Roanoke College receives biggest cash gift in school history


McConnon remembers his writing, history and psychology classes as particularly useful in his life, both in his career and especially as a writer. He credits English teacher Dr. Matthew Wise for teaching him how to write and how to approach the process. McConnon, also an author, has written several books, including “Supremis“, a science fiction novel. McConnon is currently editing a book he recently wrote on his career in the tech industry.

McConnon began his technology career at Honeywell and then joined Data General and Sun Microsystems. The next phase of McConnon’s career was to create, build and then sell high-tech security companies that detect abnormal, suspicious, or intrusive activity. He founded four companies: Raptor Systems, Okena, Q1 Labs (acquired by IBM to form the security division) and BitSight Technologies.

The new science center will impact all students at Roanoke College – those who major in science and those who specialize in other academic fields.

Each Roanoke student takes at least three course programs that will be housed in the Science Center. One-third of all courses on campus will be taught at the Science Center. Most of the student’s research will take place there, and it will be home to three of Roanoke’s 10 most popular majors: Psychology, Biology, and Environmental Studies.

“Thanks to Shaun’s generosity, we can imagine a college with a future state-of-the-art science facility that will make our already exceptional institution even greater. With the help of the entire Roanoke College community, I know we can rise to the challenge. of Shaun this year. “said Kim Blair, 1993 vice president of resource development.” Shaun’s phenomenal gift and challenge to our alumni will help us make this transformational space a reality and benefit generations of future Maroons. “

For more information on the Science Center and the McConnon Science Challenge, visit

Roanoke College Board of Trustees celebrates the $ 15 million donation from former board member Shaun McConnon ’66.


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