More than 500 alumnae and guests gathered on campus the first weekend in June to enjoy each other’s company and to bask in the delights of a lingering Virginia spring. Highlights included a rousing performance of Good Ol’ Girls, based on stories by Lee Smith ’67 and Jill McCorkle M.A. ’81; a panel of alumnae talking about how their Hollins experience contributed to their success; an exhibition in the Wilson Museum of work by ceramicist Alice Hohenberg Federico ’67; classes with faculty members Peter Coogan (history), Vladimir Bratic (communication studies), and Thorpe Moeckel (English/creative writing); the parade and celebration; lots of delicious food; and most of all, the joy of seeing old friends and making new ones. Reunion video »
Reunion 2012 slideshow
2012 DAA winners
The Distinguished Alumnae Award honors those who have brought distinction to themselves and to Hollins through broad and inspiring personal or career achievements; local, national, or international volunteer service; or significant contributions to society. To nominate an alumna or learn about previous winners, visit www.hollins.edu/alumnae and click on the link under “Alumnae Accomplishments.”
|Valer Clark Austin ’62
Austin has dedicated herself to preserving and restoring the biodiversity of the borderland region between the United States and Mexico. She and her husband, Josiah, established the foundation Cuenca de Los Ojos, which translates to “Watershed of the Springs.” Their wide network of educators, scientists, ranchers, and governmental agencies has brought to fruition more than 20,000 rock dams to slow flooding rainfall and repair grasslands. The Austins continue to purchase conservation properties in the borderlands to restore their habitats and revive struggling wildlife populations. See Hollins, summer 2007, for more about their work.
|Lucinda Hardwick MacKethan ’67
MacKethan is one of the nation’s foremost scholars in the literature of the American South. She is the author or editor of six books, including Daughters of Time: Creating Women’s Voice in Southern Story and the co-edited Companion to Southern Literature, which was named a “best reference work” by the American Library Association. She has served as chair of the North Carolina Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She retired in 2008 after thirty-seven years as director of the creative writing program and Alumni Distinguished Professor of English at North Carolina State University.
|Mary K. Farmer Shaughnessy ’72
Shaughnessy is a prize-winning equestrian, philanthropist, and attorney. She has won many ribbons and trophies in the ring, including 2012 reserve champion of the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit in the adult hunter over fifty-one class. In addition she has served on the board of directors of the Hampton Classic Foundation, supporting one of the largest outdoor horse shows in the U.S. She has given tremendous support to Hollins’ riding program, donating seven outstanding horses as well as gifts to the riding program and scholarships. She has served on the Hollins Alumnae Board and on numerous educational, arts, and human service boards.
|Caroline Hipple ’77
Hipple is one of the few women who have led major home furnishings retail chains. She rose through the ranks of This End Up Furniture Company, from a part-time sales associate to a district manager with nine stores. Within five years she had opened eighty-six stores and become executive vice president of sales, merchandising, and marketing. After twenty-three years at This End Up, she became president of Storehouse Furniture, growing that company to a $160 million retail chain. She is a founding member of WithIt (“Women in the Home Industries Today”), a nonprofit that develops mentoring and career opportunities for women in the home furnishings industry. Today she holds the apt title of chief energy officer with the consulting firm HB2 Resources.
|Julie Fischer ’92
Fischer earned her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Vanderbilt. She served as a senior research fellow at the University of Washington and an independent consultant to a Thai-U.S. collaboration fighting emerging infections. On the staff of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, she worked on issues related to medical emergency preparedness and the consequences of biological and chemical exposures during military service. Since 2007, she has served as senior associate with the Henry L. Stimson Center, exploring the growing demands on the world’s public health infrastructure, including policies to contain transnational disease, promoting health in the world’s poorest nations, and looking at the changing roles for health issues in defense and diplomacy.
|Distinguished Young Alumna: Lillian Potter ’97
Potter is a globe-trotting attorney who works with a wide variety of clients, from major multinational corporations to migrant agricultural guestworkers. After graduating magna cum laude from Hollins, Potter received her law degree at Georgetown. She was then awarded the prestigious Skadden Fellowship, a program described as the “legal Peace Corps,” which allowed her to represent migrant farmworkers in federal employment litigation. She is an expert in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, representing major corporations involving the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. She also maintains an active pro-bono practice in Washington, D.C.