Bradley W. Bateman, President of Randolph College
It is hard to believe another academic year has come to a close. What a year 2015–16 has been! The last month of the school year can be bittersweet for our seniors. They are eager and excited to begin the next chapter in their journeys, yet they dread saying good-bye to cherished friends, professors, and staff members. The school year boils down to a series of “lasts,” including classes, exams, ringing the Conway Bell, Skeller Sings, and painting the Post or the Tree.
After four years here at Randolph, with its close-knit community, beautiful campus, and supportive environment, it can be hard to imagine life after college. Yet, as I watch each of these amazing students walk across the stage at the Dell, there is no doubt in my mind that their futures are bright and promising. They are, after all, Randolph College students. As it has for 125 years, the educational foundation provided by this College will ensure that these young women and men are prepared for an everchanging world. No matter where their paths take them, I am fully confident that each of these students is ready to pursue the life more abundant—just like the thousands of alumnae and alumni who have walked this same course.
This year, Randolph College is celebrating the 125th anniversary of its founding as Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. For all of those years—beginning those first days in 1893 when William Waugh Smith and the 11 other faculty members welcomed a group of 36 young women pioneers to a still-underconstruction campus—this College has had one focus: its students.
Our faculty and staff have always provided personal attention. They have always shared their passion, their knowledge, and their commitment to making the world better. The focus they put on students is what makes Randolph special, and it is what our alumnae and alumni remember most about their time here.
In this issue of Randolph magazine, we share the stories of alumnae and alumni who are pursuing the life more abundant. Our cover story features Kakenya Ntaiya ’04, who is changing (and saving) the destinies of young girls from her village in Kenya.
We will also share the stories of several other successful graduates, including Youssef Elkei ’13 and Siobhan Stolle Dunnavant ’86, and introduce you to new programs and award-winning faculty members.
As I recently watched the members of the Class of 2016 celebrate, I could not help but feel enormous gratitude toward William Waugh Smith. His legacy lives on in Randolph College as well as in every graduate who has left or will leave the Red Brick Wall. From its earliest days, this College has made Vita abundantior the goal. That has never changed, nor will it ever. We look forward to the next 125 years!
Bradley W. Bateman