On Losing The Cunninghams


Christopher Register, The Cunninghams from Beale Plaza at Longwood University, detail, 2012, watercolor and gouache, 10.875 x 17 inches. Collection of the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, Longwood University History Collection, 2012.10. Gift of the Class of 2012. Photograph by Alex Grabiec ’07.

Last weekend I attended my 50-year class reunion at Longwood. It was a wonderful yet bittersweet event for me. I realize this letter will not bring any change, but I would still like to register my feelings about the “removal of the Cunningham residence halls.”

Three of my happiest years at Longwood were spent living in Main Cunningham and South Cunningham. I can still remember watching the election night coverage news of JFK’s win over Richard Nixon in 1960 at Cunningham.

I understand that old buildings make way for the new buildings (progress, I suppose) and that it is wrong to live in the past. How- ever, everyone should have an appreciation of the past. Why can it not be declared a historic site, and why does the financial side of things always seem to change the whole atmosphere of the college?

It bothered me also to hear the “Cunningham Residence Halls” referred to as the “Hams.” I think that is extremely disrespectful to the memory of President John Atkinson Cunningham.

I realize this letter will not change anything but at least I have honored my feelings and registered my thoughts. What a loss for Longwood.

Carol Forehand Gregory  ’63