Charles A. Dana Professor of Dance
Pamela Risenhoover draws a connection between the relationships fostered by the College and her motivation to provide financial support: “Over the years, my love for the College has grown. It has always been clear to me that the College needed us and that we needed to step up to the plate.”
Like many donors, Pamela describes intangible qualities that bond the entire College community. “There is something about this community,” she says. “When I lost my parents in the 1990s, the support I got from colleagues, students, and the community in simple things like a heartfelt, hand-written note made all the difference.”
Her connection to students enabled her to play an important role in the College’s transition. “During the transition to co-education, former students would come back and say, ‘tell me what it is like,’” Pamela recalls.
“Those special moments of reconnection reassured us that we’re all still here—changed a bit, perhaps—but still here.” The fact that students would listen to her perspective meant a lot to her.
Pamela’s connection is not only to the institution and her students, but to a colleague as well, her husband, John Justice, Mary Frances Williams Professor of Philosophy. With the transition came unexpected, and welcome, changes. Pamela is pleasantly surprised to see more young men begin to declare dance as a major, or join classes to acquire more strength, flexibility, and agility.
“The new generation of Randolph College women and men is breaking down the stereotypes the same way their predecessors at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College did for decades.”
Mary Frances Williams Professor of Philosophy
It is not surprising to hear an engaged and active member of a community express deep fondness after 32 years. It is his connection to Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and Randolph College that motivates John Justice to direct his philanthropy to the institution.
“The College has become my life—it’s like an extended family,” he says. “It is a huge part of who I am.”
John’s long association with Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and Randolph College has made him a significant part of the lives and careers of countless students and colleagues. He teaches students at all levels, has guided senior seminar, and has served the community as faculty representative for the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship and a committee member of the Board of Review.
When John was asked about the unique qualities of R-MWC and Randolph College students that have made it a rewarding place for him to teach and contribute, his response indicates clearly that relationships formed at the College extend beyond the classroom and The Red Brick Wall. “I can’t put my finger on one thing; I have had students over the years who have been particularly rewarding to teach,” John says. “Some have become, and have stayed, lifelong friends.”
His philanthropy on behalf of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and Randolph College is borne of affection and recognition of the institution’s significance in his work and life.
“You grow fond of the place, and as you get older you have more capacity to give,” he said. “It’s also where I noticed a beautiful woman at a picnic at the President’s House in 1984, the same woman who later married me, Pamela Risenhoover, Charles A. Dana Professor of Dance.”
Every donor feels an emotional connection to an institution or organization. For John Justice, it is a connection of the heart as well.