The Longwood University community shattered the one-day philanthropy participation record as hundreds of alumni, employees and friends shared their Lancer pride during the inaugural Love Your Longwood day.
Around the country, the Longwood family took to social media to share hundreds of memories while more than 530 donors contributed more than $65,000 to the 24-hour campaign, which took place on the anniversary week of Longwood's founding.
"It was an exciting day to be a Lancer on campus and beyond," said Courtney Hodges, vice president for institutional advancement. "What’s most encouraging is that members of 69 different classes joined Love Your Longwood day—a testament to the spirit and camaraderie that stays with alumni well past graduation."
Joe and Alison MacPhail—who graduated together in 1996—first heard about the campaign when they woke March 3 and checked their social media. Longtime Longwood supporters, they sprang into action when they saw a post asking alumni to submit a video showing their love for their alma mater.
"My kids all ran around the house collecting Longwood memorabilia to use in the video," said Alison. "They’ve been on campus and at Lancer games since they were born, and they were extremely excited for the chance to document how much they love Longwood. So it was a really special day, not only for us as alumni but for our children as well."
The video, which features Alison and her three children talking about what makes Longwood special spliced with images from her time on campus, was produced and edited by her eldest daughter and uploaded to social media, where it was seen by hundreds of alumni and their families. Their work won the video contest—one of many opportunities to participate and win prizes offered that day—and the family will schedule a unique photo session on campus soon.
Because the effort reached the goal of 500 donors, the Longwood Alumni Association contributed $10,000 to the campaign.
The effort was led by Amy Harris ’14, director of university engagement, and Kristina Easter, director of development for annual programs. Love your Longwood day brought out first time donors, who shared in the overwhelming sense of pride for Longwood and took to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with their memories and favorite experiences from college." said Harris. "Beyond the numbers, the day was a success as it was an opportunity to celebrate the camaraderie that exists."
Applications to Longwood reached a record high this year as the university prepares to admit one of the most accomplished freshman classes in its storied history. For these freshmen, alumni support is especially critical in funding scholarships, infrastructure projects and endowment growth that keeps tuition affordable.
"Our alumni have always been the backbone of campus growth and development," said Hodges. "As we step both feet onto the national stage with this year’s vice presidential debate, the support of the Longwood family is more critical now than ever."