The project is designed to integrate new students into the College community and provide an early opportunity for students to become involved in the campus' efforts to be of service to others.
Last year during orientation, all 500 freshmen worked several hours each to complete construction of a two-bedroom home in a mere five days. The house was built on Roanoke's campus parking lot at the corner of College Avenue and E. Clay Street. Rain or shine, students, faculty and staff worked every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the first R House. Upon completion, "R House" was moved to its permanent address in Northwest Roanoke.
Likewise, community members this coming fall will build a one-story house with two bedrooms, the 12th house in which Roanoke College will have participated with the Roanoke Valley Habitat chapter.
"Service is not 'taught' as it is 'caught.' By immersing students in such an obvious service project within hours after they arrive on campus, we have set the expectation of service to others as a hallmark of this community," says Henrickson.
Last year's house was sponsored by Paul and Martha Higginbotham through Corrugated Container Corporation and a partnership among the Habitat for Humanity of the Roanoke Valley. This year's home will be funded entirely by Roanoke College. Looking to make this an annual project, Henrickson says, Roanoke College will make many more contributions to Habitat in the future.
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 1,970 students represent 40 states across the U.S. and 26 foreign countries.
For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.