Longwood University: Wikis


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Longwood University
Motto Discover the Power in You
Established 1839
Type Public
President Patricia P. Cormier, through June 30, 2010 Patrick Finnegan, starting July 1, 2010
Students 4,479
Undergraduates 3,787
Postgraduates 692
Location Farmville, Virginia, United States
Campus Rural, 154-acre (623,215.9 m2)
Colors Blue and White
Nickname Lancers
Athletics NCAA Division I
Affiliations Independent
Website www.longwood.edu

Longwood University is a four-year public, liberal-arts university located in Farmville, Virginia, United States. It was founded in 1839, and became a university on July 1, 2002. It currently has an undergraduate enrollment of about 3,700 students and a total enrollment of 4,400.



Longwood staff includes Dr. James Jordan who among other things was State Teacher of the Year in 1995 as voted on by the Virginia General Assembly.

Longwood offers over 100 majors and minors in three colleges, the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Economics, and the College of Education and Human Services. [1]

The university is consistently ranked in the top ten public, masters-level universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report, and was recently selected by USA Today as one of only 20 schools in the country that actively promote and foster student success.[2][3] The Longwood Theatre program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre.[4] In 2008 the university opened submissions for and mounted the 1st Annual Longwood Ten-Minute Play Festival.

College of Education and Human Services

The Department of Education and Special Education offers a 40-credit program in liberal studies elementary education and in liberal studies middle school education. The Liberal Studies major has been designed specifically for students seeking licensure to teach with an Elementary or Middle School Endorsement and is required. With careful scheduling and attention to the requirements for admission to the teacher preparation program, a student can complete all degree and program requirements in four years. The Teacher Preparation Program is administered through the Office of Professional Services. [1] The Office of Professional Services coordinates field and clinical experiences for undergraduate and graduate candidates who are pursuing a teaching license. Field and clinical experiences include Practicum I, Practicum II, Partnership, Professional Semester and Graduate Professional Semester. In order to pursue field and clinical experiences, admission into the Teacher Preparation Program is necessary. Requirements for admission must be submitted by March 1 and include completion of application, faculty recommendation, overall GPA of 2.5 or higher, “C” or better in English 150 and “C” or better in all prerequisite courses as determined by program area, and a qualifying test score in one of the following; Praxis I (532 composite), SAT (1100 composite with at least 530 on verbal and math skills), or ACT (24 composite with at least 22 on math and 46 on reading and English subtests). [2]


Founded on March 5, 1839 as the Farmville Female Seminary Association, Longwood University is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the United States and one the oldest public institutions of higher education for women in the United States. The Farmville Female College was incorporated in 1860 as the increasing prosperity of the seminary led the stockholders to expand it into a college. Longwood is the third oldest public institution of higher learning in Virginia, after the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia.

On April 7, 1884, the state of Virginia acquired the property of the Farmville Female College, and in October of the same year the Normal School opened with 110 students enrolled, making it the first state institution of higher learning for women in Virginia. The Normal School expanded its curriculum over the years and progressed through a succession of names. It became the State Normal School for Women in 1914, the State Teachers College at Farmville in 1924, and Longwood College in 1949. In 1954, graduate programs were authorized. Longwood became fully coeducational in June 1976.

A popular myth on the university campus holds that whenever the time the college changed its name, catastrophic events like the Ruffner fire, deemed "The Great Fire of 2001," occurred.

Other examples include:

  • 1884: The college changes its name to the State Female Normal School in Farmville. This was part of the agreement when the Commonwealth of Virginia bought the school from its original owners, because the owners were bankrupt following the Civil War.
  • 1923: Right before the school changed its name to the State Teachers College the next year, a fire destroyed the dining hall, sitting behind Ruffner Hall.
  • 1949: Just after the school changed its name to Longwood College, a fire destroyed White House Hall, a building next to East Ruffner (currently where part of Main Tabb is today), and a mirror image to Grainger Hall, which housed an auditorium. The decision was made by then-President Dabney Lancaster to wait for the new auditorium (now Jarman Hall) to open two years later, then expand Tabb to connect directly to Ruffner.

On April 24, 2001 a main university building, Ruffner Hall, caught on fire and burned down despite the efforts of multiple local fire departments including the Farmville fire department. It was in the middle of a renovation and was subsequently rebuilt. Ruffner Hall, built in 1839 as the "College Building", had evolved through several stages of construction and expansion from 1839 to 1907. For decades the sprawling Ruffner, whose image appears on the university's logo and seal, was the main administration building, with administrative offices on the first floor and student housing on the upper two floors. After students vacated the building by the early 1970s, dorm rooms were converted to office and classroom space. The former library, Lancaster Hall, was renovated and reopened in 1996 as the main administration building. Ruffner was then used primarily for classrooms and faculty offices before being closed in 1999 for renovation.

Governor Mark Warner officially signed legislation changing Longwood's designation to university on April 24, 2002, the one-year anniversary of the fire that destroyed Ruffner Hall.

On March 2, 2010, Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan, USA, was named as the 25th president of Longwood University. Finnegan currently serves as the dean of the Academic Board at the United States Military Academy, and will take office on July 1. He replaces Patricia Cormier, who has been the president of Longwood since 1996. [5]</ref>


Longwood sits on 154-plus acres near downtown Farmville, Virginia. Although a single campus, architecturally speaking the grounds are separated into two distinct areas: the historic “north core” and the more modern south end.

The oldest part of campus stretches along High Street from French dormitory to Grainger Hall. These six red-brick Jeffersonian buildings (French, Tabb (Being Renovated to serve as athletic offices in the future), South Tabb (Offline and slated for demolition in the future) and South Ruffner dormitories, and Grainger, Ruffner, and Blackwell Halls) date from the 1830s to the 1920s and are joined by a covered colonnade and all bear the university’s signature red roofs. At the center of this complex is Longwood’s main building, Ruffner Hall. The College of Arts and Sciences and recently the university’s athletic offices, are located in along this section of campus. To the western end of the north core is the administration building, Lancaster, as well as Jarman Theatre and the recently completed Chichester Science Center.

Surrounding the main campus walk, Brock Commons, are the College of Business and Economics in Hiner Building, as well as the Cunninghams dormitories, the Dorrill Dining Hall and Lankford Building, the student union. At the south end of campus are the library, music and arts buildings, and the Hull Education Center. Several athletic complexes and dormitories surround the perimeter of the campus.

New Construction

Construction has been completed on a new Communications and Theater building. The $11.9 million dollar new theater building features a 75 seat flexible black box theatre, a 100 seat studio theatre, 4 multi-function classrooms, a costume lab, a rehearsal studio, traditional drafting lab and a computer design lab.[6]

The new Health and Fitness Center opened on August 28, 2007. The 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) facility, features a wide range of amenities including an indoor track, basketball and racquetball courts, a climbing wall, work-out rooms, juice bar, and the latest weight, exercise and training equipment.

Across Main Street, a new retail/student housing complex made of four four-story buildings arranged in an pedestrian mall-type setting, called "Longwood Landings," was completed in the fall of 2006.

A new athletic training facility is currently under construction and is due to be completed by the spring semester.

Bedford Hall, the Art building on campus is currently being renovated. The $30 million project is expected to be completed in 2011.

Student activities

Student life at Longwood revolves around many traditions, such as the annual Oktoberfest and Spring Weekend celebrations and Founders Day celebration. Oktoberfest is usually held on the first weekend in October, while Spring Weekend typically occurs on the third weekend in April. One part of Spring Weekend is called "Bandfest," a concert on the Friday of Spring Weekend, and is run by the student radio station WMLU, formerly WLCX. On April 30, 1995, the Ramones played in Lancer Gym, and the show was free for everyone. Other artists such as Peter Himmelman, Lovell Sisters, Air Miami, Matthew Sweet, Lois Maffeo, Brenda Kahn, Something Corporate, Yellowcard, Carbon Leaf,Cartel, Dierks Bentley, Taylor Swift, Andrew W.K., Regina Spektor, Josh Kelley, Flogging Molly, Story of the Year, The Fray, Matt Nathanson, Baby Bash, 311, Phunk Junkeez, The Bloodhound Gang, 2 Skinnee J's,and Shwayze have performed in the past. Throughout the rest of the year weekend events are sponsored by the student activities board, Lancer Productions. Past acts have included comedians Elvira Kurt, Stephen Lynch, Loni Love, Jimmy Fallon, Carrot Top and Jon Stewart.

Intercollegiate athletics

Athletics logo

The Longwood University Lancers athletics program compete as Division I Independent. The men's sports consist of baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and tennis. Women's sports consist of basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball and tennis.

The men's soccer team holds membership in the Atlantic Soccer Conference (ASC) where they reached they won their first conference title in 2008 with a win in the conference championship over Adelphi. The women's soccer team also caputured a United Soccer Conference championship in 2008 with a victory over Utah Valley State, 2008. The only other team with conference affiliation is field hockey in the NorPac Conference. In 2007 the men's golf team became the first team to play in NCAA Division I postseason play when they reached the NCAA East Regional tournament in their first year of eligibility.

Club sports

Longwood also has many club sports. The most winning team on campus is the Men's Rugby Team. In 2007 & 2009 the men's rugby team took 3rd place in USA Rugby's Division 3 National tournament. Falling just short of National Champion Coastal Carolina University in the Semi Finals in 2009

In the 2009-2010 school year, Longwood gained a Club Football and Club Baseball team.


Also popular at Longwood is the secret society, CHI, named after the Greek letter X.[7] Shrouded in mystery, CHI was founded on October 15, 1900. Members are secretly "tapped" and are revealed only at the conclusion of their senior year during the annual CHI Burning, a large bonfire held on campus to commend members of the Longwood community for their selfless acts.[7]

CHI at times leave "CHI droppings" on campus, and it is considered very rare for somebody to find one. Pieces of CHI are not meant to leave campus, and are to be passed down before one graduates, per tradition.


Another secret society at Longwood is Princeps, which was founded on 7 principles of leadership. Members are selected during their undergraduate career and are not revealed until graduation. The group recognizes and honors citizens of the Longwood community who are exceptional leaders. The mysteries of this organization are only revealed with their droppings around campus and their recognition of those who embody the spirit of Princeps. Students often step on the crowned sevens around campus for good luck.

Ghost Stories

Many myths also abound on Longwood’s campus, thanks in part to the annual Longwood Ghost Stories. Told at Halloween by professor of anthropology, Dr. James Jordan, students are reminded every year of the cemetery that still remains beneath the North Cunningham residence hall; the eerie red line that crosses room 333 and a light but distinct knocking on doors in Main Cunningham by the phantasm known to residents as the "Brown Lady"; the infamous University Bell, which now sits in the lobby of Greenwood Library and is rung only on highly special occasions, is said to be cursed, having caused the mysterious deaths of more than one student. One story tells of a young man who was burned to death in Hiner Hall after he tried unsuccessfully to end a suicide attempt. Also said to have caused the mysterious departing of students is the once massive network of underground tunnels. Although remaining portions of the tunnels are officially said to not exist, many students believe they do and are haunted by the ghosts of past students.


Longwood University is considered to be the "Mother of Sororities," for having the distinction of having more national sororities founded there than any other school, 4.

The following national sororities were founded at Longwood: Alpha Sigma Alpha, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Zeta Tau Alpha, and Kappa Delta.

Along with the Alpha chapters, Longwood currently has chapters of the following sororities: Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Sigma Tau, Delta Zeta, and Sigma Kappa.

In 2009, Zeta Tau Alpha's Alpha chapter at Longwood came under fire from nationals due to allegations of hazing and underage drinking. After repeated warnings and probationary periods, the charter was finally revoked in April 2009.


As of November 2009, the following national fraternities are recognized by Longwood as having an active chapter: Alpha Chi Rho, Alpha Sigma Phi, Phi Kappa Tau, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Nu, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and Theta Chi.


Longwood University is a strict investigator of hazing allegations, especially since 2009 saw the dismissal of sorority Zeta Tau Alpha.

In 2001, the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity had its charter revoked due to hazing allegations. The national organization and Longwood allowed for Pi Kappa Phi to come back as an associate chapter in 2008.

In the 2008-2009 school year alone, Alpha Gamma Delta, Sigma Nu, Sigma Phi Epsilon, along with Zeta Tau Alpha, had their chapters face some sort of sanctions due to allegations of hazing.

Joan of Arc

Jeanne d'Arc in Longwood University's Ruffner Hall

Unique among public American universities is Longwood’s adoption of a patron saint. Saint Joan of Arc is said to both protect and inspire Longwood students. The University’s two prized depictions of Joan are “Jeanne d’Arc,”—known affectionately as “Joanie on the Stony"—an 1870 plaster statue created by French sculptor Henri-Michel-Antoine Chapu and Anna Hyatt Huntington's 1915 bronze Joan of Arc equestrian statue, nicknamed “Joanie on the Pony.”

Rituals and myths dealing with the two statues abound. Joanie on the Stony, for example, heralds the occasion of every CHI walk with a pair of mysteriously appearing blue and white carnations. Joanie on the Stony is also said to bring good luck for tests to students who touch her clasped hands on their way to class.

Joanie on the Pony, however, with her knight's armor and sword, acts as Longwood’s protector. On the night of the Great Fire of 2001, Joanie turned bright red upon her horse from the intense heat of the flames. Although the fire spread west-ward, engulfing Grainger Hall along with Ruffner, the connected student dorms past Joanie to the east remained untouched—the fire stopped directly before her.[8]

In October 2009, Joanie on the Pony was vandalized, and authorities have taken the statue. It is currently being kept at the Longwood Center for Visual Arts.

The Dos Passos Prize

The English department at Longwood University awards the annual John Dos Passos Prize For Literature, founded in 1980. Notable past recipients include Graham Greene, Tom Wolfe, Shelby Foote, Paule Marshall, Ernest J. Gaines, E. Annie Proulx, and Richard Powers.

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference
Jerome Kersey 2006 former basketball player (drafted in the second round in 1984 by the Portland Trail Blazers. Finished degree in 2006).
Michael Tucker 1993 former professional baseball player
Jason Mraz did not graduate singer–Songwriter
Pat McGee did not graduate Singer, songwriter

External links

See also


  1. ^ "Majors/Areas of Study - Academic Programs - WhyLongwood.com". Longwood University. 2009. http://www.whylongwood.com/academics/majors/index.htm. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  2. ^ "America's Best Colleges 2008". U.S. News and World Report. 2008. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/t1univmas_s_brief.php. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  3. ^ "Newly listed: 20 colleges that foster student success". USA Today. August 28, 2005. http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2005-08-28-colleges-success_x.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  4. ^ "Longwood's theatre program is re-accredited". News Release. Longwood University. May 13, 2004. http://www.longwood.edu/news/releases/nast.html. Retrieved 2008-04-11. 
  5. ^ "Meet the New President". Longwood University. 2010. http://www.longwood.edu/president/newpresident.htm. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  6. ^ "New Communication Studies and Theatre Facility". Longwood Theatre. Longwood University. http://www.longwood.edu/theatre/pages/newfacility.html. Retrieved 2008-04-11. 
  7. ^ a b "Chi Turns 100". Longwood: A magazine for the Alumni and Friends of Longwood College. Longwood University. Winter 2001. http://www.longwood.edu/longwood/Winter01/oncampus2.html. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  8. ^ "Longwood’s “Joanie on the Pony” undergoes conservation effort, regains sword". News Release. Longwood University. May 17, 2006. http://www.longwood.edu/news/releases/2006/joaniepony.html. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 

Coordinates: 37°18′5.6″N 78°23′39.1″W / 37.301556°N 78.394194°W / 37.301556; -78.394194

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