Longwood Magazine | Winter 2022

Page 1

3 new deans focus on building relationships | Innovation Hub to foster entrepreneurship



The impact of a strong basketball program reaches far beyond the scoreboard

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On the Cover

A strong bas ketball program has wide-ranging positive impact on the university, from philanthro py to student recruitment.

Story on Page 8.

3 12
Factory The new SEED Innovation Hub will offer support to small businesses.
Willet Hall’s Iconic
home of basketball before the teams move next door.
President’s Message 2 7 Getting To Know Us
7 True Blue Kids get VIP treatment with Blue Crew membership.
New Athletics Director Tim Hall shares his initial impressions of Longwood.
I love that
Longwood has a history of being deeply tied to the community.

Being Neighborly Transformation of Longwood Village to include affordable workforce housing.


On the Fast Track

3 new deans set goals synced with Longwood’s focus on relationships.

Worth Hearing

Vice President Emeritus Tim Pierson offers words of wisdom at Convocation.

That’s the Ticket Home basketball game weekends just got more exciting. 6

What’s in Store for Furniture

Incoming president and CEO of the High Point furniture market looks into her crystal ball.

WINTER 2022 I 1
5 26
4 On
19 In
Point 3
Memoriam 31





Ayo Agunbiade, M.S. ’10, Binta Barry ’16, Brian Brehm/The WinchesterStar, Rohn Brown ’84, Dr. William Dunn ’91, Chuck Epes, Charlie Fultz ’92, Gazette-Virginian, Elizabeth Blair Haynie, Dave Hooper ’00, Sam Hovan, Jourdan Jones ’19, Ketner Group Communications, Victoria Kindon, Mike Kropf ’14, Keith Lucas, MecklenburgSun, Tony T. Moss ’90, Tammy Nagem ’95, M.S. ’97, North Carolina State University Communications, On3.com, Justin Pope, Matt Rinker ’02, TheSmithfieldTimes, Jason Snyder, Tidewater Review, Anne Flynn Wear/FurnitureToday

Advisory Board

Wade Edwards, Larissa Smith, Courtney Hodges, Victoria Kindon, David Locascio, Justin Pope

Board of Visitors

Michael A. Evans, Rector, Richmond

Katharine M. Bond ’98, Mechanicsville

Fabiola Aguilar Carter, Richmond Steven P. Gould, Danville

Dr. Judi M. Lynch ’87, Christiansburg Nadine Marsh-Carter, Richmond Kristie Helmick Proctor ’04, Mechanicsville Polly H. Raible ’91, Midlothian Rhodes B. Ritenour, Henrico Ricshawn Adkins Roane, Great Falls N.H. “Cookie” Scott ’72, Midlothian Shawn L. Smith ’92, Richmond Ronald O. White, Midlothian

Editorial offices for Longwood magazine are maintained at the Office of University Marketing, Communications and Engagement, Longwood University, 201 High Street, Farmville, VA 23909. Telephone: 434-414-6241; email: browncs2@longwood.edu. Comments, letters and contributions are encouraged.

Printed on recycled stocks containing 100% postconsumer waste.

To request this magazine in alternate format (large print, braille, audio, etc.), please contact Longwood Disability Resources, 434-395-2391; TRS: 711.

Published December 2022


If it’s been a few years since you’ve watched a basketball game in Willett Hall, now is your chance. The men’s and women’s basketball seasons now getting under way are the final run in Willett, the home of Longwood basketball for 42 seasons in Division III, II and now I. Though the building will remain an important academic and athletics resource on campus, next sea son will mark the opening of the incredible new Joan Perry Brock Center, right next door, and a new era for Lancer Athletics.

The opening season at the JPB will certainly be worth a trip—but I hope you’ll also make time this season for a trip to Willett (for information on VIP weekend home game packages, see Page 6).

We all are feeling nostalgic. Willett has seen so many triumphs, and it is a loud and exciting place to watch a game. Last year the teams went a combined 24-6 in games there, and it was the toughest arena in Virginia for visiting teams. It’s been a place of energy, camaraderie and the Longwood spirit. And, of course, it was the location of one our proudest moments: hosting the 2016 U.S. Vice Presiden tial Debate.

The cover story in this issue of the magazine conveys Longwood’s vision for our basketball program, and how we are working to take advantage of the almost unique ability college basketball has to up lift an institution. We have the people in place, and we saw last year how it can work—the excitement it can generate on campus and beyond, the name recognition it brings, the pride and the commit ment to excellence it represents. There really is a special spirit of togetherness that you feel in Willett that is synonymous with so much that is good and worthy about Longwood. It’s exciting to think about taking that energy and spirit, and next year moving it to one of the best college basketball arenas in America, also right in the heart of campus.

I hope you’ll take the opportunity to sample it during this season at Willett, and certainly to prepare for next year’s opening season in the JPB. In the meantime, keep cheering on the Lancers as we build on our strong foundation.

All my best, W. Taylor Reveley IV President

President Reveley (right) with his family and head men’s basketball coach Griff Aldrich. Mike Kropf ’14

Idea Factory

In the coming years, these scenes will become typical in Farmville: college students from Long wood, Hampden-Sydney and Southside Virginia Community College sitting alongside busi ness leaders and entrepreneurs, flexing their creative muscles as they design new products; community members and teachers taking leadership development and innovation courses; K-12 students learning entrepreneurial skills; and small-business owners networking and accessing resources to grow their businesses.

It will all happen in downtown Farmville at the visionary new SEED Innovation Hub, which will be moving into the 10,000-square-foot space for merly occupied by Longwood’s Barnes & Noble Bookstore. A partnership between Longwood and Hampden-Sydney Col lege—with financial backing at both the state and federal levels—the hub will offer much-needed support to growing small businesses in Southern Virginia.

The project was awarded nearly $2 million in August 2022 from the U.S.

Economic Development Administration through the American Rescue Plan— putting in place the last piece of funding needed to begin construction. Planning for the project began in 2019, and previously announced funding includes $674,304 from GO Virginia, $500,000 from the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and $375,000 from the Long wood Real Estate Foundation.

Once completed, the facility will con nect residents of the Farmville area with resources to bolster business creation, innovation activities and workforce train ing in the greater Southside region. It will provide space for co-working, gathering, training and makerspace, as well as serve as a home for Small Business Develop ment Center (SBDC) advising.

“SEED will be a creative intersection of partners, entrepreneurs, ideas and supportive programming for all ages, culminating in regional innovation and entrepreneurial opportunities for years to come,” said Sherry McGuire ’91, associate vice president for community and eco nomic development and SBDC executive director.


The new SEED Innovation Hub has received funding from the U.S. Eco nomic Development Administration, GO Virginia, the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and the Longwood Real Estate Foundation.

Longwood makes top 5 of regional publics in U.S. News rankings

FOR THE FIRST TIME, Long wood is a top-five regional public university in the South, according to the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings released in September.

Over the last decade, Longwood has charted a steady climb up the annual rankings, this year marking its first-ever appearance as the No. 5 public university in the South regional category and the seventh straight year in the top 10 in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings.

The university also has maintained its rising trajectory in the Best Value in the South list, up more than 10 spots from two years ago to No. 35 overall. And, for the second straight year, Longwood was named the top university in Virginia on the Best Col leges for Veterans in the South list, up one spot overall to No. 5.

The nursing program, which was named the Best BSN Program in the Southeast for 2022 by NursingPro cess.org, climbed high up the na tionwide U.S. News list, bolstered by its near-perfect pass rate on nursing licensure exams over the past seven years.

“Though rankings can never paint a complete picture of life on campus, I’m proud that our investment in the Civitae curriculum and full-time facul ty is being recognized,” said President W. Taylor Reveley IV. “Coupled with our emphasis on keeping costs as low as possible—recognized in our rise in the Best Value list—it’s a formula that keeps us delivering the kind of academic experience that prepares students for meaningful lives and careers.

“I’m particularly proud of our nurs ing program, which has gone from one of the best-kept secrets in higher education to consistently ranked at the top of programs in the common wealth,” he added.

New Innovation Hub to cultivate entrepreneurship, bolster business development in Farmville


Avibrant new neighborhood will soon be taking shape in Farmville, thanks to a creative partnership that includes Longwood, an award-winning housing nonprofit, local leaders and community organizations.

The development is planned for the current site of Longwood Village, the former Longwood student housing complex locat ed behind Sheetz on South Main Street. Known for now as the South Main Street Community, the project envisions 300 rental units, including affordable housing for the region’s growing labor force. Future expansion would include senior living options and single-family homes and townhouses, along with mixed-use community amenities.

The project represents an eventual $80 million investment by funders into the site, meeting an urgent and growing need in a community that has long had ample student housing—but lacked quality housing for health care workers, new teachers and other working families on which the greater Farmville area relies.

Among those partnering are STEPS, the local nonprofit for community housing, education and workforce development, and the Better Housing Coalition, an award-winning Richmond-based nonprofit that has a well-known track record for developing high-quality and well-managed housing that reinvigorates neigh borhoods and is affordable to working families.

“In my history, no one has brought us a site like this,” said Greta Harris, director of the Better Housing Coalition, the Richmond area’s largest not-for-profit community development coalition, which has helped revitalize and develop new neighborhoods throughout the region. “Even though it was stretching us from locations where we typically operate, it was a unique opportunity that excited us, and that was only bolstered by the enthusiasm we felt from Farmville at the idea. It’s very rare when you have anchor institutions, businesses, government and nonprofit partners all singing from the same page.”

Plans for the project start with 300 rental units. Future expan sion would include senior living options and single-family homes.

Longwood is familiar ground for new BOV members

LONGWOOD’S BOARD OF VISITORS welcomed three new members this fall, but it’s really a homecoming of sorts for all of them.

For Judi Lynch ’87, Longwood roots run deep. “Longwood is home,” said Lynch, who was first appointed to the Board of Visitors in 2010. “The school molded me into a citizen lead er, and I feel that continuity in what it’s doing now for current students.”

A longtime public servant who has worked in leader ship roles on the staffs of members of both the House of Delegates and Senate, Lynch is currently chief of staff to Del. Jason Ballard. She is the president and founder of LynchPin Connections and previously served as principal of Saint Gertrude High School in Richmond.

Kristie Helmick Proctor ’04 is the ex ecutive director at The Virginia Rural Center, an organization created by the Virginia General Assembly that works with policymakers and com munity leaders to promote economic prosperity throughout rural Virginia.

“When I was on campus for my first board meeting, I had an overwhelming sense of optimism and excite ment for the future,” she said, comparing that feeling with her emotions when she arrived at Longwood as a freshman.

A first-gener ation college graduate herself, she has a “particular focus on growing the number of first-generation students” during her time on the board.

Ron White has spent a career as a citizen leader, serving more than two decades in the U.S. Army followed by a senior staff position for U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes and now as an exec utive at Southside Electric Coopera tive. Like Lynch, he was first appoint ed to the Board in 2010.

“When I stepped on campus the first time and im mersed myself in Longwood, I immediately understood that it is not just a place of academia but a way of life. It’s a sense of responsibility to make the places where you live and work a better place,” he said.

workforce housing is one goal for transformation of Longwood Village
Neighborly Affordable

The Voice of Experience

If there’s just one thing Dr. Tim Pierson learned during his three decades in stu dent affairs leadership at Longwood—that would be a miracle.

As the keynote speaker at this year’s Convocation for seniors and their families, Pierson, vice president for student affairs emeritus, shared much more than a few words of wisdom. Chief among them were those that expressed his belief in the importance of living a life that reflects one’s values and beliefs.

“Congruency of life is when we are act ing on the values we hold, the things that are most important to us,” said Pierson, who this year stepped away from the dayto-day duties he has held for 30 years and into a different role on campus. “Those are the values we espouse, the way we treat one another. In student affairs, we often talk about the whole student development, every aspect of knowing yourself and your identity. A big part of that is trusting who

you are and in the values that you hold, and acting on those.”

Pierson’s legacy on campus was cel ebrated with a surprise honor after his address. President W. Taylor Reveley IV announced that the Health and Fitness Center, where Pierson can be found many days shooting basketball, had been renamed Pierson Hall.

(above) President W. Taylor Reveley IV (right) and Dr. Tim Pierson, who gave the keynote address at Convocation this fall.

This tradition is ALL CAPS

Convocation is a time for both serious and playful reflection on students’ time at Longwood, as well as looking toward the future. On the playful side, this year’s collection of towering, streaming, colorful balancing-acts of nostalgic headgear did not disappoint. Caps are created by someone close enough to the student to know their history and their dreams. That person “caps” their senior at the close of the ceremony.

WINTER 2022 I 5
In Convocation address, student affairs VP emeritus shares just the iceberg’s tip of his accumulated wisdom

Music to Our Ears

Perry Brock Convocation Center, which is scheduled to open in 2023.

Construction is planned to begin this fall on the renovated and expanded building on Fourth Street in downtown Farmville that will be the new home of Longwood’s facilities and maintenance operation. This relocation will make way for construction of the music facili ty starting in summer 2024.

The new building will have class rooms, recital rooms and a 500-seat performance space that will make it a regional center of music education and performance—and an inspiring academ ic home for the more than 600 students taught annually in Wygal, which was built more than 50 years ago.

That’s the Ticket


just got hotter. Basketball fans can combine cheering on their 2022 Big South champions with a VIP package of accommodations, amenities and exclusive activities put together by the Longwood Alumni Association. The package is available for any men’s or women’s home game week end in January or February. Treat yourself or someone on your holiday list to the following:

It has been a dream years in the making and planning. This summer, a new state-of-the-art home for music and music education at Longwood took one step closer to reality with the appropriation of $62 million in the new state budget.

The new facility, which will replace Wygal Hall, is scheduled to open in early 2027. It will anchor a handsome Main Street gateway to campus at the intersection of Main Street and Red ford Street, sharing that campus entrance with the new Joan

“The building is conceived as a bridge between the community and campus,” said Dr. Lisa Kinzer, who was chair of the music department during the plan ning phase for the new facility. “It will be … a stunning showcase for the dozens of concerts and performances that make up a central part of our curriculum. We are so excited to see the funding approved.”

The new music education building, scheduled to open in 2027, will be located at the South Main Street entrance to campus.

• Accommodations for one or two nights at Hotel Weyanoke (king or double queen), the stunning bou tique hotel across High Street from campus

• Up to four basketball home game tickets for that Saturday

• Hors d’oeuvres and an open bar at the Shentel season ticket hospitali ty suite before the game

• Game-ready gear, including rally towels, face tattoos and limitededition Go Wood T-shirts

• An exclusive VIP tour of the Joan Perry Brock Center (the future home of Longwood basketball, cur rently under construction) on the Friday afternoon before the game

• Optional guided campus tour

• $10 gift certificate for North Street Press Club, one of Farmville’s dining hot spots

Cost of the package is $150 with one night’s lodging or $300 with two nights’ lodging.

Check out go.longwood.edu/ bballvip for available dates, then make your reservation and look forward to an exciting weekend in 2023.

If you have questions or need to customize your package, contact the Alumni Office at 434-395-2044 or alumni@longwood.edu

$62 million in state funding moves new building for music education closer to reality
VIP package ramps up the excitement for home basketball games in 2023

Getting to Know Us

A15-year veteran leader of Division I programs, Tim Hall became Longwood’s new direc tor of athletics this summer.

Most recently he was AD at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, an Ohio Valley Conference member, where he had served since 2019. Previously, he led the athletics program at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC), which during his tenure opened a $90 million arena and, in 2018, made history as the first 16-seed ever to beat a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, defeating the University of Virginia 74-54.

With the perspective of a few months in his new position at Longwood, Hall answered a few questions for Longwood magazine.

What has been exciting about coming here to Longwood?

I’ve worked at a lot of universities as my career has progressed. The sense of purpose, the sense of self—in terms of who we are as an institution—is stronger here than I’ve ever experienced. That’s endearing and refreshing. Longwood knows who they are. They know what their strengths are. They know what their priorities are. They know what constituencies they serve and are really good at executing on all of those.

How do you see the relationship between Longwood and the community?

The way the institution supports the community and vice versa is impressive. It’s really neat to see how that interaction takes place, especially as we’re gearing up for basketball season, and what a successful athletics program can do to unite people around a common enterprise.

How have you adjusted to Longwood and Farmville?

I’ve adjusted well. I’ve lived in a college town very similar to Farmville, so this community was very much what I expect ed. I feel like I had a leg up because of my friendship with [men’s basketball coach] Griff Aldrich and the fact that

What do you do in your spare time?

I love to read. When I was growing up, my dad said, “Leaders are readers.” I try to immerse myself in books on leadership, management and psychology, but also books as a bit of an escape. Right now I’m reading Long

I like to work out. I do a lot of walking. And, when I can find the time—which is hard—I like to golf. Spending time with my four kids is important. I used to tell people, if you can’t find me on a court or field at work, you can find me on a court or field with my kids.

What about your favor ite music?

I grew up in the era of Aerosmith and Van Halen, and then got into grunge in college with Sound garden, Pearl Jam and especially Alice in Chains. Layne Staley has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard. Really it depends a lot on my mood. I also like country sometimes.

True Blue

LONGWOOD ATHLETICS and the Office of Alumni and Career Ser vices want to give your kids the VIP treatment with a new group called the Blue Crew.

Game-day swag, free admission to all home games, exclusive access to special athletics events and a person alized birthday card from Elwood are just a few of the ways the Blue Crew will show the youngest members of the Lancer family just how important they are.

The new organization, sponsored by Papa Johns, is open to all children 12 years old and younger and costs just $15.

“We know families are always look ing for common interests and activi ties that will bring them together,” said Nicole Perkins ’05, senior director of alumni and career services. “The Blue Crew gives alumni parents a great way to share their love of Longwood— and Longwood athletics—with their children.”

Admission to all Longwood home games is free for children 5 and under. (Men’s and women’s basketball are the only sports that charge admission, but only for fans 6 and older who are not Longwood students.)

For more information and to join the Blue Crew, go to go.longwood.edu/bluecrew

WINTER 2022 I 7
New director of athletics shares what he’s learned about Longwood—and himself
New organization aims to make youngest Lancers feel special
Tim Hall, Long wood’s new director of athletics, is impressed with the university’s sense of self and purpose.

Last season’s Longwood basketball magic was unforgettable. Students lining up to fill seats before sold-out games. The Lancer men and women posting a combined 24 wins in rocking Willett Hall—the toughest place for opponents to play in all Virginia. A nationally televised home game on ESPN. Twin Big South Tournament titles. Selection Sunday. And finally the holy grail—March Madness, the NCAA Tournament, the national stage.

But that magic was no trick. It was the fruit of hard work and a long-term plan that predated last year’s success—and kept right on going soon after the final buzzers sounded.

It’s about more than making a moment. It’s about building a program, faithful to Longwood’s culture and spirit, of sustained basketball success that uplifts the whole university— its camaraderie, alumni pride and national exposure.

Longwood works to capitalize on the longterm, far-reaching positive influence of its highest profile sport

here are colleges all over America that earn a taste of basketball success, but they don’t fully capitalize on it,” said President W. Taylor Rev eley IV. “They don’t sustain it, and it doesn’t help push the whole institution forward. But there are a handful of spots that really do use it to become widely known, to build a brand of excellence and integrity, and to really take a broad leap forward. Think Gonzaga, Davidson, Butler. VCU has been a good example closer to home.

“We’ve really looked carefully at what makes a difference between a one-anddone ride and long-term success, and working to put those elements in place,” Reveley said. “That may not mean every season is as magical as last year. But a college basketball program that is competing every year, that is getting its name out, where there’s an energetic culture on campus and in the community of coming together for games— that’s special and powerful.”

If it were easy, every college would have done it already. But at Longwood, the pieces are in place.

Committed, experienced leadership.

An extraordinary new arena, the Joan Perry Brock Center—a gem of classical architecture that will open next season in the very heart of campus.

And finally a strong philanthropic engine kicking into gear to support suc cess—and serve as a model for other parts of Longwood.


sity Edwardsville (SIUE) and University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), where he led the athletics department during their historic victory over No. 1 seeded UVA in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

“There is an insatiable appetite for a sport like basket ball,” said Hall. “Successful programs can create a lens through which you can more broadly see the university and the good work that’s going on inside the community. It allows an increased amount of attention to be paid to a university that otherwise wouldn’t be there.”

The next critical pieces are the head coaches. Griff Aldrich is entering his fifth year at the helm of the men’s program after leading the team to Longwood’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance and a nationally televised game on CBS. Erika Lang-Montgomery leads the women’s team, after being lured from perennially ranked University of Florida in the offseason.

“One of the exciting things about coming to Longwood was President Reveley’s vision of the program as a front porch for the university—more than just wins and losses,” said Aldrich. “At the core, we are about the development of young men. But what excites me is also the influence a program can have on an entire university and the surrounding community. The values that this program espouses mesh really well with the values of the univer sity and the values of the community, and that interconnected ness is really critical.

“Our mission is to graduate and transform men of character,” said Aldrich. “That’s something that’s hard not to like and support. But it’s also something that’s at the core of what Longwood is, and it’s at the core of what many people in Farmville and Prince Edward County cherish and value.”

A hallmark of a successful, sustainable program: starting players who eschew the transfer portal and help recruit the next Lancer stars to the university.

On the men’s side, veteran starters like Deshaun Wade ’22, Isaiah Wilkins ’22 and Zac Watson ’22

Head women’s coach Erika Lang-Montgomery
One of the exciting things about coming to Longwood was President Reveley’s vision of the program as a front porch for the university—more than just wins and losses.’
Head men’s coach Griff Aldrich Keith Lucas Joan Perry Brock Center

(all with remaining eligibility and currently in graduate school at Longwood) and Leslie Nkereuwem ’23 return this year. All have bought into the mission of the program and formed a unique bond with the students who pack Willett’s stands.

Lang-Montgomery felt the same sense of momentum and con nection between the community and the university when she was considering leaving Gainesville, Florida, for a move 10 hours north.

“This was obviously a place where success wasn’t just a onetime fluke,” she said. “From the leadership style to the resources to the community support, things were already in place for sustainable success. And what was most impressive were the stu dent-athletes who were already on the team. Their leadership and character and commitment to academic success made it very easy to recruit new high-quality players to the team and community.”

Key personnel from athletics and across the university have played roles in building the programs—from new strength and conditioning coordinators to admissions counselors to university marketing and communications staff.

“One of the things that sold me on Longwood was the compre hensive institutional effort,” said Hall. “The analogy is football’s West Coast Offense, where a lot of players play an active role. Basketball can be that vehicle that helps grow admissions and re tention and esprit de corps and alumni relations and philanthro py. To do that, we work closely with departments like admissions, marketing and communications, academic affairs and student services to make sure we are all rowing in the same direction.”


To build a successful long-term program, Longwood has built a funding model that resembles investors supporting an emerging company.

Called Built To Win Partners, the concept is straightforward. Gather prospective donors, enlist them in the vision for the pro gram and use philanthropy to drive the necessary investments to reach the next level of excellence.

“We aren’t the only school that has ever invested in a basketball program,” said Courtney Hodges, vice president for institutional advancement. “But for many of them who started in a similar place, it takes them a lot longer to get where they want to go. So the idea is, if you have a capital infusion at the beginning, can you get to where you want to go in five years instead of 10?”

Initial interest exceeded expectations. Donor support made possible a new state-of-the-art Basketball Performance Center that was constructed in Willett Hall. Built To Win raised nearly $3 million in the past 12 months, which resulted in not only the new performance center but also hiring new staff, more home games, a nutrition program and enhanced player support.

“When the right resources come together with the right people, it sets the stage for a lot of success both in recruiting and on the court, as well as telling a compelling story of the university,” said Hall. “This philanthropic support has allowed us to get to the next level in some fundamental areas of the programs: mental health care, nutrition, strength and conditioning, facilities. It’s a holistic commitment to the program and athletes but also to the spotlight the program brings to Longwood.”

With a focus on prospective student target areas and storylines that emphasized Longwood’s character and camaraderie, the university’s storytelling efforts resulted in an avalanche of free media coverage. An analysis commissioned afterward calculated it would have cost $81 million to purchase an equivalent amount of exposure.

One of the next steps: taking the Built To Win funding model and applying it to other nonathletics departments on campus.

“It’s a visionary investment model,” said Hodges. “It can work whether you are talking about the College of Business and Economics or the Cormier Honors College or a basketball program. It’s find ing those initial folks to make leadership commitments to help accelerate the priorities of the program so that we can achieve them faster.”

The philanthropic momentum is gath ering steam already. In 2021, Longwood set giving records outside athletics.

“People are giving more,” said Hodges. “Our annual Love Your Longwood Day and Lancer Giving Madness set records— and that’s money that’s earmarked for Greenwood Library or the College of Ed ucation, Health, and Human Services, and various other nonathletics departments. We had both more dollars and more do nors for nonathletics philanthropy, and, when you look at how basketball played a role in that, the energy and excitement from Willett Hall really made an impact across the university.”

Longwood made nearly 200 million social media impressions during the Big South Tournament and NCAA Tournament appearances.


More than a boon for the university as a whole, the success of the basketball program means more attention on the community. The showcase for that com munity for four decades has been Willett Hall, which is playing home to the Lancers for one final season before the team’s tran sition to the new Joan Perry Brock Center, which is taking shape next door.

More than 100 million people heard about Longwood during March 2022.

The new arena, already known as “JPB,” will elevate Longwood’s facilities to among the best in Virginia and be a space for celebratory cheers, raucous chanting and community togetherness.

Only 20 universities had more than 20,000 Twitter interactions in March 2022. One of them was Longwood, with more than 24,000—ahead of even Final Four teams Villanova and Duke.

“Willett Hall is unequivocally the toughest place to play in the Big South,” said Aldrich. “I think there’s no doubt that we are getting a huge competitive advan tage from the support of the students but just as importantly from the community. There’s an electricity when you walk in and the building is buzzing. In fact, one opposing coach last year joked that he wanted to call the fire marshal to cut down on the number of fans. It’s a special

environment that is actually very rare across the college basket ball landscape.”

One of the most ardent backers of the basketball program is Mayor David Whitus ’83, a season ticket holder who is in the stands with his scarf at every home game.

“More attention on Longwood basketball means more oppor tunities to showcase our community,” said Whitus. “There’s been a seismic shift over the last few years on game days—people will stop you on the street to ask when you’re getting to the game or

whether you want to grab a bite to eat downtown before heading to Willett. I heard from so many people after the Selection Sunday show that they were proud we had the loudest roar of any of the 68 teams to make the tourna ment. That kind of energy and spirit are the lifeblood of a community, and we have it in spades.”

From watercoolers to restaurant tables, the Lancers are the talk of the town. From the women’s tipoff on Nov. 7 until the final buzzer for the men on Feb. 25, Longwood basketball is the ticket to have in Farmville.

“In my time here, I’ve talked to people who have differing views on politics, religion, all sorts of things. But the one thing they all stand around and talk about is Longwood basketball and Longwood University,” said Hall. “That’s a testament to the relationship people have with their university. And seeing that higher level of regional and national attention fur ther legitimizes how folks believe and feel about their university and their town. There are a lot of really great things going on here, and, when attention is paid to the university in whatever capacity, everything benefits.”


Thunderous dunks. Threes that snap the net. Concerts that rattle the bleachers. And one live debate that launched Longwood into the national spotlight.

For 42 years, Willett Hall has been home to some of the most iconic moments in Longwood history from its commanding central campus presence on Brock Commons. After this season—the final one the Lancers will play on Willett hardwood—Willett will continue to be used for academic classes while transitioning to a different role within athletics with its Basketball Performance Center. It will also house space for new initiatives in sport, recreation and wellness.

Iconic players have competed in Willett Hall throughout its history— names that not only adorn the walls but live on in the memories of alumni who sat in the bleachers and cheered them on. Jerome Kersey ’84. Kevin Jefferson ’90. Ana Litton ’94. Colin Ducharme ’01. Carmille Barnette ’91. Antwan Carter ’12. Akila Smith ’22. And, of course, the winningest coach in Longwood history, Shirley Duncan.

Willett Hall, originally Lancer Hall when it was opened in 1980, has gone through many iterations and upgrades over the last four decades. From 2006-08, extensive renovations led to upgraded seating, an addition on the back of the building for rehab and treatment, new lighting and expanded locker rooms that trans formed the facility into a modern gym fit for a new Division I program.

The building is named after Long wood’s 20th president, Dr. Henry I. Willett Jr., who served from 1967-81 and oversaw Longwood’s transfor mation from an all-female school primarily for teachers to a fully coeducational and comprehensive institu tion. Willett Hall was completed and opened while he was president.

In my time here, I’ve talked to people who have differing views on politics, religion, all sorts of things. But the one thing they all stand around and talk about is Longwood basketball and Longwood University.’

NOV. 22, 1980 Freshman Jerome Kersey ’84 pulls down 12 rebounds as Longwood defeats University of Maryland-Eastern Shore in the first game at newly opened Lancer Hall. That same day, sophomore Cindy Eckel ’83 scores 15 points and 7 rebounds to lead the women’s team past William & Mary in their first game.

11 Cheer-Worthy Moments in Willett Hall History

SEPT. 9, 2004

Lancer Hall is renamed Willett Hall in honor of former Longwood president Dr. Henry I. Willett (1967-81).

APRIL 30, 1995 At the heartfelt request of Rotunda editor Jennie Fennelle ’95, the Ramones cancel their scheduled show in Charlottesville to rock Lancer Hall instead.

NOV. 13, 2007 Longwood posts its first home win as a Divi sion I university, beating Norfolk State 80-67.

JAN. 19, 2013

AUG. 22, 2010 The first G.A.M.E., which starts the scarf tradition, is held as students gather for a pep rally in Willett Hall.

DEC. 6, 2016 Willett Hall’s basketball court is named in memory of Jerome Kersey ’84.

Tristan Carey ’14 drops 40 points as the Lancers beat in-state rival Liberty 102-101 on Senior Night.

MARCH 20, 2019 Longwood men post the university’s first Division I post-season win in a blowout victory vs. Southern Mississippi, 90-68.

FEB. 10, 2022

The cameras roll for the first nationally televised basketball game live from Farmville on ESPNU.

The Lancers top USC Upstate 85-72.

WINTER 2022 I 13
MARCH 13, 2022 “The Moment” as CBS cameras go live inside Willett Hall in front of a thousand fans who came out for the NCAA’s Selection Sunday. OCT. 4, 2016 Millions watch as Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine take the stage for the only U.S. Vice Presidential Debate of the 2016 election.

3 new deans waste no time setting goals that

are synced with Longwood’s focus on building relationships

THREE NEW DEANS arrived at Longwood this fall and immediately embarked on a speed dating assignment of sorts.

Jason “Ferg” Ferguson, M.S. ’12, Office of Admissions, Dr. Angela McDonald, College of Education, Health, and Human Services, and Sara Neher, College of Business and Economics, have been busy meeting with scores of faculty, staff and students, carefully listening and taking notes. Their takeaway? A deep appreciation for Longwood’s emphasis on building relationships and a keen understanding that the university’s overall success is tied to the personal con nections forged among faculty, students, staff and prospective students.

With that as a foundation, each new dean has wasted no time in setting goals for their programs that ultimate ly will mean success for the university.


Why did you decide to come across town from Hampden-Sydney College, and what makes you most excited to be here?

I believe in President Reveley’s vision and in the academ ic experience we offer. In my short time here, I’ve become a bigger believer in Longwood’s people. At the end of the day, if you can put your faculty up against any other institu tion, that’s where you’ll win students. It’s not brick and mortar, it’s the people.

This is also a place that I know and love—I got my master’s degree here. It’s exciting to bring my 20-plus years of admissions experience here professionally and hopefully effect some change. We’re all interconnected in this town. I know that if Longwood succeeds, then Farmville succeeds, and Hampden-Sydney suc ceeds. I wanted to be a part of that and part of something bigger than myself.

WINTER 2022 I 15

What is your approach when it comes to the admissions process?

Again, universities and colleges are so much more than brick and mortar. It’s about the people, so relationships are everything. The philosophy I’ve embraced is all about making connections. That’s our role in the admissions process. When folks are here, we are making sure they are connected not just to a member of our staff but to a faculty member and then a current student. In the future, I want them connected to our alumni. That way they can see themselves here and then envision what they will be as they leave.

We’ve really embraced these admissions immersion days, which focus on a specific major or program. Prospective students get to sit down with faculty, making that connection and beginning a relationship that will continue once they are here.

Your job is to sell Longwood to prospective students. What is your “Why Longwood” elevator pitch?

I have really gravitated toward Civitae because it says a lot about the greater mission of Longwood. Our size is another top selling point. We’re small enough that students can get to know faculty on a very personal level. If you need to speak to a professor or find a mentor, you can do that here. It all ties back to those connec tions and relationships. We’re genuinely concerned and care about who you are and what you are going to be.

Coming out of the pandemic, these students need one-on-one interaction and mentoring. Bigger schools work perfectly well for some people, but they are not a great fit for everyone.

How have you seen the importance of relationships play out so far in your time here?

I’ve been to the Faculty Senate, and I’ve met with the academic chairs. As I scan the crowd, I see people from the community I know and didn’t realize had Longwood connections. That’s been great.

I can’t tell you just how welcoming everyone has been. It is easy to say to a prospective family that this is where you are going to be able to make personal connections. I know it’s not smoke and mirrors because I’ve seen it firsthand.

I also have to mention the energy and enthusiasm of our admissions team. Their passion for Longwood and our educational experience is something you can’t teach. If you aren’t passionate about what you are doing, prospective stu dents and their families can see that. I knew I was inheriting a great staff who work well together and are very eager for Longwood to be successful.

When folks are here, we are making sure they are connected not just to a member of our staff but to a faculty member and then a current student.’

Dr. Angela McDonald


What drew you to Longwood, and what are you most excited about in your new role?

A lot of universities are looking at how to be very strategic and thoughtful about how health and education intersect. When I saw Longwood was seeking new leadership for a College of Education, Health, and Human Services, I was excited because those are the areas where I’ve worked as an administrator.

This is absolutely a moment when highlighting and drawing on our historic roots in teacher education is deeply needed. We are also at a point where we have a lot of po tential in the health sciences area. I’d love to help shine more of a spotlight on that.

I love that Longwood has a history of being deeply tied to the communi ty. The campus is beautiful, plus I like our size and the fact that we are a public university—so this felt like the right fit. I like that Longwood is a place where people feel like they can be themselves.

You’ve been very intentional about fostering relationships with faculty and members of the campus community. Why is that important to you?

My focus this fall has been on getting to know the faculty because they are the No. 1 resource for the college. I am working my way through one-on-one meetings with 78 faculty members. When I’m done, I’ll know them and their needs. You cannot fast-track relationships, and, coming out of the pandemic, relationships are even more important.

Immediately behind faculty relationships is connecting with students and engaging with them. Then connecting with external partners will be my next focus. I’m very encouraged by my early interactions with the superintendent of Prince Edward County Public Schools, Dr. Barbara Johnson. I’m eager to continue to invest in that relationship.

How do you view your role as dean, and can you tell us about some of your priorities?

Helping students to have unique experiential learning opportu nities is one area of focus. Building on our success in nursing and education to offer new pathways in teaching and the health pro fessions is another. Showcasing our faculty expertise and sharing it with students and the community in ways that are innovative, creative and timely. That’s how we will grab the attention of stu dents who wouldn’t otherwise consider Longwood.

We are aware of the challenges facing the fields of education and health care. What makes you hopeful about the future of these professions?

Our students. Those teacher and health care shortages are real. But it is also real that we have a lot of students who want to make an impact and see education, behavioral health and health care more broadly as places where they can have meaningful careers.

This fall we had a phenomenal teacher immersion day when we welcomed more than 200 prospective future educators. There’s something about dedicating your professional life to helping people that is not reproducible in other areas. We can make that happen for you, and we’ll support you in finding a really meaningful career.

WINTER 2022 I 17
My focus this fall has been on getting to know the faculty because they are the No. 1 resource for the college. I am working my way through one-on-one meetings with 78 faculty members.’

How do you view your role as interim dean, and what are your goals for the next two years?

My main mission is to support the college and help it to grow and become more successful. This is a very exciting opportunity to do strategic planning and to set things up for the next dean.

We’re looking at MBA 2.0, which will shape the next phase of that program. We want to grow enrollment for our undergradu ate programs. Increasing our exposure in metro areas is another priority. The College of Business and Economics should be better known in Richmond, as well as Northern Virginia and Tidewater.

I have a background in admissions, including serving as the ad missions dean at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Busi ness, so my mission is to work with Ferg and the other new deans to increase our visibility. The CBE can attract people to Longwood, even some who might not end up as economics or business majors.

We can also grow our connections to businesses in the region. If we have 20 alumni working at CarMax, then we should be sending students there for jobs and internships. I’m thinking about how we build that pipeline and make that outreach part of what CBE does as an engine for Longwood.

Can you talk about the relationships you’ve built so far and why those connections are important?

I met one-on-one with each of the faculty and staff in the college last spring. Building those relationships before I became interim dean really helped me understand what’s important to people here.

This fall I’ve been working to get to know students. I’ve talked with them about ways to connect with different parts of campus. They’ve brought me ideas about double majors and coordinating with programs like computer science or communication studies. Our alumni board has great insight, and they will be helping with a curriculum review, which will help us make sure that we’re meet ing company needs and employer needs.

It’s really been about trying to understand everyone so that I can support them in achieving their goals.

What makes Longwood well-positioned to send graduates out into the field of business during this time of financial

There’s definitely a need for people with accounting backgrounds and analytical and financial minds to help companies of all sizes cope with what’s coming. Longwood has historic strength in accounting, so I feel good about that.

During recessions and times of uncertainty, there is a need for people who want to work for nonprofits or in government—those are great jobs for economics majors. There’s a real shortage of workers in all state govern ments, including Virginia. Our students will be really well-positioned for that type of work. Thinking about government as an alter native is one thing we have in mind to balance out if there are fewer people hiring more traditional corporate jobs.

Given that our students have a foundation in Civitae, they will be better-positioned to do the broader thinking that a government job requires. Civitae is a real advantage for Longwood in that it encourages critical thinking and creativity, and requires students to think about the impact on communities.

It’s really been about trying to understand everyone so that I can support them in achieving their goals.’

That ’50s Vibe

A group of 1952 classmates got together this past summer to catch up and reminisce.

Mary Helen “Cookie” Cook Blair ’52 (left), Bobbie Brown Moore ’52 and Jeanne Wilson Quill ’52, who at tended Longwood for her freshman and sophomore years, met at the home of Cook ie and Bill Blair (right) in Woodlawn, Virginia, for lunch and a long visit. (Bill is a 1953 graduate of HampdenSydney College and a member of the school’s athletics hall of fame.)

Cookie Blair and Moore received degrees in ele mentary education from Longwood.

WINTER 2022 I 19
Courtesy of Elizabeth Blair Haynie

Master of Multitasking

AYO AGUNBIADE, M.S. ’10 (community and college counsel ing), is doing a lot of juggling these days.

He spent most of 2022 adjusting to fatherhood (his daughter celebrated her first birthday in November of this year), and he was promoted to associate director of academic advising for the Poole College of Management at North Carolina State at the end of September. Add to that his work on the side as a musician who sings, raps, writes songs for other artists and collaborates on award-winning music videos, and you’ve got a very busy man.

His job at NC State reflects his strong belief in the power of education.

“I’ve made a career out of working in higher education because of how much I value education and how transformational it has been in my life,” he said in an article produced by the communications staff at NC State. “When I went to college, I recognized that I needed to be successful there if I didn’t want to go back home and sell drugs or pump gas… . Getting those degrees was one of the boldest things I’ve ever done in my life because I didn’t have anyone ahead of me who took that path.”

His music is an important outlet for his creativity and for working through life’s challenges. “Through music, I’m able to process my own feelings. Sometimes, something that was deep in my soul just kind of pours out. I can’t keep it all bottled up,” he said, adding that “writing is often a tool used in therapy and turning those words into music is something that I find incredibly therapeutic.”

One music video that featured a song he wrote, as well as his somber rapping, celebrated the life of his mother, who died in 2010. A collaboration with a vocalist and a director/videographer, it was named best music video at the 2020 Longleaf Film Festival.

At his day job, where he is one of a small percentage of Black men in leadership roles, he has the opportunity to send a positive message to Black students, to counter racial stereotypes and to support the school’s efforts to promote a welcoming environ ment for everyone.

“Most of my students don’t look like me,” he says. “And some have told me it’s their first time interacting with a Black man in a position of authority. So I get to introduce them to someone who is supportive, reliable, account able—all of these good things, but with a different skin color.”


Helen Jeffries Miles ’40 died July 14, 2022, at the age of 102. She added a master’s degree to her list of accomplishments in 1970, 30 years after earning her bachelor’s degree in history at Longwood. She parlayed those cre dentials into an 18year career in higher education teaching English and history at Virginia Tech. At Longwood, she was a member of Kappa Delta, a connection she later strength ened at Tech, serving as the sorority’s advisor there for 10 years. She had many other outside interests, including playing bridge with a club founded in 1948 and serving as an interpreter for Smithfield Plantation.


Dot Carter Angle Harper ’50, 93, died Aug. 2, 2022. When she retired after a 20year career as a junior high and middle-school teacher—primarily of home economics and En glish—she took up another profession. Given her sense of humor and how much she loved to laugh, it was a perfect choice: She became a pro fessional clown.

Her son Steve Angle said she attended a clown school in Richmond run by one of the larger circuses, possibly Ringling Bros., earn ing her certificate and registering her clown face under the name Dottie the Clown. Essen tial to her signature look were a frizzy, bright yellow wig and a very large red nose. She per formed at children’s parties and other events, making balloon animals, doing sight gags and spreading smiles. “It just struck her as some thing that would interest her,” said her son. “She was very fun-loving, and loved people and interacting with them, and she saw it as an outlet. She was kind of a free spirit and al ways saw the humorous side of life.”

A home economics major at Longwood, she was also an accomplished seamstress, mak ing many of her sons’ and husband’s clothes, and loved cooking, a skill she began impart ing to her two sons when they were so young they had to stand on a stool to reach the kitch en counter. “I still enjoy cooking—and my wife appreciates it, too,” Angle said.

Romine Mahood Overbey ’51, a retired teach er and a longtime resident of Berryville, Virgin ia, died Jan. 20, 2021. She was 91. A physical ed ucation graduate of Longwood, she was active in many community volunteer organizations and received special recognition for her service from the State Arboretum at Blandy and Downtown Berryville, Inc., among others. She was also rec ognized by The Winchester Star, which published a story about her dedication to picking up lit ter for more than 15 years. Among her survivors is her husband, Bill Overbey ’52, who attended

Juggling skills are key for full-time college administrator, part-time musician and new dad
Courtesy of Ayo Agunbiade, M.S. ’10

Longwood on the GI Bill after serving in World War II. He earned a degree in secondary educa tion and also had a career in public education.

Betty Scott “Scottie” Banks ’52 died Jan. 29, 2022, at the age of 90. Her family reports that she led a remarkable life for a young woman of her time. While in high school in her native Vir ginia, she traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak at the International Pediatric Convention in 1947 as a representative of the junior Red Cross and met with a delegation from Burma.

After graduating high school, she enrolled at Longwood, where she was a member of Al pha Sigma Alpha sorority, editor of the school yearbook and a member of three honorary fra ternities. “Our mom loved Longwood, and we actually returned there as a family about five years ago for a visit,” her son Scott Banks told Longwood magazine. Service to others and leadership would punctuate her entire life.

She taught for a short time after receiving her Longwood degree, then married in 1954. She was a member of the Richmond chap ter of PEO, a philanthropic organization dedi cated to educating women through scholar ships, grants, awards, loans and stewardship of Cottey College, a small, private women’s col lege in Nevada, Missouri. She was instrumen tal in founding chapters of PEO in North Car olina, where she lived most of her life—but she never lost her Virginia accent.

Shirley Anne Grogan Duncan ’52, died May 17, 2022. She was 92. Born in Danville, Virginia, she moved to Lebanon, Ohio, in 2013. After re ceiving her bachelor’s degree in elementary ed ucation from Longwood, she earned a master’s degree in elementary education from the Uni versity of Virginia. She retired from the Dan ville City Public School System in 1988 with 35 years of service. But that’s only part of her sto ry. In addition to gardening, she loved creating objects that were both useful and beautiful. She and her husband, Fred, made and sold painted folk art and hand-woven baskets. She also was a member of the Miami Valley Rug Hooking Guild in Ohio and was a noted crafter of handhooked rugs in her community.

Nancy Wooldridge Calohan ’53 was born on Oct. 31, 1931, leading her family and friends to refer to her as their “favorite Halloween witch.” She died July 19, 2022, at the age of 90. She earned a degree in elementary education from Longwood and during her 30-year teaching ca reer touched the lives of hundreds of young Vir ginians at Rustburg Elementary and Yellow Branch Elementary, both in Rustburg, and Fort Hill Elementary in Lynchburg. She often said, “When you teach the grandchildren of people you taught, it is time to retire.”


Kaye McKean Martin ’63 died Aug. 6, 2022. A native of Michigan, she moved to Win chester, Virginia, with her family in 1949.



A MONTH program is a volunteer experience designed for alumni and friends. You’ll be rewarded with exclu sive Longwood swag depending on your level of participation. Find out more at go.longwood.edu/1hour

Using Time Wisely

In her 107 years, this loving wife, mother, impactful teacher and aficionado of bloody marys left an indelible mark

LUCILE MOSELEY EPES ’37 was born in 1915. A lifelong resident of Newport News, she died July 17, 2022, at the age of 107.

She was described as having a cheery disposition, which she employed in soothing wounded soldiers recuperating at a local hospital during World War II. She was a loving mother who knew the value of discipline (applied with a switch from the privet hedge in the yard if absolutely necessary) as well as the power of a smile and a hug. She loved her husband, entertaining, gardening, bloody marys, seafood, walking, a good joke, Democrats, and the company of longtime friends and neighbors.

She also enjoyed her days at Longwood, returning for several reunions, and loved being a teacher. Judging from the mementos she saved over her career, she was very good at it.

getting their kids off to their best start in school. Notes from principals for having bright, colorful classrooms and lively, intentional lessons. Notes from superinten dents about terrific reading scores. Letters from local colleges about the great experiences their student-teachers had in her classroom.

“… And notes from students telling her how much they loved her, … including this one from a former student: ‘Dear Mrs. Epes … You’ll never know what an inspiration you were to me throughout elementary school. Because of the good foundation you helped lay for me, I feel that my success will be continuous. While I am at Wake Forest I will be thinking of you often.’”


Her son Chuck Epes recalls making that discovery not long before she died, when she had become debilitated by blindness, deafness and dementia. “I had the privilege of going through her box of precious possessions,” he wrote in her eulogy. “That was when I discovered a different woman than the mother I knew and appreciated at home. … Now, of course, I had always known she taught first grade. What I didn’t know was that she was a master teacher.

“Here in the box were notes from parents expressing heartfelt appreciation for

Lucile Epes retired after teaching first grade for 18 years, focusing on her multigenerational family, her many outside interests and her volunteer work. Her son tied a bow on his description of her with this passage: “She was well-read, and I know from her journal that she pondered the imponderables. But in many ways she was a practical, realistic, get-it-done woman who managed the household finances, composed a living will in her 50s, chose to move into a retirement communi ty so in old age she would not be a burden to her children, and composed her own obituary. She had little truck for indolence or self-absorption. … But I can honestly say she strove to be the best person she could be to everyone she knew.”

(continued on Page 22)

In The Bag. The William Dunn Foundation, created and run by Dr. William Dunn ’91 (second from left) and his family, gave away more than 1,000 book bags filled with supplies and Chick-fil-A meal coupons on Aug. 19, 2022, at Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville, Maryland. Each family also received a bag of fruit. The school’s football and cheer teams helped with the packing and distri bution, and NBC News 4 in Washington, D.C., did a live broadcast for its morning show. The book bag giveaway is one of the foundation’s annual events. Dunn received a degree in therapeutic recreation from Longwood.

After graduating from Longwood with a de gree in business education, she worked in banking, taught business classes in the Hen rico County Schools and handled media re lations part time for the State Fair of Virginia for 25 years. With family at the center of her life, she also enjoyed water skiing and serving as a cheerleading coach.

Joan Brock ’64, who earned a degree in math ematics from Longwood, made a $34 million gift to Norfolk’s Chrysler Museum of Art in June, which included 40 works of art from the Ma con and Joan Brock Collection and two posi tion endowments, including the director of the museum. The gift also will support the expan sion of the Perry Glass Studio. The gift includes 29 paintings by artists such as John Singer Sar gent, John La Farge, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Childe Hassam, George Benjamin Luks, George Bellows, Marsden Hartley, Sally Michel and Wil liam MacGregor Pax ton. Among the 10 works on paper are two works by William Merritt Chase, two by Winslow Homer and a watercolor by Charles Ephraim Burchfield. A glass sculpture by Debora Moore is also included.

“The Brock Col lection is one of the most significant pri vate collections of American art assem bled in the 21st cen tury. Major paintings and works on paper by the most important artists of the late-19th and early-20th centuries chart a broad histo ry of American art of the period …,” said Co rey Piper, Brock Curator of American Art at the museum. A selection of the works will be on view in a winter 2023-24 exhibition at the Chrysler.


Elaine Baird Piercy ’78 , M.S. ’85 (super vision and administration of secondary edu cation), retired from Brunswick Academy in Lawrenceville, Virginia, in 2020. She said she had no idea she’d be in school for the next 46 years when she entered Longwood as a fresh man in August 1974, pursuing an under graduate degree in business education. She describes her 42-year teaching career as “ex tremely rewarding.” Piercy served as senior class advisor and taught business education classes including Business Mathematics, In troduction to Business, Business Law and Per sonal Finance. Over the years, many students told her they enjoyed taking her classes be cause they were learning practical skills for everyday life. Piercy was chosen Brunswick Academy’s Spotlight Teacher in 2012.

(continued from Page 21)
The Brock Collection is one of the most significant private collections of American art assembled in the 21st century.’
Courtesy of Dr. William Dunn ’91


John Hudson ’80, retired chief marketing officer for the Bank of Clarke County, is the author of Unfriend ly Fire, published by New man Springs Publishing. The book tells the story of Hudson’s uncle, Floyd O. Hudson Jr., a young soldier serving in the U.S. Army during World War II whose life was cut short by his fellow soldiers over a thrown beer bottle. Three soldiers involved in the incident were tried and convicted, and the book delves into the trial transcripts to get to the bottom of what really happened that night. Unfriendly Fire also relates what happened to those three young men after the trial and explores the short life of Floyd Hudson through dozens of letters written to his mother back home. John Hudson earned a degree in music education from Longwood.

Rohn Brown ’84 is the creator of Catching Up With Lancers of the Past, a podcast focused on former athletes and coaches. “I felt it was im portant to go back and talk to former ath letes and coaches who had been at Longwood, to talk about what it was like when they were there and what they’re doing now,” he told the Virginia Retirement System Retiree News Handling everything himself, Brown produces two episodes each month; the podcast can be found on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Brown, who was a business administration major at Longwood and worked in the sports informa tion office as a student, retired as a VRS em ployee representative a few months before starting the podcast in May 2020.

Johnel Brown Reid ’85 was named chief marketing officer for Centerstone, a national provider of behavioral health and addiction services based in Illinois, in July 2022. She joined the nonprofit as vice president of pub lic affairs and marketing in 2018, and now will lead strategy and oversight for the organiza tion’s branding, communications, grant writ ing, national policy and referral marketing. “I’m honored to take on this role at Center stone,” said Reid, who earned a degree in so ciology at Longwood. “Staff are truly commit ted to delivering care that changes people’s lives, and I look forward to leading our tal ented team in the strategic, thoughtful sup port of that mission on every front.” Prior to joining Centerstone, she served as vice pres ident for strategic planning and marketing at Community Health Systems, providing exec utive support to an operating division that in cluded 38 hospitals and systems across sev eral states. Earlier in her career, she served as director of marketing and public relations for HCA Healthcare. From 2003 to 2012, Reid was director of marketing and public rela tions at HCA Healthcare, where she led the development of market-based branding into a consumer health network.

When Everyone Thinks Like a CEO

Alumnus points to his philosophy of leadership as a major factor in his success

From his first job in a management training program to his position today as the CEO of a company whose client list includes some of the biggest retailers in the U.S., BRIAN KAVA ’89 has focused on making companies successful by empowering the people who work there.

“I find so much inspiration and joy when I can effectively manage and lead groups of people to achieve collective goals,” said Kava, who earned a degree in business administration at Longwood. “I operate from a core set of beliefs that I expect each employee, regardless of position, to run their desk like they are the CEO or owner of the company. I want them to feel empowered and personally invested. It is my job to be the con ductor of the orchestra and lead a group of talented people with their individual specialties and disciplines.”

Today he applies that leadership philosophy at Pickup, a tech-enabled delivery experience company whose specialty is providing seamless same-day delivery of big, heavy and high-value items.

Promoted to CEO in February 2022 after initially serving as chief revenue officer, Kava said he is happy with the com pany’s progress, especially in light of recent challenges.

“Even though we have continued to see disruption from Covid, supply chain, labor challenges and other underlying macroeconomic factors, the company has been resilient and is achieving record results throughout 2022,” he said.

Kava said he came to a crossroads fairly early in his career when he was working as an account executive for a Richmond advertising agency.

“Our agency was winning awards for our creative ideas but the campaigns were not producing the sales results our retail clients were expecting. It was very frus trating. Our research showed that our ads created brand awareness and drove traffic to the stores, but, at the point of sale, there were many influences that impact ed a customer's purchasing decisions.”

That’s when he shifted into sales and marketing services with a focus on help ing retailers and manufacturers “solve the last three feet in retail.”

“I have spent the past 25 years working with brands such as Walmart, Amazon, Whirlpool and Microsoft to define the path to the purchase journey for their consum ers,” he said, adding that his Longwood experience was a significant factor in his success.

“Like many, when I arrived as a fresh man, I was living away from home for the first time, and that independence and freedom allowed me to try things I didn’t feel totally comfortable doing in my highschool years. These new discoveries led to new passions and impacted my career path after college.

“One of the most influential experiences for me was being president of my fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, and being a part of the Greek council. There are so many similarities between running a fraternity and leading a company, including general management, personnel issues, finance and recruiting (rush). It seems almost daily I can relate a decision back to those experiences and the leadership development it provided me.”

(continued on Page 24) Courtesy of Ketner Group Communications

What Are The Odds? Longwood room

mates TERESA CARTER BROWN ’84 (middle) and JANET HARRELL MONAHAN ’86 (right) hadn’t seen each other for 36 years when they wound up in adjoining seats at a Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball game this summer. It was Virginia Peanut Night at The Diamond, and Monahan and her husband, Kevin, a peanut farmer, had traveled to the game from Surry County to pass out complimentary samples of the evening’s featured legume. That’s when Teresa caught a glimpse of her former roommate and fellow elementary education graduate. Their being at the same baseball game was an amazing coincidence in itself (neither Teresa or the Monahans are Squirrels regulars), but it gets better. Teresa and her husband, ROHN BROWN ’84 (left), were seated right next to the Monahans in Section 111, Row L (L for Longwood Lancers, of course). Needless to say, the game itself was just a backdrop for a marathon “what-have-you-been-up-to” conversation spanning 36 years.

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Kelvin Davis ’89 was named principal of Hali fax County High School (HCHS), where he had been the associate principal for seven years. His connection with the school goes much farther back than that, however: He graduated from HCHS in 1984, where he was a member of the state championship baseball team. He began his career there as a teacher, served as the base ball coach for 16 years and then moved into ad ministration as assistant principal. Coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, which put a strain on students’ education, Davis told the GazetteVirginian he would like to see collaboration from the school’s students, staff, parents and community members to prioritize education.

“Let’s be intentional about our dedication to support education,” he said. “We need support from all stakeholders, from the teachers, par ents, community members, all in, to get educa tion where it needs to be.” Davis played base ball as a student at Longwood, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He was drafted in 1988 by the Kansas City Royals, playing one season for two of the Royals’ mi nor league teams. He was inducted into both the Halifax County-South Boston Sports Hall of Fame and the Longwood Athletics Hall of Fame.

He earned a master’s degree at Liberty Univer sity in preparation for his career as an educator.

Dr. Tamara Brown ’89 was named pro vost and senior vice president for aca demic affairs at The University of Texas at Ar lington, effective Aug. 1, 2022. Brown came to UTA from the University of North Tex as, where she had served as executive dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences since 2019. In that position, she increased both student retention and diversity of the facul ty. Prior to UNT, Brown was a dean and profes sor at Prairie View A&M University; executive director of the Texas Juvenile Crime Preven tion Center; and a professor at the University of Kentucky. After earning her bachelor’s de gree in psychology at Longwood, she went on to earn master’s and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology at the University of Illinois.

Ricky Otey ’89 is the president and CEO of Partners Federal Credit Union of Bur bank, California, which primarily serves em ployees of the Walt Disney Company and their families. In July, Co-op Solutions, a financial technology platform whose mission is to con nect credit unions to the technology, strate gic partnership and scale they need to best serve their members, announced Otey had been appointed to its board of directors. Otey joined Partners FCU as president/CEO in Oc tober 2021, having previously worked as exec utive vice president and chief operating offi cer of Sharonview Federal Credit Union since 2014. He also has worked as Texas state pres ident for Capital One Bank’s National Asso ciation and, for 16 years, for Wachovia and its predecessor, First Union. In addition to his Longwood degree in business administration/ finance, Otey holds an MBA from Wake Forest University.

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Courtesy of Rohn Brown ’84


O’Kelly E. McWilliams III ’90 joined the law firm Holland & Knight in its sports and entertainment law practice in Washington, D.C. McWilliams also is a boost to Holland & Knight’s growing private equity practice, working directly with private equity firms and hedge funds. He is a member of the Na tional Association of Investment Companies, a network of more than 160 diverse-owned and emerging private equity firms and hedge funds, and he collaborates with some of the world’s leading companies, asset manag ers and emerging businesses to advance their business objectives and mitigate risk. He pri marily handles the employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions and other corpo rate transactions as well as employment dis putes, internal investigations and compensa tion matters. McWilliams previously served as chair of the Board of Trustees for the Virgin ia Retirement System, a pension plan valued at more than $105 billion. He is recognized as a leading labor and employment attorney by  The Best Lawyers in America and Wash ington, D.C.,  Super Lawyers. In addition to his bachelor’s degree in business administration/ finance from Longwood, he earned a J.D. de gree from George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School.

Shari May Cecil ’91, a seventh- and eighthgrade science teacher at Central High School, was named King and Queen County Schools division Teacher of the Year. Cecil, who earned an education degree at Longwood, has spent 30 years in public education. “There is noth ing better than ‘seeing the light bulb go off’ in a classroom,” Cecil told the Tidewater Review “I have found that with any subject, the best way to do that is to relate the information to real-life situations and to be prepared.”

Kevin Walker ’91 was named the permanent principal of Nelson County High School ef fective July 1. Previously assistant principal of the school, he had been serving as interim principal since March 2022. Walker’s Long wood degree is in business administration/ management.

Here Comes the Sun

Alumna’s job focuses on helping people who are struggling with drug addiction

In her five years as a firefighter and paramedic, KAT WILCOX ’14 got an up-close look at the impact of drug addiction, treating several people who were near death due to drug abuse.

She’s still working to save lives in her new job as the executive director of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition.

“I've seen meth overdoses, PCP overdoses, heroin, fentanyl,” she told The Winchester Star. “Seeing that firsthand in the field coincides with this position so well. I feel like I'm making more of a long-term difference now than I was before because I get to work with these people on a daily basis now that they’re in recovery.”

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coa lition comprises law enforcement, healthcare, and recovery and youth advocacy professionals, as well as local families who have been impacted by substance abuse and addiction. Clients are referred to the organization by medical workers, school admin istrators and court officials in Winchester, Frederick Coun ty and Clarke County.

Tony T. Moss ’90 was

Members of the coalition work with clients to help them conquer the disease of addiction, employing a variety of programs and initia tives designed to help users who are ready to overcome drug depen dencies and get their lives back on track.

BEYA (Black

the Year Award) STEM Global Competitiveness Conference in February 2022 in Washington, D.C. Mod ern-Day Technology Leaders are chosen for demonstrating outstanding performance in science, technology, engineering and math ematics (STEM). Moss, who earned a B.S. in physics at Longwood and an M.S. in math ematics from Virginia State University, is a mathematician/lead scientist at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division in Dahlgren, Virginia, where he serves as a sys tems engineering group lead for the Fleet Sen sor Analysis Branch. He is shown here with his wife, Angela Moss. The spring 2022 issue of  Longwood magazine stated that Moss had earned a Ph.D. in mathematics.

Charlie Fultz ’92, has been named the permanent general manager and superin tendent of Heritage Oaks Golf Course, a munic ipal course in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Fultz has served as the interim general manager and fulltime golf course superintendent since October 2020, at the same time serving as athletic fields coordinator for the city. Heritage Oaks, an 18hole course, was recognized in June 2021 as one of the top 25 underrated municipal golf courses in the United States by Golf, the premier maga zine in the golf industry.

Fultz, who earned his Longwood degree in physical education, also is a 2006 GCSAA Leo Feser award-winning journalist. He is working (continued on Page 27)

“I want these people to succeed, to realize there is hope for a better tomorrow,” said Wilcox, who earned a sociology degree at Long wood. “It may be dark right now, but sunshine’s right there, and we can get to it.”

named a ModernDay Technology Leader at the 2022 Engineer of Brian Brehm/ The Winchester Star Courtesy of Tony T. Moss ’90 Courtesy of Charlie Fultz ’92

The Past, Present and Future of Furniture

Alumna leads an organization with its finger on the pulse of the home furnishings industry

TAMMY COVINGTON NAGEM ’95, M.S. ’97 (community and college counseling), believes she has furniture in her blood, so you might say her career path was basically determined at birth.

After growing up in Martinsville, Virginia, a longtime furniture manufacturing town, and completing her education, she has worked the past 20 years for the High Point (North Carolina) Marketing Authority, organizer of the High Point furniture market. Since 2011, she’s been the authority’s chief operating officer, and, in January 2023, she will take over as president and chief executive officer.

Held twice each year, the High Point Market is described as the driving force of the home furnishings industry. It features an extensive selection of exhibitors spanning every category, style and price point, and attracts tens of thousands of visitors from more than 100 countries.

In the Q&A below, Nagem, whose undergraduate degree is in psychology, talks about her tenure with the market and how she plans to keep up with the changing demands it faces.

Where do your best ideas come from?

My best ideas come after a long ex hausting day at market when our team gathers to wrap up the day. When we are knee-deep in the event and we are already ex cited about planning the next one, ideas flow like a faucet.

Who opened doors for you?

Two women along my career path really made a difference for me. The first was Dr. Phyllis Mable, who was my mentor while in graduate school at Longwood University. She was loud, eccentric and brilliant. She chal lenged me at every turn and encouraged me to think bigger than I had ever imag ined. The next was the first president of the High Point Market Authority, Judy Mendenhall. She took a chance on me when I knew nothing about the

Where is the most interesting place your job has taken you?

Not only to several international shows, but also to the furniture factory floors. Whether walking the Brera District in Milan, standing in the midst of the weavers in Valdese or sitting on the porch at Red Egg, I could not be more fascinated by the people and plac es in this home furnishings industry.

When you get together with others in the industry these days, what is the key topic of discussion?

The amount of change this industry has endured in the past two years has been staggering. Supply chain, container prices, retail consolidation, employee shortages, material backlogs and, by the way, a global pandemic. Just as we started seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, we are hit with conversations of a recession.

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

I wish the home furnishings industry was more appealing to a wider demographic.

I do think this is improving, but we have some work to do. It has been seen for years as a male-dominated industry, and it could not claim very much diversity.

It is a great industry with many creative and hardworking people. That can only improve if the faces around the table are more diverse.

Excerpted from an article in Furniture Today by Anne Flynn Wear and used with permission. Courtesy of Tammy Nagem ’95, M.S. ’97

on the final installment of his three-part series on returning to golf course management after a 13-year hiatus, during which time he taught eighth-grade math for several years. The se ries is running in Golf Course Industry, a maga zine that covers the golf course business. In one of the initial installments, Fultz wrote: “I love this profession, I love this business, and I love the challenges a golf course brings each day.”

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Theatre graduate’s career

Scott Jenkins ’92 was named Farm Bureau Bank’s Western Virginia market executive, ex panding the bank’s commercial banking team. In his new role, Jenkins, who earned a degree in business administration/marketing at Long wood, will strive to provide large- and mid dle-market businesses in the area with finan cial solutions and services to fuel their growth. With more than 24 years in the financial indus try, Jenkins has extensive experience in busi ness banking, commercial banking and port folio management. Prior to joining the Farm Bureau Bank team, he held senior positions with HomeTrust Bank and Atlantic Union Bank, both in Roanoke. Jenkins is the board chair of the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Virginia, which he has supported for 15 years, and has served on the boards for Junior Achievement and Roanoke Valley Youth Soccer.

Tim Driver ’93, M.S. ’95 (guidance and coun seling), is serving as the 2022-23 interim prin cipal of the Community Lab School in Char lottesville, Virginia, part of the Albemarle County Public Schools.

Joan Hite, M.S. ’93 (education supervision), retired as assistant superintendent of instruc tion for Mecklenburg County Public Schools. She had held that position since 2021, but her career as an educator in Mecklenburg County encompassed more than 30 years. “I’ve done almost every job in the school division includ ing cleaning the bathrooms,” she said.

Her career began in 1990 as a third-grade teacher at Clarksville Elementary School. Oth er roles have included assistant principal of Parkview High School; director of secondary education and director of elementary educa tion at the school division’s central office; and

It’s a classic Hollywood story: being in the right place at the right time. Twice now, it’s worked for BINTA BARRY ’16

The first time, Barry, a theatre major who performed regularly in productions as a stu dent, impressed casting director Erica Arvold during an undergraduate intensive master class so much that she landed an internship. At the time, Arvold was casting such shows as House of Cards and the feature film Lincoln One of Barry’s first projects as an intern was the feature film Loving about a Virginia couple whose relationship sparked a Supreme Court ruling that struck down the commonwealth’s ban on interracial marriage.

Six years later, after working in casting in New York and Los Angeles on shows including The First Lady and Little Voice, the Covid pandemic pre sented Barry with another right-placeright-time moment as casting shifted from in-person performances to self-taped readings.

“Before the pandemic, 75-85 percent of auditions were done with actors in the room,” said Barry. “Now there are hundreds of self-tapes coming in, and I’m sitting on a lot of information from being in the room reading with actors and evaluating auditions and working with directors.”

She leveraged that insight in starting her own company, Coaching By Binta. “I can help actors develop [their] tapes to a point they will stand out. Being able to put down a good tape by yourself is a skill, and one that casting professionals are well-versed in. So I’m happy to help bridge that gap.”

Because of her experience working with respected casting houses such as arvold.casting, The Telsey Office and Sarah Finn Co. Casting, Barry has deep connections and loads of

experience that can combine to be the right break that a young actor needs.

“I’m so excited to take my career to the next level with my own business,” she said. “As an acting and audition coach, I'll be working remotely with actors to refine their skills to help them feel comfortable with and excited about each new acting opportunity. I bring to the

not only my professional experience,


personal outlook as a young Black woman, a perspective

missing amongst most active acting coaches.”—Matthew McWilliams

WINTER 2022 I 27
is a classic tale of being in the right place at the right time
I bring to the table not only my professional experience, but also my personal outlook as a young Black woman, a perspective that is missing amongst most active acting coaches.’
Binta Barry ’16 started her own audition/acting coaching business in Los Angeles earlier this year.
(continued from Page 25) (continued on Page 28)
that is
Courtesy of Binta Barry ’16

principal at South Hill Elementary School and Park View Middle School.

When asked by the Mecklenburg Sun to re count her favorite memory, Hite mentioned South Hill Elementary School’s successful team in the Destination Imagination program, which is a series of STEAM-based (science, technolo gy, engineering, arts and math) challenges de signed to foster students’ creativity and help them gain 21st-century skills. “We had the first Destination Imagination team that went to glo bals,” Hite said.

Betsy Korsnick Farmer ’94, a kindergarten teacher at West Point Elementary School, was named division Teacher of the Year for West Point public schools. She has been teaching in West Point since 2004 and currently is working toward her reading endorsement at the Univer sity of Virginia. “Betsy Farmer is one of the kind est, most dedicated teaching professionals that I have ever worked with,” Amy Hauser, West Point specialist for teaching and learning, told the Tidewater Review. “Her love of children and helping them to learn and grow is appreciated by our entire community.”

Katrina Goodman ’97, M.S. ’01 (sociol ogy), was named the deputy inspector general for investigations in the Virginia Office of the State Inspector General. A law enforce ment veteran with 24 years of service, she will oversee two units in the investigations division in her new role—the criminal investigations unit and the hotline unit—as well as the accred itation and grant programs for the agency. Her two units work together to investigate possible fraud, waste, abuse and corruption in executive branch agencies. Her team includes five special agents, a forensic analyst, an accreditation man ager, four hotline investigators and the hotline manager. Goodman’s undergraduate degree from Longwood is in sociology. She is a certified fraud examiner, a certified inspector general in vestigator and a certified forensic interviewer.

Lisa Farinholt-O’Brien ’98 was selected by the board of Infant Toddler Family Day Care (ITFDC) in Fairfax, Virginia, as executive di rector, effective in July 2022. She previous ly was the workforce development director at ITFDC for 16 years. She is a graduate of Long wood’s social work program and complet ed her MSW at Washington University in St. Louis. Farinholt-O’Brien then worked in res idence life at Longwood and George Mason University. She became a licensed clinical so cial worker in Virginia in 2009.


Ashley M. Finelli ’02 joined the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) as a research associ ate in the Information Technology and Sys tems Division of IDA’s Systems and Analyses Center. IDA is a nonprofit corporation that operates three federally funded research and development centers in the public interest. Fi

nelli, who earned in a degree in internation al economics from Longwood, also holds an MBA from Radford University.

Brendan Burke ’03, an underwater archae ologist for the Virginia Department of Histo ry Resources, gave a special presentation at the Prince Edward Barbara Johns Library in Farmville in June 2022. Burke, who is a mem ber of the nonprofit organization Friends of the Appomattox River based in Farmville, dis cussed his work in aquatic archaeology.

Dr. Tyler Hart ’03 was named president and CEO of CA Human Services, a Hen rico County-based nonprofit group. He previ ously was provost of Richard Bland College in Richmond, Virginia, a position he had held since 2008. He rose to provost in April 2021 from his initial position as coordinator of financial aid. CA Human Services is an association that ad vocates community inclusion for Virginians with developmental disabilities through ser vices such as preparation for independent living and preschool inclusion programs. Hart’s de gree from Longwood is in business administra tion/accounting. He also has an MBA from Av erett University and a Ph.D. in leadership from Old Dominion University.

Rebecca Woods Young ’03 is serving as the Baltimore County, Maryland, deputy admin istrative officer overseeing public safety agen cies. Most recently, Young served for more than seven years as executive director of the Baltimore City Environmental Control Board, supervising a staff of 13 employees and manag ing a budget of more than $1.5 million. She has also served as a prosecutor with the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, where she tried more than 120 cases. In addition to her Long wood degree in political science, she holds a J.D. from Mercer University.

John Helbert III , M.S. ’04 (guidance and counseling), was named the assistant prin cipal of William Perry Elementary School in Waynesboro, Virginia, in July 2022. Helbert previously had served as the school counselor at J. Frank Hillyard Middle School in Rocking ham County for the past five years. Earlier in his career he had worked for Fluvanna Coun ty Schools for 18 years, including as the school counselor for several schools and as a physical education teacher.

Hannah McElheny Ledger ’04, M.S. ’14 (community and college counseling), was named associate athletics director for aca demics and student services at Longwood. Led ger, who earned her bachelor’s degree in histo ry, is entering her 12th year at Longwood and her sixth year in the athletics department. She oversees academics for all student-athletes, in cluding tutoring, study tables and one-on-one meetings. She will also oversee the compliance department as part of her expanded duties. Under her leadership, student-athletes post ed a record-high overall GPA for the 2021-22 academic year, achieving a 3.21 cumulative GPA.

The Legal 500 U.S. for its pharmaceutical, medical device and health care work. Rosenblatt, who has been with the firm for 10 years, earned a business adminis tration/marketing degree at Longwood and went on to earn his J.D. and MBA from Missis sippi College.

His work with Butler Snow primarily in volves defending pharmaceutical and med ical device manufacturers, such as Johnson & Johnson and AbbVie, in high-stakes per sonal injury actions pending in various state and federal venues throughout the coun try. “I also defend 3M in the earplug litiga tion, which is currently the largest multidis trict litigation (MDL) in the United States,” he said. “Additionally, I have worked with various music artists and a Longwood alum ni-owned distillery to help protect their in tellectual property.”

Rosenblatt said there are both fun and ful filling aspects of his work. “I have enjoyed get ting to learn from working alongside a long list of talented trial lawyers in some of the most complex product liability litigation in the country. The most fun part of the job is devel oping and implementing trial strategies that achieve favorable outcomes for my clients. But the most fulfilling part of the job is developing relationships with my clients, company wit nesses and expert witnesses.”

He and his wife, Meredith, have three chil dren: Beckham, 8; Emmie, 6; and Livvy, 1. “We enjoy spending time with friends and family, traveling, relaxing at the beach, and cheering for our kids’ youth sports teams,” he said.

Dr. Jason Tibbs ’05, M.S. ’09 (education al leadership), was named director of fi nance and human re sources for Appomat tox County Public Schools. With a back ground in education

In addition, 96 student-athletes earned either President’s List or Dean’s List recognition. Paul S. Rosenblatt ’05 is an attorney with the Butler Snow law firm, which was ranked na tionally in 2022 by
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as a teacher and administrator, he most recent ly served 18 years as director of facilities and career and technical education with the Pow hatan County Public Schools. His bachelor’s de gree from Longwood is in business administra tion/marketing; after completing his master’s degree at Longwood, he went on to earn a doc torate in educational leadership from North central University.

Carly Fullerton ’07 was named associ ate athletics director for health, wellness and performance at Longwood, and she is the department’s se nior woman admin istrator (SWA). Now in her 15th year with the Lancers, she current ly covers men’s basketball, as she did the past four seasons, and she is head of the sports med icine department. In addition, she now over sees the department’s sports performance per sonnel and, in her role as SWA, works with the Big South Conference administration as a rep resentative of Longwood. She earned a degree in physical education from Longwood.

Pepper Wilson ’07 has joined the Automo tive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) as marketing and communications manag er. In this role, she will oversee AAPEX (Auto motive Aftermarket Products Expo) and other major events, brand development and compa ny messaging. The automotive aftermarket is the secondary market of the automotive indus try, concerned with the manufacturing, remanu facturing, distribution, retailing and installation of all vehicle parts, chemicals, equipment and accessories after the sale of the automobile by the original equipment manufacturer to the con sumer. Pepper, who earned a business adminis tration/marketing degree at Longwood, joined the automotive aftermarket in 2017, working for one of the largest warehouse distributors in the southeastern United States. She was a member of the Lancer softball team as a student and went on to play two years in the National Pro Fast pitch league for the Chicago Bandits.   (continued

Take My Advice. Atlanta Mayor

Andre Dickens (left) selected Matt Rinker ’02 to serve on his LGBTQ Advisory Board. Rinker was one of 40 Atlanta residents selected from 200 applicants for the board, which comprises citywide LGBTQ civic leaders, influenc ers and advocates. The board makes recommendations to the mayor and other city officials that assist in developing policies and procedures and in enhanc ing engagement with Atlanta’s LGBTQ community. Rinker, who double majored in English and communication studies at Longwood, is vice president of the Peoplestown Neighborhood Association and sits on the Atlanta Realtors Association (ARA) committees for affordable and equitable housing, as well as ARA’s Diversity and Inclusivity Advisory Board.

Page 30)
Courtesy of Matt Rinker ’02

Diamond Performance. Kisha Phillips ’03, manager of Towneplace Suites by Marriott in Front Royal, Virginia, was named Marriott’s 2021 Diamond General Manager of the Year for North America. In addition, her hotel qualified as a Diamond hotel, which is the highest ranking it can achieve, and it was named the 2021 TownePlace Suites Hotel of the Year in North America. “I began working in hospitality right out of Longwood, and I would even say that I worked in hospitality while at Longwood when I was an RA at Frazer [now Johns Hall] for two years,” said Phillips, who earned a communication studies degree at Longwood. Prior to joining Marriott, she worked at BlueStar Resort & Golf at Trilogy Lake Frederick in Virginia for 15 years, starting there as an activities director and working her way up to operations manager.

Sarah Butler ’16 competed for team New Zealand at the Women’s World Lacrosse Champion ships held in Towson, Maryland, in July, where New Zealand finished 12th among the 30 countries competing. Overall, the team finished 5-3, with wins over Ireland, Austria, Spain and Hong Kong (China). Butler led New Zealand in points (22), goals (15) and assists (7). Butler earned a degree in kinesiology at Longwood.

Alaina Furman ’09 entered religious life with the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacra ment in July 2022. The institute’s more than 430 sisters staff 83 schools, catechetical cen ters, and parish and diocesan ministries in 13 different countries: United States, Mexico, Ita ly, Spain, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Guatemala, Honduras, Cuba and Mozambique. Before entering religious life, Furman had worked eight years for the Certified Humane Raised and Handled program, an in ternational nonprofit organization dedicat ed to improving the lives of farm animals raised for the food industry. Her primary responsibili ties were managing client relationships and re cords/filing systems. In addition to her history degree from Longwood, she earned a master’s degree in library and information science from the Catholic University of America.


Panayiotis “Yoti” Jabri ’11 in August 2022 be came Prince George County’s director of eco nomic development. A lifelong Prince George resident, he had been director of economic de velopment in Surry County since 2020. While in Surry County, Jabri helped increase broad band access to more than 2,000 homes through the forming of public/private partnerships. The Smithfield Times reported that Surry was also selected as part of the Virginia Tourism Corpo ration’s Drive 2.0 program during Jabri’s ten ure. That statewide program helped localities develop plans to compete with localities across the commonwealth. Earlier in his career, Jabri worked three years as an economic develop ment specialist in Prince George. In that role, he helped secure more than $200 million in capital investments that created more than 500 jobs, administered a $1.7 million CARES Grant pro gram for small business and managed the tour ism program, which included coordinating and implementing a new five-year economic and tourism strategic plan. In addition to his bach elor’s degree in business administration/man agement from Longwood, Jabri earned an M.A. in economics/public administration from Vir ginia State University.

Laura Crump Anderson ’13 is a yoga instruc tor, a certified personal trainer and an avid equestrian who realized from a young age the importance of riders’ taking care of their bod ies like the athlete they expect their horses to be. Eventingnation.com published her article The Athletic Equestrian: The One Exercise Every Eventer Should Be Doing in May 2022. With the goal of helping riders to be connected with their horse and be fit, sound and ready to ride, Ander son founded Hidden Heights Fitness, where rid ers can participate in one-on-one virtual per sonal training via Zoom. She works with riders across disciplines, from weekend warriors to Olympic athletes. Anderson has competed up to Training Level in eventing on a horse she bred and started herself. Anderson’s degree from Longwood is in kinesiology with a concentra

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tion in exercise science. She is an American Col lege of Sports Medicine-certified personal train er and has earned her 200-hour yoga teacher certificate.

Stephanie Schenkel ’13 was named head girls lacrosse coach at Parkview High School in Lil burn, Georgia, after serving as an assistant coach at the school since 2019. A member of the Longwood lacrosse team when she was a stu dent, she earned a degree in communication studies. She has coached lacrosse at youth, highschool and college levels since 2013.

Megan Graves, M.S. ’14 (special education), was one of eight finalists for Virginia’s 2023 Teacher of the Year, which was announced Sept. 30, 2022, at the Executive Mansion in Rich mond. Graves, the Region 8 Teacher of the Year, is a special education teacher for grades 8-12 at the Appomattox High School Alternative Edu cation Center.

Holly Ashbrook ’15 accepted the nomination as 2022 Woman of the Year for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Virginia, a leader ship position in the organization’s fundrais ing campaign this year. Ashbrook is regional sales director for Canteen North America, an on-demand retail and food service company that provides market, dining, vending, coffee, and more solutions nationwide. She received a degree in criminology and criminal justice from Longwood.

Travis Lyles ’15, a communication studies major at Longwood, was named deputy direc tor of social and off-platform curation at the Washington Post in June 2022. In this new role, he will lead the strategic growth of the Post’s expanding social portfolio. Lyles, who joined the newspaper’s staff in 2017 as a social editor on the core team, had been Instagram editor since February 2021, the first person to hold that position at the paper. He previous ly had worked at the Virginian-Pilot and Busi ness Insider

Lori Peltonen, M.S. ’15 (education/school li brary media), is Region V’s Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for Virginia’s 2023 Teacher of the Year, which was announced Sept. 30, 2022, at the Executive Mansion in Richmond. She is the librarian at Staunton High School.

Lara Ivey, M.Ed. ’15, and Melissa Urban, M.Ed. ’15, (both school librarianship) know that collaboration creates opportunity. In March 2022, the Chesterfield County librari ans partnered with Angie Zhao of bbgb books to lead the reading initiative Teachers Read ing Aloud and Connecting Kids (TRACK). The six-week program involved 180 elementa ry classrooms, which connected 4,000 stu dents with the author of The Leopard Behind the Moon, Mayonn Paasewe-Valchev, via vir tual, interactive visits. “This experience lev eled the playing field,” said Ivey. “Schools that might not normally have author visits got to have one. Classes that might not have a diverse

Amber Huckaby ’15 was named 2021-22 Teacher of the Year at Cape Fear Ele mentary School in Rocky Point, North Carolina. She earned a BFA at Longwood.

author experience got one. This experience is built for the teacher to just open the book and read. Everything else is done for them.”

Jessica Pham ’16, who started her bas ketball career at Longwood, joined the Longwood women’s basketball staff as an as sistant coach. She returned to her alma ma ter after stops at Wake Forest, Liberty and Canisius, where her roles ranged from direc tor of recruiting to assistant director of bas ketball operations. Her resume sports trips to both the NCAA and Women’s National Invita tional tournaments.

“I’m thankful the timing was right for her to return to Longwood,” said Longwood women’s basketball head coach Erika Lang-Montgom ery. “She has spent many hours providing a pos itive student-athlete experience to the different programs she has served. She has a relentless work ethic and is a great relationship builder. Most importantly, she is a Lancer through and through.” Pham earned her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology/exercise science at Longwood and holds master’s degrees in both sports manage ment and sports administration. She previous ly worked at Longwood from 2015-17 as direc tor of basketball operations.

Russell Reed ’16 placed third overall among men who participated in Yorktown’s Inde pendence Day 8K race. Reed finished in 29:24. Employed at the Jamestown-Yorktown Foun dation, he earned an anthropology degree from Longwood.

Dominque Foster, endorsement ’17 (educa tional leadership), was named principal of Per rymont Elementary School in Lynchburg, Vir ginia. Previously she was a student services supervisor at Lynchburg City Schools, provid ing discipline and behavioral support for school administrators as well as a supervising PreK-12 school counselors.

Marissa Woods ’17 was named 2021-22 Teach er of the Year for Buckingham County Prima ry School, where she teaches first grade. She earned a degree in liberal studies/elementary education at Longwood.

Janice Fletcher, endorsement ’18 (ed ucational leadership), was appointed the director of employee relations, recruitment and retention for the Halifax County (North Car olina) Board of Education. She has been a part of the Halifax County Schools since 2019, serv ing in multiple roles, including most recently as a district coach on the exceptional children lead team. She also has served as a multiclassroom leader, mentor teacher and testing coordinator. She was named 2021 Teacher of the Year for Ev eretts Elementary School STEM Academy in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.

Kevin Napier ’18, M.S. ’21 (educational lead ership), an Innovative Learning Coach for two Henrico County elementary schools, is serious ly committed to making learning fun. His efforts (continued on Page 32)

In Memoriam


Lucile Moseley Epes ’37 July 17, 2022


Helen Jeffries Miles ’40 July 14, 2022

Theresa Hutt O’Flaherty ’45 July 5, 2022

Harriet Purcell Garrett ’48 Aug. 8, 2022

Katherine Rainey Wingo ’48 July 24, 2022

Betty Romeo Wingfield ’49 Aug. 9, 2022


Dot Carter Harper ’50 Aug. 2, 2022

Evelyn Farrier Mitchell ’51 June 27, 2022

Romine Mahood Overbey ’51 Jan. 20, 2021

Jean Ridenour Appich ’52 June 27, 2022

Nancy Wooldridge Calohan ’53 July 19, 2022

Carolyn Gray Abdalla ’56 June 30, 2022

Suzanne Roberts Long ’56 July 22, 2022

Ellen Hamlett Stewart ’57 July 29, 2022

Roberta “Bobbie” Scott Williams ’57 March 30, 2022

Lucia Hart Gurley ’58 Sept. 4, 2022

Barbara Lee Pond ’58 June 21, 2022

Martha Marks Dobyns ’59 June 13, 2022

Donna Boone Lewis ’59 June 28, 2022

Mary Barbara Wilson ’59 July 21, 2022


Iris Wall Johnson ’61 July 6, 2022

Kaye McKean Martin ’63 Aug. 6, 2022

Elizabeth Blackburn Callis ’64 June 17, 2022

Marilyn Kilgore Dougherty ’64 July 12, 2022

Norma Eudy Haden ’64 Aug. 7, 2022

Wanda Robertson Thiem ’64 April 23, 2022

Rowena Elizabeth Yates ’64 Dec. 12, 2021

Joette Cather Bailey ’68 Aug. 16, 2022

Gale Wells Long ’68 Sept. 6, 2022

Barbara Stone Femrite ’69 July 21, 2022


Doris Dian Crocker ’72 July 5, 2022

Rebecca Nicholson Schroeder ’74 July 6, 2022

Carolyn Louise Henshaw ’77 Aug. 14, 2022

Elizabeth Sadler Lyon ’79 June 20, 2022


Pamela Jones Venable ’81 July 19, 2022

Jeanette Mary Weaver ’81 Aug. 20, 2022

Lorene Dejarnette Womble ’82 Sept. 15, 2022

Timothy Paul Shepley ’83 June 14, 2022

Leroy Edward Marshall ’87 July 21, 2022


Darlene Clevinger Kratz ’04 Sept. 9, 2022

Brittany Kay Huddleston ’08 Aug. 8, 2022

Faculty, Staff and Friends

Debra Cheeley Bowles Sept. 3, 2022

James T. Coonan Aug. 20, 2022

Andrew Moffatt Evans Sept. 20, 2022

Jack Feathers June 10, 2022

Keith Kissee Sept. 18, 2022

Elle R. Stockton Sept. 28, 2022


have been rewarded in several ways. He was named Unruly Splats’ Unruliest PE Teacher in 2021 and 2022. His work with the cross-curric ular tool Unruly Splats mixes coding with play. Using an iPad, students program floor tiles to respond as they run obstacle courses and relay races. And earlier this year, Napier was featured on WTVR-Channel 6 in Richmond for his outof-the-box teaching methods. “I am tasked with spicing up education for everyone in the build ing,” he said. “I have the opportunity to teach in novative STEAM lessons to students and help teachers brainstorm new ways to present their curriculum.”

Katharine A. Avery ’19 graduated with hon ors from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2022. She earned a degree in English at Longwood.

Jourdan Jones ’19 became engaged to Vance Anderson ’20. Both their families were on vacation together at the Outer Banks when Anderson popped the question. Jones was a kinesiology major at Longwood and a member of the lacrosse team. Anderson, also a kinesiology major, was a member of Sigma Nu and the club baseball team.

Akila Smith ’22 signed her first pro fessional basketball contract with Clube Desportivo Escola Francisco Franco in Portugal, where she’ll play at forward. Smith was part of the Longwood women’s basketball team that won the Big South Championship last season and made Longwood’s first Division I appear ance in the NCAA Tournament. She was the first player in Longwood pro gram history to be named the Big South Player of the Year.

DESTINY BROWN ’22 is attending Georgetown University, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in urban and regional planning. “My interest in planning was sparked during my first sociology class at Longwood,” Brown said. “It was about the Farmville community, and there was one section on urban planning. I was originally a math major, but after taking that class I switched my major to sociology my sophomore year.”

Dayna Rouse ’21 joined the women’s basket ball team Club Desportivo Escola Francisco Franco in Portugal in 2021, averaging nearly 20 points per game last season. She began her professional career at Herner TC in Germany. Her Longwood degree is in psychology.

Nicole Fordyce ’22 competed for team New Zealand at the Women’s World La crosse Championships held in Towson, Mary land, in July, where New Zealand finished 12th among the 30 countries competing. Overall, the team finished 5-3, with wins over Ireland, Austria, Spain and Hong Kong (China). Fordyce, who earned a degree in kinesiology at Long wood, contributed 12 points thanks to six goals and six assists, finishing third on the team.


Kelly Tarmon ’20 is the new Medical Reserve Corps coordinator/emergency preparedness and response coordinator for the Lord Fairfax Health District. Prior to her appointment, she had worked for 18 months with the Covid-19 team for the district.

He also is at tending graduate school at Kentucky, a mem ber of the Southeastern Conference. On3.com, a digital media, data and marketing compa ny focused on college athletics, described Gil liam as a “prospect from Longwood who has the potential to blossom into an instant start er as soon as he arrives in Lexington. Primari ly a first baseman, the 6-foot-2, 235-pound slugger has the potential to slide in seamless ly at the corner spot heading into 2023. … [He] provides a legit glove and is a main candidate for the starting first baseman for the ’Cats next season.” Gilliam began his Longwood career as a walk-on from the Fuqua School in Farmville. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Longwood.

32 I LONGWOOD MAGAZINE CLASS NOTES (continued from Page 31)
Hunter Gilliam ’22, a baseball standout at Longwood, has landed a spot on the University of Kentucky Wildcats’ 2023 sea son roster as a redshirt senior. Courtesy of Jourdan Jones ’19

Drum Roll, Please

Longwood’s Jazz Ensemble is just one group that will have a home in the new music education building, which took a step closer to reality this summer as state funding fell into place. Story on Page 6.

201 High Street Farmville, VA 23909

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