unappreciated and unsupported teachers are in their school districts. Her goal was to boost their morale with a random act of kindness. "Teachers already make so little. So, the fact they're having to spend their salaries to provide the necessary items to teach is disheartening," she said.
Southern Seminary plans two events 
            Southern Seminary is hosting an event designed for those discerning a call to ministry or graduate theological education. Two opportunities are offered, the first on Nov. 4-5 and another on March 24-25, at the Columbia, SC campus.
            People of all backgrounds, ages and life stages have been invited to visit the campus where they will be able to worship, learn and have fun with the current seminary community and other prospective students. The event is free and housing will be provided. Those interested in attending can register online at Any questions may be directed to Justin Rimbo, assistant director of enrollment management, at  
Pray for Catholic children, leaders
     by Pastor Eric Moehring 
            We are all heart-broken with the news from the grand jury in Pennsylvania over the sexual misconduct against children and young men by priests for the past 75 years in the Roman Catholic Church. As details of this tragedy continue to unfold, we pray for the victims.
            And we are mindful of how vulnerable children are and how careful we must be to insure that those who have oversight are kept to the highest of standards. This is not something just seen in this denomination; all communities that name Christ as Lord have experienced it.
            In various ways, many experience a Church that has not always been welcoming and safe. The Church has often been a barrier rather than a door to a Christian life. So I've been wondering recently: Why would people ever come to church?
            Jeffrey Jones, in his book, Traveling Together, describes the life of the disciple, and in essence our life in and as the Church, as being about relationships with God, self and others. Here is what he says about a discipleship that maintains and deepens these relationships:
  • Discipleship is a continuing process of growing and experiencing in ever-deepening ways the fullness of God.
  • The relationship with one's self is a journey (that) enables us to know ourselves well enough to understand how God is at work inus and what God seeks from us.
  • It is in this (personal) growth that we set aside our old self and become more able to serve others in Christ's name.
            Isn't that the sum of it all? A Church that concentrates on these relationships will
be whole and holy. It makes sense that as we develop them we are (our Church is) more welcoming, more open to the Spirit's calling, more honest, faithful and positive in living out Christ-like love for others and obedience not just to an institution but to God.
We pray for the leaders and members of the Roman Catholic Church as
they wrestle with this tragedy. We join in prayer with all the faithful, seeking as Church of healing, wholeness and sanctuary. We have a light to shine so that all may see and know the goodness of God.
            Pastor Eric Moehring, interim pastor at Christ, Fredericksburg, wrote this column for the congregation newsletter.

Miller and Freund are ordained
            Pastors Charles "Chuck" Miller and Patrick Freund were ordained in two October services at their home congregations. Both have been leading the congregations where they were called, Miller as a lay pastor at Wheatland, Botetourt County, and Freund as a vicar at the North Mountain Parish, Strasburg and Toms Brook.
            Miller, a Roanoke native, has worked in sales and training for PepsiCo at Frito-Lay for 32 years and studied at the former Gettysburg Seminary. Bishop Bob Humphrey led the service on Oct. 28, assisted by Pastor Ken Lane, Southern Conference dean. Pastor Wanda Childs, St. Luke, Beckley, WVA, preached the sermon.
           Selease Miller, a sister, made the pastor's stole and two grandsons were acolyte and crucifer at the ordination service. Miller and his wife, Sharon, have two daughters, Megan and Kelly, and four grandchildren. Chuck Miller's great-grandfather, the Rev. Calvin L. Miller was a Lutheran pastor, serving as superintendent of the Iron Mountain School for Boys
in the 1930s.
            Freund was ordained at Christ the King, Richmond, on Oct. 6. He and his wife, Katie Freund, have been vicars at the North Mountain Parish, comprised of St. Stephen, Strasburg, and St. Matthew, Mount Olive and St. Peter, Toms Brook, for the past year. He is a graduate of Westminster Choir College and the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. Katie Freund is seeking a call in the Synod..          
            Bishop Bob Humphrey presided at the ordination. Pastor Chris Carr of Christ the King led worship and Pastor Randy Lohr preached the sermon.
In the Wilderness
      by Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Bishop Eaton 
            In the wilderness In the Hebrew Bible the book of Numbers is called "In the Wilderness." It starts with great hope. God delivered God's people from Egypt, from bitter slavery, grinding toil and infanticide. What a delivery! The entire people-ancients, infants and everyone in between-escaped from one of the world's superpowers, walked dry-shod through the sea and went on a 40-year journey to the land the Lord had promised them.  
            Beginnings are filled with expectation. There is excitement and a sense that everything is possible. Think about the first day of school, a vacation, new job, one's honeymoon or the first day of a child's life. It was no different for the Israelites. The first chapters recount the enumeration of the tribes of Israel hence the title, Numbers. This description is of the mustering of the people as they strode into the future. This was the beginning of an adventure! This part ends with God commanding Moses to make two silver trumpets. The entire journey would be heralded by the clear ringing of silver trumpets.  
            In the beginning it was possible to disregard the fact that they were setting off into the wilderness. But it caught up to them. We know how that goes-halfway through the road trip, the school year, the job, the marriage or life with a baby and the traits that were at first endearingly quirky just become annoying. On epic family cross-country vacations, the landscape becomes monotonous. The food is no longer novel but noxious. Life before, at least in memories that have become trip-jaded, was bliss. It was no different for the pilgrims in the wilderness. By Chapter 11 things have started to go downhill. In band
camp we called this "Whiney Wednesday." The people were sick of manna. In their defense, there are probably a limited number of manna recipes. They remembered the "cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions and the garlic" (Numbers 11:5). They remembered the fish they used to eat in Egypt "for nothing." For nothing? Bondage and oppression were nothing? The people began to protest. They clamored for meat. They stood at the doors of their tents and wailed.  
            Moses had enough. "Why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? ... Where am I to get meat for all this people? ... I am not able to carry this people alone, for they are too heavy for me. If this is the way you are going to treat me, put me to death at once" (Numbers 11:11-15). Wow, and I thought I had bad days at work.  
            To all this God answers: "Is the Lord's power limited? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not" (Numbers 11:23).
            Sometimes, when things are the most difficult, or the way forward is thwarted, or hearing someone blithely remind us that God is faithful, it seems like the equivalent of offering "thoughts and prayers" to those living through a devastating tragedy. But for those who live because this promise is not trite but true, for whom it is water in a dry land, a rock in sinking sand, this is the solid promise of life in God.  
            From being people of the promise until that promise is realized is hard work. In the moment, or the day, or the decade, it is difficult to see that God is moving us. Some give up. Remarkably, some who are most ground down by the journey hang on.  
            This year we elected six new bishops-all of them women, one Latina and the first two African Americans. Guided by the Spirit, the people of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod elected Patricia Davenport and the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin elected Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld. It took 31 years-not quite 40. What didn't seem possible a generation ago is reality in our church. We are becoming a generation not quite arrived at the promised land but seeing God declaring, "Now you will see if my word will come true for you or not."  
This article originally appeared in Living Lutheran's November 2018 issue. Reprinted with permission.
Cleaning up after Hurricane Michael  
            "Total destruction with no homes habitable" was the initial description of the devastation of Hurricane Michael by Debbie Mintiens of Emanuel, Woodstock, who was working for the Red Cross in the cleanup after the Florida storm.
            When she arrived, Mintiens stayed in a staff shelter with a population of about 350 but most are one-nighters being deployed out to the field. Disaster Assessment said no homes were habitable in the area where Michael came through. "Many, many counties have roads blocked or one lane, no power, no water. The lucky ones have boil water notices and many counties have curfews...Conditions are dire in many areas. We are getting staff out to shelters and feeding kitchens are getting set up and functioning.
            "I am running the kitchen here at the Headquarters. We are putting out about 500 (and growing) meals a day for HQ folks and folks coming through to deploy to the field.
            "We are all living with long days and high stress. But the American Red Cross will be there. Watch out for the alligators and fire ants."
            Later, she reported that 70,000 people had no power, down from 400,000 earlier, and over 6,000 homes were no longer habitable. The kitchen put out over 10,000 mealas, 30,000 bottles of water and about 20,000 snacks to volunteers, shelters and nuring homes. In late October, Mintiens said, "I am showing my replacement the ropes and I am going home Wednesday. Tired and ready for home."
Three priests walk into a bar...  
            "Three priests walk in a bar" sounds like the opening for a good joke but it's actually a monthly event in a Richmond suburb for theology on tap with an ecumenical twist, enjoyed by Father John Cook of St. Tikhon, Richmond; Pastor Lou Florio of Messiah Lutheran, Mechanicsville; Father Adam Sexton of St..Andrew's Orthodox, and Father Nic Fort of Fork Episcopal, Doswell.
            The gathering for drinks and conversation for years has been opened to the public and over 30 college students, seminarians, pastors and laity of all ages come from seven denominations. A new discussion point is offered monthly. In September, the World Council of Churches tweeted about the event and the ELCA commended the effort, according to Florio.
Pastor Singer dies at 92 
           Pastor Franklin G. Senger, 90. a Harrisonburg native, died July 20 at Rockville, MD. He served at Mount Calvary, Mount Jackson, 1951-1959, and later at Holy Comforter, Washington.
Register now for Lost & Found!
Glade Creek, Blue Ridge
celebrates 190 years 
          On Sunday, September 16, around 75 people gathered at Glade Creek, Blue Ridge, to celebrate the congregation's 190th anniversary. The Botetourt County congregation was officially organized on September 1, 1828. Glade Creek is the oldest active Lutheran congregation in the Roanoke area. The congregation, now in its fourth building, originally met in a log church building.
            In his sermon, Pastor John McCandlish invited those present to take a trip back in time to the year 1828. The American flag then had just 24 stars, representing the 24 states in the country. John Quincy Adams was serving as the sixth president of the United States. None of today's modern conveniences existed. It was into such a world that Glade Creek church was born. Looking to the future, the congregation was encouraged to remember its mission statement "to love and serve all in Christ."
Margaret Fluke 
            Among those present was Glade Creek's oldest member, Margaret Fluke, who celebrated her 100th birthday in June. She reminisced about attending the congregation's 100th anniversary celebration in 1928 when she was ten years old.
            At the anniversary lunch following the worship service, Lauren Harris, Glade Creek's congregation leader for Forwarding Faith, announced that the congregation had surpassed its goal of $2,000 for the campaign. Members of the congregation have pledged or donated a total of $3,168.
"Praying, Believing, Doing" is LARCUM theme 
            Dr. Karen B. Westerfeld Tucker, an elder in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church, will present the theme, "Praying, Believing, Doing: an Ecumenism of Liturgy and Life" at the annual Virginia LARCUM Conference in Charlottesville on Nov. 30-Dec. 1. St. Mark, Charlottesville, is one of the participating churches in the Lutheran-Roman Catholic-Episcopal-United Methodist gathering. Bishop Bob Humphrey will be one of the signers of the LARCUM Covenant.
            Tucker taught at Duke University for 15 years before she became professor of worship at Boston University where she serves. She is the author of United Methodist worship publications, is the former president of the international and ecumenical Societas Liturgica and served as chairperson of the Committee on Worship and Liturgy of the World Methodist Council.
Pastor Rachel Manke installed at Yorktown 
        New Pastor Rachel Manke was installed at St Mark, Yorktown. On Sept. 10.. She will work with Pastor Jorl Nrubauer and the congregation "to continue the wonderful ongoing ministries while exploring new and exciting opportunities," according to Megan Crummitt, communications facilitator at St. Mark. Participants in the installation were (front, from left) Pastors Jeunee Godsey, ECUSA, Leslie Scanlon, Chryl Griffin, Judy Cobb and Kim Triplett; (back row)Pastors Joel Neubauer, Ashley Roth, United Methodist; Phkllis Milton, David Gunderlach, Dan Jungkuntz and Elizabeth Yates.
Roanoke Rising Campaign  
largest in college's history 
            Roanoke College announced the record-breaking conclusion of its Roanoke Rising Campaign. launched in April 2013, which surpassed its goal of $200 million to each a total of $204,047,431. This is the largest campaign in the College's 176-year history.
           More than 28,000 donors contributed to the campaign, coming from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 35 other countries. Roanoke alumni made up more than 40 percent of the donors to the campaign, with 26 percent coming from parents of Roanoke students and the remainder from corporations, foundations and friends.
            Roanoke Rising transformed the College campus. A new athletic and academic complex, the Morris M. Cregger Center, opened in 2016. Named for Morris M. Cregger '64, chair of the Roanoke College board of trustees and a member of College's Athletic Hall of Fame. Cregger was a four-sport letterman who grew up in the Roanoke Valley and is now the CEO of a Columbia, South Carolina-based plumbing supply company.
            The Cregger Center features a performance gymnasium; the Kerr-Cregger Fieldhouse, which includes a 200-meter indoor track; an athletic training clinic; the Belk Fitness Center; two classrooms; a health and human performance lab; offices for health and human performance faculty; athletic department offices and locker rooms for 10 teams and two visiting teams.
             The Cregger Center is the academic home of the health and human performance department. More than 200 students major in health and exercise science, sports management, health and physical education and athletic training.
             In addition to Roanoke College athletic events, the Cregger Center, Kerr-Cregger Fieldhouse and Kerr Stadium have hosted NCAA championships with the City of Salem, as well as Virginia High School League events and events for high schools and conferences from across the region.
            Roanoke 's athletic quad was further developed as the Maroon Athletic Quad, an outdoor quadrangle landscaped as a gathering place for Roanoke students. "The MAQ," as students call the space, is located in the proximity of the Cregger Center, Kerr Stadium, several residence halls and the Colket Center, the College's student center.
            Outside the Cregger Center, Luther Plaza was created as a gathering space at the Peery Drive entrance to campus. Luther Plaza pays tribute to Roanoke's heritage as the second-oldest Lutheran college in America. The plaza features a bronze sculpture of Martin Luther, created by Betty and Polly Branch, mother and daughter sculptors. Luther Plaza and the Martin Luther statue were dedicated in 2016, just prior to the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation.
              New residential spaces for students were added with the construction of New Hall, which replaced Bowman, an older residence hall removed for the Cregger construction. The Wortmann Complex, a three building residence hall complex on Market Street, was renovated and expanded.
            Roanoke 's Fintel Library was remodeled to include new computer spaces, interactive meeting spaces and a coffee shop. Fintel Library is now a major gathering spot on campus for students as well as faculty and staff.
            Antrim Chapel was updated with a more modern and inviting entrance. The chapel now features the Bittle Tree of Life Cross, made of wood from Roanoke's historic Bittle Tree. The tree planted by Roanoke's founder, Dr. David Bittle, more than a century ago, was removed in 2014 for safety reasons.
            Roanoke Rising was not solely about new buildings and new spaces on the Roanoke College campus. Much of the campaign supported academic programs. Today, 94 percent of Roanoke students engage in some type of experiential learning such as study away, internships, research projects, published work and conference presentations. Most students gain five such experiences during their time at Roanoke.
            Other new programs, such as the Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo Center for Art, support artistic endeavors across the campus. Two new natural art installations include the Tree of 40 Fruit and a large scale topiary of Rooney, Roanoke's hawk mascot, who overlooks the Maroon Athletic Quad. The Leonhardt Cassullo Center also supports art programs in Olin Gallery, such as the recent community art project, Paper Blooms.
            Hundreds of scholarships and program endowments were created , including the Shirley C. and Donald E. Morel MD Dean's Chair, a position held by Dr. Richard Smith, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. 
            Roanoke's academic offerings were expanded as well. Four new academic majors were created, along with nine new minors and concentrations.  
            New majors include: Actuarial Science; Biochemistry (B.A.); Interdisciplinary Studies; and Public Health Studies. New minors include: Health and Exercise Science; History; Public Health Studies; and Theatre. Newconcentrations include: Materials and Nanoscience; Medicinal Chemistry; Middle East Studies; Middle Education; and Screen Studies.
            National scholarships have been an academic focus.. Roanoke students have received 15 Fulbright scholarships over the past five years, resulting in Roanoke being named a Top Fulbright producing institution by the Chronicle of Higher Education in 2018. Roanoke students also have been Gilman Scholars, Goldwater Scholars, as well as Rhodes Scholar finalists.




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