Robert E. and Mary J. Wortmann Residential Complex dedicated

Bob and Mary Wortmann speak during Thursday's dedication ceremony.

Bob and Mary Wortmann speak during Thursday's dedication ceremony.

Roanoke College dedicated a student residential complex in honor of Robert and Mary Wortmann, of Upper Saddle River, N.J., on Thursday, April 10.  The 12:45 p.m. dedication took place in front of the former Market Street Complex and featured remarks by President Michael Maxey and Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Eugene Zdziarkski. The Wortmanns spoke briefly as well. 

The complex consisting of three residence halls - Blue Ridge, Shenandoah and Mt. Tabor - will be named the Robert E. and Mary J. Wortmann Complex, in honor of a couple who have been devoted to Roanoke College and committed to its positive impact on students' lives for many years.

"They honestly are two of the finest people who I have known in my life," said Maxey, during the dedication ceremony. "Bob and Mary have certainly made a wonderful mark on Roanoke College."

He went on to call the Wortmann complex "a place where students will learn, live and grow as citizens of the world."

"It fits the lives and values of these loyal, dedicated servants and leaders of Roanoke College," Maxey said.

Robert Wortmann is a member of the Class of 1960 and served on the Roanoke College Board of Trustees for 22 years. He was the chair of the board from 2003 to 2011, overseeing significant growth and improvements at the College.  During his tenure on the Board, he and Mary attended hundreds of Roanoke College events, including events sponsored by every College alumni chapter.

"Roanoke is my first love," said Robert Wortmann, during the ceremony.

Under his leadership, the College added 687 beds on campus, completed a new four-lane entrance at Peery Drive, built the 1,400-seat Donald J. Kerr Stadium, and renovated academic buildings Trout Hall, Miller Hall and Lucas Hall. The Lucas renovation was Roanoke's first green project and was Salem's first LEED certified building.

Also during that time, Roanoke's faculty introduced an innovative new academic core curriculum, called Intellectual Inquiry. Roanoke also was honored as the 2009 Campus Activities Magazine "Campus of the Year," was recognized as a national up-and-comer in U.S. News & World Report's Best College Rankings for 2011 and debuted in The Princeton Review's "Best 376 Colleges: 2012 Edition," released in 2011.

Mary Wortmann holds a B.S. in nursing from Seton Hall University and an M.B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She has been as involved in Roanoke College as her husband. Mary is an art, theater and music devotee and is active in arts and cultural events at all levels.

The Wortmanns are Lifetime Distinguished Associates of Roanoke College and longtime members of the College's Society of 1842.

Robert Wortmann was honored by the College in 1994 with the Roanoke College Medal, the highest award bestowed on alumni, and was recognized as one of the Sesquicentennial Distinguished Alumni in 1992. Wortmann is retired from the company he helped to found, VRH Construction Company, a major company in the New York/New Jersey region that specializes in building airport terminals, such as the American Airlines terminal at John F. Kennedy International in New York.

Released: April 10, 2014