This week we are highlighting some of the members of the Class of 2020 as part of our #HumansOfLongwood series. While formal commencement exercises won’t take place until October 9 and 10 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our graduating seniors officially earn their degrees May 16. Wherever life after Longwood takes them—a new job, graduate studies or an internship—these students reflect the goals and achievements made possible in a close-knit community that promotes student involvement, values inclusion and nurtures citizen leadership in whatever form it takes.

Casey Ridpath ’20
Hometown: Colonial Heights

Major: History with a concentration in secondary education; minor in political science
Next step: Working as a 7th grade U.S. history teacher at J.E.J. Moore Middle School in Prince George

Before I came to Longwood, I knew that I only had a few short years here, so I wanted to make sure that I took advantage of every unique opportunity that came my way. That’s what I’ve done the past four years. As a freshman, I volunteered to work when we hosted the U.S. Vice Presidential Debate. I became a Peer Mentor and joined Alpha Delta Pi. Those two organizations allowed me to grow while I was still trying to figure out who I was.  

I really wanted to travel while I was at Longwood because I knew this was a particularly powerful way to enrich my college experience. I was able to learn, volunteer, see the world, and be surrounded by my friends—all at the same time. I participated in the Brock Experiences at Yellowstone. I took an Alternative Breaks trip to San Diego. In 2018, I studied abroad in Spain. Studying abroad was one of the most amazing experiences I had as a student. I was able to do something completely out of my comfort zone by spending six weeks in another country and gaining experiences that would change my life.

The one person who had the biggest impact on me at Longwood was Dr. David Geraghty from the history department. He pushed me to become the best future teacher I could be and made me feel very comfortable and capable as I enter my chosen career field. I have accepted a position as a 7th grade U.S. history teacher at J.E.J. Moore Middle School in Prince George, Virginia. I am excited to begin this new chapter of my life and for the new adventures that await.

While we do have a beautiful campus, unique traditions, and a very student-centered experience, it truly is the people that are part of Longwood that make this community so special.

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