‘The man who closed the golf course’

Published 6:24 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2016


The Longwood University administration’s idea of progress appears to be bigger is better. 

The public relations tail is wagging the dog — all too common today in higher education. 

Policy and decisions are drawn to the grand gesture, the use of hyperbole, the “bigger is better” syndrome.

This operating principle is overreach, being seduced by grandiloquence.

The danger is that public image becomes more important than recognizing the value and potential of what one has, an old-fashioned principle of prudence and, dare I say it, modesty.

One example is when the Longwood administration chose to enter Division I athletics.

Aside from a bloated athletic budget and financial drain on the rest of the university, what has been the advantage? 

Similarly, the decision to close the beautiful but modest 9-hole Longwood Golf Course on July 1 in favor of the larger 18-hole Manor golf course with its country-club cachet is a second recent example. 

The result is that the quality of life for hundreds of golfers in the area who enjoy 5,000 rounds annually at Longwood will be greatly diminished, and for what?

Closing the Longwood golf course is tantamount to cultural vandalism, and I can only hope that all responsible for the decision, including President W. Taylor Reveley IV, Rector Colleen Margiloff and the Longwood University Board of Visitors, feel shame and embarrassment.

Reveley’s legacy will always be “the man who closed the golf course.”

James C. Kidd