Dear Longwood community,

To everything there is a season, and it is sad to say a farewell. After 17 years at Longwood, our Director of Athletics Michelle Meadows has accepted a leadership position at a prominent national athletics organization.

The details will be made public later this week by her new organization, but Michelle has been tapped for an executive role that will expose her to a broad range of work in which she especially excels, as well as extend the involvement she’s had in sports nationally, such as her recent work in softball organizationally over the past several years at the national level through NCAA committee service --- a sport she cherishes.

It’s no surprise she’s gotten this opportunity. What Michelle has accomplished in the range of positions she has held since arriving at Longwood in 2005, and especially since taking the lead in the department since 2018, is remarkable. Before her leadership, Longwood had never finished higher than eighth in the Sasser Cup standings, which measure overall performance in the Big South Conference. This year we finished fourth among 12 member institutions, reaching our conference championship game in four sports --- and of course making our men’s and women’s basketball debut in March Madness. Meanwhile, our student-athletes had an all-time record high GPA this past year, with 70 on the dean’s list, 26 on the President’s List, and 10 graduating summa cum laude.

Most importantly, Michelle has been a beloved colleague throughout campus, and a wonderful mentor for our coaches and especially our student-athletes. Her own experience as a star Division I athlete at Virginia Tech has made her a particularly understanding listener, and her connection to young people is an example of Longwood at its best. She is a dear friend --- a Lancer for life, and we will miss her greatly.

Through her dedication, we are also in a strong position moving forward. Michelle will remain with us through most of the summer and make sure all systems are go heading into the fall. And I’ve asked soon-to-be VP emeritus Tim Pierson to serve in a liaison role to the department over the coming year, deploying his Longwood wisdom as a resource for coaches, staff, student-athletes and the wider campus community. Likewise, this past spring as the NCAA basketball tournament run was unfolding, Michelle recruited Austin Shaver to an administrative post in the department, and Austin is poised to serve as a day-to-day operational lead point of contact for Athletics. This will ensure good progress into the fall, and over the summer we’ll be considering the best steps for permanent leadership for the department, to build on the strong foundation Michelle will leave in place.

Many thanks --- and our best wishes to Michelle, and our deep gratitude,