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The Front Quad was part of the original tract of land the Trustees purchased for the campus in 1848. It has served formally and informally ever since as a place of gatherings and quiet solitude. The gently sloping depression was created in the nineteenth century as the result of brickworks set up in the Quad to produce the bricks for two campus buildings.
It has served as the Arboretum and the site of the Founder's Tree--the Bittle Poplar, and it remains as the location for College commencements and special convocations.
Eisenberg, William E. The First Hundred Years, Roanoke College, 1842-1942. Salem, VA: Trustees of Roanoke College, 1942.
Miller, Mark F. Dear Old Roanoke, A Sesquicentennial Portrait, 1842-1992. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1992.
Traditions: Roanoke College Yesterday and Today. Salem, VA: Roanoke College, 1981.
Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission. Main Campus Complex, Roanoke College. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/ Park Service, 1973.