Roanoke College President Michael C. Maxey to retire in 2022


During President Maxey’s tenure, the College accomplished many things, including:

  • Implemented the College’s Intellectual Inquiry Program (INQ) to help students develop real life skills, with an emphasis on ethical reasoning and oral and written presentation, and maintained and improved rigorous academic standards in college while adding crucial learning opportunities for all students.
  • Achieved recognition as top producer from academics including award winners Fulbright, Gilman, Goldwater and Truman.
  • Many new specializations have been added to Roanoke College under the leadership of President Maxey, including actuarial science, public health, engineering, data science, education, creative writing, and communication.
  • Hiring of the College’s Senior Vice-President for Community, Diversity and Inclusion and implementing new ways to elevate diversity and inclusion at the College, including the creation of the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee and recognition of the contributions of slave laborers on campus with the unveiling of a historic plaque. During his tenure, the Center for the Study of Racial Structures was established.
  • Enhanced the College’s close connection with Purpose and enhanced the Career Service Center as a new and improved place for Purpose, life and career exploration.
  • Took great care of the on-site campus grounds and buildings, and led new construction, renovations and upgrades to the award-winning Roanoke College campus, including Lucas Hall; New room; the purchase of apartments in Afton; the renovation of the Monterey House and Slave Quarters, where the Center for the Study of Race Structures now resides; the addition of the Wortmann complex; as well as the purchase of the Bank building where the history department is based and the addition of a new tennis complex on the Elizabeth campus. Numerous land improvement projects including, more recently, the complete renovation of the College Avenue block with the city of Salem.
  • Oversaw the completion of the flagship Cregger Center, a state-of-the-art sports and events facility that has hosted a number of national championship games. The new building includes state-of-the-art physiology and kinesiology fitness labs, weight rooms, training rooms and a large multi-purpose event space. It is home to the College’s Sports Hall of Fame, reflecting Roanoke College’s rich tradition of brown athletics.
  • This year, President Maxey is planting a tree in honor of each past president of Roanoke College. President Maxey had his own dedicated tree in 2017, the 40 Fruit Tree, created by artist Sam Van Aken and a gift from the Board of Trustees of Roanoke College in honor of President Maxey’s tenth birthday. The campus has been recognized as one of the most beautiful in the country and Roanoke College was named Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in 2019.
  • Led the Roanoke Rising campaign, raising $ 204,047,431, the largest campaign in Roanoke College history.
  • Led the addition of new sports teams and clubs to attract a wide range of students, including men’s and women’s swimming, men’s volleyball, men’s wrestling and eSports, as well as the expansion of facilities and programs outdoor adventure.
  • Emphasized community links and services throughout Salem and beyond. Over the past 16 years, the College has built a Habitat for Humanity house for the town of Roanoke and President Maxey has been involved in every construction alongside new students, faculty and staff from the College.
  • Navigated the COVID-19 pandemic for the past two years and implemented the Campus Incident Command Structure which worked to ensure the safety and information of the Roanoke College campus community.

In addition to guiding these successes and more, President Maxey is known for his connection to students and his talent for getting to know every new student, by name, every year. He held bowtie education sessions for all interested students ahead of the annual President’s Ball; at one point, President Maxey taught more than forty students to tie bow ties together in a group session. Terri Maxey is engaged in the Roanoke College community and appreciated by students and members of the community.

He is an active member of many educational organizations, serving as executive committee and program chair of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), served as chair and executive committee member of ELCA College and University Network (NECU) and served as president of the Lutheran Educational Conference of North America (LECNA) for several years.

He is a past board member and chairman of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the Council for Independent Colleges of Virginia (CICV). President Maxey has served as President of the Presidents of the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges (VFIC) and is a past Chairman of the Presidents Council of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC).

Locally, Maxey is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Roanoke Symphony, the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Roanoke Regional Partnership and is a member and past chair of the Church Board of the College Lutheran Church in Salem, Virginia. He has served as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of United Way Roanoke Valley.

President Maxey is from Bassett, Virginia. His graduate studies began at Wake Forest University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Masters in Counseling Training. He later obtained an advanced graduate certificate from the University of New Hampshire and attended the Institute of Education Management at Harvard University. Maxey, a student of history, counseling, and conflict resolution, received an honorary doctorate in divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina. He and his wife, Terri, are the parents of three sons, Michael, Stuart and Jack.


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