LU Names Reveley As President

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2013

FARMVILLE – Fifty years after his grandfather assumed the presidency of Hampden-Sydney College, W. Taylor Reveley IV has been named the next president of Longwood University.

And his father, W. Taylor Reveley III, is president of the College of William and Mary. Three generations, in what may be a Virginia first, and three different college presidents.

Talk about the acorn not falling far from the tree.

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But there are Reveley roots stretching out through the limbs of Longwood's family tree, as well.

“Longwood has been a key part of my family's life for generations,” the 38-year old Reveley said in a university press release. “My grandmother, her sisters and her mother were all graduates of Longwood, and her father taught biology at Longwood. I am honored, and humbled, to lead this storied university, which has such tremendous opportunities ahead, always focused on the vital work of educating citizen leaders for our future-Longwood's wonderful students. One of America's oldest public universities has a special duty to meet the challenges we face in Virginia and the nation.”

LU made the announcement Saturday following a vote by its Board of Visitors.

Reveley's term begins June 1 and is currently set to run, at least, through 2018. He will follow the administration of Patrick Finnegan, who resigned last spring because of health concerns. Marge Connelly has been interim president.

Reveley, a Princeton University graduate, was publicly unveiled on campus Tuesday afternoon and will come to Longwood from his current position as managing director of the University of Virginia's Miller Center, which the organization's website describes as a “nonpartisan institute that seeks to expand understanding of the presidency, policy and political history, providing critical insights for the nation's governance challenges.”

The Center's director and CEO, former Virginia Governor Gerald Baliles, provided a resounding endorsement of Longwood's decision to bring Reveley, whose wife, Marlo, is vice-president of Allianz Global Assistance, an hour south from Charlottesville to Farmville.

“Taylor is a leader with vision and drive. It is a great day for higher education-in Virginia and beyond-to have him in the ranks of college and university presidents,” Baliles commented in the LU's press release. “And it is a truly great day for Longwood.”

Governor Baliles will get no argument from Longwood.

“In the many careful months of this search,” observed Jane Maddux, who led LU's presidential search committee, “Taylor's personal qualities and his qualities as a leader shone through strongly, as did his passion for liberal arts education in preparation for professional life and engaged citizenship. We are thrilled he is Longwood's next president.”

A passion for the liberal arts beats in the Reveley family's heart, as most notably evidenced by its three campus presidencies that began with W. Taylor Reveley, II, who served as president of H-SC from 1963 to 1977.

As Larissa Fergeson, chair LU's Faculty Senate, noted, “Taylor knows the rhythms and traditions of academia so well, and also knows the importance of an innovative spirit as the pace of change accelerates for the country, here in Virginia and globally.”

They are, quite literally, in his DNA.

Longwood's Board of Visitors Rector, Marianne Radcliff, said, “Taylor has a rare record of accomplishment and powerful range of experience, in academia and more broadly. He deeply understands all of the facets, demands and constituencies of the life of a university, and will work so well with our faculty, staff, alumni and board in leading Longwood and doing what Longwood does best-transforming the lives of our students,” she said in LU's release.

The Miller Center is backed by a $65 million endowment, enabling it to undertake the nation's official oral history of every U.S. presidential administration.

Reveley will soon begin his own presidential administration, just six miles from the campus where his grandfather became the first of, so far, three Reveleys to lead an institution of higher learning.

The Reveleys, for anyone looking toward a fourth campus presidency, have two children.