“Coming home.” That’s the way many alumnae describe their experience when they return to Hollins for reunion, and we think the cover photo captures that feeling perfectly. Far from a formal and stuffy event, reunion is a time to relax, to catch up with old friends and to make new ones, and to bask in the late-spring beauty of the campus. Those who attended this year’s reunion can relive some memories through the photos in this online issue and elsewhere on the Hollins site. We hope these images inspire members of the classes ending in 3 and 8, and the class of 2011, to celebrate with us at next year’s reunion, scheduled for May 31 – June 2, 2013.
Also in this issue: an important essay by President Gray about the Alumnae Engagement Campaign launching this fall. Alumnae—you—are the key to the success of the new strategic plan, and President Gray outlines the important ways you can help make Hollins’ future a bright one. In fact, there are three things you can do right away that will make a significant difference: 1. Refer a student to Hollins; 2: volunteer your time to the admission office; 3. volunteer for Hollins’ career initiative, which places students in excellent internships and gives them access to alumnae mentors (e-mail Vice President for External Relations Mark W. Jones).
Hollins alumnae help their alma mater in other ways, too—by doing an outstanding job in their chosen field. This issue highlights two such women: Alexa Foreman ’77, who parlayed her love of movies into a job as senior researcher at Turner Classic Movies; and Cathryn Hankla ’80, M.A. ’82, who has made her mark as a Hollins professor, poet, novelist, essayist, and painter.
For the past ten years, many of our graduates have found that developing and honing leadership skills through the Batten Leadership Institute have helped them break barriers in the working world. Jeff Hodges M.A.L.S. ’11 writes about BLI’s growing success, and he articulates what sets the program apart: its directors’ dedication to “expanding your edge.”
We celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Iota of Virginia, Hollins’ Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Securing a chapter for Hollins wasn’t as straightforward as many had hoped, but the persistence of Louis D. Rubin, Jr., and other campus leaders paid off when the application was approved in September 1961 and the chapter was installed the following February.
Finally, check out this issue’s Web-only feature: an interview with children’s book illustrator and author Wendy Watson. Watson taught this summer in Hollins’ new certificate program in children’s book illustration.