Roanoke College

Roanoke College remembers Elizabeth Taylor

  • Roanoke College remembers Elizabeth Taylor

  • 03/23/11

    SALEM, Va. - The Roanoke College community was saddened to hear of the passing of legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor.

    Taylor - then wife of John Warner, who was running for the U.S. Senate - visited the College campus in 1978 to conduct what was billed as a "theater workshop." But the occasion, as the Roanoke Times & World-News reported then, was actually "just another thrill for us as a team going on campuses and talking with students," John Warner said. The couple had been visiting college campuses across the state as Warner campaigned for the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat.

    Taylor and Warner attended a luncheon with then Roanoke College President Norman Fintel and his wife, Jo. Following the luncheon, Taylor - who at the time was nursing a dislocated hip - answered questions about her private life and long film career from an audience that packed the Olin Hall auditorium on campus. The Salem Times-Register reported that the audience "was more interested in Elizabeth Taylor the movie star, than Elizabeth Warner, the farmer's wife."

    Asked to compare her life as film star to life as a Virginia politician's wife, she said she had a "normal" side, the Times Register reported. "When we're not politicking, we just go to the farm and lead the happiest, most ordinary life. You never saw anyone more content."

    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 seven percent of colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review lists Roanoke as one of the "Best 376 Colleges" in its 2012 guidebook, which includes the top nine percent of colleges, and U.S. News & World Report ranks Roanoke the number seven "Up-and-coming National Liberal Arts College."

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