In early August, just before most students returned to campus for the fall semester, lightning from a severe thunderstorm struck an HVAC unit on the top of a building in the Longwood Landings, igniting a fire.
Two Longwood University Police officers, William Shular and Sgt. Walter Whitt, noticed the faint smell of smoke and ran into the building to evacuate the few students who had already moved in. Everyone got out of the building safely, and the two officers, along with several members of the Farmville Police Department, were hailed as heroes for their bravery.
On Wednesday, Nov. 9, Shular and Whitt were awarded the Medal of Valor, the Longwood Police Department’s top honor for their selfless display of courage. They were among 13 people recognized at the ceremony for commendable actions during the past year.