THEN: The Rev. Dr. William G. Starr, born in 1840 in Rappahannock, Va., was president of the college at the beginning of the 20th century. The son of an itinerant Methodist preacher, Starr graduated from Randolph-Macon in 1859 and earned his license to preach the following year. He served in the Confederate army for four years during the Civil War, and became Randolph-Macon's 9th president in 1899. The editors of the 1900 Yellow Jacket Annual wrote: Since Dr. Starr accepted the presidency of our college, the institution has taken on new life, and the friends of dear old Randolph-Macon look with strong faith and buoyant hope to the educational work which we are expected to do in the future. Starr's unanticipated resignation came in 1902. Professor Robert Emory Blackwell was named acting president, and then elected president the following year. These turn-of-the-century presidents probably focused primarily on courses of study, faculty selection, and student life.
NOW: Roger H. Martin became Randolph-Macon College's 14th president in 1997. Selected from a pool of 55 candidates, he is only the fifth president to serve Randolph-Macon in the 20th century. He is a former president of Moravian College and associate dean of the Divinity School and lecturer in church history at Harvard University. Since his arrival at the college, Dr. Martin has organized a new strategic planning process, forged economic development ties with the town of Ashland, made changes to enhance student life, and provided fund-raising leadership for the college. The 1965 graduate of Drew University studied for a year at Edinburgh University before receiving bachelor of divinity and master of sacred theology degrees from Yale University and a doctor of philosophy degree from Oxford University. He is a British historian and a scholar of Methodism's founder, John Wesley.
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