Students and families reunite

Published 6:00 am Thursday, September 23, 2021

By Victoria Thompson

Special to The Farmville Herald

The Farmville community and its surrounding colleges have always provided a small town atmosphere for people to visit. This is especially apparent at Longwood University where students travel from all over to share the college experience.

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On Saturday, Sept. 18, Longwood University hosted Family Weekend for students and their families to explore everything the campus has to offer.

The university had the entire day planned out starting with breakfast in the morning and then with a variety of entertainment options from sports events to performances and lectures by different Longwood organizations.

During this weekend, different departments gave presentations on what their programs could provide for students as well as to show what professors and university employees dedicate themselves to.

Dr. Emily Kane, director of study abroad, informed students and their families about the university’s study abroad program; everything from concerns of COVID-19 guidelines and travel details to overall benefits were covered in this lecture.

Many events like this have served as opportunities for freshmen to connect with their parents after moving into college for the first time. When asked what Family Weekend meant to him, Camrin Morton, a freshman at Longwood, said, “It’s different than every other weekend here. There’s a lot more people on campus on weekends here, but we’re a family.”

Morton’s mother, Tawny Morningstar, commented, “It’s a lot that goes on with (having a child in college). Hard times, good times, but it’s a joy most of the time.”

In the afternoon, some of the academic departments also gave presentations to promote themselves to interested students.

For the English and Modern Languages department, Professor Mary Carroll-Hackett presented a speech discussing the power of storytelling and how learning through the department has led alumni to a wide range of career opportunities.

Every college experience is unique between individual students at Longwood University, and Family Weekend allowed students to share their experience with their loved ones.

Liyah Banks, a sophomore transfer student, described how she felt about seeing her family.

“It’s my first year here, so I’m enjoying it,” Banks said. “I’m happy that they’re here. It’s my grandparents, my aunt, my uncle, so it’s just nice to have them here and just experience campus with me.”

Russell Miller, Banks’ grandfather, commented on the campus atmosphere.

“It’s beautiful,” he said. “(We’re) really enjoying it.”

This time last year, having events like this on campus seemed more difficult to people because of the pandemic, so this event also provided opportunities for upperclassmen as well.

Ayanna Ford, a Longwood sophomore, stated, “Freshman year, I didn’t even go to Parent’s Weekend here because of COVID-19 and everything, so it’s my first time really experiencing it.”

“It gives us an opportunity to actually see the campus, just to walk around,” Ford’s mother, Sharonda Patterson, said. “Last year, we weren’t able to do it so it’s something different.”

Families were able to walk the campus and the Farmville area that students see everyday during school and enjoy everything that Longwood has to offer.