Three well-known figures on campus with long experience at the university have taken on the biggest roles of their careers, joining the president’s cabinet and assuming a mantle of leadership.
“Each of these women has stood out over the years for her dedication to Longwood and commitment to building a successful campus community,” said President W. Taylor Reveley IV. “I know that the three critical areas now under their leadership are in good hands.”
Dr. Larissa Smith Fergeson
Dr. Larissa Smith Fergeson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Widely admired as a teacher, Fergeson has maintained a presence in the classroom as she has taken on additional universitywide responsibilities, the most recent of which was her appointment as provost and vice president for academic affairs in August.
Coinciding with the rollout of Civitae, the new core curriculum she participated in developing, Fergeson’s appointment was an endorsement of the work she had done in the position on an interim basis since January 2018, as well as of her contributions to Longwood since she joined the faculty in 2000 as a history professor.
Among Fergeson’s many roles at the university, she has served as liaison to the Robert R. Moton Museum, the birthplace of the student-led civil rights movement, and as associate provost for outreach programs and initiatives.
“Lara is one of the hardest working and most respected faculty members at Longwood,” said Reveley. “Through her capable leadership, Civitae is being successfully implemented, our partnership with the Moton Museum continues to grow and many other strategic initiatives are moving forward with tremendous momentum.”
Michelle Meadows Shular
Michelle Meadows Shular, Interim Director of Athletics
Meadows Shular was appointed interim athletics director in September, the latest step up the ladder in her 13-year career at Longwood. During that time, she has risen from a compliance officer to the department’s deputy director and chief financial officer, while taking on a slate of prominent leadership roles both regionally and nationally.
Meadows Shular will serve as interim athletics director through the end of the 2018-19 academic year. She follows Troy Austin, who after 13 years at Longwood returned to his alma mater, Duke University, to serve as senior associate director of athletics.
“I’m incredibly humbled and honored that President Reveley asked me to serve in this role,” Meadows Shular said. “I do feel it’s an incredible responsibility to continue the positive momentum we’ve been building.”
Meadows Shular has been an architect of numerous impactful athletics initiatives, with a body of work connected by a common thread of efficiency, collaboration, and, most importantly, unwavering dedication to facilitating a positive student-athlete experience.
Louise Waller, Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance
Waller, MBA ’10, who was raised at Hampden- Sydney and graduated from Prince Edward County High School, has always had a special place in her heart for Longwood. “It’s truly my home,” she said.
In September, Waller was named interim vice president for administration and finance, stepping into a cabinet-level role after spending the last 13 years taking on more complex challenges.
She began at Longwood in 2005 as a space planning and real property manager, and was named executive director of the Longwood Real Estate Foundation eight years later, where she managed a multimillion-dollar budget and oversaw construction projects both on and off campus. Two years later, she was named associate vice president for campus planning and construction, working closely with the previous vice president, Ken Copeland.
“Often asking probing questions and challenging planners to think outside the box, but always with relentless positivity and humor, Louise is an indispensable part of campus,” Reveley said.