President Kenneth R. Garren was one of two alumni who received the Roanoke College Medal Friday for outstanding contributions to the college and professional accomplishments.
A 1962 graduate of Roanoke College, Dr. Garren and Dr. Lucy Cline Weiss ’72 of Roanoke were this year’s recipients. This medal, the highest honor given to alumni of the College, recognizes Roanoke graduates who have demonstrated leadership, intellectual integrity and a dedication to serving their communities.
Dr. Garren was born in Augusta, Ga., and was one of the first in his family to attend college. While at Roanoke, he was a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and the track team. After graduating, he landed a job at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, where he worked on the manual abort launch of Apollo. He worked alongside astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
Dr. Garren later earned his master’s degree in mathematics at the College of William & Mary and a doctorate at Virginia Tech.
He returned to Roanoke as a mathematics professor, and eventually became a vice president and dean of the College. He also started the College’s math national honor society, Pi Mu Epsilon.
After working at Roanoke for 34 years, Dr. Garren became president of University of Lynchburg in 2001. Under his leadership, the college’s undergraduate enrollment has increased by 32 percent, while graduate program enrollment has grown 169 percent.
Dr. Garren is rarely behind his desk. He spends much of his time engaging with students on campus and meeting with alumni nationwide. He is proud that University of Lynchburg has been recognized as one of eight institutions in the country for strong student engagement by the Spencer Foundation.
Dr. Garren’s three children also graduated from Roanoke College. Dr. David Garren is a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, Dr. Steven Garren is a professor at James Madison University, and Dr. Kristine Snow is a guidance counselor at Salem High School.