Not everyone sees the advantages of a women’s college—especially if she’s never experienced the alchemy of an all-women living and learning environment. As Ericka Kelly says in this issue’s article about the Horizon Program (“Living the Dream,” by Jeff Hodges), “You couldn’t have paid me when I was 17 to go to an all-girls’ school, but I see the genius in it now. It just incubates strength and motivation.”
Whether you see the genius in a single-sex learning environment at 17 or later in life, it’s something real. It’s the kind of thing that’s hard to quantify or explain, but somehow this experience becomes a part of our students and sustains them long after they graduate.
In fact, building confidence and character is the theme of this issue, which shows how Hollins women are making the most of their education while they’re here—and then using it as their foundation and inspiration in the years that follow.
- Elysse Stolpe ’10 kicks things off with a persuasive essay, “Standing Out as a Women’s College Graduate,” about how her experience at Hollins boosted her performance as a student at the highly competitive University of Virginia Law School.
- Six students invited to participate in a round-table discussion reveal the various ways they have grown—sometimes, as Student Government Associate President Georden West ’15 says, by thinking of conflict as an opportunity to learn more about yourself. “Here we learn how to navigate difficult conversations, no matter where we are,” she says. “I’ve never seen that anywhere else.”
- Many of our students cultivate leadership skills at Hollins, through the Batten Leadership Institute or student government, or through less formal channels, such as the Hollins Outdoor Program. Morgan Blalock ’16 writes about these opportunities in “Learning to Lead—One Hike, Rapid, and Cave at a Time.”
In “Author to Author,” you’ll read a fascinating interview that author Lee Smith ’67 conducted with Beth Macy M.A. ’93, whose book Factory Man had a sensational debut last fall.
We end with a remembrance of Professor of English Eric Trethewey, who died last September. What better way to honor a fine poet than to reprint one of his very fine poems, “Frost on the Fields.”
—Jean Holzinger M.A.L.S. ’11