Dear campus community,

Amidst crisp fall weather that has campus looking especially beautiful, I just wanted to share a brief note, as well as reminders about today’s Longwood Scholarship Day and several upcoming events.

First, Tuesday’s elections brought about – as many expected – a change in the composition of the General Assembly in Richmond. As you hear me say often, Longwood’s reliance on the Commonwealth is now proportionally much smaller than ever before. But public support remains essential to our strength. Longwood and Virginia’s other public universities naturally make great efforts to build relationships and understanding about our work across both sides of the aisle, so no matter who may have the upper hand in the legislature or governor’s office, we are well positioned. I am confident that will be the case going forward.

This year – as to varying degrees happens every year – we will no doubt see powerful competitive budget pressures on the new General Assembly. And careful stewardship of current dollars will always be an essential part of securing such support going forward. That said, Virginia’s economy is strong. Perhaps more importantly, there is great admiration for Longwood, and broad understanding in Richmond how deeply our civic and economic prosperity is tied to higher education generally. At a time of continued dysfunction and conflict in Washington, I feel profoundly optimistic about Virginia and about Longwood. And as a reminder, we will have Jeff Schapiro, the leading authority on Virginia politics, here for a public talk about the post-election landscape on Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. in Soza Ballroom. I hope you can attend.

Here on campus, the fall has been a time of real energy in our work together – positioning Longwood trough Civitae and the other aspects of our strategic plan as a distinctive and special place, with faculty mentoring and other transformative academic experiences at the heart.

Radcliff Hall has opened as the elegant welcome point for prospective families and other campus visitors, complemented inside by a historical exhibit that conveys some of our community’s consequential history -- and in particular the role of young people in shaping that history. A reminder: there will be an open house for the campus community from next Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 3-5 p.m. (There will also be an open house for the broader Farmville/Prince Edward community on Nov. 26).

Finally, as you may have already seen on social media, today marks Longwood’s first-ever fall day of giving, Longwood Scholarship Day. Much like Love Your Longwood Day each spring, Longwood Scholarship Day is full day of giving focused entirely on supporting student financial aid.

We all have seen students’ lives transformed by the chance to come to Longwood, and for many, scholarship support is what makes that possible. That’s why scholarships are Longwood’s top philanthropic priority. When faculty and staff participate, regardless of the amount they gave, it makes a powerful statement that extends far beyond campus about our community and commitment to our mission.

You can make your gift online here -- or in-person with cash, check, or card at the tent near Ruffner Fountain, from 11-3:30. Thank you for supporting the great work of the alma mater and for your hard work each day.

Many thanks,