Hollins University will honor the class of 2021 during commencement exercises on Wednesday, May 19, at 10 a.m. ET.
In order to best and most safely accommodate all graduates and guests, and to ensure the university is in full compliance with the commencement guidelines recently issued by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, the ceremony will be held on the athletic practice fields across from the Batten Tennis Center on West Campus Drive.
The ceremony will recognize undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts and Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Science degrees, as well as the Master of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, and Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degrees. The following awards will also be announced:
- The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, honoring a senior and a member of the Hollins community who have shown by daily living those qualities that demonstrate a love and helpfulness to others.
- 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.
Elizabeth Kolmstetter, Ph.D., a member of Hollins’ class of 1985 who has pioneered numerous innovative talent management programs across eight federal agencies, will be the guest speaker. An industrial and organizational psychologist, Kolmstetter has excelled at leading organizational change across some of our nation’s most prominent agencies such as the FBI, ODNI, and CIA. After 9/11, she helped start the new Transportation Security Administration where she led the hiring of the largest civilian workforce in U.S. history in one year.
Kolmstetter currently serves as NASA’s director of talent strategy and engagement. Her efforts have contributed to NASA being named the Best Place to Work in government and she was recently recognized with NASA’s 2020 Outstanding Leadership Medal. She is a member of the Hollins University Board of Trustees, has served on several nonprofit boards, and is the recipient of Hollins’ Distinguished Alumnae Award and Hollins’ Honoris Causa.
Kolmstetter is married to Michael (MALS ’90) and her mother is Paula P. Brownlee, who was president of Hollins from 1981 – 1990.