Reunions could draw 1,000
Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) are gearing up for their respective reunions slated for this weekend seeking to bring together alumni from decades past with more recent classes.
About 1,000 people are expected to be in Farmville and the surrounding area, college officials said, between the two reunions, which begin Friday and end Sunday.
Reunions that join multiple classes have been previously held at H-SC, college spokesman Gordon Neal said, adding that it was something the college implemented in past years.
Neal said the reunion for this year would include class years that end in 2 and 7, such as 1967, 1982 and 2012.
“Reunion weekend at Hampden-Sydney offers alumni a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with old friends and faculty and to revisit a place they once called home,” Neal said.
Neal estimates about 200 alumni to attend the reunion at H-SC.
Events taking place during the reunion include a cocktail reception at the Atkinson Museum, live music on the Carpenter Lawn and a college church service honoring alumni who’ve died.
The reunion will also host keynote speaker Dr. David Snead, professor of history from Liberty University, who specializes in 20th century American diplomatic and military history and alumni Dr. Bruce Alexander, Blake Auchmoody, John Zell, and General Jenkins for its Good Citizens Alumni Panel.
Longwood University, in a departure from previous years, will hold reunions for 12 classes over the weekend period, terming it “Mega Reunion Weekend.”
The classes of 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2012 will be part of the events, as well as classes from the 1980s and the classes of 1971 and 1976.
The university will have events that interact with businesses and venues across Farmville.
Ryan Catherwood, assistant vice president for alumni and career services, said participants will receive a coupon book, allowing them to dine and shop at downtown stores and restaurants.
A professional photographer will snap photos of alumni at the “LOVE” sign downtown, according to a news release from the Town of Farmville regarding Longwood’s Mega Reunion Weekend.
Town spokeswoman Kate Pickett Eggleston said in the release that the town will notify residents of traffic patterns during the weekend events.
“Longwood communicates regularly with the town about events and activities, which in turn makes it easier for us to communicate with residents,” Eggleston said.
In addition, there will be downtown tours, a paint party at Red Door 104 gallery, tours at the Moton Museum and a golf tournament at The Manor among other activities, Catherwood said.
He said the decision to reinvent the reunion process was due to wanting to further engage alumni.
“Over the past few years, we looked for ways to improve our alumni engagement and settled on a new reunion model that will, for the first time, bring together hundreds of Longwood alumni across a 50-year span and celebrate milestone reunions from year five to year 50,” Catherwood said.