Due to Predicted Inclement Weather, Hollins Moves 182nd Commencement to Roanoke’s Berglund Center

Due to Predicted Inclement Weather, Hollins Moves 182nd Commencement to Roanoke’s Berglund Center

Commencement, Special Events

May 16, 2024

Due to Predicted Inclement Weather, Hollins Moves 182nd Commencement to Roanoke’s Berglund Center Commencement 2023

Because of the current weather forecast of significant rainfall, and in consultation with leaders in the senior class, Hollins University will conduct its 182nd Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 19, at 10 a.m. at the Berglund Center Coliseum in downtown Roanoke.

The location change will avoid the impact of the predicted inclement weather and guarantee that all who wish to attend this celebratory event will be able to do so in person. The event will be livestreamed for those who cannot or do not wish to attend in person.

Undergraduate and graduate degrees will be conferred, including the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts and Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Science, as well as the Master of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, and Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. The following awards will also be announced:

  • Faculty Awards for Academic Excellence, recognizing the students with the highest academic standings in the class of 2024.
  • The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, honoring a senior and a member of the Hollins community who have shown by daily living those qualities that evince a love and helpfulness to other men and women.
  • The Annie Terrill Bushnell Award, presented to a senior who has evidenced the finest spirit of leadership during their days at Hollins.
  • The Jane Cocke Funkhouser Award, highlighting the junior or senior who, in addition to being a good student, is preeminent in character and leadership.
Helena Brown Commencement
Soprano Helena Brown ’12 of the Metropolitan Opera is this year’s guest speaker.

Helena Brown ’12, a dramatic soprano with New York’s Metropolitan Opera who is quickly distinguishing herself as a force of nature on the international stage, is this year’s guest speaker.

Brown made her role debuts as Lucia in Terence Blanchard’s Champion, First Mother in Dead Man Walking, and Fisherwoman in Peter Grimes at the Met. She also debuted as Mrs. Dickson in Ricky Ian Gordon and Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel at Lincoln Center Theater; Sieglinde in Die Walküre with the Miami Wagner Institute; Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Rioja Lirica/DIVAria Productions; female chorus in The Rape of Lucretia with New Camerata Opera; and as Serena and Strawberry Woman in Porgy and Bess on the New York Harlem Theater European tour. Brown has received three Grammy certificates for her participation in productions at the Met. Most recently, Champion won the 2024 Grammy for Best Opera Recording.

A fierce ally for the arts, Brown serves as a vice president of the choristers, actors, and staff performers in the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA). She also serves as an advisory director on the Metropolitan Opera Board of Directors, where she is the first and only representative for AGMA. In that capacity, she works on the Administration and Policy Committee, Black Caucus, IDEA Subcommittee (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility), and other special working groups as the need arises. One of her major projects was helping to found and establish AGMA’s First Demographic Census, which serves as a primary source of qualitative/quantitative research on the intersectional makeup of the union across performing arts disciplines as well as the prevalence and effects of discrimination, COVID-19, and more on performing artists.

The 182nd Commencement Exercises website has more information on this year’s ceremony, including a schedule of events and how to watch the livestream.