Editor’s Note: Spring 2021 Issue

on July 7 | in Editor's Note | by

What does a remote portion of land on the southern coast of Georgia have to do with Hollins University?

Fair question.

What if I suggested that Ossabaw Island has everything to do with Hollins?

First, the story of Ossabaw as state-protected land centers around alumna, trustee, and attorney Patricia Barmeyer ’68, whose negotiations in the 1980s led to preventing the land from becoming “the next Hilton Head.” The story of its sustainable future centers around Elizabeth DuBose ’89, under whose guidance the Ossabaw Island Foundation has thrived. Two women with vastly different career paths and areas of expertise, both benefiting from a liberal arts education under the shadows of Tinker Mountain, are both key players in this story.

Today, Ossabaw is championed as an educational treasure, a haven visited by researchers, historians, and writers (including the inestimable Annie Dillard ’67, M.A. ’68). So, when you read about this island, you are in many ways reading a metaphorical microcosm of all the things and opportunities a Hollins education offers. And the feature is written beautifully by Beth JoJack ’98.

Another alumna, Sarah Achenbach ’88, goes where few Hollins magazine pieces have gone before: the personal experience essay. Achenbach boldly jumped into the creative writing waters last winter and attended the first-ever Tinker Mountain Writers’ Workshop Winter Recharge, a virtual weekend, and rediscovered her sense of writing direction.

“Voyages of Enlightenment” by Jeff Hodges M.A.L.S. ’11 offers a celebratory reminder that Hollins’ professors embrace the “teaching college” culture while continuing to flex their creative and research muscles out in the world beyond, exemplifying “what a liberal arts education was intended to do.”

“Eight Years in the Making” celebrates Horizon graduate Kate Lydon ’21, whose path to her degree took longer than originally planned, but who graduated in May debt-free and having had opportunities to hone her many impressive artistic talents. Lydon used the medium of trace monotyping to call attention to an underexposed concern, endangered livestock breeds.

These pieces, as well as in the many smaller features within our “In the Loop” section, reveal a level of both depth and breadth in the liberal arts that is often lost in today’s conversations, lost even as more than nine in every 10 recent Hollins alumnae/i either find employment or enter graduate school within a year of graduation.

And what better proof of the confidence our alumnae/i and friends have in Hollins than the overwhelming success of President Hinton’s Imagination Campaign, which in just over half a year raised almost $9 million in support of new revenue-generating projects and proposals for the university, all offered by employees in the campus community?

Hollins is moving boldly into an uncertain but hopeful future, championing many of the ideals upon which the institution was founded even while committing to better and more fully represent those ideals for all of our students, now and in the future.

Billy Faires

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