Parental Guidance

Longwood receives generous support from Parents Council


Nine Longwood nursing students and two professors spent 10 days in Ecuador last August, providing care to underprivileged communities in the capital and in outlying villages. This hands-on learning experience is just one example of projects supported by the Parents Council, which in its five-year existence has provided about $45,000 to dozens of projects that have benefited the campus community.

The Parents Council, which currently comprises 24 families, supports Longwood in many ways. Members of the council participate in orientation, New Lancer Days, Family Weekend and the open house in April for admitted students. They also provide funding for proposals from students and university groups that focus on academic achievement, citizen leadership and university enhancement. Funding comes from a $500 annual gift from each member family.

‘Though the council provides grant funding, this is not a fundraising organization for the university. It is about student success.’

Dr. Ken Perkins, provost and vice president for academic affairs

Proposals that are approved by the council receive grants of up to $2,000 and are announced by Nov. 30 every year. Grants this year total $11,129—the most ever—and include funding for 11 projects, among them an Alternative Spring Break trip to the Dominican Republic, mental health and well-being resources for the Counseling Center, the Brock Commons Outdoor Sculpture Program and wetland restoration at Hull Springs Farm.

John and Deborah Hutton of Woodbridge currently chair the organization.

“The Parents Council is a great mechanism to get involved and to further the student experience,”said John Hutton, who joined when his daughter, Sarah Hutton ’14, was a freshman.

The council was started in 2009 by Dr. Ken Perkins, then executive assistant to the president for student success and now provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Though the council provides grant funding, this is not a fundraising organization for the university. It is about student success.

We wanted to engage parents, who are part of student success, and also wanted them to be ambassadors to incoming students,” Perkins said.

If you’re interested in becoming a member, contact or 434-395-2414.