Home : Alumnae : Reunion: Reunion 2013 Recap

Alumnae Relations
Hollins University
P.O. Box 9629
Roanoke, VA 24020-1629
(540) 362-6498


Getting Social at Reunion


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"I wish I had another 85 years and I would come back to Hollins and start all over again."

- Betty Lincoln Francis-Brown '48



Athletic Hall of Fame

1993 riding team members and coaches

The Reunion 2013 Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony celebrated and recognize the accomplishments of the Hall of Fame members, student-athletes, and the growth of the intercollegiate athletic program. New inductees:

Leonora Orr '63

Wendy Oschwald Barbellion '68

Irene Ward '68

Carol Webb '73

The 1993 National Champion Riding Team (pictured above), the first ever Team of Distinction to be inducted into the Hall of Fame



25th Reunion Class Remarks

Class of 1988 was represented by Sarah Achenbach, who gave the class remarks during the Alumnae Celebration in the chapel


“Every five years your feet need to touch Front Quad to recalibrate.”

- Sarah Achenbach '88




50th Reunion Class Remarks

Patie Deisroth McPherson '63 gave the 50th Reunion class remarks.


“To plagiate Hemingway, Hollins has always been for me, ‘A Moveable Feast.’ On graduation day, I was inconsolable…”

- Patie McPherson '63





Video of the Class Parade

Hollins Reunion 2013



Honorary Alumni

Diane and Wayne Markert

On rare occasions, the Alumnae Association demonstrates its affection and gratitude to certain people who are not alumnae but we wish they were. What we do on such occasions is make those special people honorary members of the Alumnae Association. This year the Alumnae Association is pleased to bestow this honor on two people, both of whom are retiring at the end of June: Wayne and Diane Markert.

Dr. Markert is retiring as University Professor after 16 years at Hollins. After serving as Provost and Acting President, he returned to his first love, teaching in the English department, five years ago. In 2007, one of Wayne’s devoted students, Kelly Moul Morrison, Class of 2003, initiated an effort to establish a scholarship in his honor. Through contributions from Kelly and her family, many Hollins trustees and admirers, that endowed fund has now reached $100,000 and the first Wayne Markert Scholarship will be awarded this coming fall.

Diane Markert is retiring from her position as Director of Development after 10 years of service to Hollins. Diane has touched many lives in our campus community in ways ranging from entertaining at Malvern Hill to taking students on trips to Ireland, something that Wayne and Diane did as recently as this past January.

Team Markert has been a wonderful, friendly, and welcoming presence on campus, and while they will be missed greatly, we expect to see them frequently since they will continue to live nearby in Daleville, where they will pursue their many interests.




You rocked Reunion

Hollins Rocks

Attention Reunion 2013 classes: You've met the challenge!













Reunion 2013 Recap: May 31 - June 2, 2013

Hollins Reunion 2013: May 31-June 2



Thank you to the more than 400 alumnae in class years ending in 3 or 8 and the class of 2011 who celebrated Reunion 2013!


Photo Gallery - download your favorites

Distinguished Alumnae Awards Rath Award
Hollins Award for Volunteer Excellence (HAVE) Betsy Green Grubbs Award
Athletic Hall of Fame Outstanding Admission Ambassador
25th and 50th Class Remarks Class Giving
Honorary Alumni Special events

Distinguished Alumnae Awards

At Reunion 2013, Hollins presented the Distinguished Alumnae Award to the following alumnae for "alumnae who have brought distinction to themselves and to Hollins through broad and inspiring personal or career achievements, volunteer service, or contributions to society":
Julia Voorhees Emmons '63
director of the largest 10K road race in the world, Peachtree in Atlanta

Neely Paul Towe '63

first female senior pastor of any denomination in Greenwich, CT
Patricia Thrower Barmeyer '68
environmental attorney, partner, King & Spaulding in Atlanta
Brandy S. Culp '98
(Distinguished Young Alumna Award)
curator, Historic Charleston Foundation

Rath Award

The Rath Award, which is given to an alumna whose participation in the life of Hollins has been extraordinary, was presented to:
Clark Hooper Baruch '68

Baruch began her 33 year career at NASD as an administrative assistant, but her Hollins experience gave her encouragement and confidence to shatter the glass ceiling. After years of hard work and perseverance, she retired from NASD in 2003 as executive vice president of policy and oversight.

She then founded and was president of the Dumbarton Group LLC, consulting on securities industry regulatory issues until 2007. She has served on the boards of dozens of mutual funds, is a trustee of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and an advisory committee member for the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.

Clark has been a tremendous asset to the Hollins Board of Trustees, joining in 2004 and serving as chair from 2007-2010, including during the Campaign for Women Who Are Going Places. She currently serves as chair of the committee on development, and chair of the committee on financial affairs’ investment sub-committee. Her keen financial mind and loyalty to Hollins have brought great success to her alma mater. She is also a rousing member of our new National Steering Committee for the Alumnae Engagement Campaign. She has supported the internship program, hosted events, and raised money for the 1968 class reunion gift.

Hollins Award for Volunteer Excellence (HAVE)

Three alumnae received the HAVE Award at Reunion 2013. The Hollins Award for Volunteer Excellence, or HAVE, was created by the Alumnae Association to honor those alumnae who exemplify excellence in volunteering for Hollins through a specific project or for overall spirit.
Hemmie Sheffield Gilmore '58

To help her class celebrate their 55th reunion, Hemmie did what many Hollins girls do: she got straight to work. And she has done an incredible job keeping in touch with her classmates. She did it by creating a beautiful website with photos and memories from the class of ’58, and sending emails with cheerful reminders of our home here next to Tinker Mountain. “Our tireless Hemmie” as classmates have called her, has served as Reunion Chair THREE times, and organized the class’ 50th Reunion Memory Book.

Sarah Achenbach '88

A former development director for our alma mater, Sarah has also been a fundraiser for the class of ’88, active with the Baltimore Alumnae Chapter, contributor to the alumnae magazine, and an awesome Alumnae Board member. She is a true Hollins sister, caring for her classmates during their reunion years and otherwise. She has been instrumental in honoring the memory of her classmate, Dana Ferguson Myers. She’s even on the job for Hollins during THIS reunion, as she’s collecting stories from alumnae this weekend for a piece she’ll write for the alumnae magazine. She also served on the alumnae panel and gave the 25th Reunion remarks.

Valerie James Abbott '93

One of Hollins’ most successful alumnae chapters is the Richmond, Virginia, chapter, and much of their recent success is due to Val. Val has been co-chair of the chapter, doing such glamorous and not-so-glamorous duties as stuffing exam care packages for students and driving them to Hollins; organizing cocktail parties, J-term parties, new student send-off parties, and Easter Egg hunts. She has been a leader of that powerful group of alumnae and marshaled their talents for Hollins – including for the delicious fundraiser of selling cheese straws! She has also led the Roanoke alumnae chapter, edited chapter newsletters, and been a reunion gift chair. And, she also worked for Hollins for a time in the Alumnae Relations office. Val has also been a tremendous Alumnae Board member, always willing to help in any way she can to promote Hollins.

Betsy Green Grubbs Award

The Betsy Green Grubbs Award, named for the former Alumnae Relations director and member of the class of ’72, was established by the Alumnae Board to recognize a Hollins alumna or Hollins community member who has made a significant contribution in the arts.

Susan Woods Jennings '73

A native Roanoker, Susan spent 14 years as executive director of the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge, becoming the face and voice for culture in Roanoke.  During her tenure, the Arts Council grew from 77 organizations to 117, and its budget more than doubled. Now the arts and cultural coordinator for the City of Roanoke, Susan has been instrumental in the Roanoke Arts Commission, working to create an arts and culture plan to support local artists and organizations and expand the public arts program in the city. Susan has noted that “communities that invest in the arts see benefits through lots of ways: economic growth, jobs, and quality of life.” Hollins also benefits from her expertise, as Susan serves on the advisory board of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum.

Outstanding Admission Ambassador

A new award has been created by Hollins’ Office of Admission: the Outstanding Admission Ambassador Award. This award honors an individual who has demonstrated sustained commitment to the alumnae admission volunteer effort. This individual has answered the call for service, and is committed to assisting in the recruitment of bright, talented scholars to Hollins.

Summer Yarbrough '08

An enthusiastic volunteer, Summer has utilized her profession as an educator to keep Hollins in the forefront of her students’ minds. Summer has represented Hollins at back-to-back college fairs in the Plano school district in which she works in 2011 and 2012. Her passion for her alma mater is regularly shown in her commitment to assist in identifying the next generation of Hollins women. Her dedication to Hollins and willingness to serve make Summer a truly commendable recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Admission Ambassador award.

Special Events

Feminism alumnae panel

Feminist Legacies, Feminist Futures: Alumnae Panel

Hollins kicked off a yearlong observance of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, with a panel discussion, led by Gender and Women Studies Associate Professor LeeRay Costa and featured distinguished alumnae from seven decades examining what differences the book and the women’s movement had on their lives and careers. Panelists:

  • Denae LoBato '08 (resident in veterinary pathology at the University of Tennessee. She fills the only spot they offer for that program.)
  • Maurie Dugger '98 (Senior Political Director, Edison Electric Institute)
  • Sarah Achenbach '88 (freelance writer, director of communications, Garrison Forest School)
  • Mary Watkins '73 (former managing director, J.P. Morgan)
  • Betsy Brooks Carr '68 (member of the Virginia House of Delegates, 69th district)
  • Wyndham Robertson '58 (first female editor at Fortune magazine and first female vice president at the University of North Carolina)
  • Betty Lincoln Francis-Brown '48 (retired marketing director, Chowan College)
Hollins Jamaica Service Project

Jamaica Service Project: 25th Anniversary

Since 1988, Jeri Suarez, associate dean for cultural and community engagement, has led more than 450 Hollins women to Jamaica to serve and to learn in the small impoverished community of Lucea. Suarez was inspired to embark on this labor of love by Hollins parents Dick and Betty Pyle (Kim ’91 and Katy ’02), who spent time in Lucea in the Peace Corps. Reunion ’13 featured a reception with photos, poems, memories of the program, and even Red Stripe beer and Ting!

View photos from the reception


Class Giving Awards

Final winners as of June 30, 2013

Thank you to the 2013 reunion classes, who gave the largest cumulative gift to the Hollins Fund of any reunion group in history: $1,421,484!

Tinker Mountain Award

The Tinker Mountain Award

Given to the class that raises the largest total gift for the Hollins Fund.

  • 1968 with a class gift of $359,489
Catherine Orgill West '51 Award

The Catherine Orgill West '51 Award

Honors the class with the highest participation in giving to the Hollins Fund.

  • 1963 with 70%
Hollins Rock Award

The Hollins Rock Award

Awarded to the class among the ten most recent class years with the highest Hollins Fund participation.

  • 2011 with 30%


Past Reunions

Read news and view photos from prior year reunions: