New leadership team will help prepare campus to re-open safely this fall

As all of us are working through the current challenges of dealing with Covid-19, Longwood leadership is thinking ahead about how to re-open safely for in-person classes and activities this fall.

President Reveley announced yesterday the creation of a Covid-19 Planning Team of university leaders and experts who will look at all aspects of campus life and develop a plan that has the health and safety of your student as the top priority.

“Right now, we remain in the heart of a serious national crisis that is affecting countless families, and has been felt at every college campus,” Reveley said. “But as we push through this phase, like every sector of society, we’re already beginning to think about how to get safely back up and running again. With our setting, structure and experienced leadership, Longwood is well-positioned to find our way back to familiar routines of in-person learning this fall, while taking prudent steps to ensure public health.”

The Covid-19 Planning Team will work closely with community leaders, local health care providers and the Virginia Department of Health as it researches pertinent issues and prepares recommendations. The process will also include surveying parents, students and university stakeholders to garner feedback, questions and concerns.

“They will research and report back to the President’s Council with creative and informed recommendations covering every aspect of campus life—from academics to housing and dining arrangements to health practices around testing and responding if cases emerge,” Reveley said.

The Covid-19 Planning Team includes

  • University Chief of Staff and Vice President Justin Pope
  • Associate Vice President of Wellness Matt McGregor
  • Associate Provost/Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs David Shoenthal
  • Incoming University Police Chief Doug Mooney
  • Associate Vice President for Operations and Services Lori Blackwood (MBA ’17)
  • Moton Museum Executive Director and Centra Southside Community Hospital Board Member Cameron Patterson ’10
  • Assistant Vice President for Communications Matthew McWilliams

“This group will build on the outstanding work of our Incident Command Team, which has helped us navigate our response this spring to the national Covid-19 outbreak, and tap their expertise as well as broader guidance,” said Reveley.

McGregor, who oversees student health, will also represent the Incident Command Team, which he leads. The Incident Command Team includes representatives of Longwood’s offices of Environmental Health and Safety, Emergency Management, Housing, Residential and Commuter Life, and Facilities, as well as the University Health Center.

“In a few months, we’ll live in a world where the virus has subsided but not been eliminated,” Reveley said. “We cannot be exactly sure what that will look like on campus, and public health will be our paramount consideration. But so much is at stake for our students and our community in college life returning. I am confident Longwood will be a leader when it comes to safely navigating this challenge.”

Vice President for Student Affairs Tim Pierson added, “On the other side of this, we’ll all appreciate that much more the opportunity to be together in person on Longwood’s residential campus. Campus may need to feel a little different in some ways next fall, but I’m confident that with the help of this group we can find the right balance, and return to a more familiar Longwood.”

Anyone with questions about Longwood’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak can email