Two-college town mural a plus for all

Published 2:53 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2016

One of the nicer moments of the last week was the completion of the mural on the side of the Doyne Building at the corner of Main and Third streets.

The mural boldly proclaims passers-by are in “Farmville, Virginia;” depicts the seals of Hampden-Sydney College and Longwood University; and declares us as “America’s first two-college town.”

The schools, town and Farmville Downtown Partnership (FDP) should all be proud of the mural, completed by Joe Giles and his team. We applaud FDP Program Manager John Burton for dedicating the mural to the schools’ students.

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Hampden-Sydney is the 10th oldest school in America, founded in 1775, about seven months before the Declaration of Independence. Longwood University is the third-oldest institution of higher learning in Virginia, starting as the Farmville Female Seminary Association in 1839. At that point, Farmville became the first town in America to boast two colleges.

The Third Street mural is not a busy piece of artwork. This is as it should be. Sometimes, simplicity is best, reflecting the Heart of Virginia’s place in academic history.

While the two schools are sometimes rivals, they are, more often than not, partners in the community. For instance, Longwood helped out with Hampden-Sydney’s recent Math & Science Day involving students from Prince Edward County Middle School. This is just one of many examples of the two schools working together and/or with the community.

The mural reflects not only Farmville as the first two-college town; it reflects how the schools fit into the community as a whole.