SALEM, Va. -Robert Wortmann '60, chair of the Roanoke College Board of Trustees, announced today the appointment of Michael Creed Maxey as the college's 11th president. Roanoke's Board of Trustees unanimously elected Maxey in a meeting earlier today. Maxey, who has been a part of the Roanoke College community for 22 years and a member of the president's cabinet for 17 years, will take office on July 1.
The board met last month to discuss the process for finding Roanoke's next president, after President Sabine O'Hara announced her plan to resign, effective in June. Following intense study and discussion, the board members concluded that the qualities they sought in a president were available through an internal appointment naming Maxey as the college's 11th president. A subcommittee of the board discussed the idea with a committee of faculty members, who collected faculty input and reported that a vast majority supported the appointment. The process also gathered opinions from the administrative staff and students.
"We were exceptionally fortunate to have such a well-qualified internal candidate who met the requirements of the board of trustees and the faculty, and who has proven over many years to be a highly effective leader of administrative staff," Wortmann said. "Mike has an ambitious and attainable vision for Roanoke's future based on an intimate knowledge of the college's present and its past. The board is very excited about having Mike Maxey take the helm."
Maxey, who is 55, started at Roanoke in 1985 and has been Roanoke's vice president for college relations and dean of admissions and financial aid since 1992. He first worked as director of planned giving, then as director of capital resources before moving to the admissions office in 1989. From 1990 to 1992, he served as vice president for resource development and admissions services.
"I love Roanoke College, its traditions and the people who make up the Roanoke family," Maxey said. "It is an honor to be asked to serve in this way. It is exciting to continue the tradition of making a strong college even stronger. Things are done very well here, but I believe the best Roanoke is yet to come."
Roanoke College received a record number of applications nine times during Maxey's tenure in the admissions office. During the same time, the size of the freshman class expanded 36 percent, and racial and ethnic diversity of incoming classes increased from one percent to 12 percent.
"Though some members of the faculty had concerns related to the process, generally there was overwhelming support for this decision," Dr. Richard Grant, associate professor of physics, said. Grant is the moderator of the faculty. "Vice President Maxey is well respected on campus for his honesty and integrity. His knowledge and experience over the last twenty years make him uniquely suited to lead the college."
"Roanoke has been on the ascent in the higher education world for decades," Maxey said. "Our aims are even higher. Our teaching is superior. Our experiences for students make education come to life. Our graduates are loyal. Our trustees and supporters have vision and commitment. I could not ask for a better community."
Prior to joining Roanoke College, Maxey worked in academic affairs at University of New Hampshire and in student affairs at Averett College and Wake Forest University.
Maxey holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Wake Forest University and a Master of Arts in Education, counselor education, from Wake Forest. He also earned a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in counselor education at University of New Hampshire. Maxey attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University. He is a member of College Lutheran Church, where he is a trustee, former council member and past council president. He is a native of Bassett, Va.
Maxey is the third Roanoke president appointed as an internal candidate, and he has the longest career as a Roanoke administrator prior to being elected president. (Julius Dreher, Roanoke's third president, and Dr. Perry Kendig, Roanoke's seventh president, also were internal appointments to the presidency.)
O'Hara announced her plan to resign from her position as Roanoke's 10th president in March. She has served as Roanoke's president since 2004 and was Roanoke's first female president. O'Hara is well known in the Roanoke region and beyond for her expertise in sustainable economic development and global education.
During O'Hara's tenure as president, Roanoke College experienced record enrollment and extended its streak of consecutive balanced financial operations to 52 years. Four new residence halls have been constructed and two academic buildings have been renovated. An artificial turf athletic field with seating for 1,000 was recently completed and dedicated as the Donald J. Kerr Stadium.
Roanoke College, the country's second oldest Lutheran-related college, is an independent, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college. Roanoke is one of just 276 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." Roanoke's 1,900 students represent 41 states across the U.S. and 25 foreign countries. For additional information, contact Teresa Gereaux, director of public relations, at (540) 375-2282 or (540) 815-2421.