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Why Longwood?

AP Photo / Steve Helber

Thousands of people are descending on Farmville, Virginia – home to Longwood University, the site of Tuesday’s vice presidential debate.  Sandy Hausman looks at why the parties will face off at that little-known school.

W. Taylor Revley IV is president of Longwood.  He’s also a presidential scholar, and his dad is top dog at the College of William and Mary, where a presidential debate took place in 1976.  According to university spokesman Matthew McWilliams, Revley thought Longwood a perfect, historic place for Tim Kaine and Mike Pence to appear.

“We are one of the hundred oldest colleges in the country.  We are also at the intersection of the Civil War and the civil rights movement here.”

He says the school is all about civics and leadership, so Revley wanted to give its 5,000 students a thrilling election year experience.

“A lot of the networks are here getting setting up. CNN and Fox and MSNBC and Bloomberg will all have stages where students can watch their favorite anchors and their shows.”

It cost Longwood $5.5 million to host the event, and the 177-year-old school had to upgrade its Internet technology, but officials think it was well worth the investment – raising the university’s profile and giving 700 student volunteers an impressive line for their resumes.

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief
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