Roanoke College

Interesting Area Facts

  • Roanoke has won an All America City Award five times, the latest in 1996.
  • A University of Kentucky study ranked Roanoke's quality of life among the top 20 nationally.
  • Roanoke was rated as one of the top 10 healthiest places in the US by Kiplinger's Personal Finance
  • Roanoke is ranked 11th in the book Cities Ranked and Rated: More than 400 Metro Areas Evaluated in the U.S. and Canada.
  • The greater Roanoke region has a higher per capita rate of college students than areas like San Francisco, Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, Richmond, Austin, and Boston Cambridge. 
  • Salem was named one of the best places in Virginia for young families to live
  • Roanoke came from the Indian word, "Raw-re-nock," a name for shell beads worn by the Indians and used as trade goods.
  • Roanoke is known as the "Star City of the South" because it is home to the largest illuminated standing star in the world, which is located at the top of Mill Mountain and can be seen from all over the city.
  • What do wrestler Tony Atlas, twin NFL players Ronde Barber and Tiki Barber, singer Wayne Newton, NBA guard J.J. Redick and actor John Payne all have in common? They're all from Roanoke.
  • Roanoke is known as "The Capitol of the Blue Ridge" serving as the commercial, cultural and medical center of the entire region.
  • The Roanoke Valley was the site of an important Civil War battle, "Hunter's Raid" of 1864.
  • Virginia is one of four commonwealths in the United States. The others are Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Massachusetts.
  • Why in the world is Roanoke College located in Salem and not the city of Roanoke? Roanoke College was named for the Roanoke River and Salem is the county seat of Roanoke County. And the college was named Roanoke many years before the city was named Roanoke.