Such Stuff as Dreams are Made Of ...
Each year, thousands of people come to Longwood to fulfill a dream. Some of them dream of beautiful landscapes; some dream of owning a business; others dream about teaching kindergartners. Those who succeed get a lot of help along the way. And in some way, every one of them is touched by a donor.
Brock Commons - a dream of bricks and mortar and trees and grass
In May 2000, Joan Perry Brock ('64) and her husband Macon F. Brock Jr. made a $3 million commitment to Longwood. Brock Commons will be the result - a beautifully landscaped promenade to replace Pine Street as the center of Longwood's campus. The Brocks made this generous gift in the earliest stage of Longwood's first campaign. Joan Brock says, "Longwood College provided me with not only a valuable education, but lifelong friends. This lead gift is my way of showing appreciation to Longwood which has added so much depth to my life."
The Brocks were co-founders of Dollar Tree Stores Inc., founded in 1986. The Winter 2001 issue of Longwood featured the couple and highlighted Joan Brock's interest in and service to higher education. The couple have made other leadership gifts to colleges including Randolph-Macon College, of which Macon Brock is an alumnus.
Longwood President Patricia P. Cormier says of Brock Commons, "Ultimately it may be the most unique, dramatic and aesthetically pleasing physical improvement the campus has ever known." She adds, "It will not only enhance the beauty of our campus, it will also make our campus much safer for students with the closing of Pine Street."
In announcing this gift, the largest private capital gift in the history of the college, President Cormier said, "This idea has been a dream of ours for many years and, thanks to Joan and Macon Brock, that dream will soon become a reality."
You gotta have art!
Longwood's first endowed chair honors the late Barbara Bishop '60, an alumna who became a prominent member of the art faculty. The endowment was established by her mother.
According to Dr. David Cordle, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, "The endowed chair allows for a special kind of faculty appointment. It provides the means to seek out and hire a scholar or artist with a national reputation for achievement in his or her field. Often this is someone who can contribute expertise in an area of specialization not currently covered in the program. The potential also exists for very effective outreach, with the appointee serving as an ambassador for the program and the College externally."
Mary H. Bishop, a longtime Longwood supporter who died in May 2000, left $1.3 million in her estate establishing the Barbara Lee Bishop Eminent Scholar Endowment, which will fund the Barbara Lee Bishop Chair and the Bishop Scholarship. Some $1 million is set aside for the chair in the art department, and approximately $300,000 endows renewable scholarships for art majors.
The endowed chair and the scholarship honor her only child, Barbara ('60), who taught at Longwood from 1965 until retiring due to poor health in 1990. A one-time president of the Virginia Art Education Association, she chaired the art department for 14 years and was the driving force behind the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts. She served as its first executive director before dying in 1991 at the age of 52.
Mrs. Bishop and friends of her daughter also established the Barbara L. Bishop Distinguished Lecture Series in the Visual Arts, which began in 1992. The main gallery at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts is named the Barbara L. Bishop Gallery in her honor.
Mrs. Bishop, a lifelong Roanoke resident who lived to be 89, was herself an artist. "Mary Bishop was the influence who created the artist in Barbara," says Homer Springer, professor of art and a longtime friend of both women.
Harriet Butterworth '51 and William Tomlinson Miller
Harriet Butterworth and William Tomlinson Miller serve as examples to young alumni of what it means to be involved with one's alma mater over the course of a lifetime. Mrs. Miller has served as vice-president of the Longwood Alumnae Association, president of the Richmond Longwood Alumnae Association, and most recently several terms on the Advisory Board of the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts. Similarly, her husband Bill has been an avid alumnus of his alma mater, Virginia Tech.
A true lady in every sense of the word, Harriet has led the way for Board giving at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, frequently anticipating the Center's needs and demonstrating uncommon generosity in meeting those needs. Indeed, the Millers' gifts have provided the core of the LCVA's current programming endowment, which makes possible dynamic exhibitions and unique learning opportunities for Longwood students and others in the Farmville community.
Whether through exhibition tours for local elementary students, interdisciplinary programming for Longwood students, or the monthly Art for Lunch series that draws a regular crowd of professionals and retirees - the LCVA programming endowment supports arts programming that enhances the quality of life for all, both on campus and in the community.
It comes as no surprise that Harriet is a longtime supporter of the arts. As a first year student at State Teachers College, Harriet had already fronted for a dance band for two years during high school and professed the hope of one day singing with a band. By the time she graduated four years later, things had changed. STC had become Longwood College and Harriet Butterworth had new dreams and aspirations. Upon graduating from Longwood, Harriet immediately went to work for the FBI.
In September of the same year she married William T. Miller. After her children were born, Harriet turned again to her interest in the arts. This time she took up painting and needlepoint. She won awards for her work and eventually became president of the Tuckahoe Artists' Association. This lifelong love of the arts has led Harriet to be an effective voice for the arts and one of the LCVA's most esteemed supporters.
Scholarships - the stuff that many students' (and their parents') dreams are made of
The Waverly M. Cole Scholarship Fund
Kay Orr - a quiet bequest
Some people accept the fact they will never really know how their gift benefits others, but they do know it is for a worthy purpose. That was the case for Kay Orr, class of 1964.
Miss Orr died of cancer on April 20, 2000, leaving Longwood one-half of her residuary estate of approximately $750,000. The Orr bequest came as a complete surprise to Longwood.
For many years, Orr made small contributions to Longwood's annual fund, but in no way indicated that she had included a major gift for the college in her will. Notified immediately after her death, the Longwood Foundation was instructed to use the money for scholarships for students attending Longwood College. Held in memory of her parents Waller and Pearl Orr, the bequest was one of the first six-figure gifts included in the scholarship component of the Campaign for Longwood.
Orr dedicated her life to education. She worked in Stafford County schools for 36 years, first as a business teacher and administrator at Stafford High School and then as a guidance counselor at Hartwood Elementary School.
After her death, Orr was described by friends (in a story that appeared in The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg) as "a quiet person who never tooted her own horn." Her classmates at Longwood describe her in the same way, according to Nancy Heflin, a 1964 graduate who currently serves on the Longwood College Foundation Board. But Orr was passionate about her work and volunteer efforts, aggressively pursuing whatever she did with polite determination and a quiet, friendly persistence. Her passion for education now will continue through the Mary Kay, Pearl and Waller Orr Scholarship at Longwood.