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From the President

President Patricia P. Cormier
Patricia P. Cormier President

Dear Friends:

Things just look different this year. To most, the opening of school appears as always with the youthful energy of our students evident on the walkways, and in the dorms, classrooms and athletic fields. But to me I am seeing these wonders for my last time as President of Longwood University and that compels me to look deeper into each passing student's eyes. As I do this, I see a reflection of others who have passed through here in the 14 years of my tenure and I recall the highlights of a precious time in my life.

When I arrived at Longwood College I knew I had found a place where I could live, work and grow. And our College grew to a University, offering a broader educational opportunity to those students who choose to strive toward citizen leadership. Longwood has continued to develop in stature and has become a star in the Commonwealth's world of higher education. The University is perceived by Virginians, and many from other states, to be an academic destination.

Longwood has nurtured a viable philanthropic culture. We planned, executed and completed the institution's first comprehensive campaign, raising over $33 million. Our endowment has exceeded $55 million in assets in this period. Although it has retreated during this recession, it is steadily being restored. We are poised to see this culture continue to evolve bearing generous fruit in years to come.

We survived the Rotunda fire and now Ruffner and Grainger stand as beautiful as they ever have, in their full glory representing what is great about Longwood both in its past and in its future. Just last month, this horrible tragedy was finally ended with the opening of Blackwell Hall. It is simply gorgeous.

Every academic building on this campus, save the music building, has been renovated. Three villages have been created for student housing offering the best of both worlds, university-managed housing in an off-campus setting. Cox and Wheeler halls have been renovated and Brock Commons has enabled Longwood to fold in upon itself creating a true campus. Curry and Frazer, well, they still rise high.

Our pride is evident in our students, our alumni, and our facilities. The new Health and Fitness Center, the Chichester Science Center, and the new Center for Communication Studies and Theatre are not only beautiful, but also represent our commitment to sustainability. Now Jarman Auditorium is set to be renovated. Incidentally, you may also know we are a NCAA Division I University, and I am confident we will be successful in our pursuit of the conference that is the very best for Longwood.

Our latest accomplishment is the launch of the new Nursing Program. Not only is this a wonderful addition to Longwood's academic offerings, but it also serves the Commonwealth and the country as it confronts the nursing shortage. This program has brought a strong enrollment, recognition throughout the Commonwealth, and an incredible gift of $1 million from Farmville's Dr. Edward Gordon.

As I write this letter I feel such incredible appreciation for being so very blessed to have been on this ride with all of you. Things really are different. Thank you, Longwood, for the privilege of serving you.