Planning for the Thanksgiving Break

Today’s post has what I hope will be some helpful information about Thanksgiving break.

For those of you whose students will be coming home for the holiday, I hope you have a wonderful visit and a very happy Thanksgiving.

This is a time when many of us think about what we’re grateful for—an activity that apparently has health benefits. Here’s what the Mayo Clinic Health System website has to say about being intentionally thankful: “Expressing gratitude is associated with a host of mental and physical benefits. Studies have shown that feeling thankful can improve sleep, mood and immunity. Gratitude can decrease depression, anxiety, difficulties with chronic pain and risk of disease. If a pill that could do this, everyone would be taking it.”

I can tell you that those of us who work at Longwood are thankful that we have the opportunity to provide your student with a college experience that prepares them for a successful and meaningful life as a citizen leader.

Now, here’s that information about the break.

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. 21, and noon Sunday, Nov. 26, 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. 20.

Filling out this form gives students uninterrupted ID card access to their housing (where applicable) and notifies Campus Police that they will or may be staying on campus during all or part of the break.

If your student asks, please let them know they should not cancel any academic or other personal obligations during the break period. Instead they can be sure to have continued access to their assigned living space by submitting the Intent to Stay form.

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. Similar to the one-way traffic flow of  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. Use Redford Street (McDonald’s intersection) only to EXIT campus.

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).
  • No guests are allowed in university housing during the break.
  • The dining hallwill close after lunch on Tuesday, Nov. 21, and re-open for dinner on Sunday, Nov. 26.  Regular hours of operation resume on Monday, Nov. 27. Up-to-date hours and information for all other Longwood Dining-managed food venues can be found at .
  • Farmville Area Bus service(FAB) will end at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, and will resume at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26. 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. 22-24.  
  • For general assistance from Campus Policeduring 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

The Fall (So Far) in Photos and Videos

Fall is a great time to be a Lancer! So many traditions happen in the fall, including New Lancer Days, the G.A.M.E., Convocation, Family Weekend and Oktoberfest.

You can get a taste of what these experiences are all about through the photos and videos below. They’re in approximate chronological order from the beginning of the semester through the beginning of October.

You just might see your Lancer having the time of their life!

Move-in Video

New Lancer Days Photos

Longwood Scarf Reveal Photos

Longwood Scarf Reveal and Pep Rally Video

First Day of Classes Photos

Convocation in the Amazing New Joan Perry Brock Center Photos

Convocation Video

Voter Registration Day with alumnus Mike Burns ’05 Photos

Family Weekend Photos

Oktoberfest Bonfire Photos

Color Wars Photos

Color Wars Video

Oktoberfest Saturday Photos

Oktoberfest Highlights Video

—Sabrina Brown


You’re Invited to Longwood’s First Homecoming, Nov. 10-12: Basketball, tailgating and more

Longwood is planning one of its biggest get-togethers ever—it’s also the university’s first Homecoming weekend—and you’re invited!

Parents and other family members are welcome to join in the fun with Longwood alumni and other members of the Lancer family. Your student may already be involved in some of the activities, like the Lancer Family Tailgate, or planning to attend one of the basketball games that weekend, which will be the first in Longwood’s amazing new Joan Perry Brock Center.

There also will be a Flapper Fashion art exhibition opening and reception, a mentalist who will display his extrasensory powers, a postgame party with a live band and baked Alaska (your chance to try Longwood’s signature dessert), a Rolling Stones tribute band at a local restaurant/club and more.

All this is less than a month away!

But don’t worry—you still have time to get in on the energy and excitement by registering now:
Adults: $35; children (ages 6-17): $15; children (5 and under): FREE.

Here are more of the details.

Register by THIS MONDAY (Oct. 23) for priority access to basketball tickets. You’ll be provided with instructions on how to purchase tickets after you register and before tickets are released to the public, when they’re expected to sell out. The men play on Saturday; the women on Sunday.

Park in one of the nearby lots on campus and walk in to the Lancer Family Tailgate on Saturday, where you’ll be welcomed as part of the Lancer family. Bring your own chairs, food, beverages (alcohol is allowed within the tailgate area), games, etc. There will be a spirit tent with face painting, giveaway Lancer swag and more.

Baked Alaska for Energy—a Great Dance Band to Burn It Off. The excitement from Saturday’s game will spill over into the after-party that evening, where you can rely on baked Alaska to fuel a night of dancing. We’ve booked a high-energy, nine-piece party band—BOUNCE!—that will play tunes proven to get you moving and challenge you to stand still! Registrants 21+ will receive one complimentary drink ticket.

TGIF—It All Starts on Friday. You can get the party started on Friday evening, Nov. 10, at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts with the 5:30-8 p.m. opening reception for Flapper Fashion from the 1920s, an exhibition guest curated by alumna Ashley Webb ’07. At 8 p.m. mentalist Craig Karges will display his extrasensory powers in Jarman Auditorium. Then wrap up the evening at the North Street Press Club, where you can rock out to the iconic music of the Rolling Stones courtesy of cover band Mother’s Little Helpers starting at 9 p.m. Looking for something different? Conclude your evening with a (fun, yet spooky) campus ghost tour instead (hot chocolate and apple cider provided).

For a full schedule of Homecoming & Alumni Weekend activities and to register, visit

The more the merrier! Hope to see you there!

—Sabrina Brown


Practical job-search advice, resume building, networking and more are on tap for Career Week, Oct. 16-19

Students’ success in their academic programs is, of course, important to Longwood faculty and staff—and even alumni—but our commitment doesn’t stop there.

Students’ success after graduation is high on the Longwood community’s list of priorities, as well.

Longwood puts significant resources into providing students with the guidance, experience and skills they need to conduct successful job searches and establish meaningful careers.

These efforts are ongoing throughout the year, but one of the biggest events is happening next week. Career Week is set for Oct. 16-19, and it’s not just for seniors. Any student would benefit from participating. It’s never too soon to start sharpening the skills that can help your student land their dream job or put them solidly on that path.

An encouraging word from you might be all that’s needed to get your student to take advantage of this incredible opportunity. Here are just a few activities coming up next week and what your student can gain from them.

Resume and Cover Letter Workshops
—Learn how to present their experience and skills to best advantage
—Get tips on writing a cover letter that will get noticed

Mock Interviews
—Practice answering common job interview questions
—Get feedback on the impression they make

The Career, Internship and Engagement Fair gives students the opportunity to speak with potential employers about jobs and internships, and university representatives about graduate programs.

LinkedIn and Networking Workshop
—Learn how to build a professional, engaging LinkedIn profile
—Find out how to increase their visibility with employers

Networking Event with Alumni and Employers
—Practice speaking with potential contacts in an informal setting
—Make networking connections
—Find out about career pathways in their fields of interest

Career, Internship and Engagement Fair
—Have a professional head shot photo taken (free)
—Speak with employers (including those offering internships)
—Find out about graduate school programs

For more information, check out the full schedule of Career Week activities.

—Sabrina Brown

Fall break is a great opportunity to support your freshman’s transition to college

Note: Today’s post is from Waleed Ahmed, associate director of enrollment management and student success at Longwood.

Fall break starts this evening, and I’m sure every freshman is looking forward to taking a deep breath after the last few months that have been packed with a lot of “firsts.”

All of those “firsts” typically cause a whirlwind of emotions—some positive and some challenging—and, as a parent, it’s not always easy to know how to help your student handle the newfound independence of college life and the challenges of higher-level classes.

I’d like to share some resources with you that may help as you welcome your freshman back with loving arms and support them over the break.

If your child is experiencing a lot of emotional and psychological strains, please encourage them to contact Longwood Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) when they return next week. CAPS is a valuable resource dedicated to providing support for students in need.

—Waleed Ahmed

An Oktoberfest Primer: What your student may not have told you about one of Longwood’s favorite traditions

Has your student mentioned anything about Oktoberfest?

If not, I thought you might like to know a little about one of Longwood’s favorite annual traditions. With a Farmaritaville theme this year, Oktoberfest is a week of events that kicks off this Sunday, Sept. 24, and concludes with a full day of events on Saturday.

Oktoberfest is a refresher for students at about the midpoint of the semester. Here’s what your students will be experiencing next week:

Bonfire, the traditional kickoff to Oktoberfest, is on Sunday
Spirit activities Monday through Friday, including Beach Day (imagine the campus full of students dressed as if they’re on a tropical vacation) and a Pink Out, where everyone wears pink to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Service Walk on Thursday
Color Wars on Friday (more about this class-based “paint war” further down)
Saturday, the main event: student organization booths, the Oktoberfest procession followed by the Klown dance and spirit leader performance (in lederhosen, of course), student entertainment and an evening concert featuring four live bands

Bring in the Klowns! It’s a time-honored part of Oktoberfest.

Student organizations set up booths to promote awareness and raise money.

Color Wars, which is part of Oktoberfest, is a tradition on its own, pitting the green classes (students who entered in odd years/freshmen and juniors) against the red classes (students who entered in even years/sophomores and seniors). Most students wear a white T-shirt to this “battle,” which involves slinging as much paint as possible on your opponents, resulting in a unique memento of the event. A winner is usually declared, but it really doesn’t matter which team gets the most paint on the other because “red + green = blue!”

Color Wars is a friendly “battle” of red and green paint.

Oktoberfest is organized by the Longwood Geist Chapter of Mortar Board, a national union of senior honor societies whose mission includes recognizing and encouraging leadership and establishing opportunities for a meaningful exchange of ideas.

—Sabrina Brown

U.S. News rankings put Longwood in the South’s top 10 regional public universities

For the eighth straight year, Longwood has been named a top-10 regional public university in the South in the U.S. News & World Report rankings, which were released today.

Over the last decade, Longwood has secured a place in the upper echelon of the regional collegiate rankings. This year, Longwood is ranked No. 8 among all regional public universities in the South.

Also notable in the rankings this year: Longwood is among the top 25 public and private universities in the South (for the fifth straight year) and has climbed a total of 17 spots over the past three years on the Best Value in the South list.

Other U.S. News shoutouts this year went to the nursing, psychology and undergraduate business programs.

In addition, Money magazine’s 2023 rankings named Longwood as one of America’s Best Colleges, and included Longwood in its Best College Dorms and Best Value Colleges lists.

The full story from Longwood’s website is below.

Happy Monday!

—Sabrina Brown

P.S. It was great to see so many families here for Family Weekend! I hope all of you who made the trip to Farmville had a great time and, most of all, a meaningful visit with your Lancer.

Longwood ranked top 10 in South Region for eighth straight year

For the eighth straight year, Longwood University is a top-10 regional public university in the South, according to the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings out today.

Over the last decade, Longwood has secured a place in the upper echelon of the regional collegiate rankings. This year, Longwood is ranked No. 8 among all regional public universities in the South. This year also marks the fifth straight year of Longwood’s being ranked in the top 25 public and private universities in the South, as well as a climb of 17 spots over the past three years on the Best Value in the South list.

The rankings rise coincides with a continued investment in small classes taught by full-time professors, a course of action few public universities have taken. More than two-thirds of Longwood classes have 20 or fewer students, the highest percentage of any Virginia public college or university. Civitae Core Curriculum classes, the foundational courses that all students take as they develop into citizen leaders, are capped at 25 students.

“The source of our strength is our small classes taught by full-time faculty, individual attention for students, and the opportunities for personal and professional growth that can only be found in a residential academic community,” said President W. Taylor Reveley IV. “Rankings can never paint a complete picture of life on campus, but they can reflect the kind of meaningful investments in academics and faculty that we have made over the past 10 years at Longwood.”

Longwood’s latest U.S. News ranking—used by millions of high-schoolers and families to make decisions about higher education—is bolstered by a climb in the rankings on its Best Schools for Social Mobility list. U.S. News announced that their ratings formula changed this year, favoring metrics like prestige of faculty publications over past measures like alumni donation rates.

The nursing program, which was named the Best BSN Program in the Southeast for 2022 by, again made the nationwide U.S. News list, bolstered by its near-perfect pass rate on nursing licensure exams over the past seven years. Longwood’s psychology and undergraduate business programs are also highlighted on nationwide lists.

“I’m particularly proud of our measurement on social mobility,” continued Reveley. “We have always considered it a great strength of Longwood that students from all walks of life—from those for whom college is a given to those who thought it was out of reach—don’t just earn a degree at this university, they flourish as people. I’m proud of our continued investment in them and in programs that support their success.”

Longwood was also named one of America’s Best Colleges by Money magazine and is featured on Best College Dorms and Best Value Colleges by

Upgrades to internet speed and connections are coming in January

Come January, wired and WiFi internet speeds in residence halls, Lancer Park and Longwood Landings will get a significant boost, thanks to the university’s investment in upgrading its network in those buildings.

Students will receive technical support for connectivity issues 24/7/365 directly from Shentel, the university’s internet provider.

Uploading and downloading will be faster

Starting in January, the new internet service will offer a faster speed of 100/100 Mbps through both wired and WiFi connections. This means is that students will be able to upload and download data at a faster rate of 100 Mbps (megabits per second).

Mark Kendrick, associate vice president for Information Technology Services (ITS), said Longwood understands that internet service and its performance are crucial for students in their academic and extracurricular activities. With the recent upgrade, he added, students will experience faster uploading and downloading. This will result in less buffering and more uninterrupted viewing, especially when streaming content on platforms like Netflix or Hulu.

Faster upload speeds will aid in transferring large files, such as high-resolution photographs used in art classes, as well as facilitating file sharing in group projects, Kendrick said.

More and better connections

Also part of this project is the upgrading and increase of WAPs (wireless access points), which connect computers and other devices to wireless Internet service.

Audrey Bright, Shentel’s director of enterprise sales who has been collaborating closely with Kendrick, said they will be upgrading 157 WAPs and installing 109 new ones to improve connectivity in the residence halls and apartment buildings, including in the rooms of students.

“Overall, coverage is very good in each of the covered buildings,” she said. “However, there are some weak spots, and Shentel will be adding WAPs to enhance coverage and capacity in areas with weak signal and/or high demand. Shentel is very excited to continue our partnership with Longwood in enhancing the student experience through technology that grows along with student needs.”

The upgrades won’t function optimally—meaning slower internet speeds—unless students help with one critical part of the process, Kendrick said. If your student is using their own WAP or mobile hotspot, please encourage them to disable it when the new system becomes operational.

“We know that some students have purchased their own WAPs and turn on their mobile hotspot in an attempt to improve their internet performance,” Kendrick said. “While they may improve coverage in a specific area or for a specific student or group of students, they interfere with the performance of the network, and can negatively impact the experience of other students nearby. The effectiveness of the upgrades will be compromised by the interference that these unmanaged devices create.

“Please allow the new system to function at its highest and most effective level by removing these boosters in January.”

Technical support 24/7/365 from Shentel

If your student is experiencing connectivity issues and is unable to access the internet, Shentel is available to provide technical support 24/7/365. Simply have your student call 855-267-7289 for assistance. For other technical issues, please have your student contact Longwood’s Help Desk at 434-395-4357.

Funding for the project

A portion of the funding for this upgrade is coming from the reallocation of funds that were previously used for cable TV service, Kendrick said, adding that this decision was made after observing and receiving feedback from students living in Longwood-managed housing, where less than 1 percent of residents are currently utilizing cable TV.

“Given the substantial decline in cable TV use, we wanted to put those resources toward the network upgrade,” said Kendrick. “Longwood is committed to providing students with the tools they need to be successful academically, and technology is high on that list.”

—Sabrina Brown

New police chief brings more than 25 years in law enforcement and a fresh perspective to campus

Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Longwood’s new chief of police, who today took the reins of the Longwood University Police Department.

Angela Comer, who was selected after a nationwide search, is a decorated law enforcement officer with more than 25 years of experience in community policing who has recently breathed new life into the law enforcement division of a prominent state agency.

“Angela is the kind of leader who naturally embraces Longwood’s mission of developing citizen leaders who are prepared to make positive contributions to society,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Cameron Patterson ’10, M.S. ’17, whose office oversees the university’s police department. “A defining through-line in her career that stood out to us was her ability to bring different people together to form safer communities. She’s done that at every level and at every command post, and is poised to bring that to bear here at Longwood.”

Comer previously was a captain with Virginia’s Department of Wildlife Resources, where she managed Internal Affairs, Compliance and Leadership Development for the law enforcement division. Before that, she spent the majority of her career in the Arlington County Police Department, rising from patrol officer and school resource officer to lieutenant overseeing the property crimes division. Comer holds a bachelor’s degree in government and international politics from George Mason University and a master’s degree in criminal justice administration from Troy University. She is also a graduate of Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.

At Longwood, she is leading a professional police department accredited by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission. The department of fully sworn officers has concurrent jurisdiction with the Town of Farmville Police Department and works closely with the town and the Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Department on a range of law enforcement issues.

“I’m excited to get to know the LUPD staff,” Comer said. “I’m committed to providing the necessary resources so our existing officers achieve their career goals, and to recruiting the next generation of police officers. In my career I’ve benefited from police leadership who supported my ambitions and opened up doors for me. It’s a key role of a police chief, and I’m looking forward to stepping into that position.”

Comer’s varied background in law enforcement has led her to a perspective that puts people first.

“My philosophy in policing has always been to serve,” said Comer. “In fact, I prefer to lead with words like engagement and partnership rather than policing. When law enforcement is present and engaged and we put ourselves in the position to be a part of a community rather than separate from the people we serve, we are all safer and more secure. I’m looking forward to meeting students, faculty, staff, parents, town and county partners, and a whole host of other folks.”

“In many ways, this position represents the reasons I got into law enforcement in the first place: the opportunity to affect lives in a positive way, to be an integral part in making a safe community, and the opportunity to mentor and educate,” she said. “My time in the classroom shaped my life powerfully, and being a part of that atmosphere has been a career goal of mine.”

Throughout her tenure in Arlington, Comer developed a reputation as a fair-minded leader who drew on her family’s history to propel an ongoing conversation about the role of police in the Northern Virginia community. Her father, Irving Comer, was the first Black police officer in Arlington County, and he left a legacy that has informed Angela Comer’s life and career.

“There’s no denying that I have a distinct lens through which I interact with the community around me,” said Comer. “I am a Black female in a predominately male profession and a profession that hasn’t always had a positive relationship with Black and other minority communities. But that puts me in a unique position to show people who look like me that policing doesn’t have to be what they’ve traditionally experienced, and that success in the profession is attainable. My experience serving the diverse Arlington County community and Department of Wildlife Resources constituents is no less important, which I will leverage to serve the Longwood community responsively and equitably.”

Not one to shy away from tough conversations, Comer is eager to engage in open and respectful exchanges of ideas with the campus community.

“It’s through the tough conversations that we grow,” she said. “I’ve always looked at them as an opportunity to learn from others, to express my point of view and to build consensus.”

During a lengthy interview process, Comer met with a panel of current police chiefs at Virginia universities, led by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, where she garnered praise for her impeccable service record and willingness to push the law enforcement community forward.

During her 24-year tenure in Arlington County, Comer spent six years as a detective in the special victims unit, where she investigated sex crimes, child abuse, domestic violence, stalking and harassment cases. One of those cases, a high-profile cyber-stalking case that resulted in a seven-year sentence for the suspect, garnered national media attention and earned her the 2013 Arlington County Crime Solvers’ Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award.

Early in her career in Arlington, Comer served as the School Resource Officer Unit team leader, where she spearheaded the development of modern school safety plans and managed security at a variety of events.

“I’ve always enjoyed being around young people,” she said. “The great thing about young people is that they always bring new perspectives to the way things are done. I like that they don’t think the way we do and aren’t afraid to speak their minds—we can all learn from that. That’s one of the great things about being in college: you start to develop the foundation of who you are. It’s a time when people can make mistakes and learn to take risks. I see myself as a resource in that time of growth while keeping the guardrails of law enforcement up.”

Sign up for safety alerts via text

I thought today’s post would also be a good time to let parents know again that they can sign up for text alerts that are sent out as part of Longwood’s emergency alerts platform.

To sign up for text alerts, just text LUALERTS to 226787. This will enter your mobile phone number into the system, and you will receive all text message alerts that are sent out. These are the same alerts that go out to students.

For all other notifications, you—and your student—can download the new Longwood Ready app. It’s free and can be found in your app store by searching “Longwood Ready.” The app has an array of helpful safety information and features, including Friend Walk, which allows you to virtually “walk your student” to their destination.

If you have trouble downloading the Longwood Ready app, please email, and we’ll do our best to help you solve the problem. (Be sure to turn on notifications once you’ve downloaded Longwood Ready.)

—Sabrina Brown

Perfect Timing: Family Weekend is set for Sept. 15-16

Family Weekend is set for Sept. 15-16 this year, and it’s no coincidence that it happens just about a month after the start of the fall semester.

By that time, some of you may be missing your student after having them at home over the summer. Or you may be wondering how they’re adjusting if they’re new to Longwood. Family Weekend is the perfect cover story—I mean, opportunity—to come back to Longwood for a visit because lots of other parents will be here, too. (You can also get another couple of hugs to last you until fall break, which is set for Oct. 5-6 this year).

And you won’t have any trouble finding something to do. Family Weekend has a full slate of activities for Friday evening and all day Saturday, including the free Heart of Virginia Festival on Sept. 16, which takes place right in Longwood’s front yard and the surrounding area.

Family Weekend registration is $25 per person (Longwood students and children age 5 and under attend free). Most of the activities are covered in the registration fee. For an additional cost, you can also sign up for a pottery class with a faculty member, a paint party and/or a psychic/mentalist performance. For all the details and the weekend’s full schedule click here.

Family Weekend Highlights

—Evening Reception with Members of the Longwood University President’s Council
—Game Night, Featuring Bingo, Family Feud and Trivia
—Continental Breakfast
—Campus Involvement Talks
—Heart of Virginia Festival
—Men’s Soccer Game vs. Saint Francis University
—Longwood Music Showcase
—Saturday Night Entertainment with the Evasons

Accommodations, Etc.

You’ll find information about local accommodations, restaurants, attractions and more on the Family Weekend website.


You can register online or in person from 4-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, at the Upchurch University Center.

We hope to see you here next month!

—Sabrina Brown

Family Weekend is not funded by state funds, tuition or state fees. Family Weekend is an independent and self-supporting activity for families and friends of the university.