From the President

Dr. Joseph Jarman served as Longwood’s 16th president from 1902-46.
Dr. Joseph Jarman served as Longwood’s 16th president from 1902-46.

In this edition of the magazine, you will read about many of the exciting developments at Longwood—campus construction, a remarkable new core curriculum focused on citizenship, an extraordinary gift from Joan ’64 and Macon Brock that will help shape generations of students in unique ways.

You will also, in the interview that begins on Page 12, hear plenty from me, so I thought I might use this space share some words that have stuck with me from one of my predecessors.

Many of you with ties through the generations to Longwood know stories about the great Dr. Joseph Jarman, who led the institution from 1902 until 1946, one of the longer tenures of any president in American higher education. The institution transformed during those decades: beginning a baccalaureate curriculum, significantly strengthening engagement with Farmville and building the iconic Rotunda. Dr. Jarman was invoked often during my own childhood. My grandmother and her sisters were in the classes of 1940, 1942 and 1946, and my great-grandmother was part of the Jarman era, too, graduating in 1910. My great-grandfather also was a member of the faculty under Dr. Jarman and eventually chair of the Department of Biology here.

So when news came over the holidays that a member of the Class of 1928 had passed away, Marguerite Bailey at age 108, it prompted me to reflect on Dr. Jarman, and I recently came across a message he sent to alums soon after the time of Marguerite Bailey’s school days. We have evolved and changed since then (we are 15 years a university now). Timeless qualities also endure, and you may enjoy this passage from Dr. Jarman’s message, sent in 1934 to commemorate Longwood’s 50th anniversary as a public institution. In 1934, those with recollections of the founding in 1839 would have been in their spritely 90s:

“There are some of you who have followed the career of the College from its beginning: you should be proud indeed to feel that you have been a proud part of her throughout her life; others of you know her only as she is today—You have not kept up with her growth and development through the years. To you she is simply your Alma Mater, you take her for granted and cannot realize that she has not always been as you knew her. But it is one hope that … there is something of the spirit which makes for love and loyalty ... Loyalty is love translated into action: the love that is simply passive does not mean nearly so much as that which is always on the alert, ready to take up the cudgel in defense if defense is needed, to put in a word of affectionate commendation whenever the old College is mentioned, a love that still is alive and active ... no matter how far off may be the day of graduation — Time cannot drive loyalty such as this.”

My thanks for your loyalty and support of Longwood.

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W. Taylor Reveley IV