Entering Our 175th on a High Note

on May 26 | in President's Essay | by

As we begin preparations to celebrate our 175th anniversary during the 2016-17 academic year, this is a good time to look at some of the ways in which Hollins is building upon its many strengths and meeting the challenges facing higher education today.

By President Nancy Oliver Gray

We continue to enrich our writing legacy.

Reading this magazine is to be reminded of our exceptional strength in nurturing creative writers. This academic year we’ve seen two Hollins authors shortlisted for the National Book Award—Sally Mann ’74, M.A. ’75 and Visiting Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing Karen Bender; more accolades for the work of rising young playwright Meredith Dayna Levy ’12; and praise for a new memoir by Lee Smith ’67.

We are enhancing our facilities to meet the growing needs of students studying the sciences.

We will begin renovation of Dana Science Building this summer and then continue during the summer and fall of 2017, with an expected opening in February 2018. We are excited about this project and grateful to Elizabeth “Libby” McDonnell ’62 and her husband, James, and other donors who are making this work possible.

We continue to work to foster greater inclusivity on campus

  • Next fall, we hope to launch Sustained Dialogue, a program used at more than 60 other colleges and universities whose goal is bringing together small groups of students and other community members from widely different backgrounds. Participants engage in peer-facilitated conversations focused on transforming relationships, community change, and moving dialogue to action.
  • We have applied for a grant to provide initial funding for a president’s cabinet-level appointment for a special advisor for inclusivity. This individual will focus on coordinating our inclusivity and diversity efforts with faculty, students, administration, and staff.
  • The newly formed Hollins Heritage Committee, chaired by Jon Bohland, associate professor and director of international studies, has started work on gaining a deeper understanding of our Hollins history. The committee will make recommendations on how best to honor the contributions of the Oldfields community near the campus.

We have helped prepare our students to engage in some impressive activities this summer beyond campus.

  • Through their participation in the Model Arab League Program, first-year students Dade Hundertmark and Hanna Strauss are heading overseas to become proficient in Arabic. Hundertmark will study at the Arab-American Language Institute in Morocco, while Strauss will be at Oman’s Center for International Learning.
  • Lan Nguyen ’18, a double major in economics and environmental sciences, was selected from a highly competitive pool of qualified candidates to participate in a residence internship at the American Institute for Economic Research in Massachusetts.
  • Rory Keeley ’17, a double major in mathematics and art history, will serve as a market research intern at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Dade Hundertmark Hanna Strauss Lan Nguyen Rory Keeley
Hundertmark Strauss Nguyen Keeley

We are taking the success of our alumnae engagement initiative to even greater levels.

  • We had a record number of signature internships this year, supported by alumnae who sponsored internships, mentored students, and organized events for interns during January.
  • Featured in this issue are two ways in which we have involved alumnae in the academic experience this year: a communication studies class that Skyped in several alumnae experts to augment textbook learning; and our new alumnae-in-residence program that brought five alumnae back to campus in March to talk with students about careers in public service.

In anticipation of celebrating reunion with many of you in early June, we honor the accomplishments and ties that bind us all together. This is an exciting time at Hollins and we encourage you to be part of our efforts to make Hollins ever stronger. By attending reunion, giving to the Hollins Fund, sponsoring Hollins interns, referring prospective students, or mentioning Hollins to your friends, you will help ensure our future.

Comments are closed.

« »

Scroll to top