‘Accept that and move forward’
I read with some amusement Dr. James Kidd’s “April Fool” letter about the closing of the Longwood Golf Course (“Longwood’s April Fools joke,” Wednesday, May 11).
I can’t speak directly to Longwood University’s reasons, but having served for many years on the budget and audit committee of the Board of Trustees of Hampden-Sydney College, I can say a college must be fiscally responsible with its funding and assets. Maybe not maintain “profit centers,” as Kidd alluded, but certainly not let something be a drain on the institution’s mission. The H-SC Board of Trustees turned down an opportunity several years ago to acquire the Manor Golf course because they did not have the experience, time or resources to devote to it. The college’s mission is to provide quality higher education, not to operate a golf course.
For this reason, very few colleges or universities the size of Hampden-Sydney or Longwood own golf courses.
Kidd referred to the Manor as a “struggling private enterprise.” I wonder where he obtained such information. Did he talk with club management? Has he seen actual financial statements or analysis?
According to a recent conversation with management at The Manor, under their leadership, the golf course is doing “extremely well.” It has been profitable since 2013 and the owner has made a substantial long-term financial commitment to ensure the golf course will be there for “a long, long time.”
Also, renewed interest in residential development at The Manor should enhance economic growth for the area.
I would assume at this point in time Longwood’s decision is final and maybe we all should now just accept that and move forward.
Scott M. Harwood