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.

Troy Austin is a Lancer through and through, and he has the scarves to prove it.

One of the most consequential figures in recent Longwood athletics history, Austin spent a decade at the helm of the athletics department. During his tenure, he guided the Lancers to membership in the Big South Conference and set standards of excellence on the field and in the classroom that became the foundation for today’s thriving sports teams.

“I’ve always felt like part of the Longwood family, and I’m thankful they see me that way, too,” he said.

Austin originally was hired as a development officer for athletics in 2005, but then-President Patty Cormier saw a leader emerge and appointed him as interim athletics director just one year later. He took the job permanently in 2008.

He left Longwood in 2018 for the “job of a lifetime”—the opportunity to return to his alma mater, Duke University, where he initially was senior associate athletics director and is now deputy athletics director for development.

One of his most cherished Longwood memories happened four years after he left campus, when the men’s basketball team won the Big South Tournament. “I was at the game pulling for the Lancers, and, when the team won, President Reveley invited me out onto the court with the team,” he said. “That was a great moment. Out there, I reflected on some of the achievements that came before, with our great women’s soccer and softball teams. I am still a tremendous fan of all Longwood athletes.

“There’s a running joke at Duke that anyone who has ever met me knows two things: I’m from New Jersey, and I worked at Longwood. I’ll always be a Lancer.”

The Honorary Alumni Award is presented to individuals who are not alumni but have given extraordinary service to Longwood and who reflect the values of a true citizen leader.

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