In my lifetime, I have never witnessed a moment where hope was more needed it is right now. Hope does not require us to ignore the often harsh realities of our current moment; rather, it requires that we cling to the conviction that better days are yet to come and that we may play a part.
To that end, I am grateful to be a part of the Hollins University community, because hope is alive and well here. It is threaded into the mission we pursue and the work we do day to day, and year to year. If there is a theme running through this winter issue of Hollins Magazine, I hope it is hope.
“In the Loop,” you will see news of the perseverance of our campus community in a time of “three pandemics” (health, economy, racism) afflicting higher education. Our students and faculty continue to push through a year guided by our Culture of Care. Our stalwart C3 program and our new Leading Equity, Diversity, and Justice Day both thrived thanks to the continued engagement and support of our alumnae/i.
You will learn more about President Mary Dana Hinton, her Big Vision for Hollins, and the hope she has so powerfully infused into the campus with her wisdom, experience, and leadership. The feeling that Hollins will emerge from this pandemic as a stronger university community is growing every day.
You can read “the rest of the story” of what became of The Class of 2020 after departing campus last spring. Beth JoJack ’98’s story reveals, one individual graduate at a time, the struggles, frustrations, and dogged optimism of a class that will go down in history as enduring something no other class in their lifetimes experienced in quite the same way.
Perhaps no academic area has faced a greater challenge with the move to remote learning than Hollins’ performing and creative arts programs, but adjust they did, and they have learned some “Immediate & Adaptive” lessons that have helped them chart an even more promising path forward. Thanks to graduate assistant Jeff Dingler for his excellent reporting on this and for his interview with President Hinton in this issue.
Finally, little has sapped our collective national optimism more than the political turmoil and vitriol we have endured. While this conflict is unlikely to fully dissipate anytime soon (or ever?), thanks to Sarah Achenbach ’88, you will see the hope that motivates those who enter the political realm as professionals. You will meet the kind of committed and caring Hollins women who have a belief or cause that drove them to enter the arena, “Converting Passion & Purpose Into Advocacy & Activism.”
I hope you enjoy this issue. I hope you find ways to stay connected to Hollins, a place that is committed to building better days ahead for our students of today and tomorrow. And, lastly, may you find ways to keep your own hope and optimism alive even in these trying times.