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Student Representative Helps in Presidential Search

by Devon Mitchell

Former Student Government President, Emily Norton, sits on the Presidential Search Committee looking for the next Roanoke College President. Norton acts as a student representative in the search among Board of Trustees members.  

After President Maxey announced his retirement at the end of September, the presidential search began. Throughout the fall semester, Norton kept up with the student body and what they are looking for in a president. In October, the Presidential Search Committee held a student focus group comprised of student leaders. In attendance, Norton took notes on what student leaders valued most in a college president. Norton also spoke with students directly and utilized social media as a means for people to contact her directly. After hearing from students, Ms. Norton found that they are looking for, “someone who is going to uplift the voices of those who have historically been silenced and really dive into DEI initiatives to make tangible change.” 

“I’m reminded that we’re doing this for the entire community and not for ourselves,” Norton noted on the importance of keeping the student’s best interest in mind. Personally, Emily said she is, “looking for someone who is truly going to have the wellbeing of Roanoke in mind, someone I trust.” 

While Norton has been listening to the student body, she offers these words of insight, “It’s important for students to keep in mind that the president does a lot more than we see and it is a financial and business-based position which is taken into account. Everyone sitting on the committee is doing this because they care so deeply about the wellbeing of the college, and it isn’t a decision being taken lightly.” 

Overall, Emily is excited about the ongoing search and has confidence in the process. “I think they [the future president] will be very successful as they enter the role.” 

For more information on the search, be on the lookout for an email from the committee being sent on February 11th.