2013 Keynote Speaker: Ransford Doherty '97
This Washington, D.C. native first started his career at C.D. Hylton High School in Dale City, Virginia. Encouraged by his teacher to keep pursuing his passion, Doherty attended and graduated from Longwood College in December 1997 with his B.F.A. in Theatre Performance. Six months later, he packed his bags, headed for Hollywood and hasn’t looked back since.
Ransford has built a solid resume and reputation for himself since arriving in Hollywood. His previous credits include several recurring roles on network television shows, including THE CLOSER, BODY OF PROOF, JONAS, LAS VEGAS, and JOAN OF ARCADIA, and in three action web series CARIBE ROAD, GEMINI DIVISION opposite Rosario Dawson and SAFETY GEEKS: SVI. He’s also made numerous appearances on top-rated shows, including TOUCH, CASTLE, THE OFFICE, BONES, GIRLFRIENDS, WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE, and ER, just to name a few. Doherty has also appeared on the big screen, most notably in the films HOSTAGE, opposite Hollywood heavy-weight Bruce Willis, and in SOMETHING LIKE A BUSINESS, alongside Kevin Hart. Currently, you can catch him starring opposite Academy Award-nominated Mary McDonnell on TNT’s hit series MAJOR CRIMES.
In his free time, Ransford serves as a substitute teacher in LA-area schools and is an advocate for arts education in schools. He is excited to return to his alma mater and honored to serve as commencement speaker for the Class of 2013.
Commencement exercises are Saturday, May 10, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. on Wheeler Mall. All Undergraduate degree candidates report to Willett Gymnasium with academic regalia by 8 a.m. to line up.
REMINDER: Graduates are expected to conduct themselves as adults--no alcohol present. All cell phones should be turned to silent mode. No beach balls, bubbles, or other distractions allowed during the formal ceremony.
NO REHEARSAL FOR GRADUATES. Only graduates who are part of the platform party will have rehearsal.
- All undergraduate degree candidates report to Willett Hall Gymnasium by 8 a.m.
- Faculty and Junior Marshals will assist you with lining up.
- Candidates line up by college and degree.
NOTE: If you are pursuing a teaching license, you do not necessarily line up in the College of Education; the majority line up with the College of Arts and Sciences, based on their major. Physical Education majors do line up with the College of Education and Human Services. Questions? Contact the Registration Office, 434-395-2580.
- With the ceremony being outside, you may invite as many guests as you wish.
- Please show respect for your fellow students and plan to stay for the entire ceremony.
In keeping with tradition, Commencement is held outside on Wheeler Mall, rain or shine. Longwood does not have an indoor facility large enough to accommodate our graduates and guests. Please dress for the weather. The rain plan will be put in place in the event of extreme weather events only and will be announced by 6 a.m. on the day of commencement at the latest. The rain plan can be found by clicking here.
All degree candidates must wear appropriate attire for the Commencement ceremony, which includes the academic cap and gown, hood, and dark shoes.
- Men should wear dark shoes and trousers.
- Women should wear dark shoes and skirts no longer than their gown.
- Don't wear bright colors on top that will detract from your hood.
- The gown is worn with the zipper in front.
- The hood is worn with the velvet stripe showing in the front, draping over the shoulders to your back, and rolling over to expose the colors.
- The mortarboard should be worn so that the point marked "Front of Cap" is down on your forehead. This allows the mortarboard to sit flat on the top of your head. Bring bobby pins to secure the mortarboard and safety pins to attach the hood firmly. Members of the Alumni Office will be there to assist you.
- Undergraduates: The tassel is worn on the right before you graduate and turned to the left during the ceremony.
- Masters: The tassel is worn on the left and is not turned during the ceremony.
- Color of velvet hood stripe by degree:
BA - white; BFA - brown; BM - pink; BS - goldenrod; BSBA - drab; BSN - apricot; MA - white; MS - goldenrod; MBA - drab
We are pleased to announce that Longwood uses the GreenWeaver line of regalia -- graduation caps and gowns made of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.