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Pioneering Class

Class of 2011 banner in Main HallOn Saturday, August 18, 2007, 178 members of the Class of 2011 descended on the College, the first class to be coeducational and the first to enter under Randolph College. On move-in day, they were greeted by staff and faculty volunteers—and the press. And for the first months, the women and men lived under a microscope as they navigated not only their first year of college, but a year of firsts for the College community. The class was 66 percent women and 34 percent men.

During their time at Randolph, the students helped build new athletic teams (and expand existing ones). Joining with students from other classes, they rejuvenated organizations like the Organic Garden—and started new ones like Humans vs. Zombies. They embraced traditions such as the Honor
Code, Pumpkin Parade, Ring Week, and the Odd and Even rivalry, and they helped create new ones like Homecoming. They shared their talents and passions in the classroom, on the stage, in the art studio, on the athletic fields—and everywhere else on campus. They conducted research, witnessed
speakers, including Richard Dawkins, Colin Beavan, and Howard Dean, and volunteered in the community.

They saw the creation of new programs like the Randolph Innovative Student Experience (RISE) and the Science Festival. They broke athletic records—and made it to ODAC Championship games. They lived through “Snowmageddon” in the winter of 2010, when Lynchburg received more than 35 inches of snow, and watched the first African American be elected United States President. And on May 15, 2011, the pioneering women and men of Randolph’s transition to coeducation walked across the stage in the Dell, ready to leave the Red Brick Wall and enter the next phase of their lives.

“What makes this Commencement different from any I have known, and perhaps different from any others taking place is that I am standing before a group of students who four years ago began a journey, with remarkable determination, even in the face of not knowing exactly what the future would hold,” the 2011 Commencement speaker Shannon Valentine told them. …“You have forged a path where no one yet has ever traveled and have done so with great dignity.”

Today, members of the Class of 2011 are located across the globe, pursuing a multitude of careers and passions. They remain committed to their communities and making their corner of the world a better place.

For this issue of Vita Abundantior, we asked members of the Class of 2011 to share where their journeys have taken them, along with a few memories of their time at Randolph.

Here’s what they had to say…

Jillian Barlowe Leonard

Jillian Barlowe Leonard

Jillian Barlowe Leonard

Social Worker | Phoenix Alcohol Project

Essex, England

“My favorite memories at Randolph include being part of a small community on a gorgeous campus, my graduation stole (which my mom made) that continues to be passed down, making dear friends that I will always hold close to my heart, and small classes sizes which reinforced how much I value a liberal arts education.”

 

 

 

 

 

Caleb Moxley

Caleb Moxley

Caleb Moxley

Assistant Professor of Mathematics | Birmingham-Southern College

Birmingham, AL

“In 2010, Alex Ostrowski, Bobbie LaFleur Davey, and I were with the World in Britain at Whitby Abbey, and it started snowing. I—the consummate Alabamian—had not dressed for snow, and I found myself slipping around in inappropriate shoes and no gloves. We climbed a steep hill to look at the abbey over a stone wall, and I slipped down the wall and the hill and landed intact at the bottom. When we reached the museum and my hands warmed up, I realized that I’d lost my college ring, which I’d only recently gotten for Ring Week (when Rhiannon Knol decorated my Reading door with Newton and Leibniz). I was in pieces! Bobbie, Alex, and I went back to where I’d fallen, knowing that the ring must be there. We (mostly Bobbie and Alex) painstakingly removed all the snow from the side of the hill. I called home to ask my parents to Google metal detector rentals in Whitby once I gave up looking—which was quite early. Bobbie continued on, and found my ring!”

 

 

 

 

Chris “Z” Zielewski

Chris "Z" Zielewski

Chris “Z” Zielewski

Special Education Teacher | Milestones Preschool

Palo Alto, CA

“My senior year, I sat alone in the stadium with a drink in hand as six humans stood their ground at center field against a swarm of nearly 100 zombies for five minutes with Metallica’s cover of Ennio Morricone’s “Ecstasy of Gold” blaring over the loud speakers. That was a once-in-several-lifetimes experience that few people, aside from Julius Caesar, will know the joy of. Thank you to everyone who made it possible and to all of those who’ve kept the game going since.”

 

 

 

 

Annamarie Pagel 

Annamarie Pagel

Annamarie Pagel

Associate Attorney | The Law Offices of Victoria Humphreys

Law degree from Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, MN

Norfolk, VA

“My best memories of Randolph were from my time in the Reading Program and having the opportunity and freedom to travel. I remember that I flew into Cairo on Christmas Day in 2010, and spent the next two weeks traveling around Egypt. Riding horses around the pyramids and taking a Nile riverboat cruise are memories of a lifetime.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joel Benjamin Knight Schwaber

Joel Benjamin Knight Schwaber

Joel Benjamin Knight Schwaber

Space For Cycling Brisbane | CityCycle Australia

Brisbane, Australia

“My favorite memory was rediscovering my love of bicycles and bicycling by biking from Wilmington, Delaware, down to Lynchburg, Virginia through the Blue Ridge Mountains.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ludovic Lemaitre

Ludovic Lemaitre

Ludovic Lemaitre

Prospect Research | Randolph College

Part-time Real Estate Relocation Service Agent

Lynchburg, VA

“My best memory of my time at Randolph is when I participated in my first Summer Research project in 2008 with Dr. Karin Warren, Dr. Rick Barnes, and fellow students Karl Sakas ’10 and Megan (Roberts) Mlynarczyk ’10. We laid out many of the sustainability pillars for the College that summer and had so much fun exploring the campus and the Lynchburg area!”

 

 

 

Rashan A. Colbert 

Rashan A. Colbert

Rashan A. Colbert

Aide to Senator Cory Booker | United States Senate

Alexandria, VA

“Many of my fondest memories came in the down-time of my first year, just hanging out with my classmates on Main 2nd-short, and with our friends just upstairs. We got through the challenges of our first year of college together with many a trip to Wal-Mart or Sheetz, hours of procrastination in the computer lab, and late-night bull sessions when we probably should have been sleeping.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samantha Romero

Samantha Romero

Samantha Romero

Office administrator and Special Projects Coordinator | Texas State Senator José Rodriguez |

President of the West Fund

El Paso, TX

“Randolph provided me with a great four years. My favorite memories of Randolph are the shenanigans that happened after hours, like random groups roaming the halls in masks and face paint, and the occasional Dell run.”

 

 

 

Kathleen Conti

Kathleen Conti

Kathleen Conti

Consultant | Hardy-Heck-Moore

Pursuing a Ph.D. in architecture at the University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX

“There are so many perfect little moments about my time behind the Red Brick Wall, but the thing that sticks with me the most is the community that we fought so hard to preserve throughout all the controversies and changes. I love that I can be in rural Indiana for work, and I’ll connect with an alum I have never met, who graduated decades before me, and we’ll bond over dinner like we’ve always known each other.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caleb Pearson

Caleb Pearson

Caleb Pearson

Real Estate Sales and Investments | The Caleb Pearson Team

Charleston, SC

“My fondest memory of Randolph was playing for Clay Nunley and the bonds that were built with my teammates.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cameron Shepherd

Cameron Shepherd

Cameron Shepherd

Physical Education Teacher | New London Academy, Head Boys’ Basketball Coach | Jefferson Forest High School

Forest, VA

“My fondest memory of my time at Randolph was all of the time I spent with my teammates. We had some great times together and built some lasting memories. Those guys are still some of my best friends, and I believe we have a bond that will last forever.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carl Coffey

Carl Coffey

Carl Coffey

Senior Business Analyst UnitedHealth Group

Bowling Green, KY

“My best memories at Randolph are those spent with my friends. Looking back at my time at the College, we spent a lot of time on campus. We really became like family at Randolph because of the small community that we created. Also, the spin dip at Rivermont. And the fries at the Cav. And the cappuccino brownies at Magnolia. It was a small town, but we were close to all of the important stuff.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sasha Budd Williams

Sasha Budd Williams

Sasha Budd Williams

Preschool and Phonics Teacher

Woodbridge, VA

“My fondest memory is being in the Greek Play and having the lead as Hecuba. It was an amazing experience and being surrounded by so many dynamic actors was amazing. Professor Cohen made it even better.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nick Dean (formerly Marshall)

Nick Dean (formerly Marshall)

Nick Dean (formerly Marshall)

Academic Coach

Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS

2017-18 Chair of the Kansas Academic Advising Network

“One of my fondest memories of my time at Randolph is the internship I completed my senior year in multicultural student services with Hermina Hendricks. My time in Ms. Hendricks’ office helped solidify my plans for grad school, as well as laid the foundation for my career in higher education. I experienced so many useful hands-on lessons working with her, and I frequently think of those lessons as I am working with college students today. Without a doubt, that internship provided a phenomenal culmination to my undergraduate education and changed my life.”

 

Alexis Mandarakas

Alexis Mandarakas

Alexis Mandarakas

Retirement Specialist/2017 Certified Financial Planner Candidate

Vanguard Group

Charlotte, NC

“In addition to my job, I also work as a volunteer ambassador with My Classroom Economy, a behavioral management system used by teachers in grades K-12 to bring financial literacy to children in the classroom. This fall, as a success coach with Communities in Schools, I have had the opportunity to act as a mentor for a child in a local high-need school. I am also excited to have achieved a goal of completed a Spartan Race Trifecta this year which was a combined race total of over 26 miles of obstacles and terrain and have plans to compete next year in Greece.

“My favorite memory from my time at Randolph was dinner one night with the girls from the horseback riding team in the Easter Egg Lounge. We were exhausted from a long weekend of back to back horse shows but all got together anyway to cook and chat. It’s a time that has always stood out to me—I just remember thinking, ‘Wow, this team really has become my family.’”



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