"This time you get to pick where we go since you’ve always followed me," Greg Wolfrey told his wife, Betty Gail Payne Wolfrey ’71, not long ago. Greg was the longtime County Administrator for Goochland, and Betty enjoyed an accomplished career as a teacher, elementary school principal and head of a private school in Richmond.
Now they were seeking the perfect retirement spot where they could keep busy and active, inhabiting a beautiful home in a tight-knit community. They searched all over Virginia and the South, and finally found it: Farmville.
“I really wanted a place where I could walk, where there was painting and culture for me, and sports for Greg,” Betty said recently in the dining room of their new home on High Street, a block from campus. Pomeranians Baby and Cocoa sat in her lap, and Lucy, a Brittany spaniel, hovered nearby. “I really felt like this had it all. We can walk downtown, go to sporting events. We’re auditing classes. The whole experience—we’ve just fallen in love with Farmville.”
I first met the Wolfreys at a basketball game in January, just days after they moved. Their excitement for their already packed schedule was contagious: basketball, baseball and softball games; the musical A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to the Forum in Jarman; the Taste of Farmville food festival and visits to the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts. As a student, Betty took a painting class with Professor Barbara Bishop ’60, then put art aside for more than 40 years. Now she’s reignited a passion for watercolors, which fill her new home.
I’m noticing more and more people—many but not all with Longwood ties— moving to Farmville to be part of this thriving two-college town. One person I see regularly at University Foundation Board meetings and other campus events is David Crute ’81, who, with his wife, Patricia ’80, recently moved from Chesapeake. David grew up in Farmville, and being closer to his son, Patrick ’10, daughter-in-law, Ashley ’10 (who works at Longwood), and their baby girl, Ragan, was part of the appeal. David still works but loves life here.
“Our social calendar is busier now than it’s ever been in our adult life,” David said. There’s just so much going on. Now with all the new restaurants going in, it’s just an exciting place to be.”
This trend says a lot about Longwood and Farmville. Charlottesville, Lexington and Williamsburg demonstrate the appeal for retirees of college towns, with their energy, events, beautiful architecture and interesting neighbors.The difference is those places have already been discovered. Farmville is just now catching on, with this spring’s opening of the high-end Weyanoke Hotel an important milestone.
“I feel like we’re getting in on the ground floor,” said Greg, who is already auditing classes on campus and indulging his love of American history. “This is heaven. This town hasn’t outgrown itself, and it really can be the ideal community.”
I hope the stories of Betty and Greg, the extended Crute family, and others discovering (or rediscovering) this great college town inspire you to visit. You might not want to leave.
W. Taylor Reveley IV
You’ve heard the stereotype: millennials—a population group that includes today’s college students—are “entitled.”
With air-conditioning, spacious closets and a private bath for each two-room suite, curry and Frazer were considered luxurious when they first opened in 1969 and 1970, respectively.
Kathy Hansen Fox ’85 was ecstatic when she got the news: Her daughter Reilly had been assigned a room in Curry Hall for her freshman year at Longwood.
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It’s a frigid late afternoon in January, and Longwood’s campus sits peaceful and quiet, covered in six inches of snow that has canceled the first day of classes.
The seven men and women honored this year with awards from the Longwood Alumni Association come from all walks of life.
Art is at its best when it begins a conversation, says Rachel Ivers, executive director of the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts.
For the second straight year, graduates of Longwood’s nursing program have reached rarefied air by recording a 100 percent pass rate on their first attempt.
With the November 2017 grand opening of the Barnes & Noble at Longwood bookstore in its new Main Street location, downtown Farmville took another step toward realizing its full potential.
He’s training for a career in the world of make-believe, but Aaron Burstein ’19 has already begun to make his mark in the real world.
Overheard on the Longwood campus
Longwood’s College of Business and Economics recently extended its accreditation from the most prestigious accrediting agency for schools of business around the world.
As of late February, Longwood’s new Norman H. and Elsie Stossell Upchurch University Center was 70-75 percent complete and on track for opening during the fall 2018 semester.
When Dr. Darrell Carpenter and Dr. Robert Marmorstein sat down to assess the ways the cyber security and computer science programs at Longwood could collaborate more, they decided they needed to do some rewiring—literally.
Though it’s offered through the business school, this course teaches students as much about psychology as it does about business principles, says Melton, an attorney and mediator.
As Longwood students Olivia Mehalko and Cameron Reuss knelt in the dirt and carefully unearthed the remains of a 1,000-year-old Native American hearth, they came across what would seem to be a common find.
Performing selections by Kaprálová, Brahms and Dvořák, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra will return to the Longwood campus in April to perform for the seventh year in a row.
The Environmental Educational Center at Longwood’s Lancer Park will be “BioBlitz central” on Saturday, April 21.
Whether it’s finding the right internship, getting answers to career-related questions or looking for that first (or second) job, sometimes it takes having the right connections.
Members of the Gold Society—those alumni who have celebrated their 50th class reunion—are invited to attend Longwood’s second annual Joan of Arc Celebration Sept. 28-29.
You’d have to be living in a cave not to have heard of the Paleo diet craze.
June 23 | Richmond Flying Squirrels
Want to earn free Longwood gear and share your Longwood pride?
With several new names and faces and new areas of responsibility, Alumni and Career Services continues to evolve to better meet the needs of alumni and current students.
When Rebecca Tres ’93 first joined Wells Coleman in 2006, the Richmond-based accounting, tax and financial consulting firm was looking to start an internship program.
More than 200 alumni and their families braved January’s freezing temperatures to attend the third annual Alumni Family Game Day on Jan. 6.
LISTED IN ORDER OF CLASS YEAR
Ann Ruckman Smith ’60 continues to encourage others to read through the large-print library she organized for the residents at Lakewood Manor, the retirement community in Richmond where she lives.
Coach. It’s a small word that comes with big expectations and big responsibilities.
It was 2015-16, and Damarion Geter ’17 was not having a good year.
Director of Athletics Troy Austin and members of the athletics department welcomed alumni, fans and friends to the first annual Lancer Talks event in Richmond in February.
Coming off a third consecutive Big South Championship, with four championships in five seasons, the Longwood softball team was tabbed by Big South coaches to win a fourth consecutive title in 2018.
Longwood athletics hosted the second annual Lancer Invitational, a powerlifting meet for athletes from the Special Olympics, on Feb. 17.
Longwood’s 200 student-athletes delivered in the classroom as well as on the playing field during the fall 2017 semester, with their highest overall grade-point average in a decade.
Former professional international tennis player Jhonnatan Medina Alvarez was hired as head coach of the Longwood men’s tennis program in December.
Scott Abell ’92 was a four-year standout on the Longwood baseball team, but it’s on the gridiron where he has achieved success professionally.
"So far in my study, it looks like the Machodoc River, which we are on, has a population of 100 adult ospreys and approximately 8-10 bald eagles, with two speckled eagles and possibly 8-10 young chicks, also 50-100 osprey chicks."
Longwood alumni, friends and employees have the opportunity to “Be Someone’s Hero” on March 27.