National Gallery Highlights Hollins Alumna, Acclaimed Photographer in “Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings”

Sally Mann ’74, M.A. ’75 is one of America’s most celebrated photographers, and the National Gallery of Art is presenting the first major international exhibition of her photographs of the South.

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings brings together 115 photographs that offer insight into Mann’s connection with the literature, art, and history of her native region. Many of the photographs in the exhibition, which will be on view in the National Gallery of Art’s West Building in Washington, D.C., from March 4 through May 28, are being shown for the first time.

“In her compelling photographs, Mann uses the personal to allude to the universal, considering intimate questions of family, memory, and death while also evoking larger concerns about the influence of the South’s past on its present,” said National Gallery of Art Director Earl A. Powell, III.

A Thousand Crossings is a five-part exhibition. Family features photographs that Mann took of her three children during the 1980s at their summer cabin on Virginia’s Maury River. Swamplands, fields, and decaying estates that Mann discovered during her travels across Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi in the 1990s highlight The Land.  Civil War battlefields are the focus of Last Measure, and Abide with Me investigates the role of race and history in shaping Virginia’s landscape and Mann’s own childhood and adolescence. The exhibition’s final section, What Remains, touches on themes of time, transformation, and death through photographs of Mann and her family.

“With the acquisition of works from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2014, the National Gallery is now one of the largest repositories of Mann’s photographs,” Powell noted. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work closely with the artist in presenting a wide selection of the work she has created over four decades.”

Mann has won numerous awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts. In 2001 she was named America’s Best Photographer by Time magazine. Her books of photographs include Immediate Family, At Twelve, and Mother Land. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 2015, her memoir, Hold Still, was shortlisted for the National Book Award. She is a recipient of the Hollins Distinguished Alumnae Award.

 

Photo Credit: Betsy Schneider


Hollins, Carilion Clinic, Turn the Page Partner to Promote Early Literacy

 

For Carilion Children’s youngest patients, this Thanksgiving came with a special treat – a newly republished Margaret Wise Brown book, and a pair of accomplished leaders (and moms) to read it to them.

Hollins President Pareena Lawrence and Carilion Clinic President and CEO Nancy Howell Agee spent their Thanksgiving morning reading to patients at Carilion Children’s. In addition to reading Brown’s perennial favorites Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, the two leaders introduced the children to Four Fur Feet.

“We wanted to make this Thanksgiving just a little brighter for our patients and their families,” said Agee. “It’s difficult being in a hospital, and especially during a holiday. Brown’s books have been a comfort to children for many decades and our patients were pretty excited to hear Four Fur Feet.”

Thanks to a partnership between Carilion and the Roanoke-based non-profit Turn The Page, and another partnership between Turn The Page and Hollins, every child born at Carilion during the year will receive the book. Hollins, which is Brown’s alma mater, is the repository for hundreds of her manuscripts, and made the Four Fur Feet manuscript available to be published.

“We know that children who are read to early in life become better readers – better learners – as they grow,” said Lawrence. “I’m thrilled that our partners at Turn The Page have made it their mission to get books into the hands of the 3,000 babies born at Carilion every year.”

Turn The Page’s mission is to increase awareness of the benefits of reading with children from birth and to provide every child born in the Roanoke Valley with his or her own home library of books during the first three years of life.

“Reading aloud is a simple way for parents to help their children grow,” said Lauren Ellerman, founder and board member of Turn The Page. “The partnerships with Carilion and Hollins are helping us get great books like Brown’s into the hands of families in the region.”

Lawrence, Agee, and Turn The Page volunteers finished out the morning by visiting several units of the hospital, including labor and delivery, mother-baby, and southwest Virginia’s only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and handing out the book to interested families.


Alumnae Share Expertise from Multitude of Fields at C3

“Welcome to the network!”

With that enthusiastic greeting to a packed audience of students in the Hollins Theatre, Judy Lambeth ’73 kicked off the opening session of the university’s sixth annual Career Connection Conference (C3), held October 23. Seventy-nine Hollins alumnae from a variety of fields returned to campus to talk about how they have translated their liberal arts education into satisfying careers. They also provided tips, tools, and tricks of the trade to land that first job.

“By attending Hollins, you are now a member of our alumnae network,” said Lambeth, who chairs Hollins’ Board of Trustees as well as the university’s alumnae engagement initiative. “That’s a community of highly intelligent, independent-minded, audacious women who are here today to help you in any way they can. We believe passionately that Hollins prepared us well for fulfilling lives and careers, and our education continues to enrich us every single day. Being a member of the Hollins community is a lifelong gift, and we are grateful for that. So, we want to give back by having your back. We are here today specifically to support you. We want you to soar, we want you to love whatever life throws at you and embrace it.”

During C3, students and alumnae engaged in the following events:

  • Interactive sessions featuring career women from the sciences, writing and publishing, business, financial services, education, law, visual and performing arts, and public service.
  • Special topics designed to facilitate alumnae testimonials and communicate practical skill sets. Highlights included building an effective resume, money matters, and life after Hollins, among others.
  • “Speed networking” with a large number of alumnae, as well meeting one-on-one through mock interviews, resume critiques, and conversations about the graduate school application process.
  • Small group discussions after the conference on a variety of topics, including diversity in the workplace.

Tina Wells, CEO and founder of Buzz Marketing Group, was this year’s C3 keynote speaker. Wells’ agency creates marketing strategies for clients within the beauty, entertainment, fashion, financial, and lifestyle sectors. She has spent nearly two decades connecting influencers and consumers to brand clients.

Wells’ address focused on the theme “What’s Next?” and offered “a little handbook you can use to figure out how to build those first ten years post-college, because the life I enjoy today is due to the work I did in those first ten years.” She noted the importance of  “developing that personal network, that personal board of directors that helps you make those key decisions and who holds you accountable. ‘Does this make sense?’ ‘Am I showing up authentically?’ ‘Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing?’ Who better than your peers to call you on that.”

Wells encouraged students to join professional associations (“Is the industry you’re in on the rise or declining? Where are the jobs going to be over the next five years? These associations have all that information.”) as well as social clubs (“Too often when we graduate we think we have to be serious people and forget that we need to have fun.”). She also recommended creating a group of five like-minded peers (“Meet monthly with a group of people who have similar goals and visions and think about the world in a specific way. Be committed and helpful to one another and give each other tools. Don’t be competitive, but hold each other responsible for meeting goals.”).

Wells also emphasized her personal philosophy, “You can’t make withdrawals where you haven’t made deposits. Never go into a situation saying, ‘Can you give me….’ or ‘Can I pick your brain?’ There is always something you can do. Constantly ask yourself, ‘Am I making a request or am I contributing? How do I contribute the most to the places that matter the most to me?'”

In that vein, Lambeth urged students to share their own personal and professional experiences in the years to come. “We’re hoping you’ll change the world and we’re also hoping that on some future day, when you’ve found your career path, please come back to Hollins, attend a Career Connections Conference, and do the same thing for another generation of Hollins students.”

 

Photo caption: Tina Wells, CEO and founder of Buzz Marketing Group, was the keynote speaker for Hollins’ sixth annual Career Connection Conference (C3).

 

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Wilson Museum Exhibition Is “Drawn from the Vault”

The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University is featuring a disparate selection of drawings from its permanent collection as part of the exhibition Drawn from the Vault, which is on display September 28 – December 10.

On paper and in a variety of media, many of these artworks date from the second half of the 20th century and have never been exhibited. “Several of these drawings have Hollins connections, created by students during their classes, former faculty such as John Ballator and Louis Thompson, or alumnae who became career artists, including Susan Cofer and Mary Page Evans,” says Wilson Museum Curator and Director Jenine Culligan. Other works in the exhibition, she adds, were collected and donated by alumnae and other generous donors, or come from artists who became part of region’s artistic legacy.

“This exhibition presents just a small sampling of the riches in the museum’s vault,” Culligan notes.

Drawn from the Vault will be on view in the Wilson Museum’s Ballator-Thompson Gallery. Culligan is conducting lunchtime tours of the exhibition on October 3, November 7, and December 5.

Admission to the Wilson Museum is always free and open to the public. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and Thursdays, noon to 8 p.m.

 

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Entrepreneur Tina Wells to Keynote Career Connection Conference

Buzz Marketing Group founder and CEO Tina Wells, who has spent nearly two decades connecting influencers and consumers to brand clients, will deliver the keynote address at Hollins University’s 2017 Career Connection Conference (C3) on October 23.

Since starting Buzz, which creates marketing strategies for clients within the beauty, entertainment, fashion, financial, and lifestyle sectors, Wells has built and managed a network of 30,000 “buzzSpotters” and 7,000 “momSpotters” to field monthly research for her clients. An earlier iteration of her company, BuzzTeen.com, was one of the earliest news sites dedicated to providing teens with content in fashion, beauty, entertainment, health, fitness, lifestyle, academics, and world news.

Building off her years of experience, Wells authored the youth marketing handbook Chasing Youth Culture and Getting It Right and the best-selling tween series Mackenzie Blue. She has also written for The Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, MediaPost, and Retail Merchandiser Magazine, among others.

Wells’ honors include Essence‘s 40 Under 40, Billboard‘s 30 Under 30, Fast Company‘s 100 Most Creative People in Business, and Inc‘s 30 Under 30.

Each fall, C3 brings Hollins students and alumnae together for an array of panels, workshops, presentations, and networking opportunities. Alumnae share how they translated their liberal arts education into satisfying careers and also provide tips, tools, and tricks of the trade to land that first job. Approximately 75 alumnae from a variety of backgrounds are returning to campus for this year’s event.

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President Lawrence Declares Hollins’ 176th Academic Year in Session

Pareena Lawrence led her first Opening Convocation as Hollins University’s 12th president, telling a capacity duPont Chapel audience that she brings a “deep commitment and passion for learning, transformation, and access and equity to opportunities to Hollins. I know I have a lot more listening to do, a lot to learn…and I am ready.”

Lawrence spoke before students, faculty, and staff on August 29, the eve of the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year.

“As I stand here today,” Lawrence said, “I can reflect on my life’s journey to date and say that everything in my life – from my attending an all-girls school in India to my career teaching and working at residential liberal arts colleges to my research work, which included several undergraduate student researchers and focused on the intersection of women and the economy – all these experiences were preparing me for this extraordinary opportunity at Hollins.”

Lawrence called Hollins’ mission “compelling. While I was not a product of a liberal arts education, I spent 23 years teaching and working at two liberal arts institutions. I personally witnessed the power of a small residential liberal arts university and there is no other place I would rather be….I know first-hand the undivided time, attention, and mentoring that our faculty and staff devote to you, our students, to help you find and pursue your passion or your interests so that you can live a life of purpose and meaning.

“This is not a place that accepts passive education; we expect you to fully engage. At a place like Hollins, it is not just about what you can do with your degree. Universities should prepare you for a job, but that is only part of what we do. We play a central role in helping shape the next generation of citizens, leaders, thinkers, creators, and policy makers who understand their role in our larger society. That is ultimately what a Hollins education is all about, and why I wanted to be a part of this mission.”

Lawrence shared a translation of a Hindi poem by Achala Nagar “that has always inspired me, especially when times were really difficult and all I wanted to do was give up and give in.”

Just this once let me live my life on my own terms
According to my dreams and aspirations
Let me pen my own destiny no matter the consequences
Let the outcomes be determined by my own choices and mistakes
Just once let me live my life on my own terms
According to my own dreams and aspiration
Let me pen my own destiny

Other highlights of this year’s Opening Convocation included the presentation of class honors by Vice President of Academic Affairs Trish Hammer; remarks from Antonia Nagle ’18, president of the Student Government Association; and special music from members of the Hollins choirs. Following convocation, the class of 2018 observed First Step, where seniors take their first official steps onto Front Quad. Tradition maintains that seniors are the only students permitted to walk on the grass on Front Quad.

 

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Hollins to Take Part in Va. Private College Week, July 24-29

Hollins University is one of 24 independent colleges and universities welcoming prospective students and their families during Virginia Private College Week, July 24 – 29.

The event is sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV).

Along with the other participating institutions, Hollins will offer campus tours and information sessions about admission, financial aid, and academic programs. University officials will also address some common myths about the cost of a private college education.

“Visiting campuses in person is one of the most important steps in the college search process,” said CICV President Robert Lambeth. “I encourage parents to explore which college will be the best fit for their son or daughter, and I want to reassure them that a quality education at a Virginia private college is affordable and within reach.”

Students who visit at least three institutions during the week will receive three application fee waivers. Students may use these waivers to apply to any three participating CICV colleges for free. In addition, students visiting at least three institutions will also be eligible for a drawing for a $500 Amazon gift card.

Sessions at Hollins will begin at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, July 24 – 28, and at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 29. Students and families may register by calling Hollins’ Office of Admission at 800-456-9595.

For more information about Virginia Private College Week, click here.

 


“Dallas Buyers Club” Screenwriter Craig Borten Visits Hollins

Craig Borten, the Academy Award-nominated co-writer of Dallas Buyers Club, is coming to Hollins University for an intimate screening of the film, a question-and-answer session, and a reception on Friday, June 23, beginning at 7 p.m. in Niederer Auditorium, Wetherill Visual Arts Center.

Admission to this exclusive event is free and open to the public.

Dallas Buyers Club is based on the true story of Ron Woodruff, who worked around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they needed after he was diagnosed with the disease. The 2013 movie stars Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, and Jared Leto.

“I’m eager to share a firsthand account of the process of screenwriting and my passion for the film industry,” said Borten, who joins the program at the invitation of Tim Albaugh, director of the Hollins graduate screenwriting and film studies program.

After the screening, Borten and Albaugh will discuss the difficult path to production for the film, Borten’s career, and the movie making business.

“Our students’ favorite part of the screenwriting and film studies program is our guest artist visits,” said Albaugh. “We are lucky to hear from Craig about the lessons learned from his experiences in the film industry, and we will pair this real-world advice with our faculty’s academic expertise to help students succeed.”

Each summer, Hollins’ program welcomes guest artists to campus to share their work and experience. Program faculty include professional film and television writers as well as professors from world-renowned film schools such as UCLA and NYU.

Dallas Buyers Club was the first produced screenplay by Borten. The film received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Original Screenplay. He also cowrote The 33, which is based on the true story of 33 Chilean miners trapped in a mine for 69 days. Currently, he is in production on an hour-long drama series for A+E Studios on the opioid epidemic. Borten has been writing scripts for more than 20 years.


175th Commencement Exercises to be Held May 21

Hollins will celebrate its 175th commencement on Sunday, May 21, at 10 a.m. on the university’s historic Front Quadrangle.

Undergraduate and graduate degrees will be conferred before an audience of families, friends, and members of the campus community. Other highlights will include the presentation of the following honors:

  • The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. Given by the New York Southern Society in memory of the founder, this award recognizes a senior who has shown by daily living those qualities that evidence a spirit of love and helpfulness to other men and women.
  • The Annie Terrill Bushnell Prize. Presented to the senior who has evidenced the finest spirit of leadership during her days at Hollins, this award was established by the late Mrs. William A. Anderson in memory of her mother.
  • The Jane Cocke Funkhouser Award. Honoring an alumna of the class of 1911, this award recognizes the junior or senior who, in addition to being a good student, is preeminent in character.

Renowned neuroscientist Mary Elizabeth “Mary Beth” Hatten, a member of Hollins’ class of 1971, is this year’s guest speaker.

Hatten is the Frederick P. Rose Professor in the Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology at The Rockefeller University in New York City. After completing her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry at Hollins, she earned a Ph.D. in biochemical sciences from Princeton University and did her postdoctoral research in neuroscience at Harvard Medical School. She subsequently served with the New York University School of Medicine and the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University.

In 1992, Hatten joined Rockefeller and was appointed the university’s first female full professor and the first female to lead a research laboratory there. Her initiatives have implications for conditions that are partially due to developmental abnormalities in the brain, such as learning disabilities, childhood epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism. Her work on cerebellar development may one day inform research on treatments for childhood cancers.

In acknowledgment of her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, Hatten was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

More information about Hollins’ 175th commencement can be found here.


Wilson Museum Presents Senior Majors Exhibition

The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University is highlighting the work of seven studio art majors from the class of 2017 during the Senior Majors Exhibition, May 9 – May 21.

The exhibition is the final requirement for art students earning their bachelor’s degree and is the capstone experience of a yearlong senior project.

Studio art majors featured in the show include Natalie Marie Badawy, Suprima Bhele, Laura Carden, Samantha Dozal, Madi Hurley, Erin M. Leslie, and Maggie Perrin-Key. The exhibition will be on display in the Ballator-Thompson and Wilson Galleries.

The Wilson Museum will host an opening reception for the 2017 Senior Majors Exhibition on Tuesday, May 9, from 6 – 8 p.m. in the first floor lobby of the Richard Wetherill Visual Arts Center.

The Wilson Museum is open Tuesday – Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and Thursdays, noon to 8 p.m.. Admission is always free.