The College Environment

The sense of community at the College provides a setting in which students are readily recognized for their accomplishments and are encouraged to realize their fullest potential. Students are also able to enjoy the security and the support that can be engendered only by personal relationships. Classes, clubs, societies, sports, and performing arts groups are small enough to assure participation. The College furnishes an opportunity for a fuller self-awareness and for achieving a responsible knowledge of society.

The majority of students — after Virginia residents — name Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania as home, with other points in New England and the South being well represented. While most of our students come from about 40 states, the presence of international students on the campus helps diversify our student body. Most students find friends from cultures both similar to and divergent from their own.

The campus lies in the center of the city of Salem, in southwestern Virginia. The city of Salem, along with the entire Roanoke Valley, was recognized in 1988 as an All-American Community. Salem is situated just off Interstate 81, a few miles north of the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. Roanoke Regional Airport is an hour’s flight from New York or Atlanta and only 35 minutes from Washington, DC, and Charlotte, North Carolina.

With a population of about 25,000, Salem is a city of diversified industry and business. Adjoining Salem to the east is a metropolitan area of 250,000, which includes the city of Roanoke and Roanoke County.

The campus opens onto Main Street in Salem and merges with the town in common streets and sidewalks. The College’s buildings are a genial mixture of historic and modern architecture. The Administration Building (which houses the offices for the President and the Vice- President/Dean of the College, as well as the Office of the Registrar and Office of International Education) was constructed in 1847; together with Miller Hall, Trout Hall, and Bittle Hall that flank it, the Administration Building is registered as a Virginia and National Historic Landmark.

The recently renovated and expanded Fintel Library has a collection containing over 203,000 volumes, over 720 journal subscriptions, as well as microfilm collections and numerous audio-visual materials. Additionally, the library has access to 10,000 periodicals and newspapers, full text online. It is a selective depository library for United States Government Documents.