Randolph students, faculty, and staff gathered by the front steps of Moore Hall Wednesday evening for the annual Founders’ Day celebration.
The brief ceremony included speeches by President Bradley W. Bateman and Student Government Vice President Katlyn Collins ’22. Avery Dinger ’22, president of the Traditions Committee, read the poem God Bless You, Randolph-Macon, and the campus a capella group Voices performed.
The College was officially founded March 10, 1891, but the College usually celebrates Founders Day at a later date.
In her remarks, Collins spoke about founder William Waugh Smith, then president of the all-male Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, and his “courage to disagree with society” in making plans for a college where young women could obtain an education equal to that given to men.
“His vision still lives on today with our traditions of flowers and frivolity, spirts and serenades, combined with our longstanding tradition of academic excellence,” Collins said. “This vision now applies to both the men and women of Randolph College. All students are taught to realize their full potential—as leaders, communicators, psychologists, sociologists, dancers, artists, athletes, community builders, global ambassadors, and so much more.”
After founding Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in 1891, Smith served as president of both R-MWC and Randolph-Macon in Ashland until “he gave up that job for this job,” Bateman said. “This was the college he really loved.”
Today, Bateman added, Randolph still seeks to provide a life-changing education to anyone who wants it.
The College is a place to “shape yourself into the person you want to be,” he told students, “and to access the life you want to build for yourself.”
Following the brief ceremony, seniors and sophomores participated in the traditional sister class serenade by the Sundial.