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Video: A Year in the Life of Hollins

Your gifts support every day in the life of students, and keep Hollins traditions strong.

Lorimer and Ellis

Career Center Renovated, Updated

The Hollins Career Center is featuring a fresh new look and greater functionality, thanks to the generosity of an alumna trustee. Renovations to the center's first floor location in West Building, made possible by the financial support of Linda Lorimer '74 and Charley Ellis (pictured), were completed in conjunction with the beginning of Spring Term 2013. While new furniture, artwork and wall colors give the center warmth (thanks to the design expertise of Elaine Stephenson ’83), the latest technology offers students access to a wide range of career-related activities and resources.

In the reception area, visitors can get interview advice, tips on business etiquette, and other valuable information to assist them in a job or internship search by watching original programming produced by CareerSpots.com. In another part of the center, students have access to personal computers where they can conduct career research. A third area is dedicated to presentations and workshops that incorporate video support, and another room is set up for students to participate in online job and internship interviews via Skype.

The improvements build upon the comprehensive array of services the Career Center already provides, including career counseling, assessment tools, and access to Hollins' Career Advising Network, a worldwide group of alumnae, friends, and parents who are willing to speak to students about career-planning strategies and answer questions about their own professional development and the job market in their particular cities.


Little Theatre's Big Impact

Hollins’ 550-seat proscenium theatre was constructed in 1924 at the height of the “Little Theatre” movement, a trend toward smaller, more intimate theatre that began in response to the advent of motion pictures. And it was the students that made the Little Theatre come to vibrant life.

Before the holidays of December 1922, a notice appeared on a campus bulletin board: “If you have the Hollins spirit, come back after Christmas with a pledge for $30 or the $30.” The administration’s initial reluctance to support such an ambitious project vanished as students proved they could successfully lead the charge. The enthusiastic student body of slightly more than 300 women raised the $40,000 needed to build the facility. The New York Drama League called it “the best equipped theatre south of Washington.”

As Shakespeare said, “the wheel is come full circle.” Now, a former student has shown that same vision and initiative to keep the Hollins Theatre thriving for future audiences. In 2009, Hollins alumna Elizabeth “Libby” Hall McDonnell ’62 and her husband, James, took a great interest in the theatre’s pressing needs. Recognizing that today’s students and future theatre-goers would require more than what the 1924 facility offered, the McDonnells pledged $3 million to transform and update the space.

Thanks to the commitment from the James S. McDonnell Family Foundation, the theatre underwent a comprehensive renovation over the past three years. In addition to an accessible entrance and restroom, the gift brought new electric rigging, lighting, sprinklers, flood control, paint, carpeting, motorized blackout shades, and – finally – air conditioning.

At the October 20, 2012, performance of the fall play, Decision Height (written by playwriting graduate student Meredith Dayna Levy ’12 about the Women Air Force Service Pilots, or WASPs), the Hollins Theatre was dedicated in honor of the McDonnells. The benefactors were also inducted into the Levavi Oculos Society, which honors Hollins’ most generous donors whose cumulative gifts surpass $1 million.

Thank you from Hollins
Thank you from Hollins

Hollins students, professors, and staff would like to say thank you for giving to Hollins during the 2011-2012 year. We couldn't have done it without you. We look forward to continuing to make Hollins great, with your support. 

Goodnight Hollins
"Goodnight Hollins"

In the spirit of Margaret Wise Brown '32 whose legacy as a Hollins graduate and children's author we celebrated during 2011-2012, we'd like to offer our own homage to "Goodnight Moon" with this video.


President Gray, Mim with her PIPE Award, and Trustee Chair Suzanne Whitmore '60

Trustee Funds Unglamorous Projects

Hot water for dorm showers. Air conditioning for staff offices. Trustee Mim Farmakis ’67 and her husband, Tom, have, on more than one occasion, made gifts to Hollins for the most unglamorous projects on campus.

Mim and Tom have provided funds for Hollins’ environmentally efficient boiler that supplies heat and hot water to the campus, they funded new window air conditioners for a number of offices, and in their most recent display of underground generosity, they are funding the repair of the steam line by the Botetourt parking lot.

At the February 2012 board meetings, the Farmakises were recognized for their support of unsexy projects with the Hollins PIPE Award: “Promoting Infrastructure Philanthropy Education.” Mim and Tom were presented with an actual piece of crumbling pipe that their generosity is helping to replace. The Hollins University Talmadge Singers, led by Choral Activities Director Shelbie Wahl, serenaded Mim with the song "Steam Heat" from The Pajama Game.

Hollins is fortunate to have the Farmakises who derive great satisfaction from projects that save Hollins money, bring comfort to students, and reduce the campus’ carbon footprint. Mim says, "Beautiful air conditioning in the summer, warmth in the winter and on/off switches that work: comfort and function help us all work our best and enjoy life. So Tom and I are happy to be on Hollins’ shovel and pipe brigade to help maintain its campus."

Three scholarships honor alumnae

Endowed scholarships help attract exceptional young women to Hollins and provide support for them throughout their years here. Recently Hollins has received commitments to establish three new scholarships.

“Each of us has been lifted up by women who came before…and we have a responsibility to help other women climb as well,” said Alexandra Trower ’86 in her 2011 commencement address at Hollins. Trower, executive vice president, global communications and an executive officer of the Estée Lauder Companies in New York, has helped numerous Hollins women through her service on the Board of Trustees and as a sponsor of internships. Her father, Dr. W. Peter Trower, has pledged a generous leadership scholarship to honor his daughter and her commitment to her alma mater.

Kitty Clark Stroud ’58 was a devoted alumna, serving Hollins as an Alumnae Board member, president of the Charlottesville alumnae chapter, and an energetic reunion gift chair, leading the class of 1958 to a record-setting fiftieth reunion gift and winning the Pat Thomas Bain Award for her efforts. She established the Kitty Clark Stroud ’58 and Martha Clark Dugan Scholarship, supported the William R. Kenan, Jr. Music Endowment Fund and the renovation of Presser Hall, and was a dedicated fundraiser for the recent campaign. After Stroud died in November 2010, her husband, Bob, decided to honor her memory by designating her substantial bequest to create the Kitty Clark Stroud Scholarship to support a deserving and talented student.

The Titmus Foundation of Sutherland, Virginia, has committed $100,000 to establish the Jerolien Tanner Titmus Endowed Scholarship to support deserving students who will pursue a career in the field of education. Jerolien Titmus attended Hollins in the 1940s. The Titmus family generously supports many small colleges, seeing education as the way to help future generations.

$2 million scholarship fund honors Wyndham

Wyndham Robertson ’58 knew something was up. After all, when you’ve served your alma mater as a trustee for thirty-one years, they won’t just let you ride off into the sunset when you announce your plans to retire. Besides, her fellow trustees warned her to get dressed up. So when Robertson arrived with her dashing date, Chuck Whittingham, on the lawn of the library named for her on the evening of May 20, she suspected there would be a few accolades before the night was over.

She expected to see her colleagues on the board—she had spent all day with them in meetings. But then she started spotting former trustees, old friends and classmates, and then a whole delegation of her family—brother Julian Robertson, sister Blanche Bacon, nieces, nephews, and their children. And this was all before she walked inside the library, where the Frances McNulty Lewis Reading Room had been transformed into an elegant dining room.

Read more and view photos >

Walker Scholarship First to Earn Batten Match

It is altogether fitting that a new scholarship honoring Katherine Fralin Walker is the first to qualify for a pledged $5 million challenge grant from Jane Parke Batten '58. Walker is the founding director of the Batten Leadership Institute established by Batten and her late husband, Frank.

The Katherine Fralin Walker Leadership Scholarship is funded through gifts from Walker's parents-in-law, John and Mary Louise Walker Burress of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and her father, W. Heywood Fralin of Roanoke. Its purpose is to provide recognition and financial assistance to a student with demonstrated leadership potential and promise who pursues the Certificate in Leadership Studies program after completing the Batten Leadership Institute’s standard skills course.

Walker was given the Hollins Medal at Commencement 2010 in recognition of her work in developing the Batten Leadership Institute into one of the country’s premier leadership training programs for women. Under her leadership, the institute has grown from 12 students beginning in the fall of 2002 to 93 students who have now graduated from the program.

Walker's service to Hollins also recognized a need for leadership development in the community at large and helped expand the institute’s reach in 2006 to include local businesses and organizations. Women in the Roanoke area and beyond now can receive innovative training opportunities through the institute’s year-long Certificate in Professional Leadership program. To date, more than 60 women have grown personally and brought important new skills to the workplace as a result of this experience.

Alumnae Cottage
Little White Cottage Goes Green

Thanks to a generous gift from an anonymous alumna, Hollins has renovated the Robbie Hunt Burton Alumnae Cottage with the hope of earning certification by the U.S. Green Building Council under their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building program. If successful, the cottage, built in 1905, will become Hollins’ first LEED certified building.

The cottage, which has been in dire need of repairs for several years, features the first geothermal heating and cooling system on campus, low-maintenance building materials, many with recycled content, and high-energy efficient appliances.


Photos >>

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Paris Abroad Directorship Endowed With $1 Million Gift

"I gained my best friends in life while I was studying abroad," says Jeannie Hall Rutherfoord '74, a member of Hollins' Board of Trustees. The lifelong impact of her semester overseas inspired Rutherfoord and her husband, Thomas, to give $1 million in support of Hollins' study abroad program in Paris. This endowed fund will pay the salary and benefits for what will now be called the Rutherfoord Director of the Hollins Abroad–Paris program.










Employees Leave Legacies for Hollins

The late Madaline "Dick" Spickard and Tina Rolen have shown their affection for Hollins by generously providing gifts for the university in their estate plans.


Dick Spickard developed many close friendships with professors and students during her forty-eight years at Hollins. She held various positions during that time, most recently serving as the beloved administrative assistant in the humanities department. It wasn't until after she died that Hollins learned how much these friendships meant to her. Spickard died in January 2009, a month after being stricken while at work, at the age of ninety. Hollins received a $10,000 bequest from Spickard's estate, to support the Alvord Miner Beardslee Endowed Fund and the Sue Zirkle Frazier M.A.L.S. Scholarship.


Tina Rolen, who served Hollins with distinction as director of the Career Center, died in December 2009 after a lengthy illness. Rolen had found her life's work helping students and adults discover and achieve their educational and vocational goals. Rolen's wisdom and compassion left a lasting impact on the campus community, and Hollins students will continue to benefit from her generosity. A $7,000 bequest will provide student internship stipends and video-conferencing equipment for the Career Center. Virtual interviewing is a growing method for hiring managers to get to know applicants. Making internships affordable and offering video conferencing will enhance many students' career searches.


$5 Million Batten Challenge for Scholarships, Leadership

Hollins has accepted a challenge from philanthropist and alumna Jane Parke Batten '58 of Norfolk to raise $5 million by December 2013 in order to receive a matching grant of the same amount. Successfully meeting the challenge will enhance the funding of scholarships for students who wish to attend Hollins and participate in the university's Batten Leadership Institute; scholarships for current Hollins students who want to earn a Certificate in Leadership Studies; and scholarships for other deserving students.


EMILY's List Founder Endows Scholarship

Ellen Malcolm '69, founder of EMILY's List, a national organization that recruits and funds viable women political candidates, has made a substantial pledge to establish the Morning Star Scholarship for undergraduate students raised by single parents. The scholarship will be available beginning in fall 2010. In explaining her reason for establishing the scholarship, Malcolm said, "Today there are many families headed by single parents. They have the same dreams for their daughters but often half the income. I hope this fund will help these girls afford the first-class education that Hollins provides."


Malcolm, who was awarded the Hollins Distinguished Alumnae Award at her fortieth Hollins reunion, delivered the Founder's Day address in 2010. She graduated from Hollins with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and received a master of business administration degree from George Washington University. Hollins awarded her an honorary doctor of humane letters degree in 1992.


Dillon lawn
Alumna Gift Names the Chapel Lawn

The lawn in front of the Jesse Ball duPont Chapel has a name now: the Helen Moncure Dillon Lawn. A plaque placed on the lawn recognizes Mrs. Dillon of Roanoke, a member of the Class of 1952, for her generosity in making a gift to establish two endowments – one to support general campus landscaping and one to help fund the First-Year Experience program. Mrs. Dillon was guided in making her gifts by her son, Stuart Dillon of Roanoke, who shared with her how much joy he derives from supporting his alma mater, Virginia Tech. Both of Mrs. Dillon's gifts support priorities of the Campaign for Women Who Are Going Places.




Tribute to Louis D. Rubin, Jr.

Some of the best writers in the country gathered at Hollins in early November 2009 to honor their former teacher and mentor Louis D. Rubin, Jr. and celebrate fifty years of the creative writing graduate program he founded at Hollins.

Rubin was lured to Hollins by an invitation to celebrate the program's anniversary; however, once the evening's festivities got under way in the Botetourt Reading Room, the deeper meaning of the gathering was revealed. Creative writing alumni, Hollins trustees, the English and creative writing staff, and friends were there to pay homage to Rubin and his successors, especially John Rees Moore and Richard Dillard.

Trustee Wyndham Robertson '58, who claims to have been Rubin's first student, showered confetti on Rubin and announced that those in the room and many others had responded to a fund-raising appeal from Lee Smith '67 and Shannon Ravenel '60 to raise $100,000 to endow The Hollins Critic and name a seminar room in Swannanoa Hall, home of the creative program, in Rubin's honor. Thanks to lead donors Ted and Carol Bayne Price '66 and the other donors, the effort was a great success, with more than $146,000 contributed. In addition to naming the room and endowing the Critic, the gift also funded creation of a wall on the first floor of Swannanoa Hall, which lists all the Hollins writers-in-residence, who since 2000 have been known as the Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writers-in-Residence.

Photos from the event >>


Second Endowed Scholarship from Betty Stall

Elizabeth "Betty" Peace Stall '53, a former Hollins trustee from Greenville, South Carolina, believes in scholarships and in giving back to her college. For the second time she has put her money where her convictions are and established a scholarship for students wishing to attend Hollins. The Elizabeth Peace Stall Endowed Scholarship is secured with a five-year, $500,000 campaign pledge.

The Stall Scholarship is completely open and may be awarded on the basis of financial need, merit, or both to a student of any discipline. During the previous campaign (1992-1997) Stall established the Frances Peace Graham '36 Scholarship, in honor of her aunt, to provide need-based financial aid to students with community service experience and a strong potential to contribute to Hollins' student service programs.

In explaining why she started the new scholarship, Stall said, "Hollins shaped my life and opened doors inviting my mind to explore. I want other young women to have the same opportunities for growth and self discovery. Especially in these times they need help to do that."

Stall served ten years as a Hollins trustee and was awarded the Hollins Medal in 2005, for her financial generosity and volunteer support to Hollins and her community.


Belk Challenge
Belk Challenge for International Scholars Endowment

For the second time in the past sixteen months, Hollins has officially met and exceeded a challenge from the John M. Belk Educational Endowment to raise $500,000 to receive a matching grant of the same amount. The grant and matching funds will support the Claudia Watkins Belk International Scholars Endowment, which offers deserving Hollins students the chance to study abroad for a semester or a year, participate in an international experience during the university's January Short Term, or engage in community service or career internship placements abroad.





Theatre Renovation Thanks to McDonnell Family

Hollins is embarking on a comprehensive renovation of its theatre, thanks to a $3 million commitment from the James S. McDonnell Family Foundation. Hollins will receive $1 million annually from the foundation over the next three years, beginning in 2009.

Based in Lincoln, Massachusetts, the James S. McDonnell Family Foundation is named for the noted aviation pioneer and founder of McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, which later became McDonnell Douglas Corporation. The organization's mission is to support scientific, educational, and charitable causes locally, nationally, and internationally. McDonnell’s daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Hall McDonnell, is a member of Hollins' Class of 1962 and currently serves on the university's Board of Trustees. Her husband, James S. McDonnell III, is a member of the foundation's Board of Directors.


Photos of the renovation >>

The Texas Challenge
A Texas Sized Challenge to Hollins Alumnae and Friends

Texas philanthropist and Hollins son and grandson Robert Priddy of Wichita Falls has issued a challenge to all Texas alumnae, graduate alumni, current and past parents, and friends to raise $100,000 in new gifts to the Hollins Fund by December 31, 2010.  If we are successful, Mr. Priddy will match that amount, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000.



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