If anyone’s blood runs Longwood blue, it is Nancy Shelton ’68. Daughter and granddaughter of Longwood graduates, Shelton has made her alma mater her professional home, returning to teach in 1972 and in 1974 being named Longwood’s first full-time alumni director—a position she has held ever since.
"For generations of alumni, Nancy has nurtured connections and encouraged thousands to remain engaged in the life of the institution," said Rector Colleen Margiloff ’97. "For graduates—many of them multigeneration Longwood families—she has been the welcoming voice and familiar friendly face of their alma mater. Nancy is often the first person people think of when they think of Longwood."
Shelton’s 40-plus years as alumni director will come to a close with her retirement this spring, to be followed by a move to Ohio and more time with her husband, Bob; daughters, Jessica and Meredith; and five grandchildren. She made the announcement in a Jan. 9 email to the alumni community.
"One of the most enjoyable aspects has been seeing new high-school graduates as they enter Longwood and watching them becoming young adults preparing for their future life, developing lifelong friendships, beginning their careers and families, and working with them as they re-engage with Longwood," Shelton wrote. Particularly gratifying, she added, is to see many of those graduates re-engage with the university as parents when their own children come to Longwood.
In his own email to campus, President W. Taylor Reveley IV called Shelton’s contributions to the Longwood family immeasurable and noted his personal gratitude for the warm welcome she extended to him when he became president in 2013. The president’s grandmother, Marie Eason Reveley ’40, was a close friend of Shelton’s, and his great aunt, Caroline Eason Roberts ’42, was an early president of the Alumni Association.
"Longwood has certainly moved through changes during Nancy’s 40 years here," President Reveley said. "And her passion, institutional knowledge and commitment to the mission of citizen leadership have played such a fundamental role in what I believe is one of our great institutional accomplishments—maintaining all along our inspiring traditions and identity."
Shelton will officially step down April 1 but will remain in an advisory role until the opening of the new Maugans Alumni Center later in the year. "That building will be a tribute to Nancy’s work and the vibrant community of alumni she has been instrumental in creating," the president said. "We will honor her at that time, as well as feting her in the months ahead."
The search for the next head of alumni relations is under way. Members of the search committee are:
- Eileen Anderson ’83 – Board of Visitors
- Scott Bacon – Associate Athletics Director for External Relations
- Paul Barrett – Dean of the College of Business and Economics
- Jennifer Conkwright – Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for Commonwealth Relations
- Kathleen Early ’92 – President of the Alumni Association Board
- Jim Jordan – Board of Visitors Distinguished Professor
- Bart Mitchell ’90 – President of the University Foundation
- Tim Pierson – Vice President for Student Affairs
- Justin Pope – Chief of Staff, Search Committee Chair