In June of 2016, a then 17-year-old Haley Gray visited Roanoke College for the first time. Duquesne University, Susquehanna University, Elizabethtown College and Lynchburg College were some other schools she was considering at the time. Something about Roanoke College stood out above the rest.
“I chose Roanoke College because I was accepted into their honors program and received many scholarships,” the Maryland native said. “I just immediately fell in love with the school and the atmosphere that surrounded it. Everyone was so kind and I knew that the school would make a great home.”
Approximately 630 other freshmen also started their Roanoke College journey last weekend. Over a four-day period – August 26 through August 29 – students registered for classes, toured the campus with their parents and met some of their teachers.
The class of 2021 represents 33 states and 20 countries. Everyone’s life journey is different. How Edmund Acevedo ended up at Roanoke College is a story of overcoming many obstacles and never losing faith.
“I originally went to a high school called Clover Hill. Because my grades weren’t as good as they needed to be, my parents sent me to Fork Union Military Academy,” said the Midlothian, Virginia, native. “I was able to bring my GPA up an entire point before I graduated and that was around the time that my parents exposed me to Roanoke College. When I visited the school, I instantly fell in love with the campus and knew I could have success there.”
Emily Winstead said she chose Roanoke College because of the limitless opportunities. A native of Maryland, the 18-year-old said she has two main goals for her freshman year: do well in school and get involved in many campus organizations. “I still remember that exact day when I found out I got accepted into Roanoke College,” she said. “I was in my psychology class and my mom sent me a text. Let’s just say I made it home pretty quick after class that day.”
Roanoke College President Michael Maxey greeted hundreds of students as they acclimated themselves to campus. “We probably had about 200 staff members out there helping our incoming freshmen. My wife Terri and I are so excited about this upcoming year,” he said.
Bradley Bommarito wants to graduate from Roanoke College with a degree in Business Administration. “Financial stability is something that I value dearly, and I hope that my career affords me with the ability to provide a comfortable living for my family in addition to personal satisfaction, professional growth and intellectual stimulation,” he said.
Chelsea Marcombe has been studying in America as an international student for the last five years. “I was born in Vanuatu but both of my parents are from Australia,” she said. “I decided on Roanoke College because I love the campus, I love the mountains around it and I love how many outdoor activities there are to do in the area.”
Being a college freshman comes with a lot of freedom, but a lot of responsibilities as well. “Two things are supposed to happen to students during their first year in college,” President Maxey said. “One is they become as confident as they ever have and the second thing is they utilize all of the resources at their disposal. The best advice I can give incoming freshmen is try to meet the challenges but make sure that you ask people for help when you need it.”