Roanoke College president to retire next summer

Education

Roanoke College President Mike Maxey has announced he will retire from the college at the end of the 2021-22 academic year. (Image courtesy of Roanoke College).

SALEM, Va. (WFXR) – After holding several leadership roles at Roanoke College including being the school’s president since 2007, Michael C. Maxey announced his intent to retire at the end of the 2021-22 academic year.

Maxey’s nearly four decades of service is the longest of any Roanoke College president.

The college’s Board of Trustees will begin the search for his successor immediately and will name a search committee to identify and recommend candidates. The college says they will hire Maxey’s replacement by July 31, 2022.

“Having served Roanoke College through four decades, the decision has been most difficult, but it is right for Terri [Maxey] and me, and for Roanoke College. I am convinced that the close of this academic year is an optimal moment to retire. … I will always treasure the opportunity to have served Roanoke College as President. Throughout my time in office, the support and effort of thousands of Maroons made the work satisfying and productive.” 

Michael Maxey, Roanoke College President

During Maxey’s time as the college’s 11th president, Roanoke College’s accolades include:

  • Implemented the college’s Intellectual Inquiry (INQ) curricula to help students develop real-world life skills, with a focus on ethical reasoning and oral and written presentation, and maintained and improved rigorous academic standards at the college while adding crucial learning opportunities for all students. 
  • Earned recognition as a top producer of academic scholars including Fulbright, Gilman, Goldwater, and Truman awardees. 
  • Many new majors have been added at Roanoke College under the leadership of Maxey, including Actuarial Science, Public Health, Engineering Science, Data Science, Education, Creative Writing, and Communication.
  • Hired the college’s first Vice President for Community, Diversity and Inclusion and implemented new ways to elevate diversity and inclusion at the college, including the creation of the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee and recognizing contributions of enslaved laborers on campus with an historic plaque unveiling. During his tenure, the Center for Studying Structures of Race was established.
  • Elevated the college’s strong connection to purpose and enhanced the career services center as a new and improved place for purpose, life, and career exploration.
  • Maintained great care of the campus grounds and buildings on site, and led new construction, renovations, and improvements to Roanoke College’s award-winning campus, including Lucas Hall; New Hall; the purchase of Afton apartments; renovation of the Monterey home and Slave Quarters, where the Center for Studying Structures of Race 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 Elizabeth Campus. Numerous grounds improvement projects including, most recently, the complete renovation of the College Avenue block together with the City of Salem.  
  • Oversaw completion of the flagship Cregger Center, a state-of-the-art athletic and events facility that has hosted a number of national championship games. The new building includes cutting-edge Physiology and Kinesiology fitness labs, weight rooms, training rooms and ample multi-purpose event space. It houses the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame, reflecting the rich tradition of Roanoke College Maroon athletics.
  • This year, Maxey is planting a tree in honor of every former president at Roanoke College. Maxey had his own tree dedicated in 2017, the Tree of 40 Fruit, created by artist Sam Van Aken and a gift from the Roanoke College Board of Trustees honoring Maxey’s 10th anniversary. The campus has been recognized as one of the most beautiful in the nation and Roanoke College was designated a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in 2019.
  • Spearheaded the Roanoke Rising Campaign, raising $204,047,431, the largest campaign in Roanoke College history.
  • Led the addition of new athletic teams and clubs to attract a wide-array of students, including Men’s and Women’s Swimming, Men’s Volleyball, Men’s Wrestling and E-sports and expanded Outdoor Adventure facilities and programs.
  • Emphasized community ties and service throughout Salem and beyond. For the past 16 years, the college has built a Habitat for Humanity house for the City of Roanoke and Maxey participated in every build alongside new students and faculty and staff at the college.
  • Navigated the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, and implemented the on campus Incident Command Structure which has worked to keep the Roanoke College campus community safe and informed.

Maxey also has ties in multiple organizations including being on the Board of Directors of the Roanoke Symphony, the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce, the Roanoke Regional Partnership, and is a member and past Church Council Chair of the College Lutheran Church in Salem. He has also served as chair and vice-chair of the United Way Roanoke Valley Board of Directors.

Maxey is a native of Bassett and is married to his wife Terri. The two have three sons, Michael, Stuart, and Jack.

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