A longtime professor’s view of a simple way students can be successful in college

I’ve never shared a link to an article in Parent Pipeline before—and I won’t do it again if you let me know this isn’t the kind of content you find helpful—but I saw something in the New York Times this week that I thought was interesting and illuminating.

Written by a longtime professor (though not one at Longwood), the article addresses what success in college looks like and the simple thing students can do to achieve it.

It’s easy to think of college as job training—and that is an important aspect, writes the article’s author. However, something that will last much longer than the skills needed in today’s job market is the desire and willingness to learn, he says:

“To an overwhelming degree, students today see college as job training, the avenue to a stable career. They are not wrong, given the 70 percent wage premium for 22- to 27-year-old workers with a bachelor’s degree over those with only a high school diploma. But this orientation can close students off from learning things that don’t obviously help their job prospects. …

“The human mind, though, is capable of much more than a job will demand of it. Those ‘useless’ classes like philosophy, literature, astronomy and music have much to teach. I haven’t had to solve a calculus problem in 25 years. But learning to do so expanded my brain in ways that can’t simply be reduced to a checklist of job skills. Living in the world in this expanded way is a permanent gift.”

Here’s a link to the full article. You should be able to access it, even if you don’t have a Times subscription, as along as you haven’t yet used all of your free views for the month: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/03/opinion/college-learning-students-success.html?smid=url-share

I’d be very appreciative of any feedback you’d be willing to share about this article and/or the kind of content you’d most like to see in Parent Pipeline. Please feel free to email me at browncs2@longwood.edu.

Back to Campus and Basketball

For those of you who are bringing your students back to campus this coming Saturday, Jan. 7, you might want to consider sticking around for the men’s basketball game vs. Winthrop at 4 p.m. It promises to be an exciting contest, with Longwood so far undefeated in the Big South after four conference games. The game is in Willett Hall. General admission tickets are $8.

Also, spring semester classes begin on Wednesday, Jan. 11.

All the best to you and your family in 2023!

—Sabrina Brown

Happy Holidays from Parent Pipeline!

As I was watching this year’s holiday video, it occurred to me that one of the wonderful things about the holidays is that so much of it is familiar no matter where you are. I have lived in California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and several more places, and the holidays were a big part of making each one feel like home.

We know that Longwood could never replace your student’s family home, but we have tried to give your Lancer that universal holiday feeling of lifted spirits and community here in the weeks leading up to the winter break.

You can see some of the ways we do that in the holiday video. In case you missed it, I’ve included a link below, along with a link to a few photos from the Holiday Dinner, an annual music scholarship fundraiser that features entertainment by a variety of student vocal and instrumental ensembles.

As your student makes their way home, we wish you all the happiness that comes with being together at this special time of year.

Holiday Dinner

Holiday Video

—Sabrina Brown

Signs of the Season: Exam week “de-stressing” and holiday merrymaking

Exams are wrapping up, and your Lancer will be home for the holidays soon, if they’re not already.

It’s a fun time of the year, but also hectic and, for some, stressful. So Longwood provided several days of “de-stressing” activities before and during exam week. These included
Study Paws, where faculty and staff bring their canine friends to campus for students to pet and cuddle

Faculty and staff bring their canine friends to campus for students to pet and cuddle prior to exams.

Late Night Breakfast, an event for all students, regardless of whether or not they have a meal plan, where faculty and staff volunteer to serve food and to help clean up afterwards
Chair massages
Taco bars and s’mores
Craft making and puzzles

In between studying for and taking those exams, students squeezed some holiday cheer into their schedules. Holiday-themed events included
Caroling in the Rotunda and Greenwood Library
—Peformances by student vocal and instrumental ensembles for the annual Holiday Dinner music scholarship fund-raiser

The Chamber Orchestra lined up and ready to take the stage for their portion of the evening’s entertainment at the annual Holiday Dinner, which raises funds for music scholarships.

—The Grand Illumination in the Rotunda
—Gingerbread crafts and holiday movies

I hope you enjoy the photos below!

Late Night Breakfast

Study Paws

Grand Illumination

—Sabrina Brown

That’s the Ticket: VIP package ramps up excitement for Lancer basketball home games this winter

With both the men’s and women’s teams coming off Big South Championships and March Madness appearances, Longwood home basketball games are a hot ticket this season.

Now there’s even more reason to head to Farmville for a weekend basketball game—and we’re not just talking about the opportunity to get an in-person hug from your Lancer (though that is certainly an important selling point).

The Alumni Office has come up with an impressive package of lodging, activities and amenities for a price that’s just as impressive—and it’s available to all parents!

The package is available for any men’s or women’s home game weekend in January or February. Get in on this deal early (limited number of rooms available), and treat yourself or someone on your holiday list to a great weekend.

Cost is $150 with one night’s lodging or $300 with two nights’ lodging. Here’s what is included:

  • Accommodations for one or two nights at Hotel Weyanoke (king or double queen), the stunning boutique hotel across High Street from campus
  • Up to four basketball home game tickets for that Saturday
  • Hors d’oeuvres and an open bar at the Shentel season ticket hospitality suite before the game
  • Game-ready gear, including rally towels, face tattoos and limited-edition Go Wood T-shirts
  • An exclusive VIP tour of the Joan Perry Brock Center (the future home of Longwood basketball, currently under construction) on the Friday afternoon before the game
  • Optional guided campus tour
  • $10 gift certificate for North Street Press Club, one of Farmville’s dining hot spots

Check out go.longwood.edu/bballvip for available dates, then make your reservation for one of the best weekends in the new year. Package cost includes the one-room accommodations and amenities for up to 4 people.

 If you have questions or need to customize your package, contact the Alumni Office at 434-395-2044 or alumni@longwood.edu.

—Sabrina Brown


Put A Ring On It: A Longwood class ring makes a great gift!

If you’re thinking about what to give your Lancer this holiday season, you might want to consider a Longwood class ring.

In addition to being a lasting memento of one of the most pivotal times of their lives, a class ring gives your junior or senior Lancer—as well as their invited guests—the opportunity to participate in Longwood’s Ring Ceremony. It’s a cherished tradition where Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV and a member of the Alumni Board present students with their rings, which have spent the previous night in a special locked chest in the Rotunda.

Class rings spend the night in the Rotunda under the watchful eye of Joanie before the Ring Ceremony the next day. Students can invite family members to attend the ceremony.

The next Ring Ceremony is set for Saturday, March 25, 2023. The final date to purchase a ring in time for it to be presented at the 2023 Ring Ceremony is Feb. 9, 2023. Everyone who purchases a ring by Feb. 9, 2023, will receive an invitation to the ceremony.

Proud Lancers with their new Longwood class rings. Feb. 9, 2023, is the last day to purchase a ring to be able to attend the Ring Ceremony, which will be on Saturday, March 25, 2023.

Balfour is the only company to offer the official Longwood ring. Visit the Balfour website to see options and costs.

More information is available online about purchasing a ring and the Ring Ceremony. Or contact Alumni and Career Services at alumni@longwood.edu.

—Sabrina Brown

This Fall in Photos

Student life has been in full swing this fall, and we’ve got the photos to prove it.

From Family Weekend in September to Oktoberfest, from Lip Sync to Halloween and everything in between, your Lancers have been making the most of their extracurricular college experience—always secondary to their academic studies, of course.

Check out the photo albums below, and you might catch a glimpse of your student!

Lip Sync Battle

What could be better than singing and dancing the night away with a group of friends? Add some friendly competition among Greek organizations, and you’ve got a Longwood tradition that rocks.

Nursing White Coat Ceremony

When Longwood nursing sophomores are cloaked in their bright new white coats, they mark an important transformative moment in the life of any pre-service nurse: entrance into clinical practice. The white coat ceremony symbolizes the deep-rooted mission of both the Longwood and the nursing program: commitment to the community and humanistic care.

The Halloween Scene

Have your students outgrown Halloween? One look at these photos will give you the answer to that question. With haunted houses, the baseball team’s Spooky Slugfest, pumpkin carvings and more, students stretched out their Halloween celebration for maximum effect this year.

A Friendly Game of Football

For more than a decade, Longwood’s top intramural flag football team and its counterpart at Hampden-Sydney College, located just down the road, have engaged in a friendly rivalry, alternating hosting duties each year. This year was Longwood’s turn to stage the game on its home turf at Lancer Park, making the Lancers’ victory all the sweeter. Intramural basketball teams from the two schools have a similar annual matchup in the spring.


Concerts, Color Wars and Klowns, oh my! Thanks to Hurricane Ian, Oktoberfest 2022 stretched over two weekends, and students made the most of the elongated schedule.

Here Come the Klowns and Other Oktoberfest Merrymakers

Color Wars

“Cowboy Boogie” with Blanco Brown

Oktoberfest Service Walk benefiting Longwood’s Service Dog Training and Education Program

Family Weekend

Students shared their love of campus and Farmville during Family Weekend, which this year coincided with the Heart of Virginia Festival.

—Sabrina Brown

Planning for the Thanksgiving Break

You can be sure your students are counting the days until Thanksgiving break. It’s been a busy semester!

Before I get into some logistical information about the break, I would like to wish you and your family a happyThanksgiving. I think I’m speaking for everyone here when I say that we are very thankful for this wonderful Longwood community we all share. We care deeply about providing your student with a college experience that prepares them for a successful and meaningful life as a citizen leader.

If your student lives in Longwood-managed housing and is staying on campus during the break, they need to fill out an Intent to Stay form, which is available through the Student Housing Gateway.

It’s important to note that any student who needs access to their residence between 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, and noon Sunday, Nov. 27, must fill out an Intent to Stay form—even if they won’t be on campus for that entire time.

The Intent to Stay form must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21.

If your student lives in Longwood-managed housing and is coming home for the holidays, they should be sure to do the following before departing campus:
—Remove all trash and perishable food.
—Thoroughly clean their assigned living area, including the bathroom and common spaces.
—If applicable, adjust their room thermostat to a low/medium setting.
—Take valuables and important items with them (medication, eyeglasses, wallet, etc.).
—Shut down and unplug all electronics, except personal refrigerators or apartment appliances.
—Turn off all lights.
—Close and lock all windows.
—Lower all window blinds/shades.
—Lock all doors.

If your student lives in Moss or Johns hall, you will be able to load and unload vehicles on Spruce Street for the break. Pickup is set for 8 a.m.-8. p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22; drop off is noon- 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27. Similar to August move-in and fall break, please be sure to access Spruce Street by taking Wynne Drive to Pine Street and then turn onto the sidewalk in front of the Fitness Center. You will not be able to turn onto Spruce Street from the entrance across from McDonald’s; that access is closed for construction.

If your student asks, please let them know they should not cancel any academic or other personal obligations during the time there will be limited access to Longwood-managed housing. Instead, they should fill out the Intent to Stay form.

Below is some additional important information about the break that has been shared with students.

  • All residential communities will remain locked (24/7) during the break. Students who filled out the Intent to Stay form will continue to have access to their assigned buildings through the card reader(s) on their building (where applicable).
  • The dining hall will close after dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 22, and re-open for dinner on Sunday, Nov. 27.  Regular hours of operation resume on Monday, Nov. 28. Up-to-date hours and information for all other Longwood Dining-managed food venues can be found at https://longwood.campusdish.com/ .
  • Farmville Area Bus service (FAB) will end at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, and will resume at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27. There is no bus service for travel to Lancer Park during the break period.
  • Residence hall rooms and apartments are subject to entry during the break; limited work orders and/or facility safety inspections could occur.
  • Campus offices will be closed Nov. 23-25.  
  • For general assistance from Campus Police during the break, students can all 434-395-2091. In case of emergency, students should call 911.  Students who need help with a non-life-threatening medical issue can call the Nurse Advice Line at 805-858-3117.

 —Sabrina Brown

Joining a national show of support for first-generation college students

Students flocked to Brock Commons for this fall's Involvement Fair to learn about student organizations.

Longwood is taking the opportunity next week to recognize its first-generation college students in connection with national First Generation College Celebration Day on Nov. 8.

Representatives from Longwood’s First-Generation Student Success Working Group of faculty and staff will be greeting students and handing out information and treats at a table on Brock Commons on Monday, Nov. 7, and Wednesday, Nov. 9, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

If your student is “first-gen,” defined as the first person in a family to receive a bachelor’s degree, encourage them to stop by for a dose of heartfelt support and encouragement. If your student is not first-gen, this is an opportunity to find out more about some of their fellow students who may face different challenges from those whose families broke the path to college for them.

The inaugural First-Generation College Celebration was held in 2017 as an initiative of the Council for Opportunity in Education and the Center for First-Generation Student Success. Since then it’s become an annual event on Nov. 8, the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which included programs designed to help first-generation college students be successful.

Support for first-gen students at Longwood is available on a daily basis in many forms, including from the more than 60 faculty and staff members who have self-identified as “First Gen Allies,” a number of them first-gen college graduates themselves.

Of course, Longwood is committed to the success of all of its students and makes numerous resources available to everyone, including the Center for Academic Success, which offers tutoring, writing assistance, coaching groups and more.

“I say regularly that we were all first-gen at some point in our family experiences,” said Dean of Engagement Cheryl Steele, who leads the First-Generation Student Success group established about six years ago. “We want students, faculty and staff to recognize and celebrate the presence of our first-gen students and for those students to feel recognized and affirmed.”

—Sabrina Brown

Activities That Are Fun, Free, Fulfilling—and Perfect for Making Friends

If your student is saying they don’t know how or where to make friends here at Longwood, we’ve got you covered!

One of the best ways to make friends is to get involved in activities where the group is relatively small, providing opportunities to talk with others in a relaxed environment and who share an interest.

Maybe you’ll see something below (just a few examples of what’s offered here) that would be a great fit for your student. Encourage them to take just a small step outside their comfort zone. It will be worth it!

Celebrating Halloween

Haunted House

Friday, Oct. 28, 8-9:30 p.m., Soza Ballroom, Upchurch University Center
It’s another crazy, scary, scream-worthy Halloween event by Lancer Productions!

Learning Something New

Bowties & Bites

Tuesday, Nov. 8, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Ground Floor Lobby, Upchurch University Center
Have a special event coming up? Attending a job interview? Don’t know how to tie a tie? Stop by and grab a bite while you learn to tie a tie or bowtie.

Irish Dance Workshops

Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2-3 p.m., and Thursday, Nov. 3, 7-8 p.m., Group Fitness Room, Health and Fitness Center
Bring out your inner Irish with these workshops where you’ll learn some Irish dance steps. No experience necessary! Just bring tennis shoes/socks you can dance in.

Sign Language Club

Alternating Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m.
Participants learn all about ASL and Deaf culture in a stress-free, exciting environment! All fluency levels are accepted—especially beginners! Contact luslc1819@gmail.com for meeting locations and the date of the next meeting.

Staying Healthy—Mentally and Physically

 Well-Being Clinics

Tuesdays, 4-5 p.m., Room 313, Upchurch University Center; Thursdays, 4-5 p.m., on Zoom
These clinics teach students how to manage their mental health through mindfulness, communication skills, preventative behaviors, tolerating difficult emotions and making changes. Email glassjl@longwood.edu for Zoom link (ID: longwoodcaps) and more info.

Group Fitness Classes

Various times and locations, Health and Fitness Center
Classes offered include Spin Express, Dance-versity, Barbells, Spin Bootcamp, Fast Fitness Circuit and Yoga. Schedules: https://www.longwood.edu/recreation/

Longwood Recovers Group Meetings

Fridays, 3 p.m., Room 309C, Upchurch University Center
If your student is in recovery or if they might have a problem with alcohol or drug addiction, Longwood Recovers is here to help. It provides a place for students facing these challenges to come together in a nonjudgmental, noncritical, private forum for discussion and support. Individual meetings with Longwood’s recovery support staff also are available. http://www.longwood.edu/longwoodrecovers/

Eating Out with Friends (For Free!)

Catholic Campus Ministry Dinner

Tuesdays, 6 p.m., Midtown Square (next to Chick-fil-A)
It’s dinner compliments of Catholic Campus Ministry every Tuesday night. The evening also includes a message and games.

Wesley Campus Ministry Dinner

Tuesdays, 5 p.m., 204 High Street
Join this organization sponsored by the United Methodist Church for a free home-cooked meal, fellowship and worship.

Other Ways To Get Involved

Music ensembles: Longwood has numerous vocal and instrumental ensembles that can be taken as classes (or audited) by music majors and nonmajors as well as student organizations focused on making music.

Intramurals and club sports: A wide variety of sports are offered and geared for everyone from beginners to more advanced players.

Theatre productions: From acting to creating scenery to handling lighting—there are many ways to contribute.

The Rotunda: Longwood’s student newspaper is always looking for good writers, photographers and graphic designers.

WMLU: Longwood’s student-run radio station broadcasts 24 hours a day and offers many ways for students to get involved.

Student Employment: Meeting people is easier at work! Student jobs are available across campus.

—Sabrina Brown


Help with the FAFSA, a great campus job opportunity and more

Today’s post gives you the “skinny” on some opportunities for parents and for students. I hope you find the information helpful.

Need help with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?
Attend one—or all—of these webinars

The FAFSA for the 2023-24 year opened Oct. 1. All students who wish to be considered for financial aid—including grants, loans and scholarships—must fill out the form each year.

Many of you are probably old hands at filling out the FAFSA by now, but for others it undoubtedly is still a challenge. Honestly, most of the parents I know who have grappled with this form consider successfully completing it to be a major triumph, something along the lines of climbing Mt. Everest.

However, you don’t have to face this challenge alone. Longwood’s Office of Financial Aid is ready to lend a hand. They’re offering a series of webinars to help you prepare for and understand the FAFSA. You can access these virtual webinars here, https://longwood-edu.zoom.us/j/91000769600.

FAFSA Webinar Schedule
Oct. 21              7-8 p.m.
Nov. 12              10-11 a.m.
Jan. 13               7-8 p.m.
Feb. 11               10-11 a.m.
Feb. 25             10-11 a.m.

Keep in mind that Longwood’s priority filing deadline is March 1, 2023. The Office of Financial Aid must receive your student’s FAFSA by this date to determine their eligibility for most federal and state grants. If a student submits the FAFSA after this date, they would miss their opportunity to receive this gift aid.

 If you have a question or concern about the FAFSA that you’d like to address one-on-one with a financial aid staff member, you can make an appointment for a virtual meeting here: go.longwood.edu/finaidappt.

A Great Campus Job
Applications now being accepted for resident assistants

If your student plans to live on campus next year and will have at least one year of campus residence by the beginning of the fall semester, they might want to consider applying to be a resident assistant. Applications, which can be found online here, are being accepted through noon on Friday, Dec. 2.

Resident assistants get free housing and a base meal plan. They also get great leadership, decision-making and event-planning experience that will enhance their resumes when they are searching for that first job after college.

Students eligible to apply must
—Be a full-time student while employed
—Have no judicial record
—Have lived in Longwood-managed housing for one academic year prior to fall 2023
—Have a minimum 2.5 GPA (both semester and cumulative)
—Commit to the entire 2023-24 academic year (fall and spring semesters; this means  student teachers, students studying abroad for a full semester, peer mentors, varsity athletes and students graduating in fall 2023 are not eligible)​​

In addition, the housing office looks for students who
—Are involved and love helping others
—Advocate for their peers and are creative
—Are willing to learn and meet new people

$3,000 Study Abroad Scholarships Available

Longwood’s Center for Global Engagement is offering a new scholarship this year: the ESC Summer Leadership Program Scholarship, which will award $3,000 each to two Lancers to use for participation in this excellent program through the European Study Center in Strasbourg, France. Students in the program can choose between two four-week summer sessions worth 6 credits each.

Applications, which can be found online here, are due no later than Nov. 1. Questions can be sent to studyabroad@longwood.edu.

—Sabrina Brown