Interim president nancy oliver gray
President Emerita Nancy Oliver Gray is serving as Hollins’ interim president while the University conducts the search for its 13th president. Her responsibilities are focused on ensuring a smooth and successful leadership transition.
Notable Accomplishments as Hollins’ 11th President
Gray earned many achievements during her presidency from 2005 to 2017. Under her guidance, the University operated under no debt as well as a balanced operating budget, and doubled its endowment. She led Hollins during the largest comprehensive fundraising campaign in school history and the largest ever undertaken by a women’s college in the South, the Campaign for Women Who Are Going Places. The campaign successfully concluded in 2010 with over $161 million raised, far exceeding the goal of $125 million.
As Hollins’ eleventh president, Gray spearheaded the creation of a number of new academic programs including majors in environmental studies and environmental science; a certificate program in leadership studies; an extensive seminar program especially designed for first-year students; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in children’s book writing and illustrating.
Gray oversaw the renovation of historic buildings and gardens on the Hollins campus and became a driving force in deepening the University’s commitment to environmental sustainability. In 2007, Hollins became a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Agreement, and since that time has dramatically reduced its carbon consumption.
An Enduring Commitment to Higher Education and Community Service
Since her retirement two years ago, Gray has been a senior consultant at Gonser Gerber and regional director for the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges. Currently, she serves on the boards of Princeton Theological Seminary and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, and is president of the board of Mill Mountain Theatre. She has also served on the boards of The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the Women’s College Coalition, as co-chair of the board for resource development for the Council for Independent Colleges, and as the presidential sponsor of the Virginia Network of American Council on Education’s Office of Women in Higher Education.
A Distinguished Career and Devotion to Family
Before coming to Hollins, Gray was president of Converse College in South Carolina for five-and-a-half years. Previously, she was vice president for institutional advancement at both Rider University and Princeton Theological Seminary. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, she holds a master of education degree from North Texas State University and completed additional graduate work at Vanderbilt.
Gray is a native of Dallas, Texas. She and her husband, David Maxson, have seven adult children between them and 13 grandchildren.