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Roanoke College’s Releases Fall Calendar of Events

Roanoke College continues to offer community events through virtual and in-person participation. The Fall 2021 event topics include political and economic analysis, exploration of science and race; as well as leadership, art and more. These events are free, unless otherwise noted, and are open to the public.

Events with an asterisk (*) require advanced registration and/or tickets. If you would like to receive event-related emails from the college, please contact [email protected] and put “Event Mailing List” in the subject line.

Based upon recommendations from the CDC and because of COVID-19 surges in our region and across the country, Roanoke College will require everyone on campus to wear a mask in indoor settings through September. Please note that the College continues to closely monitor COVID-19 cases in our region and may need to adjust, postpone, change to virtual events when possible, or cancel in-person and on-campus events to ensure the health and safety of our Maroon community. Full event details, including virtual access and ticket requirements, are available at


Art Exhibit & Opening Reception featuring a private collection from Donald Nield

Coming of the Great Fish

Friday, September 10, 2021 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Olin Hall, Smoyer Gallery*

Donald Nield (1924 -1984), a 20th century surrealistic painter, is noted for his oils on canvas which convey a sense of mystery, fantasy and emotion. Born in Shanghai in 1924, his early education was spent in London, Canada and China. During the 1970s Nield extensively studied methods of the old masters, rejecting modern art in favor of using symbols and forms of classical nature. Coming of the Great Fish is a collection of Donald Nield’s paintings ranging from 1962-1983, and is courtesy of the private collection of Esther Kargl. This exhibit is open through October 10, 2021. Gallery hours are 1:00-4:00 p.m. daily and closed during Roanoke College holidays and breaks.

*Complimentary tickets are required and available online at

Olin Hall Presents: The Core Ensemble: Las Magnificas

Three Legendary Latinas and the Transformative Power of Music

Sunday, September 12, 2021 4:00 p.m.

Olin Hall, Olin Theatre*

The Core Ensemble perform the Transformative Power of Music, Las Magnificas, a chamber music theatre piece. Singing actress Nadya Encarnacion, accompanied by a trio on cello, piano and percussion, explores the lives and times of three figures in Latin American cultural history. They include the iconic Mexican Ranchera singer Chavela Vargas, Cuban singer Celia Cruz called The Queen of Salsa, and Chilean singer Violeta Parra, the mother of Latin American Folk Music.

*Complimentary tickets required and available online at

Race, Health, and Future Humans: Lessons from the Legacy of Henrietta Lacks

Featuring Sylvester A. Johnson  

Thursday, September 23, 2021 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Colket Center, Wortmann Ballroom

Guest speaker, Sylvester A. Johnson is Assistant Vice Provost for the Humanities and Executive Director of the “Tech for Humanity” initiative at Virginia Tech. He is the founding director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Humanities, which is supporting human-centered research and humanistic approaches to the guidance of technology.

Sponsored by the Biology Department, Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Dean of the College.

David L. Guy Lecture Series presents Stephen Moore

Thursday, September 30, 2021 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Colket Center, Wortmann Ballroom

Stephen Moore is an economic writer and political analyst. He joined The Wall Street Journal as a member of the editorial board and senior economics writer, focusing on economic issues including budget, tax and monetary policy.

Moore is the founder and past president of the Club for Growth, which raises money for political candidates who favor free-market economic policies. Moore has served as a senior economist on the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, as a budget expert for the Heritage Foundation, and as a senior economics fellow at the Cato Institute, where he published dozens of studies on federal and state tax and budget policy. He was a consultant to the National Economic Commission in 1987 and research director for President Reagan’s Commission on Privatization.


Ask the Epidemiologist

Wednesday, October 6, 2021 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Virtual Event*

A group of Roanoke College alumni who are epidemiologists will talk about COVID-19. Each will provide a unique perspective due to their own experiences throughout the pandemic. They will present government, education, hospitals and research perspectives. Come learn the latest and get a chance to get your questions cleared up!

*Zoom access is required and available by contacting Dr. D.B. Poli at [email protected].

Music @ Noon

Tuesday, October 12, 2021 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Olin Hall, Recital Hall

Roanoke College students and faculty perform a free lunchtime concert.

Leadership and Accountability: On and Off the Court, presented by Coach Ken Carter
“Average is Just Not Good Enough, PERIOD!” – Coach Carter

Wednesday, October 14, 2021 7:30-9:00 p.m.

Cregger Center, Cregger Arena* and Virtual*

When famed high school basketball coach Ken Carter locked his undefeated, state play-off bound team out of the gym and forced them to hit the books and stop counting on athletic potential as the only ticket out of a tough, inner-city life, he sent a powerful message. The film, Coach Carter, is just one more testimony to the strength of his convictions. At the podium, Coach Carter scores with hard-hitting advice about accountability, integrity, teamwork and leadership to succeed both on and off the basketball court.

Sponsored by Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity in conjunction with the Center for Leadership and Entrepreneurial Innovation. In addition to the lecture, the endowed series presents scholarship funds to current Roanoke College students who demonstrate strong leadership.

*Complimentary tickets are required and available online or the Colket information desk, beginning September 1. Virtual participants are required to register at


Fowler Public Affairs Lecture Series Presents: Writer, Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 7:30 p.m.

Roanoke College, Bast Center* and Virtual*

Award-winning author and columnist Leonard Pitts has seen change in his 43-year career. He has written about it as a columnist and author. He has spoken about it as a college professor, radio producer and lecturer. Travis Smiley refers to Pitts as “the most insightful and inspiring columnist of his generation.” Pitts is the recipient of numerous awards including: Pulitzer Prize, three-time National Association of Black Journalists Award of Excellence and 2008 Journalist of the Year, as well as the National Society of Newspaper Columnists Award Columnist of the Year, Distinguished Service to Journalism Award and many more. Pitts has taught at numerous institutions of higher education, including Princeton where he taught a course about race.

Pitts’ latest novel, The Last Thing You Surrender about race, faith and World War II, will be available for purchase and autograph at the event.

*Complimentary tickets are required and available online or at the Colket Center information desk beginning October 1. Virtual participants are required to register at

Art Exhibit & Opening Reception featuring Dorothy Gillespie

Friday, November 5, 2021 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Olin Hall, Smoyer Gallery*

Dorothy Gillespie (1920-2012), born in Roanoke, Virginia, was an American artist and sculptor who became known for her large and colorful abstract metal sculptures. The exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of the artist, by featuring works from her private collection. The works represent over 30 years and range in style from realism to abstract expressionism to postmodernism.

*Complimentary tickets are required and available online at

What Have We Learned From COVID-19: Christopher A. Haines, MD

Tuesday, November 9, 2021 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Virtual Event*

Christopher A. Haines, MD, MA is an assistant professor of family medicine, geriatric medicine and physiology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Dr. Haines directs his department’s inpatient hospital service, and in 2020 led his department’s inpatient response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He will discuss his experience with the pandemic including his most recent books: Covid-19 Essays from the Front: the First Six Months, and the follow up, COVID-19 Essays from the Front: the Second Six Months.

*Zoom webinar access is required and available at

Music @ Noon

Tuesday, November 23, 2021 12:00-1:00 pm

Olin Hall, Recital Hall

Roanoke College students and faculty perform a free lunchtime concert.

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