The college introduced women's basketball to the line up of
intercollegiate athletics. John Lee Pratt, a long-time General Motors
executive who attended R-MC for one year in 1899-1900, bequeathed
$2.4 million to the college -- the largest gift by a single donor
to that date. CIA Director (and later U.S. President) George W.
Bush addressed the audience at R-MC's commencement exercises May
The college embarked on the five-year, $7.17 million "Challenge
Campaign." Dr. Alan J. Chenery, Sr., donated most of the funds
to construct a modern press box at Day Field.
Dr. Ladell Payne was brought from California to be the college's
The National Science Foundation awarded R-MC a grant of $250,000
to upgrade computer use at the college. Washington and Franklin
Hall, Old Chapel, and Pace Hall were named state and national historic
The college's endowment exceeded $10 million and Estes Dining
Hall opened. The college formed a Board of Associates to serve as
ambassadors for the college and consult with the Board of Trustees.
The Bassett Internship Program began modestly. (It now extends
to every academic department.) A new Honors Program was established.
Estes Dining Hall was dedicated in May, and 29 women became pledges
of Phi Mu, the college's first sorority.
Gail Gugel became the college's first female student government
president. The capital campaign, "Our Heritage, Our Future"
was kicked off. The goal was set at $15 million.
The college received a gift of $1.056 million from the Gerard
B. Lambert Memorial Foundation to restore Washington and Franklin
Hall. (The foundation belonged to Mrs. Paul Mellon, granddaughter
of Jordan Wheat Lambert, class of 1871, who had spearheaded the
fundraising to build the building.)
The college established a study abroad program with sites in
France and Spain.
Washington and Franklin Hall reopened after 30 years, and the
college completed its $15 million campaign, "Our Heritage,
Our Future." The endowment exceeded $20 million.
The McGraw-Page Library was dedicated, with author Tom Wolfe
as the speaker. A holiday fire destroyed the 100-year-old Sigma
Alpha Epsilon fraternity house. There were no injuries since most
students were gone for the Christmas holiday.
After years of playing a split-division athletic program, R-MC
sports were united in the NCAA Division III. The Society of Alumni
marked its 150th anniversary.
Nearly 800 students, faculty, and staff received immunizations
against measles when two cases were confirmed on campus.
Randolph-Macon defeated Hampden-Sydney College 17-10 in the
two colleges' 100th anniversary football game on Day Field. Beverley
E. Dalton of Altavista, Va., became the first female chair of the
Board of Trustees. Three students placed second in a national robot-building
contest, behind a group of professional Ph.Ds.
The college offered new majors in environmental studies, international
relations, and international studies. The endowment exceeded $30
The Hugh Stephens Baseball Field was dedicated; new townhouse
apartments were opened, and the Carnegie Foundation again rated
R-MC as a Baccalaureate College I, placing it among the most elite
colleges in the nation. A women's studies major was added, and the
Butler Language Laboratory opened.
The college launched a $41.5 million campaign, "Shared
Values - One Vision," with Olympic gold medal winner Cathy
Rigby as guest speaker.
The college became affiliated with the Agora Excavation in Athens,
Greece; dormitories and offices were wired for the Internet; and
the college created its first World Wide Web home page. The Yellow
Jackets women's basketball team competed in the "Sweet 16"
tournament of the NCAA Division III. The college's first Athletic
Hall of Fame was created. A 10-week, summer undergraduate research
program was established and an accounting major was approved.
Dr. Roger Martin came to Randolph-Macon as the college's 14th
president. Renovation of Pace Hall into a center for the arts began
with a $1 million gift from Mr. and Mrs. William Armistead. An endowment
fund of more than $500,000 was created in honor of retiring R-MC
President Ladell Payne and Presidential Associate Jean Payne. The
college's total endowment reached $50 million.
Roxane Gilmore, a member of the R-MC faculty, added "First
Lady of Virginia" to her title when her husband, James Gilmore,
was elected governor of the state. The college held its first presidential
inauguration in 18 years with the installation of Roger Martin as
the 14th president. The Brock
Center for recreation and fitness was dedicated. Joan and Macon
Brock '64 provided the signature gift for the facility.
Ten-year-old Greg Smith matriculated as the college's youngest-ever
freshman, attracting worldwide attention. A new strategic plan identified
five goals for the college's future.
The college celebrated the conclusion of the "Shared Values
- One Vision" campaign, in which $51 million, $10 million more
than the goal, was raised for capital projects, endowment, scholarships,
faculty professional development, professorships, and the annual
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