Monday, January 31, 2011

Randolph College Honors 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Protests

Randolph College will honor the 50th anniversary of the first sit-in in Lynchburg, Virginia.

This pivotal moment in the civil rights movement here has special meaning to our College. Two of our students joined two other white students from Lynchburg College and two African American students from Virginia Theological Seminary and College at Patterson’s Drug Store in downtown Lynchburg, hoping to convince the owner to allow people of every race to use the lunch counter. When the owner refused, the students held the city’s first sit-in, which resulted in each of them receiving a 30-day jail sentence.

Randolph College is honoring this anniversary with an event that will address both the past and present of the Civil Rights Movement.


February 17
Lynchburg Sit-in Panel Discussion

Alice Ashley Jack Room, Smith Bldg.
4:30 p.m.

Gilliam Cobbs
Lynchburg community leader

Mary Edith Bentley Abu-Saba ’61
Alumna, sit-in participant
Alice Hilseweck Ball ’61
Alumna, sit-in participant
Evanda Gale Jefferson ’70
Alumna, Lynchburg resident at time of sit-ins, one of the first black graduates of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College

“Activism and Civil Rights Today”
Nikki Giovanni

Houston Memorial Chapel
7:30 p.m.

American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. Through her work, she is wholly committed to the fight for civil rights and racial equality, insisting on presenting the truth as she sees it. She presently teaches writing and literature at Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor. She has received 19 honorary doctorates and a myriad of other awards.

All events are free and open to the public.
Events funded by the Phillip Thayer Memorial Lecture Fund and Kennedy-Fitzgerald Fund.

Read more about R-MWC students and the Patterson sit-ins in the December issue of Randolph Magazine.

Randolph College Visiting Writer Series Features Anthony D'Aries Feb. 2

Anthony D’Aries will give a free reading on Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. in Smith Building’s Jack Lounge. The event, part of Randolph College's Visiting Writing Series, is free and open to the public. D’Aries is serving as Randolph’s Emerging Writer-in-Residence for the spring 2011 semester.

The winner of the 2010 PEN New England Discovery Award in Nonfiction, D'Aries is known for his work teaching creative writing and literacy within correctional facilities in Massachusetts as a volunteer for PEN New England’s Prison Creative Writing Program and in the Education Department at the Suffolk County House of Correction in Boston. This spring, he will teach a course with Changing Lives Through Literature, an alternative-sentencing program that fosters communication between teachers, probation officers, judges and ex-offenders through the discussion of classic and contemporary literature.

WildCat Theatre Presents Proof

Where is the line between genius and madness? Randolph College will ask that question in its production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Proof by David Auburn. Proof is the second show of the WildCat Theatre season.

Proof is the story of Catherine, a young woman who has served as caretaker for her father, a renowned mathematician, who was both brilliant and psychologically unstable. Following her father’s death, she must deal with her sister Claire who has returned to help with final arrangements and Hal, one of her father’s former graduate students who hopes to sort through her father’s journals. Amid the family squabbles and romantic twists, Catherine endeavors to prove that she does indeed have her father’s brilliance while hoping she has not inherited his madness.
Proof won both the Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award in 2001 for a renowned Broadway staging featuring Mary Louise Parker. The play has since become a major motion picture featuring Gweneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins.

Randolph’s production features theatre majors Emily Perry ’12 as Catherine Marian van Noppen ’12 as Claire, and Matt Cornpropst ’14 as Hal. The small ensemble cast is rounded out by new Randolph faculty member Mace Archer as the unstable Robert. The play is under the direction of Ken Parks, chair of the Randolph College Theatre Department.

Proof will be staged in the Lab Theatre (Leggett 203) on the campus of Randolph College, and will be performed February 4-6 and 10-12. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. except the February 6 matinee at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $13 for adults, $9 for Faculty/Staff/Seniors, and $5 for students. Seating is limited and advanced tickets can be purchased at

For more information, call (434) 947-8562.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Karin Warren, the Randolph College Herzog Family Chair of Environmental Studies, was featured on WSET Jan. 27 for a story on the environmental impact of snow removal chemicals and abrasives.

See the story here:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

$6 Million Student Center Renovation Starts This Summer

Randolph College will begin construction on a $6 million renovation of its Student Center this summer, President John E. Klein announced on Tuesday, January 25. You can watch a video with more details of the renovation at

“Thanks to the wonderful support of our alumnae, we will be greatly enhancing the Student Center spaces and bringing a significant improvement to life on campus,” Klein said. “We are extremely grateful for the support and commitment of the donors to this transformational project.”

The project will be completely funded by five alumnae donors. The alumnae who are financially supporting the project are Sadie “Puff” Gravely Hampson ’41, Byrd and Alice Hilseweck Ball ’61, Sally Maier Rowe ’67, and two alumnae who wish to remain anonymous.

“We’re excited and pleased to be able to do this for our students, and we’re happy we can continue to add features that will attract more students,” said Lucy Williams Hooper ’73, chair of the Randolph College Board of Trustees. “Fully funding this project with donor support shows we will be able to tackle future projects successfully.”

The Student Center is located in the rear of Main Hall at the center of campus.

The area of Main Hall that is now the Student Center has seen many incarnations during the College’s history, previously serving as the chapel and as a dining hall.

The renovation plans, designed by Craddock-Cunningham Architectural Partners of Lynchburg, will totally transform the current Student Center by adding many exciting new spaces for student activities and stunning views of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains on 3 1/2 floors. The renovation will incorporate treasured elements of the campus’ current architecture, such as curvy stairs (“curlies”), the Skeller, the vaulted ceiling beams and the existing organ, pipes, and stained glass. The renovation will be energy efficient and sustainable with low-energy lighting, energy-efficient mechanical systems, double- and triple-glaze windows, and low VOC carpet, paint, and cabinetry.

Students, faculty, and staff played a large role in the design of the Student Center’s design, offering suggestions and ideas for ways to improve and enhance the space to meet the Randolph College community’s needs.

“Students have been a focal point of this project from the beginning, and that’s important,” said Carl Coffey ’11, Student Government president.

Construction will begin this summer and is expected to last 18 months.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lawrence Garnell Stamps (below, right) led a rousing and poignant tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. this afternoon in front of faculty, staff, students and guests from the Lynchburg community in the Houston Memorial Chapel (bottom). Stamps is a retired educator and Lynchburg civil rights activist who as a young man met and was inspired by Dr. King.

Stamps was introduced by Octavia Rodney ’11 (middle), president of the Black Leaders Association on campus. Hermina Hendricks (left), Randolph’s director of Multicultural Services, organized the event as well as a number of other events that will be held on campus throughout January and February as part of Randolph’s 2011 Black History Celebration.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Get Ready for Randolph ScienceFest

The Randolph College Society of Physics Students is proud to bring you the Second Annual Randolph College Science Festival, March 25-27, 2011.

Begun as a Science Day for kids in 2005, we are joined by science, humanities and arts departments across the campus, and by numerous presenters to bring a weekend of activities for all.

All activities are free and open to the public, and are for all ages.

Learn more at

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Welcoming Places on Campus

Main Hall Lobby and the fourth floor of the Lipscomb Library recently received makeovers.

The first phase of the library renovation included two wings: one that's more computer friendly where students can use their laptop computers and work together on projects, while the other wing is a more traditional reading area.

The renovation was made possible by an annuity fund established by Florence Ridley in honor of 19 women from the Class of '44 who forged a lasting friendship. The Parents Fund also helped provide furnishings in the periodical room. A second phase will soon address renovating the remainder of the library's fourth floor.

In Main Hall, the lobby received its first update since 1999. Four new sofas were added, furniture was recovered and the walls were painted a warm yellow with crisp white woodwork.