It’s hard to know what kind of holiday wishes to send to folks this year. Some of you may not be able to experience the holidays as you have in years past. Still, I hope that the spirit of the season finds you no matter where you are or whom you are with this week.
Toward that end, I thought I’d share with today you some words of reflection on the fall semester and the holidays from President W. Taylor Reveley IV and Longwood’s Board of Visitors.
I’ve also included a link to a holiday-themed collection of performances by Longwood’s music faculty and students as well as a video featuring one of our most cherished holiday traditions.
Personally, I’d like to wish you and yours all the best. Longwood is truly a special place, and you and your Lancer are a big part of the reason why.
From President W. Taylor Reveley IV
in an email to the Longwood family
At the end of this harsh and historic year, the usual sense of holiday joy may feel harder to summon. But this holiday season, as campus winds down the work of this semester, I am filled with gratitude as well as hope.
Our achievements in 2020 weren’t the usual ones. Simply being together for in-person learning tapped our deepest reserves of creativity, flexibility and perseverance. We have had to dig further still to maintain the human connections that are Longwood’s heart and soul. These efforts have produced real exhaustion. But our mission of preparing citizen leaders has never mattered more, and we should be proud we have succeeded, in such full measure.
To our students — Thank you. I know this semester has been hard in so many ways, but your commitment to public health and to one another made it possible to be here. So many people have doubted college students. But you have stepped up, earning praise and gratitude from the Town of Farmville and well beyond. I promise you, in 2021, sunnier days lie ahead.
To our faculty and staff — Your professionalism, imagination and dedication have been powerful, and they have mattered so deeply in the lives of our students. Amidst your own challenges, including caring for family members young and old, you safely reimagined our classrooms, upgraded our buildings, cared for anxious students, redesigned courses and quickly learned new technologies to keep our students personally and academically connected. Thank you.
To our home community of Farmville, we are so grateful for your partnership and support. And in spite of 2020’s challenges, we took real strides together. The opening of the elegant Johns and Moss Halls, landmarks along Main Street. A third Starbucks! Indian food! The coming year will also bring our new art-house style cinema on High Street — and much else in the way of progress, as our community flourishes.
In this hard year for families, our community and the nation, we have experienced grief, anxiety and challenging conversations about justice, equity and our obligations to one another. There is still difficult road to travel in 2021, and we cannot let up. But Longwood has met and prospered through every great challenge we’ve faced, drawing essential strength from our community and our true spirit of camaraderie. This year, all of you — students, faculty and staff, friends near and far — have been writing your own great chapter in our history.
I wish you peace and health this holiday season.
From the Longwood University Board of Visitors
in a full-page ad in the Farmville Herald
In the spirit of the season, during this historic and challenging year of 2020,
We wanted to say THANK YOU with this public resolution of gratitude
To Longwood’s students, faculty and staff, and the entire Lancer family — our Lancers have been true citizen leaders,
To the Town of Farmville and the broader community — our partners and trusted friends,
To Hampden-Sydney — our neighbor through the centuries here in America’s oldest two-college community,
To the Commonwealth of Virginia — an example of compassion and common purpose in the face of this pandemic and in this time of reckoning,
To President Reveley and the administration of the University — for remarkable, principled leadership and vision
May the holidays offer peace and joy, as well as renewal,
in the promise of yet finer days to come
Holiday Music from Longwood Musicians
Some holiday-inspired selections from the faculty and students in the Department of Music.
A Grand Illumination in the Rotunda