Roanoke College

Prominent Leaders

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Maxine Fitzgerald

First -African American Student at Roanoke College

Maxine Fitzgerald was the first African-American to attend Roanoke College and the first African-American in Virginia to enroll at a private institution. She majored in Psychology. After graduating in 1969, she went to work for the Veteran Affairs Hospital in Salem, Virginia. Ms. Fitzgerald resides in Vinton, Virginia. She is an active member of St. Johns African Methodist Episcopal Church, a distinguished member of the Steward Board, and is very active in the Sunday School program.

Frankie Allen

First African-American Residential Student

Frankie Allen was the first African-American residential student to attend Roanoke College. He was a Philosophy major and played on the basketball team. Mr. Allen is one of the top players in Roanoke College History, scoring 2,780 points and 1500 rebounds in his college career. He was named Virginia College Division Player of the Year three times in a row. Mr. Allen graduated in 1971 from Roanoke College and has a Masters of Science in Athletics Administration from Virginia Tech. Mr. Allen was the Head Coach for Virginia Tech's basketball team from 1988 to 1991 and was named "Rookie Coach of the Year" by the Basketball Times. He served as Head Coach for Tennessee State University from 1992-1996 where he won three conference championships. Currently, Frankie Allen is the Head Coach at Howard University where he has rebuilt their basketball program. He and his family reside in Washington, D.C.

Cheryl Hopson

First African-American Roanoke College Full-time Instructor

Cheryl Hopson is a 1995 Bachelor of Arts in English graduate of Roanoke College. She received her Masters of Arts in English from Radford University in 1997. Cheryl was recently accepted into the University of Kentucky's Doctoral program in English. She will be relocating to Lexington, Kentucky in the fall. Cheryl wrote, produced and acted in a play in one act called Mr. Lee. The play had a three-night run at the Dumas Hotel in Roanoke, Virginia. Cheryl is also a poet and just completed her first book of poetry Navigating Silence. Cheryl is currently a visiting professor with the Department of English at Roanoke College. She has been in this position for two years. Prior to her visiting professorship, she taught as an adjunct with the English Department.

Gail Lowry- Davis

United Black Students (Black Student Alliance)

Gail Lowry-Davis graduated in 1973 with a BA in Sociology and earned a Masters in Project Management from George Washington University School of Business and Public Management. Mrs. Davis was named Who's Who among students in American Universities and Colleges. She was President of the United Black Students, Heuristics Society, and the Brackety-Ack editor during her college career. After graduating from Roanoke College she worked for Norfolk Southern Railroad in Roanoke, Virginia from 1974 thru 1988 as a Computer Programmer. While residing in Roanoke, Mrs. Davis was a community activist serving on the YMCA Board of Directors and lending her talents to the United Way Loan Executive Program in 1983. Currently Mrs. Davis resides in New Jersey and the Lead Business Analyst for Nabisco. Through out her career Mrs. Davis has remained an activist for African-American leadership and progress. She was the founder and President (5 years) of the Nabisco Employees of African Descent Organization and responsible for the organization and execution of Black History Month activities.

Shana Harris

Shades of Maroon

Shana Harris graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. She was the President of Shades of Maroon and led the organization and the campus to new heights. She was also influential in the diversity recruitment of students. Shana has been involved with several community projects. She is a tutor at a local elementary school. She is the creator and teacher of a program to teach English to Spanish speaking members of a local church. She plays the saxophone and flute with the SKB project specializing in jazz, blues, rock, R&B, and Latin. Shana now is a Claims adjuster with Allstate Insurance in Chantilly, Virginia. She has been: employee of the month, a Bronze star winner, backup to the manager, and assisting in training new employees.

Barry Hubbard

Lambda Alliance

Barry Hubbard, originally from Centerburg, Ohio, is a 1999 graduate from Roanoke College with a BA in Music. Barry was a founding member and long serving president for the Lambda Alliance during his college career. During his tenure, the Lambda Alliance gained a voting membership position on SGA, expanded relations with faculty and staff, and fostered a voice for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community on campus. After graduation he continued to be involved with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues by volunteering for local gay community centers, organizing HIV and AIDS educational outreach to the gay community, and assisting with campaigns for various political races. Barry is currently perusing a master's degree in College Student Affairs at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.

Christopher Severance

Lambda Alliance

Christopher Severance, originally from Augusta, Maine, is a 2000 graduate of Roanoke College with a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre. Chris was also a founding member and past president for Lambda Alliance during his college career. He is employed with Applebee's in Salem, Virginia and continues in his acting career. Currently Chris is directing and performing in a production of Grease at Virginia Tech. During his career at Roanoke College he was the Vice President of Lambda Alliance in his freshman and sophomore years and President his junior year. Chris was also a founding member of the men's acappella group, "Looking for an Echo." Chris resides in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Kenneth Belton

Alumni Leadership

Kenneth Belton is a 1981 graduate of Roanoke College. He majored in Criminal Justice and had an exciting career at Roanoke College. He was one of the four horsemen of the Roanoke College basketball team and remains the top shooter in Roanoke College history. He was the recipient of the Buddy Hackman Award, the Brotherhood Award, the Bushnell Prize, and the Daniel Poe Klein Scholarship for exemplary moral leadership in the college community. Mr. Belton was also named Who's Who among students in American Universities and Colleges and was the Sesquicentennial Distinguished Alumni Recipient for Roanoke College. Kenny Belton has been influential in developing diversity initiatives, and instrumental with networking students. Currently Kenny Belton is a Claims Manager with Allstate Insurance Company, a Deacon of the First Baptist Church of Merrifield, a coach for AAU Junior Olympic Basketball, and a Mentor. Recently Mr. Belton was elected to serve at the Roanoke College Board of Trustees.

Morgan Churchman

Alumni Leadership

Morgan Churchman is a 1965 graduate of Roanoke College. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology . He has been instrumental in the advancement of diversity initiatives at Roanoke College. Mr. Churchman is the chair of the Roanoke College President's Advisory Board and is a Roanoke College Associate. In October of 1996, Mr. Churchman was elected to the Board of Trustees and serves on the following Board Committees: Executive, Academic, and Honorary Degrees. Currently Morgan Churchman is the retired President of Central Atlantic Distributors in Norristown, PA and resides in West Tremont, Maine.

Deneen Evans

First Director of Multicultural Affairs

Deneen Evans is a graduate of Roanoke College Class of 1986. Mrs. Evans was the first Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs in 2000. She worked in OMA for six years and implemented events that promoted multiculturalism to the Roanoke College community. She continues to stay connected with OMA issues and events. She is currently working at Radford University in social work.

Mawine Diggs

First Black SGA President

Mawine Diggs, born in Liberia, is a 2006 graduate of Roanoke College. She received a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Environmental Policy. She was the first black Student Government Association President. She also worked in the Office of Multicultural Affairs and devoted her time to promote diversity on campus. She is currently a Charter member of Delta Sigma Theta at Roanoke College and is working on her Masters at Clemson University.

The Class of 2001 marked a milestone at Roanoke College

The first to wear ethnic sashes at Graduation

Top Row: Elizabeth Moore, NaKeisha Ferguson, Sonia Trundy
Bottom Row: Colby Leftwich, Aisha Bonilla, Danielle Hawkins, LaQuisha Posey, Adejumoke Akintomide
Not Pictured: Christine Carter, Natasha Davis, Joseph Rayburn

Jummy Akintomide currently lives in Jamaica, New York and is a Legal Assistant for Davis, Polk, and Wardwell a law firm in New York City. She will attend law school within the next year.

NaKeisha Ferguson currently lives in Richmond, Virginia and is an Operations Specialist in the Dealer Division of SunTrust Bank. She is a mentor with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. She plans to attend Graduate school to pursue a Master's in Counseling Psychology.

Danielle Hawkins is currently a Human Resources Assistant with HealthTek Solutions Inc. and resides in Chesapeake, VA. She is working on her masters in Human Resources.

Laquisha Posey currently is a Bank Manager with BB&T and resides in West Virginia.

Aisha Bonilla currently is a graduate student at St. Johns University pursuing a master's in psychology and she resides in New York.

Sonia Trundy currently resides in Roanoke, VA and is a youth counselor with the Family Preservation Services.

Natasha Davis resides in Roanoke, VA and is employed by Roanoke City Dept. of Social Services.

Joe Rayburn resides in Virginia Beach, VA and is in Restaurant Management.

Christina Carter resides in Centreville, Virginia and is a special education teacher's assistant.

Elizabeth Moore resides in New York where she attends law school at Hofstra University.

Colby Leftwich resides in Roanoke, Virginia.