Robert “Bob” Burger Jr. grew up in Farmville, less than a mile from campus, and his Longwood roots run deep.

Bob's mother, Elsie Thompson Burger ’45, was an assistant librarian for almost 20 years. He has fond childhood memories of playing around campus and even sitting in on classes thanks to his aunt, Dr. Elizabeth Burger Jackson ’34, who played field hockey and later became a professor of natural sciences.

“My earliest memory is my Aunt Libby taking my sister and me to the French pool and teaching us how to swim,” he said.

He bleeds blue and white. He’s a familiar face cheering on student-athletes at Lancer sporting events, especially home-field hockey games. Longwood’s field hockey field is named in honor of his beloved aunt, and he has established several scholarships to support student-athletes and other Longwood students.

“Seeing these young people have a chance to go to a great school, where they might not have had that opportunity if not for a scholarship, that’s why it’s important to me,” he said.

A fifth-generation funeral director, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Campbell University and an associate’s degree from John Tyler Community College. He formerly served on the Longwood Foundation Board, including a term as president.

The Honorary Alumni Award is presented to individuals who are not alumni but have given extraordinary service to Longwood and who, through their deeds and actions, reflect the values of a true citizen leader.

Married to alumna Linda Carter Burger ’72, Burger said the award has special meaning. “My wife can no longer tell people that she married a townie,” he said with a chuckle. “Now she has to say she married an alum. I like the sound of that better.”

Do you know someone who may not have gone to Longwood but bleeds blue and white? Nominate them for an Alumni Award today!

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