Roanoke receives more than M from donors inspired by student success initiatives

Roanoke receives more than $4M from donors inspired by student success initiatives

The group testing corner of the new student success floor will be named Katie’s Corner after a very special person who inspired her family’s support of the project. 

Young woman with long dark hair poses for a photo in front of a body of water at sunset or sunrise.Katie Price (left) was the daughter of the Rev. Chris Price ’75 and Terry Price ’76, and the niece of Dr. Keith Price ’77 and Cindy Price. Katie did well in elementary school but began to struggle in high school. Although she hoped to be a radiology technician, she was unable to finish her education before her untimely death at 33. The Price family was moved to make financial contributions to the project in the hopes that students like Katie will find the help they need. 

“We are making this gift in memory of our elder daughter,” Chris Price said. “We look back and think she could have benefited from this kind of approach, so we’re excited to be able to broaden the sense of achievement and the successful completion of college for those that attend Roanoke. I mean, gosh, don’t you look back and wonder how many people were lost along the way because we didn’t understand all these different ways people need to learn?”  

Terry Price added that her daughter would have loved the idea of helping others. “If somebody was struggling and she could help, she certainly tried to do that, so I think she would identify with this. I wish we had figured out that she learned differently when she was much younger.” 

As a family practitioner, Chris Price’s brother, Keith, has seen the toll that anxiety, depression and other common mental health challenges can have on young people. He and his wife, Cynthia, have also helped fund the student success center.  

“I think it’s important to support anything that can help students succeed and get through the struggles that all of us have in our college years, when we are still figuring out our identity and our personal styles,” Keith Price said. “A little encouragement can go a long way.” 

He also hopes the student success center will ward off feelings of loneliness or isolation in students. “It would be a neat thing if this could connect students who are having similar struggles because sometimes you feel like you’re the only person who’s having this problem, so the ability to build community is really important.” 

Entrance to the Goode-Pasfield Center for Learning & Teaching, with yellow walls and posters in the window advertising subject tutoring, academic coaching, writing help and more.

Thanks to the Goode, Pasfield and Price families, the Goode-Pasfield Center for Learning & Teaching inside Roanoke College’s Fintel Library will be moved to the ground floor, expanded and renamed the Goode-Pasfield Center for Student Success, where students will be able to find helpful resources.

Building community is also the idea behind The Roanoke Promise, a new living learning community at Roanoke that will serve first-year, first-generation students. Two generous donors who wish to remain anonymous have funded this new community, which will allow interested first-generation students to live together on a single floor in Shenandoah Hall. There, they will face the unknown together in a supportive environment and be exposed to collaborative learning experiences and resources to help them navigate the path to belonging.  

“We recognize that Roanoke is increasing its first-generation student enrollment, and these are the students who are more likely to have needs than others,” one of those donors said, “so we chose to cover this additional area.” 

Those donors have a soft spot for good students who face unexpected hurdles to graduation. Over the years, they have supported student emergency funds at multiple colleges because they hate the thought of an otherwise diligent student dropping out or falling far behind because they need temporary financial assistance. 

“There is a large population of students who are capable and doing extremely well, but some of them get boxed into a financial corner from time to time,” the donor said. “It’s a week’s worth of groceries or a fee – it often does not take very much to plug the hole.”  

These caring individuals made a significant donation to the Maroon Emergency Fund, which provides temporary monetary assistance to students experiencing financial hardship resulting from an emergency, accident or other unexpected scenario.  

“It’s a very modest investment in the whole scope of the college, but it seems to pay off really big for people who are in an extreme circumstance,” the donor said. “Our satisfaction comes from seeing these young people succeed who might not have been able to succeed without a little help.” 

Other than the Price brothers, none of the benevolent donors who have contributed to these initiatives at Roanoke are acquainted, so they did not conspire to make related gifts. What they do share is a fondness for Roanoke College and a strong commitment to making a quality education possible for as many current and future students as possible. 

“We are so grateful to these alumni and friends for their inspiring acts of generosity,” said interim vice president for advancement Mary Grace Theodore. “Their support will have a beautiful ripple effect, making it possible for students to excel at Roanoke, discover their purpose, and one day pay it forward with their own impact on the world.”

Interested in making a gift for student success at Roanoke? Visit

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