With the grand opening and dedication of the Maugans Alumni Center on Saturday, Sept. 12, Longwood marks the completion of the final phase of reconstruction to portions of Longwood’s historic campus center that were damaged in the great fire of 2001. For many, this time of celebration is the culmination of a project more than a decade in the making.
The center, conceived in the early 2000s and spearheaded by former alumni director Nancy Britton Shelton ’68, will showcase Longwood’s history and provide a true home for alumni when they return to campus, while providing expanded office and meeting space.
"This alumni center is going to truly be a home for alumni," said Shelton, who retired in the spring after more than 40 years of service to her alma mater. "Our graduates will be able to gather see where the university is going and meet in a comfortable environment. There is a dramatic impact on what we now offer alumni and the campus."
The alumni center is named for the late Katharine Allen Maugans ’47, a Buckingham County schoolteacher who entered the Navy in 1952, served in the armed forces for 30 years and retired with the rank of captain. A $2.5 million bequest from Katharine Maugans and her husband, Frank, served as the centerpiece gift in fundraising efforts for the space.
The grand opening and dedication ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, on the veranda in front of the center. The dedication is open to the public, and all Longwood alumni are invited to attend.
"It truly is a historic day in the life of the university," said Ryan Catherwood, assistant vice president for alumni and career services. "We’re expecting more than 300 alumni and friends to come back and celebrate with us."
Joining Catherwood and Shelton at the dedication ceremony will be Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV, Board of Visitors Rector Colleen Margiloff ’97, President of the Alumni Board Kendall Lee ’01, and members of the Maugans family, who will cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the space.
After the dedication and grand opening, tours of the Maugans Alumni Center will be available, and Longwood alumni are invited to lunch on Beale Plaza and Lancaster Mall. Dr. Jim Jordan, Board of Visitors distinguished professor of anthropology, will reflect on the history of the university at 1 p.m. in Blackwell Ballroom, which is part of the alumni center.
The Longwood classes of 1970 and 1975 will be the first to hold reunion activities in the new space later in the day.