Roanoke College

Founders' Day


Every year the History Department celebrates the birthday of the first President at Roanoke College, David F. Bittle. Bittle helped to expand the college and define the mission of the faculty and student body. The celebration began in 1993 and the festivities occur on, or around, Bittle's birthday on November 19th.

The Historical Society, along with the History Department, collaborate to run this event year after year. Student focused, the celebration is held to encourage a sense of community and to educate individuals on the strong history of our campus community.

There are three components that take place on the evening of Bittle's Bash.

  • The first is a bonfire that is hosted on the back quad. Students and faculty sing the Alma Mater and enjoy watching the President of the College, along with the President of the History Society, give horse-drawn carriage rides!
  • After the bonfire, there is a torch light parade that is led to the founder's grave. Upon singing happy birthday to Bittle, Prof. Mark Miller gives a detailed explanation of the hero's and villains who are buried in the cemetery.
  • The final event takes place in the Cavern, where everyone gathers to sing karaoke and celebrate David Bittle's birthday year after year!

The event is open to everyone and it continually builds a deep understanding of the history of Roanoke College.

Bittle's Bash Photo Gallery