Why should 21st-century readers bother with a big book about the residents of a small country town in 19th-century England?
To Julie Pfeiffer, associate professor of English, Middlemarch, by George Eliot, “is a brilliant novel, one that still has a lot to teach us about our own lives.” She and her partner in this summer’s Middlemarch Project, Martha Park M.F.A. ’15 (creative writing), talk about what those lessons are in “Middlemarch Madness” (by Jeff Hodges M.A.L.S. ’11)—and about how devoting a summer to a leisurely reading of one of literature’s great works can be rewarding on many levels.
Dana Caspersen M.F.A. ’08 (dance) inspires us with her move from the world of professional dance to conflict management. She has discovered a surprising number of parallels between the two very different fields, as Sarah Achenbach ’88 explains in her profile, “Place of Possibility.”
In his romantic and eloquent remembrance of renowned children’s book author Margaret Wise Brown ’32, James S. Rockefeller Jr. recalls a magical time he and his then-fiancée spent on two islands: his family home on Cumberland Island, Georgia, and Brown’s “Only House” off the coast of Maine. “The Bunny and the Warlock” is the foreword to a new biography of Brown by Amy Gary.
Susan Henry’s book Anonymous in Their Own Names profiles three extraordinary women who lived in the early 20th century and who were instrumental (and often unheralded) in their husbands’ success. One of them was writer and feminist Ruth Hale, who with her husband, Heywood Broun, helped found the Algonquin Round Table. “The Clinging Oak and the Study Vine” presents a passage from Henry’s book that captures both personalities in a few vivid paragraphs.
Of course, what is summer at Hollins without reunion? This year we celebrated graduates from the years ending in 5 and 10—and the two-years-out-graduates. Relive the fun through the photos here and here.
In “The Continuing Importance of Alumnae Engagement,” President Gray reminds us of the critical link between alumnae engagement—not only during reunion, but also during times of student recruitment and institutional fundraising—and the success of Hollins. As she points out in her essay, 10 percent of the class of 2019 are from alumnae referrals; and once again alumnae helped Hollins exceed the annual Hollins Fund goal.
—Jean Holzinger M.A.L.S. ‘11