Roanoke College

Roanoke graduates 472 at Commencement 2011

  • Roanoke graduates 472 at Commencement 2011

  • 05/07/11

    SALEM, Va.- Dr. George C. Herring, author and history professor, was the keynote speaker to the 472 graduates at the Roanoke College commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 7. The event was held on a sunny John Turbyfill '53 Quadrangle.

    Herring, who is an award winning author and one of the nation's foremost experts on the Vietnam War, told graduates "we have been here before! Each generation of Americans has faced serious problems," he said. "The Civil War generation confronted the breakup of the Union. The so-called Greatest Generation weathered the Great Depression and the Second World War. Today's nasty political partisanship is not new. Politics may indeed have been as nasty in the 1790s when Washington was president, yes, that same George Washington we now regard as above criticism."

    Herring concluded his remarks with a few words of wisdom. "I know commencement speeches are supposed to give advice, but I'm not much of an advice guy," Herring said. "I will leave you with what I call Herring's Rules: work hard, have fun and be good to those around you."

    Herring, a 1957 graduate of Roanoke College from Lexington, Ky., received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the ceremony. David R. Goode, of Norfolk, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Susan S. Goode, also of Norfolk, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

    Two students shared the honors of valedictorian. Sarah Pauline Cohen and Adam "Cody" Sexton are both from Roanoke. Amanda Lee Coughlin was the salutatorian.

    "Give yourself over to other people. Let them enrich you," said Sexton, who used three models of "love" as the theme of his valedictory address. "Give to others and put yourself second."

    Cohen said after she arrived on campus her freshman year, she was unsure Roanoke College was the right fit for her. But on her birthday, several students surprised her with gifts, nothing fancy, just inexpensive tokens of friendship. "I knew then that there were people here who cared about me," Cohen said. "I made friends here who are so close they are more like family."

    Herring holds a B.A. in history from Roanoke College. He is Alumni Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Kentucky. His book, "From Colony to Superpower: America and the World, 1776-1996," was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction.

    David Goode is retired president, chairman and CEO of the Norfolk Southern Corporation. Mr. Goode, a graduate of Duke University, received a J.D. from Harvard University in 1965 and completed Harvard Business School's Advance Management Program in 1990. He has also held directorships at such companies as Delta Air Lines, Inc. and Texas Instruments.

    Susan Goode, also a graduate of Duke University, is a school teacher. She is active in many arts organizations, including the Norfolk Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and has been an honorary chairwoman and member of the South Hampton Roads YMCA. Mrs. Goode's passion for classical music and her belief that music education makes a difference in children's lives led her to help to create the Virginia Symphony Partners in Education program.

    Mr. and Mrs. Goode are Lifetime Distinguished Associates of Roanoke College. The Goode-Pasfield Center for Learning and Teaching, located in the College's Fintel Library, was established in 2008 through gifts from David and Susan Goode. The Center was named in honor of David Goode's late father, Otto Goode ‘31, and for David Goode's sister and brother-in-law, Martha Elizabeth Goode Pasfield '67 and Robert E. Pasfield '67.

    Roanoke's baccalaureate ceremony was held Friday, May 6 with Rev. Paul Henrickson as the featured speaker. Henrickson is the College's Timothy L. Pickle Dean of the Chapel.

    Roanoke College, a classic liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a beautiful undergraduate setting. Roanoke is one of just 280 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review names Roanoke as one of the "best in the Southeast" and U.S. News & World Report includes Roanoke on its "Up-and-coming National Liberal Arts Colleges" list.

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