New alumni director focused on engaging alumni via ‘lifelong learning’

Parks Smith ’08

Parks Smith ’08

Parks Smith ’08, Longwood’s new director of alumni relations, could never be accused of a lack of school spirit.

As a Longwood student, Smith missed only one men’s basketball game—because he had mono—and he founded the Lancer Lunatics, a spirit organization for basketball games. This season is his ninth as a season ticket holder.

Smith returned recently to his alma mater not simply to attend another game in Willett Hall but also to assist Ryan Catherwood, assistant vice president for alumni and career services, in strengthening the connection between alumni and the university.

“My main role as director of alumni relations is to engage our alumni off campus by creating events with a focus on lifelong learning,” said Smith, who started in his new position July 10.

“We want to engage alumni from across our entire base with family events, professional development events and traditional fun events. We want to create dynamic programming that will bring alumni from all three of our main eras—as a women’s college, as Longwood College and as Longwood University—together.”

After graduating with a degree in communication studies, Smith worked for two years as director of marketing and sales for startup, an online registration platform for athletic events. For the next five years, he was an associate strategic leader for Royall & Company, a firm that specializes in higher education enrollment management and alumni fundraising.

The Richmond native and his wife, Erin Woolard Smith ’08, a clinical team lead for Magellan Health Services, have a son, Palmer, who will turn 2 in February.