Written by Bradley Bommarito
Since the explosion of the pandemic across the globe in early 2020, the past year and a half of our lives contain unforgettable experiences. For better or worse, 2020 and 2021 will stand out in our memories for years to come. The Brackety-Ack likes to take some time at the end of each semester to reflect on the term’s most notable and impactful college events. Though we cannot recap every major event from the semester, we’ve chosen a few highlights that are worth reflecting on:
1. Candlelight Ceremony (Celebrating Black History Month)/ February 28, 2021
The Black Student Alliance hosted a candlelight ceremony in front of the Administration Building in which students, faculty, and staff gathered at Morehead Hall, lit candles, and embarked on a silent walk to the Administration Building. Words, prayers, and poems from students, faculty and staff were exchanged in remembrance of the enslaved people who played a formative role in the RC’s history, and the ceremony concluded with a prayer.
2. RC’s Third Annual RCIFF (RC International Film Festival)/ February 17-Feb 26, 2021
This year’s RCIFF theme was “Social Justice and the Oscars.” The Festival’s goal was to put the community and different disciplines in meaningful dialogue with one another and to increase community awareness of international cultures. Screenings were held online via Zoom, and the event was sponsored by several Roanoke College departments and student organizations as well as the Roanoke Valley Sister Cities.
3. NOKELive: Celebrating 105 years of The Brackety-Ack!/ March 25, 2021
Hosted by the Roanoke College Alumni Association and RC’s Brackety-Ack, this livestream event allowed students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests to learn more about our college’s student newspaper and its proud traditions during the layout of the paper. The Brackety-Ack got its name as a result of a contest offering a one-year subscription to the paper for the best name submitted. Opening in 1915, the paper is published on a biweekly basis during the school year by its student-led staff.
4. 2021 Salem Civic Challenge/ March 22, 2021
The Salem Civic Challenge is an annual critical thinking and creative problem-solving competition sponsored by RC’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO Club) and Center for Leadership and Entrepreneurial Innovation (CLEI). Open to students of all grade levels and majors, each year’s unique challenge is to work as a team to solve a contemporary problem posed by the City of Salem. The total prize pool is $2,500, with the winning team taking home $1,000.
5. Alumni Weekend: Virtual Edition/ April 15 – 17, 2021
This year’s alumni weekend was held entirely virtually. Events included a virtual scavenger hunt, an alumni career fair, a Fowler Lecture featuring political commentator and humorist P.J. O’Rourke, a Society of 1842 event recognizing Pi Kappa Phi’s honorary fourth founder Durward W. Owen, and an alumni panel featuring Fulbright Program award recipients.
Roanoke College hosted over 100 events throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, including the small sampling included in our highlights recap for the semester. With a reputation for producing consistent high-quality programming, RC has not been hindered by the pandemic from hosting a variety of successful events this year. For a complete list of past and future RC events, please visit RC’s events calendar at https://www.roanoke.edu/events/.