Game changer

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Dreams do come true!

With the announcement of Longwood’s Joan Perry Brock (JPB) Center a dream of several decades will finally come to fruition. The convocation center will serve as the venue for many Longwood athletic events as well as serving the greater good of the community.

Many have strategized for decades about ways to bring our community together and to boost economic vitality — fill and expand hotel rooms, restaurants, increase retail sales and generally increase visibility.

After decades, another huge step forward was taken last week thanks to Longwood alumni Joan Perry Brock, and her $15 million gift. What generosity and vision she has displayed.

Imagine what Farmville and the area looked like in 1964 when Joan graduated from Farmville’s Longwood College. Imagine the journey she has been on across the decades and the places she has traveled. Yet 55 years later, she sees the value and mission of giving her alma mater a $15 million gift that will transform not only the university but the town and region as well.

Imagine again attending your favorite concert at JPB Center, just off South Main Street – or attending a regional or statewide sporting event there, or a nationally known speaker’s forum. The possibilities are endless.

Farmville added almost 300 new hotel rooms last year and multiple new eating establishments. A steady schedule of events at the new JPB Center will not only enrich the lives of area residents, but will help fill those new establishments and contribute to our prosperity.

President Reveley said “Longwood is set apart by its sense of community, camaraderie and togetherness …” What happens at Longwood greatly impacts Farmville and the greater community.

This is a game changer. We have turned a corner. We have reached the next level.

Farmville is immensely grateful and humbled by the generosity of Joan Perry Brock. Thank you for your love of and pride in Longwood and Farmville. The leadership of Longwood, led by President W. Taylor Reveley, IV, was exemplary in their mission to bring this center to campus. Kudos!

Now we, Longwood, Farmville and the greater community, march forward together to make this an even stronger place to live, work and play.

David Whitus is the mayor of Farmville. He can be reached at