Longwood Magazine | Winter 2021

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When ‘happily ever after’ starts at Longwood | Witness to a campus evolution A M A GA ZIN E FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS OF LONGWOOD UNIVERSITY

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New Baliles Center at Hull Springs channels the spirit of a

We’re actually doing something that has the potential to affect people’s lives.’ —PARIS DAILEY ’25 Page 16

On the Cover The Gerald L. Baliles Center for Environmental Education at Hull Springs, named in honor of the former governor in October, will provide transformative experiences for Longwood students. Page 4


Joint Ventures For these couples, life together started at Longwood

In Memoriam Remembering Dr. Henry Willett, Longwood’s 20th president

President’s Message




Witness to an Evolution Board of Visitors Rector Pia Trigiani reflects on remarkable changes on campus during her tenure


Age of Enlightenment Civitae Core Curriculum introduces freshmen to a world of new ideas

Music major? Teacher? Nurse?

Change of Venue

Culture Is King

Basketball teams look forward to playing in new Joan Perry Brock Center arena

Commitment to principles forms foundation of basketball teams’ success

Revamped MBA program breaks the mold




On Point 4 Lancer Update 6 Class Notes 21

In Memoriam 31


Honoring a Fallen Soldier Friends, family arrange NASCAR tribute for alumnus


Girls with Grit Dad coaches his daughter’s team to Little League World Series


Call of the Wild Virginia’s 2020 Conservation Police Officer of the Year is in his element





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Sabrina Brown Creative Director

JoDee Stringham

Associate Editors

Gina Caldwell, Matthew McWilliams, Lauren Whittington Sports Editor

Chris Cook


Courtney Vogel


Rich Cooley/Northern Virginia Daily, Nick Davis, Stadtkind Photography/Annette Johnson, Mike Kropf ’14, Katherine Marae, Megan Marchetti/Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Parker Michels-Boyce, Ian Munro/Harrisonburg Daily News-Record, Justin Pope, Chip Ganassi Racing, Jason Snyder, David Vogin, Savion Washington, Andrew Watters, Corey Williams Advisory Board

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

Lucia Anna “Pia” Trigiani, Rector, Alexandria Eileen Mathes Anderson ’83, Glen Allen Katharine McKeown Bond ’98, Mechanicsville Fabiola Aguilar Carter, Richmond Michael A. Evans, Richmond Steven P. Gould, Danville Nadine Marsh-Carter, Richmond Larry I. Palmer, Richmond Polly H. Raible ’91, Midlothian Rhodes B. Ritenour, Richmond Ricshawn Adkins Roane, Great Falls N.H. “Cookie” Scott ’72, Midlothian Shawn L. Smith ’92, Richmond 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.

FROM TH E  PR ESI D EN T Anne Patterson ’22, from Charlottesville, is a Lancer of whom we can all be proud. I’ve gotten to know her well; she’s been a campus leader since freshman year and last spring was elected SGA president. She loves Longwood and is wise beyond her years. I can’t wait to see where she goes from here. As a senior, Anne is also part of the first Longwood class to experience the full four years of Longwood’s unique Civitae Core Curriculum, launched in 2018, from the time they stepped on campus as freshmen through the Symposium on the Common Good all will have taken as seniors. We’ve chatted often about how Civitae has provided coherence to her educational path and a learning experience quite different from the giant lecture courses students elsewhere endure in the coursework outside their majors. Perhaps most memorably, it has introduced her to ideas and faculty and fellow students across Longwood. The diversity of viewpoints and novelty of questions these classes pose “made the conversations more thoughtful,” she said. “When you all agree with each other, you’re not really learning. Everyone can grow from gaining perspectives. Even if you don’t agree with someone else’s opinions, all of these classes have taught me and others how to engage in those conversations and how to still learn even if you don’t change your opinion. You walk away with at least knowing how someone else thinks.” At heart, Civitae is focused on preparing students for life and work in democracy. That is not, I’m sorry to say, the direction most of American higher education is headed. But we believe the skills of democratic citizenship can and must be taught in college: how to sift evidence, how to argue and debate with civility, how to write and speak clearly, and how to navigate a diverse and polarized society. These also happen to be the skills employers clearly value as well. Over its next few issues, the magazine will be taking readers on a deep dive through Civitae. Why so much attention? Civitae is, at heart, the story of Longwood today. It defines us, sets us apart, and epitomizes our commitment to creating citizen leaders and preparing students for life and work in a democracy. Civitae—now evolved from a bold idea to a full curriculum thanks to the tireless work of our faculty —genuinely represents the essence of the Longwood I know all of you hold dear. I hope you’ll enjoy learning more about it. These are precisely the kind of crucial ideas and perspectives that President Willett and I mused over together over the years. He was a great friend to me and so many, and a champion of Longwood we will dearly miss. All my best,

To request this magazine in alternate format (large print, braille, audio, etc.), please contact Longwood Disability Resources, 434-395-2391; TRS: 711. Published December 2021

W. Taylor Reveley IV President





Dr. Henry I. Willett Jr. was named president of Longwood in 1967 at the age of 36, making him one of Longwood’s youngest presidents.

Remembering President Willett

20th president was a visionary leader who left an indelible mark on Longwood


he 1960s and ’70s were a period of tumult nationally and across higher education. But for Longwood, those years were also a period of vision and progress, thanks to the leadership of its energetic and dedicated 20th president. Dr. Henry I. Willett Jr., who led Longwood from 1967-81, passed away Nov. 11. He was 90. During Willett’s tenure, Longwood marked several student body milestones in its development as a modern liberal arts university, including the integration of Black students in the early years of his presidency and Longwood’s full transition to coeducation in 1976. Despite the national turmoil of the era, often marked by division along generational lines, Willett formed a strong bond with students, routinely stopping to converse with them on gregarious walks around campus. In April 1969—a time when many campuses around the country were embroiled in sometimes-violent protests—Longwood students held a surprise rally and demonstration on Wheeler Mall in support of their president. Wearing blue-and-white buttons reading “This

Is Willett Country” and carrying banners proclaiming “Longwood Loves Willett,” more than a thousand students—over half of the student body—demonstrated their affection in what the Richmond Times-Dispatch called “a kind of protest in reverse.”

…[He] had a vision of what the institution should become and was very skilled in seeing that through.”


“Henry was a very warm and engaging individual,” said close colleague and friend Dr. Carolyn Wells, former vice president for academic affairs at Longwood and a longtime biology professor. “He never met

anyone he didn’t get along with, was very easy to work with, and had a vision of what the institution should become and was very skilled in seeing that through.” Academically, Willett led Longwood through a major transition. A teacher’s college since it became a public institution in 1884, Longwood grew and developed into a comprehensive liberal arts college under Willett’s leadership. Among his contributions to broadening Longwood was leading the founding of the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts in 1978. “He made possible the Longwood we know and love today, not just as a great, diverse and coeducational university, but also by laying foundations in athletics, the arts and other critical parts of campus life that have flourished and mark a powerful legacy,” said President W. Taylor Reveley IV. “He was always generous with me with his wisdom and perspective, and good humor, for which I’m profoundly grateful.” Appointed president at age 36, Willett also left his mark on Longwood’s physical footprint, including the McCorkle and Jeffers expansions to Stevens Hall and the construction of Wygal Hall to house the music program and Bedford Hall for art and theatre. The twin residential high-rise towers both opened their doors by 1970, as did the J.P. Wynne Campus School. Structures erected later in Willett’s tenure included Coyner and Bristow halls, as well as Lancer Hall, the gymnasium and academic building that was renamed Willett Hall in his honor in 2004. Willett Hall was the site of the 2016 U.S. Vice Presidential Debate. During his presidency, Willett and his wife, Mary, also revitalized Longwood House, which had fallen into disuse and disrepair until they oversaw significant preservation efforts and the historic home was designated as the president’s residence. After Longwood, Willett joined the faculty of George Washington University. He is survived by Mary, four sons, 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.





A Fitting Tribute Environmental center, research lab named in honor of former Gov. Baliles


he Longwood community, state officials and members of the Baliles family gathered in October to dedicate the Gerald L. Baliles Center for Environmental Education at Hull Springs in honor of the former governor. The center comprises 662 acres of shoreline, woodlands and wetlands on the Northern Neck in Westmoreland County, its centerpiece a new $1.2 million, fully equipped environmental research lab. Bequeathed to Longwood in 1999 by Mary Farley Ames Lee ’38, the property since then has served as a living laboratory for dozens of students and faculty in biology, environmental sciences, archaeology and other disciplines. That work is poised for a transformational expansion thanks to infrastructure upgrades and the 3,000-square-foot research lab, which was supported by a $250,000




challenge grant from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation. Taken as a whole, the Baliles Center stands as a monument to a pivotal lawmaker and leader who—as a General Assembly member, Virginia attorney general and then governor from 1986-90— arguably did more than any other public official in the nation to set in motion the modern transformation toward a healthier Chesapeake Bay. “I cannot imagine a more fitting tribute to Gov. Jerry Baliles than to name this facility after his legacy,” said Gov. Ralph Northam at the dedication ceremony. “When I visit the bay, I can see that the efforts started by Jerry are paying off. This is another great day for Virginia.” The sometimes tearful, sometimes joyous occasion was punctuated by memories of the former governor, who died in 2019.

With the new $1.2 million research lab in the background, the Longwood community, state officials and members of the Baliles family gathered to dedicate the Gerald L. Baliles Center for Environmental Education at Hull Springs. On hand were (from left) Jon Baliles, Gerald Baliles’ son; Anthony Troy, former Virginia attorney general; Longwood Rector Pia Trigiani; Gov. Ralph Northam; President W. Taylor Reveley IV; and John Daniel III, secretary of natural resources under Baliles.

Students from a wide range of disciplines will conduct research in the state-of-the-art research lab.

“Like Joan of Arc, the patron hero of Longwood, Jerry Baliles was bold and fearless,” said Longwood Rector Pia Trigiani, who read the resolution adopted by the Board of Visitors to name the property for Baliles. “He was focused on his three E’s: education, the environment and economic development. This place is a testament to those ideas.”

Center of Attention

Celebration marks start of construction for region’s largest indoor event venue


n a moment reminiscent of a last-second, game-winning shot, the crowd counted down as Joan Perry Brock, wearing a No. 64 Longwood Lancers jersey, placed her hands into wet cement to officially mark the construction of the game-changing convocation center that will soon bear her name. Brock ’64, whose philanthropy has already left an indelible mark on her alma mater, along with assembled Longwood dignitaries and guests, in October celebrated the construction of the “stunningly beautiful” Joan Perry Brock Center already taking shape behind them. Supported by the largest gift in Longwood’s history, a $15 million contribution from Brock, the center will have a seating capacity of up to 4,500, making it the largest indoor event venue in the region.

Joan Perry Brock ’64 places her hands into wet cement to officially mark the construction of the game-changing convocation center that will soon bear her name.

Revamped MBA program breaks the mold ENROLLMENT HAS INCREASED more than tenfold in Longwood University’s newly revamped MBA program since it was launched in summer 2020. How did they do it? They practice what they teach. They did their research. They listened to their customers. They threw out constraints and designed a program that filled a need. Driving that strategy is Dr. David Lehr, who was tapped as the MBA program director in 2020. “We found through our research that there’s a growing need to provide access for students who have not been part of the graduate business education experience in the past,” said Lehr, a longtime professor of economics. Longwood welcomes students from all educational areas—not just those that are business-related, he said. The academic tracks were updated, adding marketing and data analytics to the existing tracks in general business and real estate. With a focus on flexibility, the program tossed out the semester system in favor of a schedule comprising six seven-week terms per year, and the curriculum was streamlined so that students don’t get stuck in prerequisite requirements.

Standing open in summer This will be a special beside her at the 2023 (see related place not just for the ceremony, Presstory on Page 7). basketball teams and ident W. Taylor “This will be Reveley IV led the a special place Longwood students but crowd in a cheer not just for the for the whole town.’ that echoed across basketball teams — JOAN PERRY BROCK ’64 the construction and Longwood site and to Brock Commons, foreshadowstudents but for the whole town,” said ing the energy that will pervade the arena Brock. “My real hope is that this facility will during Longwood basketball games and make this town and Southside Virginia that special events when the center’s doors much more welcoming for everyone.”

Students can For students who need help attend full time getting up to speed for graduate or part time. Fullbusiness courses, Longwood has the time students resources to make that happen. can complete “For a lot of these students, the a degree in 10 existing market honestly was massive months. online courses. That’s not who we The icing are, and we THESE STUDENTS NEED A is that the don’t think that PROGRAM THAT REALLY program is kind of product CARES AND FACULTY WHO AACSBserves those accredited, a students well. FOCUS ON BUILDING credential that These students ACADEMIC RELATIONSHIPS.’ speaks loudly need a program —DR. DAVID LEHR to academic that really cares quality and that often is required by and faculty who focus on building employers for tuition reimbursement, academic relationships,” Lehr said. Lehr said. “If you want to hit that sweet “The diversity among our curspot of the flexibility of an online rent students is enormous,” he said. program, the personal experience of “We’ve got people who majored in a campus program and the quality political science and music. We’ve academics of faculty teaching in an got teachers, school principals, nursaccredited program—that’s what we es and small business owners.” offer.”—Sabrina Brown





Culture Is King

With a solid foundation of guiding principles, basketball programs start the season from a position of strength

Mike Kropf ’14


hen men’s basketball head coach Griff Aldrich and women’s head coach Rebecca Tillett took over their respective Longwood programs in early 2018, they both touted the importance of building the right culture.

Fast forward three years, and those efforts are now bearing fruit. Heading into the 2021-22 season, the foundations established by Aldrich and Tillett in year one have turned Longwood’s men’s and women’s programs into two of the biggest turnaround stories in all of college basketball. From the women’s team’s program-record thirdplace Big South finish and invitation to the Women’s Basketball Invitational last season to the men’s program-record 10 Big South wins and multiple College Basketball Invitational berths, both teams have accumulated a number of milestones over the past three seasons. Credit for the parallel upward trajectories of the programs goes to a number of factors, from consistently strong recruiting classes to the assembly of experienced coaching Under the leadership of head coach Rebecca Tillett, members of the women’s basketball team have participated in programming focused on leadership, women’s empowerment and professional growth.

Mike Kropf ’14

Head coach Griff Aldrich has built the men’s basketball program on a foundation of excellence, grit, humility, gratitude and service.




staffs and a focus on building support for the programs both locally and beyond. Academically, the programs are equally as impressive, with record team GPAs for the men and a bevy of Dean’s List honorees for the women. Underlying that progress are the unique visions for Longwood basketball held by both head coaches. Aldrich has built the Longwood men’s program on “The Longwood Five”: excellence, grit, humility, gratitude and service. Attention to detail and the pursuit of excellence is an expectation in every area for his student-athletes, says Aldrich, as is a teamwide commitment to giving back to communities both in Farmville and back home. Tillett’s principles for the women’s team are similarly focused, with a defined emphasis on love, joy, toughness and collective responsibility. Along with igniting their on-court success, those pillars have motivated players’ volunteer efforts at local schools as well as in-house programming focused on leadership, women’s empowerment and professional growth. Now entering their fourth year under Tillett and Aldrich, both Lancer programs lay claim to some of the best players in the Big South Conference, including reigning Big South Women’s Defensive Player of the Year Akila Smith ’21 and Big South Men’s Preseason All-Conference guard Justin Hill ’23. As a result of the still-escalating success, it’s not just Longwood’s own fanbase that has high expectations. In the Big South Conference’s preseason poll, which is voted on annually by the league’s coaches and media members, both Longwood programs drew record marks. The women received a thirdplace preseason prediction that was their highest ever, while the men were picked to finish second in the Big South North Division, also a new program benchmark. Now with the 2021-22 season under way, both Longwood teams have stormed into their first month not only driven by the momentum of those achievements but also standing on the foundation established by years of building a strong culture.—Chris Cook

A Legendary Tale.

The biography of one of Longwood’s most prominent alumni is now on sale. Jerome Kersey: Overcoming the Odds, written by longtime Portland, Oregon, sportswriter Kerry Eggers, hit shelves and e-book libraries in late September and is available at dementibooks.com, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Proceeds from sales of the book will go to Longwood’s Jerome Kersey ’84 Men’s Basketball Scholarship and the Jerome Kersey Foundation in Portland.

In October, members of the Longwood men’s basketball team were on hand with Joan Perry Brock ’64 to celebrate the start of construction on the Joan Perry Brock Center, slated to open in summer 2023.

Cause for Celebration

New arena comes closer to reality


he new home of Longwood basketball is taking shape. Initiated by a record $15 million gift from Joan Perry Brock ’64, the Joan Perry Brock Center is well into the construction phase and on track for a grand opening in the summer of 2023. With a multitiered seating layout that will accommodate 3,000 fans for basketball and fully encircle Jerome Kersey Court, the stadium will be among the top mid-major basketball venues in the country. Following the groundbreaking last spring, Brock, Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV, Longwood Athletics Director Michelle Meadows, men’s basketball coach Griff Aldrich and women’s basketball coach Rebecca Tillett were all on hand in October for a special ceremony celebrating the progress of the 72,000-square-foot arena. Also a convocation center, “JPB” will serve multiple roles for Longwood and the Farmville community in addition to basketball, including as a venue for university and community ceremonies, events, lectures and concerts. “We are immeasurably grateful to Mrs. Brock for her gift that made this beautiful venue possible,” Meadows said. “While this project has been years in the making, seeing the progress that has already

been made makes it all the more real. The Joan Perry Brock Center will be a beacon for not only Longwood basketball, but Longwood University and the Farmville community as a whole.” The debut season for “JPB” will be 2023-24, which will mark the 20th year since Longwood made the jump to the Division I level in 2004-05. “This facility holds the potential to significantly impact our entire community while providing a premier venue in which to play college basketball,” said Aldrich. Tillett added that “the idea for the center was made possible by an empowered woman in Joan Perry Brock. There is a saying that facilities do not win championships, people do. However, with Mrs. Brock’s generous gift, the additional gifts of many dedicated supporters and the vision of President Reveley, the future home of Longwood basketball will provide a state-of-the-art facility for our people to do the work.”—Chris Cook





Joint Ventures

For these couples, a lifetime of adventures, challenges and togetherness all started at Longwood BY SABRINA BROWN





you want to go out with someone named Jason on Friday the 13th?” Her dad was mostly joking, but Friday the 13th in June 2008 turned out to be pretty lucky for Rachel Price ’09 and Jason Wolohan ’08. They were both in Maryland for the summer. Jason had just graduated from Longwood and was at his first job in Rockville; Rachel was back at home in Salisbury waiting to start her senior year. They’d met at the CHI burning toward the end of the previous spring semester (Jason was a member, and Rachel was a junior banner bearer) so they didn’t have much time to get things going. Rachel sent Jason a friend request on Facebook, and he accepted, sending a not-very-encouraging message that ended with: “Have a nice summer.” Rachel thought she’d never hear from him again. But they started messaging back and forth on Facebook, and a couple of months later Rachel took the initiative again, asking for Jason’s phone number. Finally, she popped the question: Would Jason like to go with her to a baseball game? A year or so later, there was another important question to be asked. This time, Jason took the initiative, ring box in hand. (Read more about the Wolohans, above, on Page 12.) Every relationship has its own narrative punctuated with moments set against a particular backdrop. For alumni couples who met while they were students, the backdrop for their earliest memories of each other is the Longwood campus—a chance meeting at the bookstore, a dance, emceeing Oktoberfest in matching Lederhosen. The narratives for the couples in this story begin on campus but diverge widely from there. In addition to showing what makes a happy marriage, they are proof that, from Longwood, you can go anywhere.

Katherine Marae


From the tropics to the Arctic


adeline Warren got married more than 60 years ago, but she keeps her full-length wedding gown cleaned and carefully put away in an upstairs closet. After all, three other brides have worn it since she and Bernard married in June 1958, and you never know when it might be needed again. The series of events leading to Madeline’s own wedding, held at the Methodist church in her cozy little hometown of Scottsville, Virginia, started with a Longwood art class field trip. Bernard, a veteran and one of a handful of young men at Longwood at the time, had a car and was pressed into service to take a carful of his fellow students—all female—to a museum in Richmond. Madeline was the lucky girl who got to sit next to Bernard, and they talked all the way to the museum, aptly named The Valentine. They married a week after graduation and headed out on their first adventure a few days after that: Bernard had signed on to work at his aunt’s and uncle’s antiques and jewelry business in Guam. “When I got there, I thought, ‘Whoopee, beach, here I come,” said Madeline, who was 22 at the time, but Bernard’s aunt had

Madeline Warren’s wedding dress had more than one day in the spotlight: Three more brides have worn it since her wedding a month after she graduated in 1958.

another idea for her new niece, who arrived on the North Pacific island with a freshly minted teaching degree in hand. “She took me down to the local school and introduced me to the principal. I showed him my Virginia teaching certificate and my Longwood degree. He looked at it and said, ‘Longwood College? My brother taught Latin there.’ I was hired immediately,” she added, still amused at that “small world” coincidence decades later. After three years of exploring East and Southeast Asia, they pulled up stakes again and took a 180-degree turn to snowy Anchorage, Alaska, where they adjusted their wardrobes and settled into jobs in the local schools. Bernard worked primarily as a principal, and Madeline taught elementary school. They both retired in the 1980s. They have a son who runs a popular restaurant in Anchorage, and they have enough stories to fill a book. Madeline sums up all the years and experience in one simple sentence: “It has been quite a life.”





Made for TV reality

Savion Washington


(below) A Wedding Story, an early reality TV show, said ‘yes’ to Sandy’s pitch to feature her and Lindo’s big day in June 1997. Members of the crew (seen here with the Gharibs) filmed not only the ceremony and reception, but also followed the couple around for three days before the wedding. ‘After two or three hours, you sort of forget they’re there,’ said Lindo.

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(above) The Gharibs: Lindo, daughter Kate, Sandy and daughter Madison. (left) At Longwood, Sandy and Lindo often were involved in the same activities, including serving as co-chairs of Orientation and co-emcees of Oktoberfest.

ost of us are lucky to have even 15 minutes of fame. Lindo and Sandy Gharib have had a full half hour. They were one of the couples whose nuptials were featured on A Wedding Story, an early TV reality show produced by The Learning Channel (TLC). The Gharibs were the stars of Episode 10 in Season 4, which originally aired in 1997. Being in the spotlight together on television was actually a natural progression of their experiences at Longwood. They were both RAs, one floor apart, in Tabb Hall; they were orientation leaders for three summers, including serving as co-chairs the summer before their senior year; —L I NDO G H AR IB ’95 and they were co-emcees of Oktoberfest their senior year, both decked out in Lederhosen made by Sandy’s mom. Sandy’s pitch to A Wedding Story focused on the mix of cultures that would be evident at their wedding. “They marketed it as ‘preacher’s daughter marries Lebanese guy,’” she said with a chuckle. Lindo, who today is a district president for the staffing and consulting firm Robert Half, was born in Lebanon. He came to the U.S. in the third grade to escape the war that was tearing the country apart. “I remember spending days upon days in bomb shelters,” he says of the experience, adding that he easily transitioned to life in America. He didn’t forget his Lebanese roots, however. The couple’s wedding in June 1997 included a reading in Arabic at the ceremony and belly dancing at the reception. Sandy’s father, who was a United Methodist minister, “walked me down the aisle, and then turned around and married us,” she said. “I truly married my best friend,” added Sandy, who is the coordinator for learning and development for Virginia’s community college system. Lindo added, “I love her more than ever. I still get that tingly feeling when I look at her all these years later.” Read more online about how fame followed the Gharibs years after they were on TV and how Lindo kept Sandy on pins and needles before he finally proposed at go.longwood.edu/gharibs

I still get that tingly feeling when I look at her all these years later.’


Worth the wait


hen Troy Littles arrived back in North Carolina after being deployed for Desert Shield/Desert Storm, he didn’t even stop to change clothes before renting a car and driving through the wee hours of the night to Virginia. It had been eight years since he and Karen started dating back when they were students at Longwood, and he apparently had finally begun to feel a sense of urgency about their relationship. After they graduated from Longwood, they had gone about their lives and careers— teaching for Karen, the military for Troy— seeing each other several times a year when Troy was close by, which he often wasn’t, the deployment to the Middle East a perfect example. “I knew he was back in North Carolina, but I didn’t hear from him,” said Karen, who was teaching in Newport News. “Then I got a knock on my door in the middle of the night. I opened the door, and I got this big hug. I had recently moved, and I remember thinking, ‘How did you find me?’” In June 1992, they got married at the Langley Air Force Base chapel in Hampton, and they have been on the move ever since. During his 26 years as an Army intelligence officer, Troy served two tours in Korea, two at Fort Bragg and a tour in England. The three years in England were a great experience for the family, which by then included sons Jonathan and Jarrett, who were elementary school-age. “We went to France, Spain, Italy, Scotland. Each year we went to Germany and went skiing,” said Karen. “Culturally it was wonderfully diverse. Our neighbors were from Ireland, Scotland, Uganda, Turks and Caicos, India, and that’s how their school was, too.” Now grown, both sons graduated from the University of Virginia. The family also has lived in Colorado, where Troy began a career with the Department of Defense after retiring from the Army as a lieutenant colonel, and in the Washington, D.C., area, where he was the COO for the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency. The latest move was to Atlanta in August 2021 for Troy’s new job as chief operating officer for the Georgia Tech Research Institute, which last year received nearly $800 million in federal research funding. He gives Karen a lot of credit for his successful career. “The best thing about our marriage has been her support for me,” he said. “I have moved us all around the country, which, of course, affected her career. No matter where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do, she’s always sacrificed herself for us.”

Karen and Troy Littles have embraced the adventures of life in the military, including three years in England when their sons were young, as well as other career moves that took them to Colorado and most recently to Atlanta.





By the book

Travel time is family time


he young couple knew they didn’t want to wait even one more day to say their vows after years of wishing that moment would come. Caitlin and Laura had just heard on the evening news that the Virginia Supreme Court had legalized marriage for same-sex couples. So, when they got up the next morning—Oct. 7, 2014—they took the day off and headed straight to the courthouse. “We were so thrilled when we saw the news. We had waited so long,” said Laura, who holds a doctorate in higher education and is Title IX coordinator for Randolph-Macon College in Ashland. “My parents were a little disappointed that we didn’t wait for them to drive up.” Those feelings were assuaged when Caitlin and Laura promised they’d have a reception. A year later, a host of family members and friends celebrated the couple’s marriage at a beachfront restaurant in Virginia Beach. In a nod to Caitlin’s and Laura’s roots as English majors, the focal point for each table’s centerpiece was a book with a romance theme. They scoured used bookstores for appropriate tomes, which included Pride and Prejudice, a favorite of both brides, and Written on the Body, which was the focus of Caitlin’s senior thesis.

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Caitlin Flanagan ’07 (left) and Dr. Laura Soulsby ’04 married on Oct. 7, 2014, the day after the Virginia Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

Caitlin, who is children’s collection management librarian for the Henrico County Public Library, recalled that it was Laura’s sense of humor and adept use of sarcasm that got her attention when they met through mutual friends. For Laura, it was Caitlin’s genuine kindness and her intelligence. Today, they enjoy hiking with their two dogs and exploring their new home in the Richmond area. “We’ve just never stopped laughing and having fun,” said Laura. “And reading—we still read together all the time.”

At their reception, the focal point for each table’s centerpiece was a book with a romance theme. On the couple’s table was the very appropriate World’s Greatest Love Letters.

or most people, the thought of traveling with an infant or a toddler, especially on an airplane, is enough to make them swear off vacations, at least until the kids can carry their own suitcases. Then there’s Jason and Rachel Wolohan. They had taken their son Ethan, now 2-1/2, on a plane at least eight times before he celebrated his first birthday, and they didn’t slow down much when Garrett came along earlier this year. They went on their first long-haul family trip when Garrett was 4 months old. Most recently, they loaded up their truck with the requisite mountain of toddler and baby gear and set out on a 10day excursion to Nashville and the Smoky Mountains. Read more online about the Wolohans’ adventures on the road and their travel podcast at go.longwood.edu/wolohans

(above) Travel has always been important in Jason’s and Rachel’s relationship, and they both say Hawaii is their favorite destination.

(inset) Brian and Shannon were both active in Greek life during their student days, Phi Kappa Tau for him and Alpha Delta Pi for her.

(below) Jason is associate director of payer programs for DrFirst, a company that provides software solutions to hospitals and physician offices. Rachel is busy with the kids and has a small business providing social media management.

Nick Davis

Activities involving their sons Jackson (left) and Joshua (right) keep Brian and Shannon busy, including coaching lacrosse and scouting. They’ve also been active with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation since Josh was diagnosed with Type I diabetes as an infant.


The triumph of team spirit

Stadtkind Photography/Annette Johnson


t’s ironic that when Shannon O’Leary met Brian Davis she ended up crying all the way home. Today they are “Team Davis,” happily married for more than 20 years. But back then, he was an orientation leader who decided the best way to impress a particularly cute freshman in his group was to tease her “mercilessly”—his word—the whole weekend. Shannon remembers crying on the way home and telling her mother, “He was so mean.” Little did she know that Brian really liked her. He’d even made sure he’d get to see her again in the fall by encouraging her to enroll in the same sociology class he knew he’d be taking. They became really good friends before they started dating in Shannon’s freshman year. By her junior year they were engaged, and, shortly after she graduated, they had a 200-guest wedding in Norfolk with half the invitation list made up of Longwood friends, many from their respective Greek organizations. But Team Davis’ path to “happily ever after” has had its share of challenges, and even heartbreak. They lost their first child, Matthew, at 23 weeks to severe hydrocephalus and spina bifida, and had another unsuccessful pregnancy before the birth of their two sons, Jackson, now 15, and Joshua, 12.

“At one point, we said to each other, ‘There’s a really good possibility that it’s going to be just us,’” said Shannon. “That was a defining moment in our relationship. We decided we’d just have to be the best ‘us’ we could be.” Their best “us” happily included parenting after all. They’re involved in lacrosse, scouting and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a cause close to their hearts since Josh was diagnosed with Type I diabetes as an infant. “We’ve been to the Rose Garden and got to hear the president speak, and we’ve participated in congressional events,” said Shannon, who currently works full time in a position she describes as a “Girl Friday” for Swift Creek Elementary in the Chesterfield County Public Schools. Brian is a lead speech pathologist at John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell. It’s the children and the adventure of their marriage that they treasure most. “Not travel or extraordinary lives,” Shannon said. “Just the adventures of being together.”





Longwood’s rector looks over IA TRIGIANI’S FIRST Longwood Board of Visitors meeting in the fall of 2014 is seared in her memory as a her years on the Board of transformational moment. Visitors and sees remarkable The historic reception room in French Hall was heavy with emotion as the university’s governing body voted unanimously to and meaningful change BY LAUREN WHITTINGTON

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adopt a resolution expressing regret for Longwood’s failure, as an institution, to provide leadership during the civil rights era and apologizing for its actions during Massive Resistance in Prince Edward County. It was Trigiani’s first action as a newly appointed board member, and few, if any, eyes in the room were dry. “There are moments in the Longwood experience when that happens. When emotion wells up in you,” she recalled. “That tells me that there’s something unique here. There’s something that touches the very core of you—that really gets to the fundamental essence of what we are. You see it in the students; you see it in their joy about being here.” Trigiani, a successful Alexandria-based attorney who took the reins as rector this summer, did not have a deep connection to Longwood when she was appointed to the board. In fact, her only previous experience on campus was attending the American Legion Auxiliary Virginia Girls State in high school. But as her tenure draws to a close with a year as rector, she has developed a deep connection to and love for Longwood and become a student of the university’s beloved patron hero, Joan of Arc. “Longwood has heart and soul. It has a soul, and you can’t necessarily say every institution does,” Trigiani said. “You walk onto campus, and you feel it. You get a

feeling that, wow, this is somewhere people want to be. Joan was confident, bold and fearless. And that’s Longwood.” She said the resolution passed during her first board meeting set the course for the meaningful progress and change that she has witnessed and the board has helped to guide. “It’s not change for the sake of change, but change to build that confidence for Longwood,” she said. “She’s had a makeover. Not a do over, but a makeover on a lot of fronts.” The university’s physical transformation during Trigiani’s years on the board include upgrades and additions to the campus such as a new university center, new academic building, new admissions building, new student services building and the complete renovation of the highrise residence halls. The growth of the university’s endowment has been another significant financial accomplishment. On the academic side, the implementation of the Civitae Core Curriculum was a meaningful step that will have even more relevance going forward. Another improvement that Trigiani prides from her tenure is the university’s relationship with the town of Farmville—specifically finding ways to be more connected and present in downtown. More recently Trigiani’s service on the board has been marked by navigating through the pandemic. “In a very unsettling time, what we really saw shine through was the intensity to continue,” she said. “The intensity to give the students their senior year or their freshman year, and to keep them safe at the same time.” President W. Taylor Reveley IV describes Trigiani as “a source of strength and energy for Longwood over all these years. The resolve of the board, and especially Pia’s ability, to tackle with grace hard issues has been a hallmark of her tenure. She really loves this place and understands in her bones what our students love about it. She has done so much to make us better.” In her Convocation address this fall, Trigiani spoke of the university’s intense care and concern for students as “the secret ingredient of the secret Longwood

sauce.” One of her goals as rector is to be more visible for students and university stakeholders. To that end, she participated in an event prior to the ceremony with Convocation keynote speaker Justice John Charles Thomas, who in 1983 became the first Black justice appointed to the Supreme Court of Virginia. Joined by Reveley, they held a discussion with students on pursuing law as a profession.


hen I was in college, I loved being around alumnae. I loved that connection and thought that it was important for them to see the students,” said Trigiani, who is from Big Stone Gap in Southwest Virginia. She completed her undergraduate studies at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, where she was student body president. “Now the role is reversed, and I think it’s important for the students to have some interaction with the board. I love walking through campus and seeing students stop to talk to President Reveley or coming up to hug him. He has a great way with students.” Trigiani, who earned a law degree from the University of Richmond School of Law, is a partner in the firm MercerTrigiani, where she practices real estate law and serves community associations throughout the state. She is proud of working through the BOV to position Longwood to move into

Pia Trigiani, rector of Longwood’s Board of Visitors, feels it’s important for students to have opportunities to interact with members of the board. Here, she chats with seniors on Convocation day this fall.

the next chapter with confidence and boldness. “I have loved every minute of my service on the board, particularly the opportunity to come to know Longwood,” she said in her Convocation address. “Her people, her traditions, her history and her great purpose: educating citizen leaders.” Joining Trigiani in that work this year are three new BOV members appointed by Gov. Ralph Northam. Fabiola Carter, a Richmond-based executive for McKesson Medical Surgical, Inc., and Shawn L. Smith ’92, program director for the Virginia Association of Area Agencies on Aging, joined the board July 1. On Oct. 8, Northam announced the appointment of Rhodes Ritenour of Henrico, vice president for external and regulatory affairs at Bon Secours Health System. This fall Trigiani’s board tenure was bookended with the passage of another consequential resolution, this one formally naming Longwood’s property on the Northern Neck of the Chesapeake Bay—including a new $1.2 million environmental research lab there—in honor of former Virginia Gov. Gerald Baliles (see story on Page 4). “He recognized that education is essential to the enrichment of a life well-lived and the foundation for developing and sustaining a strong economy,” Trigiani said. “I think that’s Longwood. Its mission is to give students that opportunity.




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THIS SPRING, the first class of Longwood students to have completed the Civitae Core Curriculum, unveiled in 2018, will graduate. It’s an experiment, unique in American higher education, with “democracy as its North Star,” as President W. Taylor Reveley IV often puts it. This story—the first in a three-part series that explores how Civitae is shaping and inspiring students throughout their time on campus—looks at the impact of one of Civitae’s first components. B Y M AT T H E W M C W I L L I A M S



Civitae Core Curriculum introduces freshmen to a world of new ideas with Citizen 110 classes WINTER 2021




t a time when many institutions have lost focus on their role in preparing students for life and work in a democracy, the Civitae Core Curriculum has rekindled Longwood’s mission of citizen leadership. Civitae is the heart of what makes Longwood’s classroom experience different and special, right from freshman year: big cross-disciplinary questions, small classes, top faculty, and moments of connection and inspiration that can shape students’ entire college experience and beyond. Paris Dailey ’25 says the moment that changed her whole freshman year came when her phone started pinging with text messages. They were from her classmates in Citizen 110: Social Entrepreneurship who were working with her on a group project, and something amazing had just happened. The information they had spent weeks gathering, calling nonprofit after nonprofit to compile a list of resources for area women suffering from domestic abuse, was getting shared beyond Longwood. “I thought, oh gosh, this is something new,” said Dailey, a freshman health and physical education major and a member of the Cormier Honors College from Richmond. “We’re actually doing something that has the potential to affect people’s lives.” Moments like these are the hallmark of a group of courses under the umbrella of Citizen 110. All freshman Lancers now take one of these courses, which mark the foundation of a four-year journey through Civitae. Built around big questions of citizenship and foundational skills that prepare students for successful careers, these courses aren’t your typical freshmanlevel classes. They’re distinctive and designed both to start students thinking about their place in the world as well as to develop and flex skills they’ll need to navigate to that place. Citizen 110 classes frequently produce moments that shape the rest of a student’s college education. It could be, as in Dailey’s case, building a real business that addresses an issue a student is passionate about. Or it could be the fourth public-speaking presentation, where a student realizes they’re now comfortable advocating for a viewpoint in front of 25 sets of eyes. Or it could be a professor’s question about a play by Sophocles that makes them reconsider how they thought about literature and life. Honors Faculty Scholar Jacob Dolence, who teaches Social Entrepreneurship, tasked Dailey and her classmates with choosing an issue of particular importance to them and building a business around that issue—not just a hypothetical exercise, but a real organization that worked in the world. For Dailey and her classmates, that issue was abuse. The business became an information network dedicated to connecting victims of domestic abuse in rural areas with resources in their communities, where resources often are scarce. “That’s been the most surprising thing,” she said. “We started trying to find information about these resources, and it was difficult to understand how little is available to women. So it all started to become bigger than I thought it was.” Four years after the launch of Civitae and 3,100 students later, Citizen 110 courses have become a Longwood freshman’s

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(Page 16) Peyton Chase ’21, a psychology major, said her Citizen 110 class immediately took her out of her comfort zone and gave her confidence in public speaking.

Most general education programs are not coherent. There’s a sort of checkthe-box mentality that Civitae does a good job of countering … .’ —DR. DEREK TAYLOR welcome-to-college moment—that time or event where they realize there’s a broader way of thinking about not only the subjects of their classes but also issues they will confront throughout their lives.


In the mid-2010s, when a new general education program was taking shape among the Longwood faculty, the development of citizen leaders remained at the core of the deliberations. Among a host of innovative ideas developed was one rooted in what it means to have a full college experience. The product of that idea, Civitae is infused throughout all four years of a student’s time at Longwood, starting with their first semester. “Most general education programs are not coherent,” said Dr. Derek Taylor, a bespectacled British literature professor and Citizen 110 coordinator. “There’s a sort of check-the-box mentality that Civitae does a good job of countering because it keeps reiterating key points throughout the curriculum all the way up. And those key points are the basis of what students learn the minute they walk through the doors of their Citizen 110 course.” What defines Citizen 110 and sets it apart from the giant, typical introductory courses that students encounter at most institutions? One key thing is the faculty. Many are Longwood’s finest, full-time professors, often tenured, and they’re teaching

(above) Dr. Derek Taylor, Citizen 110 coordinator, says Citizen 110 courses, though they have different perspectives, are ‘all in orbit around the same point of gravity.’ (opposite page) Paris Dailey ’25, a health and physical education major, and a small group of her classmates in Citizen 110: Social Entrepreneurship compiled a guide to local resources for victims of domestic abuse.

freshmen in cross-disciplinary courses that get everyone talking about issues from a broad range of disciplines and perspectives. Dolence teaches his Citizen 110 course from the perspective of social entrepreneurship. Across campus, Dr. Mark Lukas approaches it from his philosophy background. Dr. Chris Kukk, a political science professor and dean of the Cormier Honors College, draws on his research into compassion. Citizen 110 also is taught as a business course, a journalism course, an English course and a kinesiology course. That multidisciplinary approach is what makes it work, said Taylor. “I use this analogy to explain it. All sections of Citizen 110 are in orbit around the same point of gravity. While these classes are not in the exact same orbit, we are all cognizant of what each course is supposed to be teaching, which is a focus on the relationship between individual rights and a responsibility to the common good, critical thinking skills, ethical reasoning and public speaking. So while I might come at those topics through a discussion of a play by Chekov, other faculty rely on their particular expertise and disciplinary approach to build their own unique sections of the class.” Each of those four key concepts is practical—valuable both as students consider their place in the world and as they prepare for the workplace. In survey after survey, employers list critical thinking and problem-solving skills among the most highly sought-after skill sets they look for in potential employees. And, as Taylor explained, the ability to speak clearly and confidently is valuable in almost every profession. For faculty who teach the courses, it’s an opportunity to expand the scope of their discipline and show freshman students how different disciplines can be applied to similar questions of citizenship and democracy. “When I first designed the course, I found that social entrepreneurship teaches skills that line up really perfectly with the goals of [Citizen 110],” said Dolence, the professor who is guiding Paris Dailey and her classmates through their Citizen 110 course. “This is your toolbox of life skills—both hard and soft skills that you can pull out at any time in your life when you have to solve a problem.” Faculty can’t wait to teach one of the courses—a rarity for freshman-level offerings at universities across the country. But it’s exciting to see students grow and build the skills of citizenship. “One thing that changes for students is they come to the class and already have strong views about even the controversial issues,” said Dr. Adam Blincoe, a philosophy professor who works with the Cormier Honors College and has taught his Citizen 110 course—Choosing Well, Acting Right, Being Good—for several years. “Often students’ views don’t necessarily change. What changes is that they develop better reasons for their views and can express them more clearly. So, at the end of the class, they can persist in disagreement with someone else while Continued on Page 20

WHAT IS CITIZEN 110? A PRIMER Longwood’s Civitae Core Curriculum, the pathway that all students must traverse in order to graduate, is built differently from most general education programs. Most distinctly, students take Civitae courses throughout all four years at the university, each class building on skills and information learned in previous courses. This strategy helps students bring a variety of perspectives and skills to bear when confronted with complex issues related to not only their careers, but also their communities. The first step in Civitae is a pair of freshman-level courses that all incoming students take: English 165 and Citizen 110. While English 165 is a signature writing-intensive course designed for students to learn college-level writing skills, Citizen 110 sets the stage for a different way of thinking. Taught by professors in different disciplines across campus, Citizen 110 courses focus on introducing and building four skills students will take with

them through their time at Longwood and beyond: • The relationship between individual rights and responsibility to the common good • Critical thinking • Ethical reasoning • Public speaking “What we’re getting at—what we’re teaching—is the heart of a democratic society,” said Dr. Derek Taylor, professor of English and coordinator of the Citizen 110 courses. “These are questions that people ask themselves each day as they make decisions about what is important. Understanding not only how to ask those questions but also how to bring a lot of different perspectives to bear on answering those questions is paramount to becoming a citizen leader.” Freshmen are placed in a Citizen 110 course in either their first or second semester of their initial year on campus. They take an English 165 course during the other semester of their first year.




If Only I Could Take That Class We hear all the time—from students and faculty—that Citizen 110 courses, like the ones described below, are some of their favorite and most impactful classes. BE A CH ANGE MAKER. How do we balance responsibility to self, family and society as we consider solutions to social problems? This course focuses on devising solutions to social problems stemming from poverty, racial/ethnic/gender inequality, deficiencies in education, addiction, crime and violence. STORIE S WE TE L L: IDE N T IT Y AN D N ARRAT IVE ON SOCIAL ME DIA. Social media enables meaningful connections but also has toxic effects. We’ll review competing scholarship on social media, learn how the attention economy is shaping ideas of citizenship and practice resistance through storytelling. GATEKE E PE R S O F D E M O CRACY. Are American public schools creating opportunity or impairing it? What role should educators play in the development of citizen leaders? Students will explore and debate these and other related questions during the course of the semester. ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE: CITIZENSHIP, SHAKESPEARE AND THEATRE. This course examines the aspects of citizenship that appear in the work of William Shakespeare and how his plays have become a touchstone for public discourse on these subjects within current theatre and in our culture at large. AGENCY AND R E S P O N SIB ILIT Y IN DYSTO PIAN NARRATIVE S . With every imaginable injustice, dystopian worlds like those in Bladerunner, 1984 and The Hunger Games depict the extremes of unjust authority. The course explores whether or not those extremes are limited to fiction and how students can be good citizens in a “not good place.” SEC RET AGE NTS OF CH AN G E : SO CIAL E N T REPRENE UR S IN A COM PLE X WO RLD. The only constant in the world is change. We will study the people who are trying to make constructive change in their communities, and we will explore the field of complexity science to help us understand why some succeed as others fail. This course will help you not only understand social entrepreneurship but also practice it. POPULAR MUSIC, IDENTITY AND SOCIAL CHANGE. This course surveys and examines the dynamic relationship between music and social movements—from civil rights through the modern era—and how that relationship informs our sense of citizenship as listeners and as performers. CHOICE S AND CONS EQ U E N CE S IN WO RLD LI TERATU RE . By analyzing literary texts from multiple genres, cultures and historical periods, students in this course will be challenged to examine their own assumptions about what it means to be true to oneself and one’s civic responsibilities in a world full of other human “selves” (7.8 billion and counting).

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continuing to have a relationship with that person, which is an essential element of democracy.”


Now in their fourth year, Longwood’s Citizen 110 courses are doing more than producing memorable moments. They are prompting students to newly imagine possibilities for the rest of college—and beyond. For Paris Dailey, the experience of working with energized classmates and experiencing the thrill of real-world impact broadened her horizons. “I’m a very by-the-book type of person,” said Dailey. “The plan was to go to college, take normal classes and get a normal type of job. But this has really

to-college moment came early in her Citizen 110 course: standing in front of the class, just a few short months removed from high school, her hands shaking with nervousness, Coffey watching from the side of the room. Notecards? Nope—Coffey doesn’t allow them during speaking presentations. Reading what’s on the PowerPoint slides behind her? Not a chance—slides aren’t allowed to have words. “Everything was on a different level in that class,” said Chase. “Dr. Coffey took us out of our comfort zone immediately and put us in a position where we had to present to the class confidently and with authority. And the crazy thing is, I started to feel confident the more and more we made presentations. I’ve never forgotten that moment as I’ve gone through four

Often students’ views don’t necessarily change. What changes is that they develop better reasons for their views.’ —DR. ADAM BLINCOE broadened that—I don’t know what’s going to happen with it, which is sort of scary but also really exciting. It’s helping me to see the world in a different way.” Taylor said the Citizen 110 classes “are doing three things at once. The first is giving students the requisite skills they need to succeed in college. Then, how do we pique their intellectual curiosity? And we start to introduce them to these key concepts like questions of citizenship that we can then reinforce all the way up to the symposium level. And it’s really working.” Just ask Peyton Chase ’21, an upperclassman who has some perspective on how the class shaped the rest of her education. Chase, a psychology major, was put in a Citizen 110 class four years ago in a completely different discipline: Civic Engagement Through Sport and Exercise, taught by Dr. Tim Coffey, assistant professor of exercise science. Like Paris Dailey, Chase’s welcome-

years here at Longwood, and it’s helped me time and time again.” Like Dailey, Chase’s final project explored a pervasive issue across the country—addiction. As she built a program called “Addicts for Exercise,” she was confronted with those four basic concepts: how are we responsible to the common good for all people, what is ethical, deep critical thought about an ongoing issue and confident public-speaking skills when pitching the idea. Four years later, she’s exploring those same ideas as a senior in her final Civitae class, just at a much more elevated level. “Civitae courses—especially that first Citizen 110 course—really have been my favorite courses,” she said. “Even though I’m studying psychology, they were the courses that made me think more about what I am passionate about, and what I want to accomplish outside of a career with my life.”

I love working in a specialized field of law enforcement where I get to protect wild animals in wild places.’

Megan Marchetti/Department of Wildlife Resources






Honoring a Fallen Soldier

Alum is among those recognized in Memorial Day NASCAR race (inset) Shane Adcock ’03 was honored on car No. 42 driven by Ross Chastain. The race was held less than a week after what would have been Adcock’s 42nd birthday. (above) Among those present for the Memorial Day race at Charlotte Motor Speedway were Loren Hatcher ’01 (left), John Nastelli ’01, Maris Adcock (Shane Adcock’s father), Brian Jalbert ’01, Vera Adcock (Shane Adcock’s mother), Drew Walker ’02 and Jeremy French ’00.

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Chip Ganassi Racing


HANE TIMOTHY ADCOCK ’03 regularly. He began to notice the tributes to was honored at the Charlotte fallen soldiers during the Coca-Cola 600 on Motor Speedway’s Coca-Cola Memorial Day weekends. 600 held on Memorial Day 2021 “I thought, man, one of these days I need as part of NASCAR’s 600 Miles of to nominate my best buddy Shane to see if Remembrance. we could get him on a car,” Jalbert, who is The event recognizes members of the a physician assistant with Dermatology military who have Consultants in given their lives Lynchburg, told I THOUGHT, MAN, ONE OF in service of their Marc Davis of THESE DAYS I NEED TO country by WWBT-NBC12. displaying their “Maybe some of NOMINATE MY BEST BUDDY names on cars in the extra downtime SHANE TO SEE IF WE COULD the race. Adcock’s that Covid name circled the provided allowed GET HIM ON A CAR.’ track on Ross me to kind of take — BRIAN JALBERT ’01 Chastain’s car. the reins of it and A second say, you know lieutenant in the Army who was serving in what, this year’s the year.” Iraq, Adcock was killed in October 2006 Adcock’s parents, along with Jalbert’s when a Russian armor-piercing grenade hit family and several other Longwood alums, his unit’s Humvee as they were returning were in attendance at the race in Charlotte. from a mission. Among the medals he “It was surreal, humbling and grateful all received for his service is the Purple Heart. wrapped into one,” said Jalbert of being at Adcock’s inclusion in the tribute from the race. “To be at an event like that where NASCAR was orchestrated by BRIAN they are honoring all of the current and JALBERT ’01, who had been Adcock’s best former military, as well as those who made friend since middle school. the ultimate sacrifice, was absolutely Watching NASCAR each weekend is amazing. It has left a memory ingrained something Jalbert and his family do with me that I will remember forever.”


Jean Craig Morton ’49 died May 28, 2021. Her obituary recounts a full life. She earned a teaching degree from Longwood and went on to spend 40 years in the classrooms of Lafayette, Monroe, Meadowbrook and Taylor elementary schools in the Norfolk School System. During these years she continued her education, earning a master’s degree from Old Dominion University. Morton was a member of Second Presbyterian Church in Norfolk for 81 years. She was a member of a King’s Daughters Circle and enjoyed working on projects for the children. She rarely missed a Virginia Opera performance and loved art. As a crafter, she did needlepoint and enjoyed making Christmas decor. She had a passion for gardening and looked forward to planting and caring for her flowers each spring. She loved animals and was a committed supporter of the SPCA as well as many other charities. She loved to entertain. She was married to another Norfolk native, Harry Lee Morton Jr., for 30 years.

1960s Judith Friend Stokes Barnes ’60 died April 2, 2021. After graduating from Longwood, she earned an M.A. in education from the University of North Carolina and went on to teach high-school biology. Her obituary paints a vivid picture of her life. “She had a curiosity and an interest in all people and all things. There was not a craft that she did not try, and many that she went on to master. She participated in several quilting circles, book groups and an aqua fitness class that she enjoyed very much. She was a graduate of the Master Gardener and the Master Food Preserver programs. When she inherited a banquet hall’s worth of chairs that needed to be caned, she learned to cane chairs and caned every one of them. She learned how to throw pottery, upholster furniture and make baskets. She sewed many of her family’s clothes with her trusty Singer sewing machine and made beautiful quilts. She welcomed everyone to her table, where there was always a place for one more. A genealogist and keeper of family stories and histories, she would have celebrated her 50-year DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) anniversary with the William Taylor Chapter this fall.” She married Letcher Barnes in 1966, and had a son and a daughter. Several years ago she established the Stokes-Barnes Memorial Scholarship Fund at Longwood. Elizabeth Ann Rex Spiers ’64 provided the following update. “I gratefully used my music education degrees, including a Master of Music from West Virginia University, to teach in the public schools of Virginia for 29 years. I also kept

Corey Williams

Wilma Register Sharp ’66 and her husband, Marc Sharp, were named to the board of trustees of The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation, a private nonprofit organization supporting the preservation, education and the archaeological investigation of Historic Jamestowne. The Sharps, who gave $2 million in 2015 to endow the deanship of Longwood’s Cormier Honors College and support its work, have been active community members since they moved to Williamsburg in 1987. Wilma Sharp spent 30 years as an educator with a gifted-resource specialization.Upon retiring, she started volunteering in Colonial Williamsburg Gardens and in the therapeutic gardening programs for assisted living facilities. She also serves on the boards of the Williamsburg Community Foundation, Literacy for Life and the Comte de Grasse Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

1970s Suzanne Marie Turner ’70 sent in this update. She worked 35 years at the University of Virginia as supervisor of clinical studies in catecholamine metabolism, then retired and worked 10 years as a caregiver for Home Instead Senior Care. She is (continued on Page 24)

AGING WELL In 1952, the Art Structures class created a printed publication that included 11 block prints of Longwood’s campus, including the one above of Grainger Hall, which looks much the same 70 years later. You can see all the prints at Greenwood Library’s Digital Commons website, digitalcommons. longwood.edu. Search for Longwood in Blockprint.

Andrew Watters

CLASSNOTES going with my piano emphasis, both teaching and performing, and since my retirement from both classroom teaching and my private studio, I have spent more time on practicing and performing. The pandemic brought me a gift of more time for this endeavor. With some additional coaching, I performed a solo piano recital in Richmond on Sept 26, 2021. My first solo recital was at the end of my freshman year at Longwood—the first freshman to accomplish that. I’ve had other performing opportunities through the years with my memberships in professional music organizations. I hope to keep learning and sharing my piano music as long as I can! Having played since the age of 4, I look back with gratitude to Longwood, where I received the instruction and inspiration to become an accomplished pianist and teacher, and join the community of fine musicians that I have known.”

More than a Job

Alum follows his passion to a career as an emergency medical technician


ASON JOHNSON ’18 worked as Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue for his an accountant after graduating dedication.) with his business degree from After completing his EMT classes, he Longwood, but it didn’t take passed the national registry exam on the him long to realize that the first try. Soon after that, a paid position letters he really wanted after his name opened up with the Prince Edward squad, were EMT, not CPA. and he got the job. He took it as a sign that All it took was a couple of “ride alongs” becoming an EMT was the right career with some choice. acquaintances He likes the who were challenge of emergency medical “thinking on his technicians (EMTs) feet” when for Johnson to decisions about know it was the treatment have to kind of work he be made quickly, would find fulfilling and he loves —JASON JOHNSON ’18 and a way to live “parade season,” out Longwood’s when he gets to mission of citizen leadership. see children “light up” as a fire truck or He signed on as a volunteer with the ambulance goes by. “The kids think we’re Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad, cool,” he said with a smile. then got his CPR and Emergency Vehicle But mostly Johnson likes knowing he’s Operations Training certifications so he helped someone, even though they’re often could be more useful. not able to acknowledge it. In January 2020, he quit his accounting “That occasion when the patient says, job to focus on EMT training while still ‘Hey, thank you so much for coming to help working as a volunteer. (He was named me.’ That’s the moment that we live 2020 Squad Member of the Year by for.”—Sabrina Brown

That occasion when the patient says, “Hey, thank you so much for coming to help me.” That’s the moment that we live for.’


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CLASSNOTES (continued from Page 23)

a retired Methodist Stephen Minister, has pitched on a nationally ranked USSSA softball team and for 24 years has played drums with a group that goes to area retirement homes for singalongs. She enjoys golfing, boating, regular exercise classes and writing. Her “latest adventure” was publishing her first children’s book, My Best Friend Mo, which tells the story of a little boy who adopts a shelter dog.

1980s Bruce McCook ’81 was named senior vice president and Infinex Investments Inc. financial adviser. Infinex, which provides investment, insurance and wealth-management services to financial institutions and their clients, is based in Connecticut. McCook previously was a vice president at VCB Financial Group.

Alum coaches his daughter’s softball team to the Little League World Series


here was nothing small about the goal that the Chesterfield Little League All Star softball team set for themselves this year, says BILL FIEGE ’95, the team’s head coach and the proud dad of centerfielder Erika, 13. The 13 girls had their sights on the 2021 Little League World Series. “We won the Virginia State Championship two years ago, when the girls were in the 10-and-under bracket,” said Fiege, who’s been coaching Little League for seven years. “We set the goal to make a run for it, and we did it.” He makes it sound easy—but don’t be fooled. It took talent, grit and determination for the team—composed of the Chesterfield area’s best Little League players—to make it to Greenville, North Carolina, where the series was held in August. They first battled their way to the top in the Richmond-area tournament. Then they took down 13 teams to clinch the Virginia State Championship, and they defeated another seven teams to win the Southeast Region Championship, which entitled them to one of 10 spots in the World Series. (The tournament normally features five teams

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from the U.S. and five international teams, but, due to Covid-19, all the teams in the 2021 World Series were from the U.S.) They fell only one game short of winning the series trophy, beating teams from Arizona, Missouri, New Jersey and Texas before falling to Oklahoma in the final game. How did they do it? “They play the game of softball really well. They bonded well together, had goals and achieved all but the final one. They played hard and certainly exceeded all of our expectations,” said Fiege, adding that he loves coaching his daughter. The girls also had to handle the pressure not only of playing in such high-stakes games but also of being on ESPN for three of the games, including the championship contest broadcast on the network’s main channel. “The girls loved showing off for the cameras,” he said. Fiege, who is vice president for learning and student success at Tyler Becoming Brightpoint Community College, is married to RENEE SIMEONE FIEGE ’97. There’s another softball star in the family—daughter Erin, 14—whose team, assisted by her mom, won the Virginia State Championship this year in their age group.—Sabrina Brown

Brad Schwartz ’84 was elected president and chief operating officer of TowneBank. He is a past member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and the Longwood Board of Visitors, and is a current member of the board of directors of the Virginia Bankers Association. In addition to his degree in business administration from Longwood, he holds an MBA from the University of Richmond, and he is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Georgetown University.

Parker Michels-Boyce

Girls with Grit

Bill Fiege ’95 and daughter Erika

Crystal Worley ’83 wrapped up her career as a teacher, coach and administrator, retiring from her position as director of athletics with Franklin County High School at the end of the 2020-21 school year. She had served as FCHS’s athletics director since July 2014 and was the athletics director at William Byrd High School in Williamsburg from 2006-14. Her career in education also took her to the Roanoke County and Louisa County public schools. She was a physical education major at Longwood and played a year on the basketball team before she was sidelined by a knee injury.

Joe Damico ’85, director of the Virginia Department of General Services (DGS), is the recipient of the 2021 National Walton Leadership Award from the National Association (continued on Page 26)


Call of the Wild

Business graduate gives up desk job for dream job

Courtesy of Cory Harbour ’11


hen CORY HARBOUR ’11 says his door is always open, it’s not just a figure of speech. As a Virginia Conservation Police officer, his “office” is the woods and waterways of Region 2, District 23—Campbell County, where he works to protect wildlife and to ensure a safe hunting, fishing and boating experience for people enjoying Virginia’s great outdoors. How good is he at his job? He was named the 2020 Conservation Police Officer of the Year by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. That work is a far cry from the desk job he held with a Lynchburg accounting firm after graduating with a Longwood business degree, but it’s much closer to his heart— and his roots. “I almost feel like this job was specifically engineered for my personality,” said Harbour, who grew up hunting, fishing and camping with his father, brother and grandfather. “Throughout my entire life I have been drawn to the outdoors, and I was at a point in my career path that I was ready to take a chance and throw my name in the hat for a dream job. I would imagine that my family’s characteristics and backgrounds had something to do with it as well. My father is a retired Virginia state trooper, my brother is a firefighter/paramedic, and my grandfather was a sheriff.” Some people may not realize that Conservation Police officers are fully certified officers through the Department of Criminal Justice Services, with the authority to enforce all of the laws of Virginia, not just those directly related to hunting and fishing. In fact, Harbour once responded to a call of an intoxicated driver crashing through mailboxes and driving through

Cory Harbour ’11 was named Virginia’s 2020 Conservation Police Officer of the Year. Protecting wildlife, like this tiny bear cub, is one of the things he loves about his job.

yards. He arrived to find the vehicle crashed on a bridge and the driver highly intoxicated. The subject was about to jump from the bridge when Harbour grabbed him and took him into custody, potentially saving his life. “I love working in a specialized field of law enforcement where I get to protect wild animals in wild places with the freedom for independent and proactive enforcement and investigations,” he said. “I find it very rewarding to have a career where I get to serve the community’s needs while having the opportunity to interact and meet hundreds of people who

are enjoying all the outdoor opportunities that Virginia offers.” Harbour counts himself and his family among those people. “Now, as a husband and dad, I still find a few days to hunt, but I usually find myself doing family outdoor activities, including fishing with my daughter, hiking as a family year-round, and enjoying the lake and river during the summer.” This article is based on a December 2020 Q&A by Molly Kirk, creative content manager and editor of Virginia Wildlife magazine, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.


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CLASSNOTES (continued from Page 24)

of State Chief Administrators (NASCA). The highly competitive national award recognizes a state chief administrator for their passion, outstanding service, leadership and commitment to state government. Damico has served as director of DGS since 2018. He was appointed to lead the agency after serving as its deputy director for 16 years. Paul K. Martin ’85 was named regional president for First Bank in the Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County markets, as well as Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Martin joined First Bank in March 2015 to develop the Augusta County market. He began his career at Community Federal in 1986 and now has more than 35 years of experience and expertise in commercial and investment real estate lending and business development. He is a graduate of the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management and serves as treasurer of the Valley Mission. Dr. Tamara Brown ’89, executive dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of North Texas, was the speaker at the Call Me MISTER summer institute banquet in July 2021.

Her Day Always Starts with a Bang Alumna tests missiles and rockets at Naval Surface Warfare Center


ANIE PEPITONE ’02 experience is described by her superiors as works in an explosive “unsurpassed in the division.” environment—and she Missile and rocket testing may not be loves it. the usual fare for Longwood mathematics The King George graduates like Pepitone, but for her it was native tests explosives probably a frequent topic of dinner and energetic systems at conversation. Her father worked in the Naval Surface Warfare same Dahlgren department in the 1970s Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD). and ’80s. Working in the Weapons System Test Her family ties to Dahlgren now extend Engineering Branch of the Gun and Electric to her wife, who works in the Strategic and Weapon Systems Computing Department, she Systems DepartONE OF THE THINGS THAT spends most of ment. The couple HAS REALLY SURPRISED ME her time at the married in 2014. Explosives “One of the OVER THE YEARS IS HOW Experimental Area things that has SOCIETY IN GENERAL HAS (EEA) in the really surprised me CHANGED AND HOW Potomac River Test over the years is Range complex. how society in ACCEPTING PEOPLE HAVE Her responsibilities general has BECOME OF DIFFERENT include performing changed and how hazard assessment accepting people RACES, RELIGIONS AND testing, which have become of SEXUAL ORIENTATIONS.’ refers to anything different races, from temperature religions and sexual —LANIE PEPITONE ’02 and humidity orientations,” testing to shock and vibration, as well as Pepitone said. “I remember in high school, 40-foot drop and insensitive munitions it wasn’t something that was talked about. testing, she said. I was worried about how I would be Her primary area of expertise is with [perceived] in the workforce, but I have Navy missiles and Rocket Motor Static Fire had nothing but positive interactions here (RMSF) testing, where her engineering at Dahlgren.”

26 I


Send us your class notes

If you have any news from your professional or personal life, we’d love to hear about it. Please email the details to us at alumni@longwood.edu. Remember to give us your full name, the year you graduated and the degree you received.


Karen Austin ’91 is the new executive director of the Struthers Library Theatre in Warren, Pennsylvania. She had been a volunteer and a member of the theatre’s board of trustees prior to her appointment. “I think the Struthers Library Theatre is an absolute gem,” Austin said. “It has been so thrilling to see the diversity and vitality of its programming, and I am excited to have this opportunity to ensure continuity and ongoing progress.” The theatre is committed to “entertaining, enriching and educating the people of Warren County and the surrounding region in all the qualities and delights of live theatre, music, dance and film.” Polly Hathaway Raible ’91 was named the executive director of the Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation as of July 2021. She joined the

foundation in 2020 as its corporate social responsibility manager. “In less than a year, Polly has put our foundation in a position to make a major impact on the health of Virginians,” said Frank Lucia, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Virginia. “She has really brought a high level of organization and strategic thinking to the foundation, and we are poised to do some great things because of her leadership.” Prior to joining Delta Dental, Raible served as senior director for population health with the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. Her prior experience in healthcare included developing strategies, building partnerships and focusing on quality outcomes with Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center, Virginia Health Care Foundation, Wake County Medical Society and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation. Raible is a member of Longwood’s Board of Visitors. Dr. Lisa Williams ’91 was named assistant director of the Maggie Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies in Richmond. She came to the school in 2008, teaching English and serving as an English department chair. Williams earned an MFA in creative writing and an Ed.D. in educational leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Martin Astrop ’94 was named director of athletics at Washington & Lee High School in Montross. Formerly the director of athletics at Colonial Beach High School, Astrop welcomed the opportunity to work in a larger district that offers a wider variety of sports. “I love working with young students/athletes every day,” he told NewsOnTheNeck.com. “It keeps me young, and I love watching them grow and mature. Being an athletics director is very rewarding.”


Getting Creative. When life gives you lemons, make a Facebook page. At least that’s what art teacher Emily Overstreet ’06 did last year when the pandemic required a quick adjustment in her teaching methods. One of her strategies when she had to switch from her classroom in the Cumberland County Public Schools to remote instruction was to create Mrs. O’s Art Studio, a Facebook page where she began posting photos of her students’ artwork, video art lessons complete with animation and more. “Not only did these activities give students a much-needed break from their core academics, but they also provided students with a creative outlet that they desperately needed,” she told the Farmville Herald. And even though she and her students are back in the classroom this year, Mrs. O’s Art Studio is still going strong. You can find her fun posts at facebook.com/mrsoartstudio and videos at youtube.com/c/MrsOsArtStudio. When instruction went virtual last year, Emily Overstreet ’06, an art teacher in the Cumberland County Public Schools, poured her creativity into a Facebook page and a YouTube channel where children could find art activities to do at home.

Joan Hite, M.S. ’94, took on the new role of assistant superintendent of instruction for the Mecklenburg County Public Schools in July 2021. “The 2021 school year was an incredibly difficult one for everyone for a number of (continued on Page 28)


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CLASSNOTES (continued from Page 27)

Rich Cooley/Northern Virginia Daily

reasons,” Superintendent of Schools Paul Nichols told the South Boston News & Record/Mecklenburg Sun when Hite’s appointment was announced. “Preparing teachers and students to meet academic expectations in the midst of all the turmoil was a monumental task, and the instructional team led by Mrs. Hite provided excellent guidance. The coming year will have its own unique challenges… . Mrs. Hite and her team will be quite busy.” A resident of Clarksville, Hite has worked for the school division 31 years, most recently serving as executive director of curriculum and instruction. She began her career in the classroom, teaching in elementary grades, and then moved into leadership roles in administration.

The Perfect Fit. Mary Frances Bukva ’72 retired in

Jamie Finney ’98 is a supervisory protective security advisor for the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. After graduating from Longwood with a sociology degree, he served six years in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer. In his current position, he is responsible for working with critical infrastructure partners to conduct security assessments, identify vulnerabilities and provide mitigation measures to address those vulnerabilities. He conducts active shooter and armed aggressor preparedness trainings for “soft target crowded places” and works with planners of special events around Virginia—Heart of Virginia Festival, Presidential Inauguration, Super Bowls and many others—to increase safety for participants. He also develops and facilitates tabletop exercises to test and validate written emergency, security and continuity plans for a variety of organizations and agencies, including Longwood. Also at Longwood, he shares his experience and expertise with students serving internships with the Longwood Police Department and Office of Emergency Management.

June 2021 after working for 48 years in the Warren County School system, finishing her career as dean of students for Warren County High School. She taught physical education for the first 30 years of her career, mostly seventh through ninth grades, and then a few years at the high-school level. Her final transition was to 2000s administrative work. “It came at a good time because my knees are not what they used to be,” Bukva told the Northern Virginia Daily newspaper. She had planned to retire at the end of 2020 but it didn’t feel right leaving after a year where students had been learning remotely due to the pandemic. The 2020-21 year seemed to provide a more fitting ending. “Our theme song was, if we make it through December, you know, if we could get that far, maybe we could make it the rest of the year,” McLaughlin, M.S. ’00, was appointBukva said. She made it to graduation in June, where she Kristin ed executive dean of the Weatherford College Wise County (WCWC) campus in Texas. She received honors for her decades of work in education. had been serving as WCWC’s coordinator of 28 I


CLASSNOTES workforce education since the fall of 2017, and previously had worked as a special education teacher, an assistant principal and an assistant superintendent in a public school district, as well as an adjunct instructor at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree, and at Longwood. “Her expansive K-12 leadership experience helped her develop the relationship-building skills that will enable growth in our workforce, dual-credit and general academic programs,” Weatherford College President Tod Allen Farmer told the Weatherford Democrat. Jason Masi ’02 discussed his longtime music career with Steve Houk, Emmy-winning host of “Living on Music with Steve Houk,” in July 2021. The episode featuring Masi can be found on Facebook. Brendan Burke ’03 was named the underwater archaeologist for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR). He had served as the associate director of archaeological research at St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum in Florida before moving back to Virginia, where he became involved with research on historic ships and the maritime commerce of Suffolk and a pilot study of the Appomattox River. Both of those projects received funding from the DHR Threatened Sites Program. Michael Camden ’06 was named the school nutrition and custodial supervisor for the Cumberland (Virginia) County Public Schools. He most recently was principal of Cumberland Middle School and has served in teaching and leadership positions in school districts in Southeast and Central Virginia. Dr. Elena Lucier Ashburn ’07 was named the 2021 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year. She is the principal of Broughton Magnet High School in Raleigh, a position she has held since 2017. She started her career with Teach For America, working as an English teacher at Southern Durham High School. Before joining Broughton, she served as principal of East Garner Middle School and as assistant principal at Fuquay-Varina High School. Ashburn received her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Justin Smith ’08 is among five Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) employees selected to participate in the yearlong Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Next Generation of Leadership (NextGen) Program. Smith, an advanced planning and contract specification branch engineering technician, sees the program as a significant learning opportunity. “I want to use this opportunity to … learn all I can and see how I can better myself as an individual in my career,” he said. “It all starts with understanding NAVSEA as a whole, the complexities of the organization and specifically our integral role here at NNSY. It’s easy to focus on your job and lose sight of the big picture. (continued on Page 30)

Cheri Wood Everett ’84 (left) and Ellen Dailey Wood ’85

Opposites Attract Former roommates’ friendship is still going strong after 35 years


fter just a few minutes with former roommates ELLEN DAILEY WOOD ’85 and CHERI WOOD EVERETT ’84, the dynamics of their relationship become clear. Wood is the extrovert, a mischievous jokester doing her best to shock a smile out of the more proper Everett. Everett feels she should disapprove of her friend’s slightly outrageous remarks but just can’t resist Wood’s humor or her boisterous personality. Apparently it’s been this way ever since the two moved into an apartment—both the apartment and each other sight unseen—for a spring semester toward the end of their studies, Wood in therapeutic recreation and Everett in elementary education. (Everett taught for 36 years in the Chesterfield County Schools. Wood worked for the Chesterfield Parks and Recreation Department for 15 years before training to become a massage therapist; her clients are mostly in their 80s or older.) The pair were back on campus for a visit

this summer—Everett for the first time since graduating from Longwood as co-valedictorian—with their primary destination the Moton Museum. They put all joking aside as they absorbed the museum’s exhibits describing the student strike for better conditions at the then all-Black high school and the closing of the Prince Edward County Schools for five years in an attempt to block integration. But the jokes and the semi-shocked looks began to flow again as they toured the rest of the campus. One of their favorite stories involves the only B that Everett made in her entire college career, that one less-than-perfect grade just happening to come at the end of the semester the two lived together. Everett admits it was the result of giving in to some of her new roommate’s fun-loving (translation: partying) ways. And if you’re wondering if it’s a coincidence that Ellen’s last name is the same as Cheri’s maiden name—it’s not. Ellen married Cheri’s brother, Doug. What attracted Ellen to him is no surprise. “He had a great laugh,” she said.—Sabrina Brown


I 29

CLASSNOTES (continued from Page 29)

NextGen will force me to keep the big picture at the forefront of my mind. I couldn’t pass up on an opportunity that empowers me to broaden my horizons. You don’t get many of those later in life, especially while on the clock.” Smith began his career at NNSY seven years ago when he entered the apprentice program in the Pipefitter Shop. He credits people who have helped him along the way with making this next step possible. “I can think of many seasoned mechanics I’ve learned from along the way. They taught me as much about life lessons as the trade,” said Smith. “I hope all those guys know I was always listening even if I didn’t always want to hear it.”

A Force for Change. Melissa Quesenberry ’16 is

Ian Munro/Harrisonburg Daily News-Record

one of a growing number of women choosing law enforcement as a career. “I fell in love with the career path,” Quesenberry told the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record. “I felt drawn to it. I felt called to do police work.” After graduating from Longwood with a degree in criminology and criminal justice, she initially went to work for the Prince William County Police Department, then signed on with the Harrisonburg Police Department in 2018. She started out on patrol and now works in the Community Resource Unit, helping set up community outreach events, including National Night Out. Marquis D. Mapp ’09 was elected chair of the Virginia Pride executive board of directors in “It helps society to May 2021. Virginia Pride has emerged in the decades since its founding in the 1970s as a major force bringing awareness of the LGBTQIA+ see all types of people community to Richmond and around the state, as well as promoting diversity and unity among in police work,” she the local LGBTQIA+ community. “Our board has been instrumental in gaining the much-needed said, referring to recognition from city officials and ensuring that our voices are at the table when decisions are beworking in the ing made, especially when members of our community are being disproportionately impacted,” traditionally maleMapp, who earned a degree in sociology from Longwood, told the Richmond Free Press. “I accepted this position because I want the commudominated profession. nity to know, as well as see, that folks who look like me can belong in these spaces.” “It really never mattered to me. I knew I 2010s wanted to do it. I didn’t Joseph Baker ’10 signed on with Xbox/Microsoft as a senior program manager in August care. I grew up with a 2021. “I got my absolute dream job—to work on video game accessibility over at Xbox!” Baker reported. He previously worked with the books bunch of brothers, so it’s and retail accessibility team at Amazon. nothing new to be Jennifer Diggs, M.A. ’12, is the new director of Great Oak Academy, the Harrisonburg around the guys.” City Schools’ middle school alternative that 30 I



Longwood’s 1 Hour a Month program is

an ongoing volunteer experience designed for alumni and friends. You’ll be rewarded with Longwood swag depending on your level of participation. Find out more at longwood.edu/alumni/ 1-hour-a-month.

In Memoriam 1940s

Irene Alderman Pinner ’41 Sept. 18, 2021 Ella Pool Crouch ’44 Sept. 7, 2021 Frances Craddock Hardy ’44 March 10, 2021 Edith Jones Bayly ’45 June 8, 2021 Anna Ward Wilson ’45 July 19, 2021 Mary Lee Farrier ’46 July 21, 2021 Cile Sarver Hetzer ’47 June 27, 2021 Gene Harrison Knoop ’47 June 24, 2020 Martha Wells O’Brien ’47 March 16, 2021 Harriette Sutherlin Overstreet ’48 June 17, 2021 Helen Dortch Bugg ’49 July 28, 2020 Joan Elizabeth Glenn ’49 Aug. 11, 2021 Jean Craig Morton ’49 May 28, 2021


Nelwyn O’Brien Smith ’50 May 25, 2021 Mary Thomas Fary ’51 July 6, 2021 Romine Mahood Overbey ’51 Jan. 20, 2021 Bonnie Gerrells Goard ’52 Aug. 8, 2021 Novella Goode Horner ’52 July 18, 2021 Patricia Taylor Rigler ’53 May 15, 2021 Anne Foster Bowden ’54 July 19, 2021 Mary Evans McKinney ’54 July 5, 2021 Patricia Bodkin Beale ’55 July 12, 2021 Nell Cake Dove ’55 July 7, 2021 Sylvia Bradshaw Funkhouser ’55 June 23, 2021 Jacqueline Edwards Bly ’57 June 5, 2021 Nancy Anderson Camp ’58 May 26, 2021 Maxine Pittard Crowder ’58 Aug. 27, 2021 Ellen Webb Dempsey ’58 Aug. 12, 2021 Carolyn Virginia Meadows ’58 July 27, 2021 Ann Baker Dillon ’59 May 28, 2021 Helen McKelder McCraw ’59 March 14, 2021 Patricia Campbell Most ’59 July 2, 2021 Margaret Blankinship Woody ’59 June 29, 2021


Rose Lawrence Rice ’60 Aug. 12, 2021 Evelyn Beckham Billings ’62 June 6, 2021 Merle Holaday Stone ’62 May 24, 2021 Lewis Francis Cockerill ’64 July 6, 2021 Carolyn Huddleston McCarty ’64 Aug. 22, 2021

James Baxter Carter ’65 Sept. 2, 2021 Martha Spitzer Nielsen ’65 July 23, 2021 Virginia Starkey Self ’65 June 19, 2021 Linda Jones Cole ’66 June 2, 2021 Paige Lois Mitchell ’66 June 12, 2021 Vicki Jester Ford ’67 Aug. 20, 2021 F. Loretta Pridgen ’67 June 1, 2021 Nancy Shelton Worrell ’67 July 4, 2021 Joan Gibbs Helm ’68 Aug. 1, 2021 Harriet Shields Newton ’69 Jan. 1, 2021

focuses on “big-picture learning” or “project-based learning.” She previously was an English teacher in Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Staunton and Chesterfield, and an adjunct faculty member at James Madison University. Chelsea Brown ’13 is a news editor at Screen Rant, an online publisher of content about movies, television and all things entertainment. Brown, who earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Longwood, originally planned to pursue a career in mental health counseling. Then her passion for movies and writing took over. She began work as a member of the BuzzFeed editorial staff and joined the Screen Rant team in February 2021. Kate Miller ’13 got married May 8, 2021, with many of her Alpha Sigma Tau sisters in attendance. She is the current president of the Alpha Sigma Tau Tidewater Alumnae Chapter and recently celebrated her fifth anniversary at GEICO with her fourth promotion as a bodily injury claims adjuster. Lynzie Adams ’14, who teaches eighth-grade English at Halifax County Middle School, earned her M.S.Ed. in reading and literacy from Longwood in August 2021.


Sharon French Harris ’70 Sept. 4, 2021 Cheryl Draper BrisBois Whitmore ’72 July 17, 2021 Martha Stephenson Barry ’74 July 22, 2021 Brenda Nunn Davis ’76 Aug. 10, 2021 Barbara Valosio Wilhelm ’76 June 22, 2021 Ruth Ellen Maxey Crumpler ’78 August 7, 2021 Mildred Belle Horner ’78 June 25, 2021 Susan Agnes DeLong Smith ’79 Aug. 11, 2021


H. Franklin Grant ’80 June 11, 2021 Daniel James Miller ’84 May 31, 2021 Colleen Vaughan Hunt ’88 July 6, 2021


Christian Wayne Galoci ’97 May 26, 2021


Margaret Lee Fowlkes ’02 Sept. 2, 2021 Anita Davis Higy ’09 Aug. 4, 2021


Madison Taylor Wessells ’22 Sept. 13, 2021

Faculty, Staff and Friends

Thomas E. DeWolfe Nov. 13, 2020 William D. Gravitt May 28, 2021 Elizabeth Griffin Holland Feb. 9, 2021 Mary Elizabeth Kersey Aug. 31, 2021 Sidney Jacqueline Paterson June 23, 2021 Elizabeth Cohen Pope Aug. 1, 2021 Billie F. Risacher July 5, 2021 Dr. Henry I. Willett Jr. Nov. 11, 2021

Lisa Williams Brown ’14 (reading specialist endorsement) teaches second grade in Hanover County, but she hasn’t always stayed so close to home. One of the most memorable times in her life was the year she spent with her husband in Kazakhstan. She taught English to students working in the medical field and partnered with local schools to provide postgraduate instruction to teachers on topics including balanced literacy and its components, and writing in the elementary classroom. Brown and her husband were not new to Kazakhstan, having gone through the process of adopting their son from there, and her husband had traveled there regularly to do humanitarian work. Eventually, everything came together for them both to go, Brown said. (continued on Page 32)




CLASSNOTES (continued from Page 31)

“We sold our home, downsized to a townhome, gave almost everything away, and moved overseas. We loved it there and really miss it. However, being away from our children and family was very hard. It was probably the hardest thing we have ever done.”

Multitasker Extraordinaire

Alumna juggles teaching, writing, leading book club and more


A SHEERA LEE ’94 has a lot of irons in the fire, but burnout is nowhere in sight. A resident of Mebane, North Carolina, she brings excitement and energy to each of her endeavors, which include teaching elementary schoolchildren with disabilities in Southside Virginia, running a consulting business, writing books and leading a “hybrid” book club with both online and in-person participants. Lee’s business, Read You Later Consulting, offers promotional, strategizing and coaching services to book authors. She is a junior literary agent with SBR Media and is herself the author of two books, both available on Amazon: Think Positive Book Planner and Don’t Forget to Shine, which she wrote to “show women the strength and beauty we all possess inside.” In 2009, she founded the Round Table Readers Book Club to create a safe space where women can bond over books. Currently comprising 17 “vivacious women” in Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland, the in-person club has supported members through many “life lessons,” including marriages, divorces, births, deaths, promotions and layoffs, said Lee. The club also has evolved to include an online component, which currently has more than 550 followers on Facebook. Capping everything off each year is Lee’s annual event, Lights! Camera! Action!, which she describes as a “family reunion with people you actually like” and a “two-day blast of energy.” Readers, authors and other artists converge for the interactive event, which incorporates music, spoken word, painting, panels, workshops and filmmaking.—Sabrina Brown

32 I


Zachary Pittard ’14 made a presentation to the Petersburg Civil War Roundtable at Pamplin Historical Park & the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier in July 2021. A park ranger, he spoke on the challenges of supplying an army during the Civil War in his presentation titled “Considering What Has Been Said of Their Condition: Confederate Supply and Logistics.” Pittard addressed some of the unique challenges that faced the Confederate forces. For example, unlike Northern ports, many Southern ports were blockaded, which restricted trade and prevented supplies coming from overseas from making it to the troops. Pittard, who received his B.A. in history from Longwood, is a former educator and ranger with Virginia State Parks at Sailor’s Creek Battlefield. He is currently employed as an interpretive ranger at Pamplin Historical Park while pursuing his master’s degree at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Samantha Wangner ’19 signed on with Ferrum College as an assistant athletic trainer in August 2021. The sports medicine staff team at Ferrum serves more than 500 student-athletes each year. Wangner earned her master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion with a concentration in sports psychology from California University of Pennsylvania in May 2021. Jessica Yates ’19 (educational leadership endorsement) is the new assistant principal at Hidden Valley Middle School in Roanoke County. Yates has 10 years of instructional experience at Botetourt County Schools. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Hollins University, a master’s degree in teaching from Mary Baldwin University and a certificate in administration and supervision from Longwood.

2020s Austin D. Agee ’21 began a management internship with the Bank of Charlotte County in June 2021 to prepare for a management position at the bank. His degree from Longwood is in business administration with a concentration in marketing. Madison Hommey ’21 received the Bob McCloskey Insurance Big South Conference Graduate Fellowship. The fellowship includes a $2,000 award to help fund Hommey’s graduate studies, which she will pursue at Longwood beginning next fall. A four-year letter winner on the Lancer women’s soccer team, Hommey is the sixth Longwood student-athlete to receive the McCloskey Graduate Fellowship since the Lancers joined the conference in 2012-13.

SPC Sydney Gay ’19 graduated from the United States Army Basic Combat Training program at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in March 2021. After basic training, she was reassigned to Ft. Benning, Georgia, where she completed an intense three-week training program at the U.S. Army Airborne School. Gay earned her “Jump Wings” with four successful jumps and was awarded the Army Parachutist Badge in April 2021. She officially is now a paratrooper. Gay will complete her advanced individual training as a parachute rigger at Fort Lee and then will begin training at the Army Ranger School at Ft. Benning. As a Longwood student, she was a standout pitcher for the softball team. She was a force in the circle for four years and finished her career with the Lancers as one of three pitchers in program history to accumulate 70plus wins and 550-plus strikeouts. A four-time All-Big South performer, she is one of only 21 players in Big South history to earn All-Big South accolades in each of her four seasons.

Katelyn Housler ’21 received an $8,500 fellowship from Phi Kappa Phi to support the first year of her studies in the MBA program at William & Mary. Ilija Stefanovic ’21 signed a professional contract with ACS Lumina in the Romanian Liga 1, becoming the second player in three seasons under head coach Griff Aldrich to advance to the professional ranks. Stefanovic, who is from Novi Sad, Serbia, played two years at Longwood. As a senior in 2020-21, he emerged as a key reserve in the frontcourt rotation, appearing in 17 games with one start to help the Lancers win a schoolrecord 10 Big South games and advance to the College Basketball Invitational for the second time in the past three years. He graduated with a degree in business administration with a concentration in finance.




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Heads Up

Silly hats take center stage in Longwood’s Convocation tradition, but there was also serious talk this year from Board of Visitors Rector Pia Trigiani, who has seen remarkable campus change during her tenure. Page 14

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