Thanksgiving: Traditions and Planning Ahead for the Break

At Longwood, Thanksgiving means fall colors, a special dinner—and planning ahead.

Looking out my office window in Lancaster Hall, I can see that fall is definitely here. Several trees have turned a brilliant red, and leaves are sprinkled on the lawns and sidewalks. I can feel that fall is here, as well. After what seemed like an interminably hot and muggy September and early October, there’s been a refreshing chill in the air for a while now.

It won’t be long before your student sits down to the annual family-style Thanksgiving dinner in Dorrill Dining Hall, complete with turkey and dressing and Longwood’s traditional baked Alaska for dessert. Set for Nov. 15, this meal harkens back to Longwood’s earlier years, when dinner was served family-style every evening. I have it on good authority that Longwood hung onto this tradition longer than most, with the freshmen who entered Longwood in 1986 being the first not to have family-style dinner every night.

Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving Dinner

As Thanksgiving approaches—Nov. 22 this year—it’s not too early for your student to be thinking about plans for the break, whether they intend to travel home or stay on campus.

As you and your family make your plans, I thought it might be helpful to share with you some information about the break, including:

  • Academic/class schedule
  • Closing and opening times for key services and facilities
  • Arrangements for students who will be staying on campus
  • Shuttle service to and from campus (Virginia locations only)

Everyone here at Longwood wishes you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving. For our part, we are thankful that you have entrusted us with the education of your student. It’s a responsibility we take very seriously.

Best, Sabrina Brown, Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications


  • All classes will meet on Tuesday, Nov. 20, including those that meet in the evening.
  • The university, including all administrative offices, will then be closed on Wednesday, Nov. 21, through Friday, Nov. 23, with classes resuming at 8 a.m. Monday, Nov. 26.


Upchurch University Center

  • Closes: 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20
  • Reopens: 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25

University-Managed Residential Facilities*

  • Close: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20
  • Reopen: noon Sunday, Nov. 25

*Information about arranging to stay on campus during the break is included below.

Greenwood Library

  • Closes: 5 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 20
  • Reopens: 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25

Dorrill Dining Hall

  • Closes: 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20
  • Reopens: 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25

Off-Campus Aramark-Managed Dining Facilities

  • Chick-Fil-A
    • Open 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 20-21, 23-24
    • Closed Thursday, Nov. 22, and Sunday, Nov. 25
  • Moe’s
    • Open from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 20-21, 23-24; returning to regular hours Sunday, Nov. 25


If your student needs transportation home for the break, shuttle service (Virginia locations only) is available from a private company not affiliated with Longwood. Breakshuttle offers service from the Longwood campus to northern Virginia (Springfield), Richmond and Hampton Roads. Basic information is summarized below. You can get additional details and buy tickets at the Breakshuttle website:

To and From Northern Virginia (Springfield Town Center)

  • Departs from Longwood, Madison Street near Iler Field, at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20
  • Departs from Springfield Town Center at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25
  • Cost: $39 to $59 each way, depending on date of ticket purchase

To and From Richmond (Target, 11301 Midlothian Turnpike)

  • Departs from Longwood, Madison Street near Iler Field, at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20
  • Departs from Richmond (Target, 11301 Midlothian Turnpike) at approximately 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 25
  • Cost: $25 to $30 each way, depending on date of ticket purchase

To and From Hampton Roads (Thomas Nelson Community College student parking lot)

  • Departs from Longwood, Madison Street near Iler Field, at 4 p.m.
  • Departs from Hampton Roads (Thomas Nelson Community College student parking lot) at 2:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $39 to $59 each way, depending on date of ticket purchase


If your student lives in Longwood-managed housing, they can arrange to stay on campus during the Thanksgiving break, in their current hall/room, by filling out the required online form before the pre-deadline of midnight Nov. 19. Here’s a link to the form: Thanksgiving break housing form. Filling out this form by the deadline assures that your student’s ID card will continue to provide access to the residence hall and that, as a safety measure, the Longwood Police Department knows that your student is on campus during the break.

If your student does not determine that they need to stay on campus until after the online registration process closes at midnight Nov. 19, they should contact Housing and Residential Life at

Please keep in mind that Housing and Residential Life will close at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, and will not be available after that time to answer email or take telephone calls. After 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, contact the Longwood Police Department for assistance at 434-395-2091.