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2009 News Releases

New Longwood cookbook to raise money for two new scholarships

November 4, 2009

Longwood University Cookbook: A Taste of Longwood

The Longwood University community will soon have a new batch of recipes and will be raising money for two new scholarships, thanks to one staff member's idea and the Staff Advisory Committee (SAC).

Some 300 copies of a new cookbook published by the SAC, A Taste of Longwood, will be available by mid-November. Proceeds from the book will go toward a pair of $500 scholarships, one for a rising junior and the other for a degree-seeking staff member. Copies of the cookbook, which costs $10, can be reserved by visiting the Cashiering office (Lancaster 201A). Once the book is available, it will be sold at various locations around campus.

The 57-page cookbook, being printed by Longwood Printing Services, contains about 130 recipes submitted mostly by staff members and also a few faculty members. It features photographs of Longwood buildings accompanied by a history of each building.

"We've already received about 50 requests for the book, which is a good start," said Sharon Sercombe (Academic Affairs), who has coordinated the effort along with Tiffany Dempsey (Administration & Finance). "It's a good cause and a good book. There are some great recipes."

The idea for the book came from Dempsey. "I put the suggestion out there, but it's been a group effort," said Dempsey, who contacted the SAC last spring with the idea. "I thought it was a great idea," said Sercombe, then a SAC member. The committee had to approve the idea, and several offices also had to sign off on the project, including Kathy Worster, vice president for administration & finance and SAC adviser; President Patricia Cormier; Financial Aid; Accounting; and University Advancement.

The recipes were solicited through a flyer and campus emails over a five-week period that began in early August. "We received more than we expected, and we got a good variety of recipes," said Dempsey. "We were aiming for at least 100 recipes. Some people submitted the maximum number of recipes, which was five."

Added Sercombe: "We even got recipes from our satellite campuses in Martinsville and South Boston. We received Weight Watcher recipes, ethnic recipes, and home-cooking recipes. We let people be funny if they wanted to. For example, some of the people inserted personal comments with their recipes, and we got a 'Recipe for Happiness.' In the section called 'This & That,' which is a catch-all for things that are not exactly mainstream recipes, we received entries for marinades, salad dressings, and (non-edible) things like play dough and cinnamon ornaments.

"The book will be available through the end of January, when we have to cut off sales, temporarily, so we can know how much we'll have for the scholarships. They may be larger or smaller than $500. We have to cover printing costs, but all the remaining proceeds will go to the scholarships. This is one of the only times we know of that staff have made an effort to raise money for student scholarships."

Recipients of both scholarships, which will be based on financial need, have to have a grade-point average of at least 2.5 and write an essay. The scholarships will be awarded by a committee that will include one faculty member, one staff member, and one administrator and will work in conjunction with the Financial Aid and Registrar's offices. The application deadline for the scholarships is March 16, 2010, and they will be awarded by the end of June for the fall 2010 semester.

In addition to campus photos in the book, there is a "Brief History of Longwood" on the inside back cover. "We wanted to feature Longwood in the book," Sercombe said. "We're calling it a souvenir edition because it focuses on the history of Longwood." Dempsey added that the book is one that "people can relate to." For alumni who contributed recipes, the year in which they graduated is listed.

The SAC subcommittee that handled the project also included Karen Fulcher (Registrar's office) and Cindy Wilson (Administration & Finance), who edited and proofread the recipes. Tim Trent, director of Printing Services, did the book's layout, colors, and binding. Dennis Sercombe, associate vice president for marketing & communications, provided the photos and related information. Dennis and Sharon Sercombe handled the design concept.

Dempsey and Sharon Sercombe are longtime cookbook collectors. "My mother-in-law gives me a cookbook every year for Christmas," Dempsey said. Sercombe said, "I love to cook, and I get cookbooks everywhere I travel. When I traveled recently to Niagara Falls, I picked one up."

Sercombe is excited about the Longwood cookbook. "More copies of the book will be printed as people request them," she said. "The book might also interest students, in addition to faculty and staff. If it's successful, we plan on future editions. Either we'll reprint it or come up with a new theme."