Inspiration. Service. Community. Achievement. These are the common themes woven through the life stories of the 2023 Longwood Alumni Award winners. The awards annually honor Longwood graduates and friends for their outstanding achievements and service to others. Selected by the Alumni Board, recipients inspire the world around them through their professional and philanthropic achievements, their contributions to their communities as citizen leaders and their loyalty to Longwood.

Ronda Scarrow was driving when she got the call she had been selected for the Spirited Contributor Award. “I had to pull over so I could cry,” she recalled.

After graduating with a degree in theatre, Scarrow didn’t take a direct route to teaching or the classroom. But almost three decades later, she found herself teaching a few theatre classes at Longwood—and she realized she was where she belonged.

“I came and taught, and I thought, my gosh, I’d forgotten how much I love this,” said Scarrow, assistant professor of theatre education who has been teaching full time at Longwood for a decade. “It sounds like a cliché, but Longwood really changed my life. Longwood said you are valuable; you are good at what you do. You are making a difference, and could you please keep it up.”

“Any award that includes the word spirited would apply to Ronda,” said Dr. Roger Byrne, dean of the Cook-Cole College. “Every encounter is an opportunity to infect others with her optimism and her boundless enthusiasm for theatre, her students and for Longwood.”

In working with future theatre teachers and educators who want to incorporate theatre into their classrooms, Scarrow says she relishes the opportunity to teach not only art but also important life skills. “People identify that Longwood produces good citizens, good leaders and people who give back,” she said.  

Zachary Glasscock ’18, a theatre teacher in Culpeper County Public Schools, describes Scarrow as “a constant light for students. She is someone who constantly pushes you to strive for perfection while keeping realistic mindsets and goals.”

The Spirited Contributor Award honors an alum who is a current or retired Longwood faculty or staff member who goes above and beyond their job duties to selflessly serve the university.

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