Longwood’s April Fools joke

Published 1:12 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2016


I heartily enjoyed the April Fools article about the Longwood University golf course in the April 1 Farmville Herald (“Revenues fell sharply at LU golf course”). It’s not every day that you can read such crafted fiction in a news article. 

That Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV’s chief of staff Justin Pope revealed $150,000 of state money (in the form of student comprehensive fees) going to the Manor golf course, that beautiful but struggling private enterprise, after a stone wall of “no comment” from the administration to earlier inquiries, was a splendid joke.

Anyone, but particularly parents of Longwood students, would surely view that arrangement as preposterous and inappropriate. April Fools!

When Longwood Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Tim Pierson mentioned the course’s decade of “decline,” he must have meant the decline in the Longwood course’s annual budget, reflecting a pattern of neglect by the university administration.

Poor Longwood, “only 93 members.” Compared to what? And did anyone know that the Longwood golf course was intended to be a “profit center”? Another good one. And “the university’s golf course has never really been used by a large amount of students.” I’m not sure what “a large amount of students” is (measured by the pound?), but isn’t innuendo fun? Why deal with fact? More April Fools!

No better conclusion than the solemn piety of “responsibility as good stewards of public higher education” (think crocodile tears), hypocrisy veiled as “responsibility.” All in all, a fine bit of April Foolery, fun even if totally misleading, but wasn’t that the point?

James C. Kidd