Longwood University is a four-year public, liberal-arts university located in Farmville, Virginia, United States. It was founded in 1839 and became a university on July 1, 2002. It currently has an undergraduate enrollment of about 4,080 and a total enrollment of 4,800.
Longwood offers over 100 majors and minors in three colleges: the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Economics, and the College of Education and Human Services.
The university is consistently ranked in the top ten public, masters-level universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report. In 2005 it was recognized by USA Today as among 20 schools in the country that promote and foster student success. The Longwood Theatre program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. The Longwood Music Department is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.
The Longwood faculty includes Dr. James William Jordan, who was recognized as State Teacher of the Year in 1992 by the Virginia General Assembly. An anthropologist, he founded the Longwood Archeology Field School in 1980. He has led archeological studies in central Virginia to study the cultures of its earliest inhabitants, as well as studies of nineteenth century sites, including plantations, cemeteries and historic buildings. In 1995 he was selected as the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Professor of the Year.
On March 23rd, 2013, W. Taylor Reveley IV was chosen as Longwood's next president by a unanimous vote of the Board of Visitors. He will begin his term on June 1st, 2013, succeeding interim president Marge Connelly. 
The Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences offers many programs. Two signature programs are the MBAdvantage Program, in which students receive a bachelor's degree in a field in Arts or Science and an MBA in about five years, and the Liberal Studies program. The Liberal Studies major is designed specifically for students' seeking certification to teach with an Elementary or Middle School Endorsement. With careful scheduling and attention to the requirements for admission to the teacher preparation program, a student can complete all degree and program requirements in four years. Liberal studies majors take courses in English, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. They also take 40 credits of Education courses from the Department of Education and Special Education. The Teacher Preparation Program is administered through the Office of Professional Services.
The Office of Professional Services coordinates field and clinical experiences for undergraduate and graduate candidates who are pursuing a teaching license. Field and clinical experiences include Practicum I, Practicum II, Partnership, Professional Semester and Graduate Professional Semester. In order to pursue field and clinical experiences, admission into the Teacher Preparation Program is necessary.
Founded on March 5, 1839, as the Farmville Female Seminary Association, Longwood University is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the United States and is one of the oldest public institutions of higher education for women in the United States. The Farmville Female College was incorporated in 1860 as the increasing prosperity of the seminary led the stockholders to expand it into a college. Longwood is the third oldest public institution of higher learning in Virginia, after the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia.
On April 7, 1884, the state of Virginia acquired the property of the Farmville Female College, and in October of the same year the Normal School opened with 110 students enrolled, making it the first state institution of higher learning for women in Virginia. The Normal School expanded its curriculum over the years and progressed through a succession of names. It became the State Normal School for Women in 1914, the State Teachers College at Farmville in 1924, and Longwood College in 1949. In 1954, graduate programs were authorized. Longwood became fully coeducational in June 1976.
On April 24, 2001, a main university building, Ruffner Hall, caught on fire and burned down despite the efforts of multiple local fire departments including the Farmville fire department. It was in the middle of a renovation and was subsequently rebuilt. Ruffner Hall, built in 1839 as the "College Building", evolved through several stages of construction and expansion from 1839 to 1907. For decades the sprawling Ruffner, whose image appears on the university's logo and seal, was the main administration building, with administrative offices on the first floor and student housing on the upper two floors. After students vacated the building by the early 1970s, dorm rooms were converted to office and classroom space. The former library, Lancaster Hall, was renovated and reopened in 1996 as the main administration building. Ruffner was then used primarily for classrooms and faculty offices before being closed in 1999 for renovation.
Governor Mark Warner officially signed legislation changing Longwood's designation to university on April 24, 2002, the one-year anniversary of the fire that destroyed Ruffner Hall.
Longwood's main campus comprises approximately 154 acres (0.62 km2) near downtown Farmville, Virginia. The architecture of the campus ranges from its more historic “north core” to its more contemporary southern end – organized along a central promenade, Brock Commons.
The older part of campus stretches along High Street from French dormitory to Grainger Hall. These six red-brick Jeffersonian buildings: French (currently being renovated to serve as the future home of the Informational Technology department), Tabb (athletics), South Ruffner Residence Hall, Grainger, Ruffner, and Blackwell Halls date from the 1830s to the 1920s, are joined by a covered colonnade, and bear the university’s signature red roofs.
At the center of this complex is Longwood’s main building, Ruffner Hall. The College of Arts and Sciences and recently[when?] the university’s athletic offices, are located along this section of campus. To the western end of the north core is the administration building, Lancaster, as well as Jarman Auditorium and the Chichester Science Center, which was completed in 2007.
Adjacent to the campus' central pedestrian walk, Brock Commons, are the College of Business and Economics in Hiner Building, Cunningham Residence Hall, the Dorrill Dining Hall, and the Lankford Student Union. At the south end of campus are the library, music and arts buildings, and the Hull Education Center.
In September 2009, Longwood completed, a new Communications and Theater building features a 75 seat flexible black box theater, 100 seat studio theater, multi-function classrooms, costume lab, rehearsal studio, traditional drafting lab, and a computer design lab.
The Health and Fitness Center opened on August 28, 2007. The 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) facility features an indoor track, basketball and racquetball courts, a climbing wall, work-out rooms, juice bar, and the latest weight, exercise, and training equipment.
Across Main Street, a new retail/student housing complex consisting of four four-story buildings arranged in a pedestrian mall-type setting, called "Longwood Landings", was completed in the fall of 2006. This complex includes the university's bookstore.
A satellite area known as Lancer Park sits north of the main campus just across Route 460 and includes several athletic fields, athletic facilities and residential apartments. New vehicular and pedestrian bridges  access Lancer Park.
The Longwood University Lancers athletics program fully transitioned into a NCAA Division I in 2007, after competing as an independent since the 2004-2005 season. It continued competing as an independent until affiliation with the Big South Conference in 2012. The men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, and tennis. Women's sports offered include basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, and tennis. The program has produced a number of professional athletes, most notably Jerome Kersey (NBA), Michael Tucker (MLB), and Tina Barrett (LPGA), all of whom were part of the school's inaugural Athletics Half of Fame Class in 2006.
Longwood also has many club sports, including rugby, baseball, football, men's lacrosse, roller hockey, golf, and others. The Men's Rugby Team took 3rd place in USA Rugby's Division 3 National Tournament in 2007, and again in 2009. In 2011 Men's Rugby won the National Championship. The 2010-2011 season ended with the Lancers ranked #1 in the nation for Division III schools. They beat Occidental College (CA) in the National Championship by the score of 36-27 on May 1st in Virginia Beach, VA. The National Championship is the school's first. The club baseball team in their second year of competition made it to the Division II club baseball world series in Johnstown, PA. They went 2-2 and finished 4th.
Longwood University's Princeton Review "Quality of Life Rating", at 68 on a scale of 60 to 99, is the lowest among Virginia's rated public colleges and universities. Additionally, Longwood has the second lowest freshman retention rate (79%) of all participating public colleges and universities in Virginia.
Longwood has been voted one of the greenest campuses in the Southeast by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine.
Four National Panhellenic Conference sororities were founded at Longwood: Alpha Sigma Alpha (1901), Kappa Delta (1897), Sigma Sigma Sigma (1898), and Zeta Tau Alpha (1898). Collectively they are known as the "Farmville Four."
Longwood has several annual traditions, such as the Oktoberfest and Spring Weekend concerts. Oktoberfest is usually held on the first weekend in October, while Spring Weekend typically occurs on the third weekend in April. Concerts run by the student radio station WMLU are held on the final two days of both Spring Weekend and Oktoberfest. Artists such as The Ramones, Peter Himmelman, Lovell Sisters, Air Miami, Matthew Sweet, Lois Maffeo, Brenda Kahn, Something Corporate, Yellowcard, Carbon Leaf, Cartel, Dierks Bentley, Chuck Wicks, Taylor Swift, Andrew W.K., Regina Spektor, James Otto, Justin Moore, Streetlight Manifesto, Shiny Toy Guns, Josh Kelley, Flogging Molly, Story of the Year, The Fray, Matt Nathanson, Baby Bash, 311, Phunk Junkeez, The Bloodhound Gang, 2 Skinnee J's,and Shwayze have performed in the past. Throughout the rest of the year weekend events are sponsored by the student activities board, Lancer Productions. Past acts have included comedians Elvira Kurt, Stephen Lynch, Loni Love, Jimmy Fallon, Carrot Top, and Jon Stewart.
Popular at Longwood is its secret society, CHI, represented by the Greek letter X. Shrouded in mystery, CHI was founded on October 15, 1900. Members are secretly "tapped" and are revealed only at the conclusion of their senior year during the annual CHI Burning, a large bonfire held on campus to commend members of the Longwood community for their selfless acts. CHI at times leave "CHI droppings" on campus, and it is considered very rare for somebody to find one. Pieces of CHI are not meant to leave campus, and are to be passed down before one graduates, per tradition.
Another secret society at Longwood is Princeps, which was founded on 7 principles of leadership. Members are selected during their undergraduate career and are not revealed until graduation. The group recognizes and honors citizens of the Longwood community who are exceptional leaders. The mysteries of this organization are only revealed with their droppings around campus and their recognition of those who embody the spirit of Princeps. Students often step on the black crowns painted around campus for good luck, and avoid stepping on the blue Rotunda symbols, for it is bad luck.
Joan of Arc
Unique among public American universities is Longwood’s adoption of a patron saint. Saint Joan of Arc is said to both protect and inspire Longwood students. The University’s two prized depictions of Joan are Jeanne d’Arc, — known affectionately as “Joanie on the Stony" — an 1870 plaster statue created by French sculptor Henri-Michel-Antoine Chapu, and Anna Hyatt Huntington's 1915 bronze Joan of Arc equestrian statue, nicknamed “Joanie on the Pony.”
Rituals and myths dealing with the two statues abound. Joanie on the Stony, for example, heralds the occasion of every CHI walk with a pair of mysteriously appearing blue and white carnations. Joanie on the Stony is also said to bring good luck for tests to students who touch her clasped hands on their way to class.
Joanie on the Pony, however, with her knight's armor and sword, acts as Longwood’s protector. On the night of the Great Fire of 2001, Joanie turned bright red upon her horse from the intense heat of the flames. Although the fire spread west-ward, engulfing Grainger Hall along with Ruffner, the connected student dorms past Joanie to the east remained untouched — the fire stopped directly before her.
In October 2009, Joanie on the Pony was vandalized. After being restored, she was placed in Ruffner Hall in April 2010.
The Dos Passos Prize
The English department at Longwood University awards the annual John Dos Passos Prize For Literature, founded in 1980. Notable past recipients include Graham Greene, Tom Wolfe, Shelby Foote, Paule Marshall, Ernest J. Gaines, E. Annie Proulx, and Richard Powers.