Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Maya Angelou inspires at Randolph College

Maya Angelou encouraged more than 1,000 listeners at Randolph College to discover poetry and see how “it has kept us alive.”

Angelou, a famous poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist, spent about an hour Tuesday night telling stories from her life and reciting poems that are meaningful to her. The audience laughed and cried as she shared stories of humor, despair, and hope.

“You need to know the poetry. You need to have it in your hands,” she said. “The poetry you read has been written for you—each of you.”

John E. Klein, president of Randolph College, gives Maya Angelou a copy of a book about the garden
of Anne Spencer, a well-known African American poet who lived not far from the College.
The College hosted Angelou Tuesday, January 29, so Randolph students and others from the community could learn from the experiences and wisdom she would share. Smith Memorial Hall was packed with Randolph students, faculty, and staff; students from area schools, and the greater Lynchburg community as well as visitors from outside of Lynchburg.

Angelou encouraged them to go to a library and find a book of poetry, particularly poetry by African Americans. She specifically recommended Paul Laurence Dunbar, and she recited his poem “Sympathy,” from whose lines she drew the titles for several books, including I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.

She told the humorous story behind her lighthearted poem “The Health Food Diner,” and she talked of her love for the works of William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe. The audience cheered with delight and laughter as she demonstrated how Poe’s “The Raven” should be recited like a rap lyric.

Angelou reflected on the privilege of being able to give hope and knowledge to others through her writing. “When you know, you can teach. When you get, you can give,” Angelou said. “I used to think I’m a writer who can teach; I've found I’m a teacher who can write.”

Randolph students were delighted to see and hear Angelou. Cameron Hall ’13 was impressed with the friendliness and graciousness Angelou exhibited. “My favorite part was the general feeling that Maya Angelou was as happy and excited to see us as we were to see her,” he said.

Grace Gardiner ’15 enjoyed hearing Angelou recite poetry. “To hear her able to recall powerful words and images from memory, as well as boom out these words and images in a voice so deep and thoughtful as her own, was a true treat,” she said.

Katie West-Hazlewood ’13 appreciated how Angelou tailored her comments towards College students and other young members of the audience. “She recognized that we are going through struggles, but assured us that others have, too; therefore we would be able to get through it as well,” she said. “We are at such a transitional point in our lives and hearing that was very inspiring.”

"Flashes of War" author visits Randolph, will give public reading on Feb. 6

“What is it about a small college that feels like opportunity?” Katey Schultz wrote in a recent entry on her website. While teaching a creative writing course at Randolph College, she has found an environment that fosters her creativity as she pens a novel about the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Schultz has been writing fiction about the wars in the Middle East for a few years. Although she has never been to the Middle East and does not have family members or friends serving in those wars, she became keenly interested in the topic when she realized that terms related to those wars had become a part of the normal lexicon for students in the arts-centered high school where she taught.

“I was amazed how the language of the global war on terror had infiltrated the everyday speech of the average teenager,” she said. “They don’t have any memories of this country when we weren’t at war. They have grown up in such a different world, with a familiarity of warfare and violence and oppression and power.”

“My little cousins, in 5th or 6th grade, they know what a jihadist is,” she added. “I think that’s changing society.”

Visiting Writer Series
Public reading by Katey Schultz
Wednesday, Feb. 6, 8 p.m.
Alice Ashley Jack room,
Smith Memorial Hall
Schultz began reading first-person accounts of the wars, watching footage from YouTube and documentaries, and making lists of military words. That research grew into her first book of short stories, Flashes of War, which will be published in May. Each story explores a question, such as why someone enlists in the military during wartime, or what it is like to be fighting a war that many at home are not thinking about. Some of those stories inspire the novel she is writing now.

A couple of years ago, Schultz learned that she had lost a writing prize she had sought, but she noticed that the winner had been an Emerging Writer in Residence at Randolph College. That piqued her interest, and she contacted Randolph’s English department.

The Emerging Writer program is part of the College’s Visiting Writer Series. It brings young writers who have not yet published a full-length book to teach a course for several weeks and to present a public reading.

Schultz has enjoyed working closely with Randolph students and teaching them about the creative process of writing. “They are curious about what you can do with creative writing, and they want to do a great job,” she said. “Everyone here is trying to learn and wants to be here. When you share those two basic principles, a lot of things can happen.”

Schultz will present a public reading of stories from Flashes of War on Feb. 6 at 8 p.m., in the Alice Ashley Jack Room on the second floor of Smith Memorial Hall. She hopes that her audience will feel the passion behind her work and think about the implications of war. “My stories are really bearing witness to something that we’ve done a pretty good job not looking at,” she said. “I hope it invites people to look at these wars again.”

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Student Center Renovation Update: January 29, 2013

The finishing touches are almost done. Check out the latest progress on Randolph's Student Center renovation project here:

For comprehensive coverage, please see:

Monday, January 28, 2013

Student Center Renovation Update: January 28, 2013

Construction crews are hard at work putting the finishing touches on Randolph's new Student Center. Check out the latest progress here;

For comprehensive coverage, please see

A view of the new Michels Plaza.

This third floor conference room used to be hidden behind a wall.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Student Center Renovation Update: January 25, 2013

The countdown has begun! The $6 million Student Center renovation is fast approaching the finishing line. Check out the latest progress here:

For comprehensive coverage, see:

A view of the main level of the Student Center.

The Skeller is almost ready for business.

A view from the third floor.

This area, which used to be hidden behind a wall, will serve as a conference room.

Museum studies students work at Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum

Six Randolph students spent Thursday afternoon doing hands-on curatorial work in the former home of a famous poet.

Art professor Andrea Campbell took some of her museum studies students to the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum, where they carefully measured, photographed, and squinted at artifacts through magnifying glasses. This semester, they will be researching the artifacts so they can be properly cataloged and displayed in the museum.

Anne Spencer was a Harlem Renaissance poet who lived just a few miles from the College. Her husband, Edward Spencer, was a postal carrier whose route included R-MWC, and many artifacts in the home came from the College.

The students’ work was covered by two news organizations. You can learn more about their work in this News & Advance article and this WDBJ-7 video.

You also can view more photos of the project in this Facebook photo album.

This project grew out of a partnership the College has established with the museum to provide opportunities for students and to help the museum preserve the history there.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Natural history collection work on display in Lipscomb Library

Back in the fall, we told you about students who have been working to expand and document the College’s natural history collection. Now you can see their work, including insect, bird, mammal, and plant specimens that have been preserved for study, in Lipscomb Library.

Emily Patton Smith ’12 and Will Guzman ’15 have installed a display outlining the history of the collection and illustrating the work being done to improve the collection. The display also includes information about Smith’s research on the source of Randolph’s natural history collection, including its connections with famous collectors and the Smithsonian.

Be sure to take a few minutes to stop by the display, in four cases on either side of the circulation desk on the fourth floor of Lipscomb Library, to learn more about the College’s expansive natural history collection.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Student Center Renovation Update: January 22, 2013

Check out the latest photos of the $6 million Student Center renovation! We are sharing updated photos almost every day as the project nears completion. The newest slideshow is located here:

For comprehensive coverage of the project, please see:
The main floor of the Student Center

The view down into the Skeller dining area from the Student Government wing

The new theatre on the third floor

Monday, January 21, 2013

Student Center Renovation Update: January 21, 2013

After nearly a week of bad weather, Monday's sunny skies were welcome at Randolph's Student Center renovation project. Check out the latest progress here:

For comprehensive coverage, see:

"The best is yet to come," says Martin Luther King ceremony speaker

Joyce Glaise remembers Martin Luther King Jr. coming to Danville, Virginia, to help promote the civil rights movement when she was a young girl. Because of segregation, he was not even allowed to stay in a hotel, Glaise told an audience at Randolph College’s Martin Luther King birthday memorial last Wednesday.

Joyce Glaise spoke at Randolph College's Martin
Luther King Jr. Celebration on January 16.
Glaise, an, educator, politician, and civil rights activist, contrasted that with her own experience. As she travels the nation to advocate for civil rights, she is able to stay in any hotel or eat in any restaurant she would like. The change is one symbol of the freedom for which King fought.

“We have accomplished a lot because of Martin Luther King,” Glaise said.

Glaise, who delivered the keynote address at the King memorial event, reminded her audience of Randolph students and community members that the accomplishments in the civil rights movement did not come easily, and the work is not done.

“My goal in life is to help this generation become leaders; to give you vision, courage, stamina, intelligence, wisdom, and intestinal fortitude to realize that the world needs you all,” Glaise said.

She encouraged her listeners to join civic organizations, seek service opportunities, and become educated. “Our greatest enemy is to be complacent and ignorant,” she said.

Voices, an a cappella group at Randolph, provides music for the service.
“We must push for high quality education for every child, a job for every American who wants a job, and a fair chance at prosperity for every individual in our nation,” Glaise said. “We must keep Martin Luther King’s dream alive for American posterity.”

Glaise said that it is up to each individual to create the future, and she expressed optimism in the country’s direction. “I know the best is yet to come,” she said.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Snow creates beautiful views from the Student Center

The winter's first snowy weather left a pretty--although thin--layer of snow on Randolph's campus. The snow and icy morning conditions delayed classes today, but they didn't stop construction from continuing on the Student Center. Crew members just had a more beautiful view this morning. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Student Center Renovation Update: January 17, 2013

 Progress on the Student Center renovation is rapidly moving forward, and changes are happening everyday. See the latest photos here:

Comprehensive coverage of the renovation project can be found here:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Apply for summer program in archeology and art conservation

What if you could spend your summer restoring ancient art and architecture in Italy—while enjoying the country’s beautiful scenery and fantastic cuisine?

That is the opportunity available through the Archaeological Conservation Institute (ACI), a unique month-long program offered by Randolph College’s classics department. For the past two summers, Randolph students interested in archaeology, art history, and classics have had hands-on experience with projects such as resetting ancient Roman mosaics.

This year’s program, from May 14 to June 12, will include the opportunity to excavate Sant’Imbenia, an ancient Phoenician port village on the Italian island of Sardinia. Applications are due Feb. 1, and you can download an application here.

Claire Sumner ’15 is excited to attend ACI for the second year in a row. “I think that if students have any interest in conservation or archaeology it is a great introduction to both fields. Plus, you get to explore Italy. What could be better?”

Randolph launched ACI in partnership with the Centro di Conservazione Archeologica (Center for Archaeological Conservation) and the renowned conservationist Roberto Nardi in 2011. Sumner, an art history and museum studies major from Bainbridge Island, Washington, decided to participate in ACI last summer after hearing a speech by Nardi.

Sumner said last year’s program included lectures as well as “lab work” that included excavation and restoration efforts. “From the lab work, I learned some of the more simple techniques for the conservation and restoration of art works,” Sumner said. “From the lectures, I learned Dottore Nardi’s philosophy on conservation and what a new generation of conservators could do to improve the field.”

The experience caused Sumner to consider making a career out of conservation and art restoration. She decided to apply to ACI again so she can talk more with Nardi and his staff about what how to reach that goal.

Susan Stevens, a classics professor at Randolph, said the program will allow students to gain experience with a wide variety of conservation principles, ranging from broadly applicable practices, such as video documentation, to techniques for specific restoration projects. “With the top-notch team of Italian conservators, archaeologists, trainees and their lab and field projects, ACI students participate in a fascinating profession,” she said.

Student Center Renovation Update: January 16, 2013

Randolph's new Student Center is rapidly approaching the finish line. Major progress is now being made daily. Check out the latest slideshow here

For comprehensive coverage of the renovation project, please see

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Student Center Renovation Update: January 15, 2013

The $6 million Student Center renovation is progressing rapidly. Major progress is being made daily.

Check out the latest photos here:

For comprehensive coverage of the renovation project, please see

Some furniture has been delivered.

The dining area for the Skeller features a new modern fireplace.

Foosball anyone?

A look at the new Skeller.

Exhibition highlights art from Arthur B. Davies, dance from Isadora Duncan

A new exhibition at the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College combines never-before-exhibited artwork with internationally-renowned dance.

Lori Belilove, artistic director of the Isadora Duncan Dance Company,
explains the dance-centered artwork of Arthur B. Davies.
On Friday, the Maier will open Modern Movement: Arthur Bowen Davies Figurative Works on Paper from the Randolph College and Mac Cosgrove-Davies Collections. The Isadora Duncan Dance Company will be on hand to explain and demonstrate the dance poses depicted in many of Davies’ works.

“The art would be great alone, but introducing the dance aspect makes it more meaningful,” said Martha Johnson, director of the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College. “This is interdisciplinary programming in action. That is always at the core of the liberal arts experience.”

Modern Movement

Exhibition Opening
When: Friday, Jan. 18, 6–8 p.m.
Where: Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College
Featuring art and dance interpretation by the Isadora Duncan Dance Company.
Free and open to the public

The Art of Isadora

Lecture and dance performance by the Isadora Duncan Dance Company
When: Saturday, Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Smith Hall Theatre
Tickets: $5 (free for students)

Davies was an American who is best known for his role in The Armory Show, an avant-garde exhibition that broke ground for modern art in America in 1913. Davies was the primary curator of the show, officially titled  the International Exhibition of Modern Art, and organized it with other American artists who wanted to see something new in American art.

“The academic training for artists had just gotten to be very predictable, so they were trying to breathe new life into the art scene in this country,” Johnson said. “People were tired of the tried and true, and they were looking for something new, something that was unique and creative, and about ideas.”

The exhibition shocked and scandalized many viewers because of the non-traditional nature of the art, which included cubist, surrealist, styles. But it also had its intended effect, ushering in a period of modernism in American art.

At the same time, Isadora Duncan was working to restore ballet from mere entertainment to an art form focused on beauty and natural movement. Occasionally, Davies drew inspiration from Duncan, attending her performances and sketching the dancers. Dancers were the subject of many of his works.

Many of Davies’ figure drawings featuring dancers were purchased by an art collector named Lillie P. Bliss. Her family donated much of her artwork to the College in 1949 after her death, making the College the custodian of one of the largest Davies collections in the country.

For decades, the Davies pieces from that gift remained in the College’s archives. Ten years ago, several pieces underwent conservation treatments to preserve them and allow them to be used in an exhibition. Several years later, the artist’s great-grandson Mac Cosgrove-Davies and Maier staff members began planning an exhibition to mark the centennial of the Armory Show.

The exhibition includes more than 70 works by Davies from the College’s collection and from Cosgrove-Davies’ private collection.

In addition to providing demonstrations at Friday’s exhibition opening, the Isadora Duncan Dance Company will present a concert in Smith Hall Theatre on Saturday. During the week, the dance company members are participating in a residency to teach techniques to Randolph dance students.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Recycle more with Randolph's new recycling program

Recycling at Randolph just got easier.

The printed rough draft of your last English paper, the plastic drink bottle you emptied while writing it, and the cardboard box from the frozen dinner you ate while writing that night all can go in the same recycling bin.

A few weeks ago, Randolph switched to a “single-stream” recycling program. That means that the blue recycling bins around campus now accept nearly any type of recyclable material, and the College’s recycling partner sorts the materials, said Ludovic Lemaitre ’11, sustainability coordinator.

“It’s a huge improvement,” said Lemaitre. “Recycling becomes a no-brainer.”

This simplified system makes it easier to distribute recycling bins, since each location only needs one bin. More than 200 recycling bins can be found in residence halls, bathrooms, offices, and hallways around campus.

The new arrangement also allows the College to recycle glass, cans, and juice boxes, which were not allowed before.

The new program could save the College money; prior to the single-stream arrangement, the College had to pay landfill fees when recyclables were placed in the wrong container and had to be thrown away rather than recycled. Since every bin can accept most kinds of recycling, that is in the past.

“We can recycle more, and we save money too,” Lemaitre said.

Each recycling bin has instructions for what it accepts, but here is a quick guide:

Each blue recycling bin can accept:

  • Glass
  • Plastic
  • Soda cans and tins
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Aerosol Cans
  • Juice Boxes

They can NOT accept:

  • Plastic Bags
  • Styrofoam
  • Lightbulbs
  • Food-soiled items (like pizza boxes with grease and cheese)

Additionally, there is a recycling center on the fifth floor of the Leggett Building that can accept:

  • Plastic Bags
  • Small Electronics
  • Batteries
  • DVDs and CDs

Note: Lemaitre said the bins are provided to collect recyclables that are used on campus, so people should not bring in their old bottles and cans from home. He suggested that people in the Lynchburg area consider RecycleEasy, which provides a similar single-stream recycling solution with curbside pickup.

Student Center Renovation Update: January 14, 2013

Equipment has been installed in the two-level cardio center.

"The Street"

The new Skeller

A view of the main floor of the Student Center.


Check out the latest progress on the $6 million Student Center renovation! The project is in its final weeks.

To see all of the coverage of the renovation, please see

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Student Center Renovation Update: January 8, 2013

Randolph's $6 million Student Center renovation project is in its last leg. Much work was completed over the winter break, and crews are rapidly putting the finishing touches on the building. Check out the latest progress here:

To see comprehensive coverage of the renovation project, please go to

A view of the construction of Michels Plaza from the top floor of the Student Center.

Finishing work has begun on the main floor of the Student Center.

The new dining area for the Skeller will feature ample seating, large windows, and a modern design.

The mezzanine level of the cardio center is also nearing completion.
Randolph's $6 million Student Center renovation project is in its last leg. Much work was completed over the winter break, and crews are rapidly putting the finishing touches on the building. Check out the latest progress here:

To see comprehensive coverage of the renovation project, please go to