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2013 News Releases

Longwood president cites students' "lifelong connection" in Convocation remarks

September 17, 2013

During Convocation, seniors are presented outrageously decorated mortarboards by their little sisters/little brothers in a long-standing Longwood custom known as Kelly Farr (left) and Blaine Mills show off their mortarboards. During Convocation, seniors are presented outrageously decorated mortarboards by their little sisters/little brothers in a long-standing Longwood custom known as "capping."

Longwood University students’ connection with their school isn’t just for four years—it’s for life, they were told at Convocation by their new president.

"You will realize, in a way you couldn’t have even imagined as a freshman, how much you’ve come to love this place," said President W. Taylor Reveley IV at the ceremony Sept. 12 officially opening the academic year. "The feeling that will begin to build in you is the joy of knowing that you’re going to have a lifelong connection to this place. Longwood is truly wonderful at building lifelong connections."

Reveley recalled the beginning of his senior year at Princeton, shortly after he had returned from a study abroad experience the preceding summer in which he worked on an archaeological project in Cyprus. "As I sat in the cafeteria that fall, I remember the realization that my senior year was under way and that college was almost done," he said.

In his Convocation remarks, Reveley disagreed with one view on the future of higher education.

"There are some who think that the future of college education is some techno-utopian online experience. I don’t think that’s true. I think they’re wrong," he said. "I think that college is about experiences like this, about summer turning to fall, about studying abroad, about the friendships that you make, the maturing that happens, the bonding that goes on with your professors and one another. And that’s irreplaceable.

"Somebody quipped to me the other day that replacing college with some kind of online experience would be like replacing Thanksgiving with just a 3,000-calorie protein bar, and I think that’s true."

Six faculty were honored at Convocation for superior teaching:

  • Dr. Derek Taylor, professor of English—the Maria Bristow Starke Faculty Excellence Award
  • Sharon Menegoni, associate professor of athletic training and program director—the Maude Glenn Raiford Award
  • Dr. Sarah Porter, assistant professor of chemistry—the Maude Glenn Raiford Junior Faculty Teaching Award
  • Dr. David Coles, professor of history and chair of the Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy—the Provost’s Scholarship Award
  • Dr. Pamela Tracy, associate professor of communication studies—the William David Stuart Leadership and Service Award
  • Dr. Leah Shilling-Traina, assistant professor of mathematics education—the Junior Faculty Award

The Maude Glenn Raiford Junior Faculty Teaching Award, the Provost’s Scholarship Award and the William David Stuart Leadership and Service Award were presented for the first time. The Stuart award honors Dr. Bill Stuart, a Longwood communication studies faculty member who died in September 2012.