L-R: Sjoribel Traverso, Nnadozie Chinwike-Iwuamadi, Haley Flach, Collin Gilbert
L-R: Sjoribel Traverso, Nnadozie Chinwike-Iwuamadi, Haley Flach, Collin Gilbert

Sjoribel Traverso ’24 will be just 16 years old when she begins classes at Longwood this fall. The nursing student from Arlington skipped her junior year of high school and will turn 17 in late August—just days after the fall semester begins Aug. 24. 

While her summer travel plans were curtailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Traverso has been working full time and is hoping to arrange an in-person meeting with her new roommate later this month. But mostly, she just can’t wait to get to Longwood.

“I am the most excited about having the typical college experience that you either see in the movies or hear about from your older friends,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to exploring Farmville and the surrounding areas and creating lifelong friendships.”

Traverso is among the more than 900 members of the incoming Class of 2024 who will arrive on campus next month. While things will look and feel somewhat different with new health and safety procedures in place due to Covid-19, this year’s incoming freshmen are eagerly anticipating the start of their college experience.

“This is one of the most diverse and talented classes we have ever welcomed to Longwood,” said Jason McNair-Faulk, dean of admissions. “Our class of 2024 will be memorable for many reasons. We know they graduated from high school and are starting college during a pandemic. They’ve had to be resourceful and adapt. The unique individuals and proven leaders who make up this class are without a doubt ready to make positive change in the world and leave their mark on Longwood.”

I’m really looking forward to exploring Farmville and the surrounding areas and creating lifelong friendships.

Sjoribel Traverso ’24 Tweet This

The incoming freshman class has an average GPA of 3.49, and 24 percent are from diverse backgrounds. Students from outside Virginia make up about 5 percent of the class. They have a wide variety of hobbies and skills such as dancing, playing the piano, drawing cartoons and saltwater fishing.

There are at least six incoming freshmen who are double legacies—meaning both of their parents are Longwood alumni.

One of those double legacy students is Haley Flach ’24, who will play field hockey and plans to major in art education. The Chesapeake native started taking flying lessons when she was in the fifth grade, and she’s now working to log enough flight hours to get her pilot’s license.

Although both of her parents attended Longwood, it wasn’t until 2017 that Flach started to think about becoming a Lancer.

“I chose Longwood because everyone I met on campus was so nice and the field hockey team was the new hockey family I had been looking for,” Flach said. “I’m so excited to start college because of the good times and memories I plan on making!”

She and her suitemate have been planning what they will bring when they move in next month. She is definitely bringing Mario Kart for the Wii.

“We plan on racing against our other suitemates and crushing them,” Flach said.

I’m looking forward to meeting so many new people, making new friends and having the freedom to choose whatever I do next.

Nnadozie Chinwike-Iwuamadi ’24 Tweet This

Nnadozie Chinwike-Iwuamadi ’24, a biology major from Virginia Beach, said the welcoming and friendly community—and the university’s location—are what drew him to Longwood.

“Longwood is not hundreds of miles away from home, and it’s not in a big city. I felt like I’d be overwhelmed and lost if I went to college in a larger city,” Chinwike-Iwuamadi said. “I’m looking forward to meeting so many new people, making new friends and having the freedom to choose whatever I do next.”

Chinwike-Iwuamadi played wide receiver for the Ocean Lakes High School football team, which made it all the way to the state playoffs. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and likes vintage and retro items.

Our society and our world today need civically engaged, compassionate leaders. I can’t wait to get to work educating our future leaders who will make decisions with empathy and a commitment to help one another.

Dr. Chris Kukk, Wilma Register Sharp and Marc Boyd Sharp Dean of the Honors College Tweet This

The Cormier Honors College for Citizen Scholars is set to welcome 122 freshmen this fall: 23 percent are from diverse backgrounds, and 14 percent are first-generation college students. There is diversity in the incoming class’s academic pursuits as well, with 27 majors represented. Overall, this year’s honors freshmen have an average GPA of 4.06 and an average SAT score of 1217.

“What an extraordinary time to be welcoming these citizen leaders to Longwood,” said Dr. Chris Kukk, the new Wilma Register Sharp and Marc Boyd Sharp Dean of the Honors College. “Our society and our world today need civically engaged, compassionate leaders. I can’t wait to get to work educating our future leaders who will make decisions with empathy and a commitment to help one another.”

Collin Gilbert, who plans to major in communication studies and is among the incoming members of the Honors College, has an 11-year-old turtle named Kemps at home in Beaverdam. In high school, he was in the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) for four years and achieved the second-highest rank in his unit. He is most excited about making a fresh start and meeting his classmates.

“I want to be around like-minded, passionate people,” Gilbert said.

This summer he is working as a sales representative for Cutco cutlery, designing clothes and gaming with his friends. While his turtle is staying at home this fall, the same cannot be said for Gilbert’s gaming system.

“I will definitely be bringing my PS4 with me to Longwood,” he said. 

Traverso, the youngest incoming member of the Honors College, also knows what special thing she’ll be bringing to campus: two Starbucks coffee mugs—but they’re not just any mugs. They come from a special collection acquired in her family’s travels around the world with her father, an active duty member of the U.S. Navy. The collection includes a Starbucks mug from every country they have visited.

“We have at least 60, and we even have some duplicates,” she said. “I will be taking two mugs with me to Longwood as a reminder of my family memories.”

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