Hollins University is a private university in Hollins, Virginia. Founded in as Valley Union Seminary in the historical settlement of Botetourt Springs , it is one of the oldest institutions of higher education for women in the United States. Hollins enrolls about undergraduate and graduate students. As Virginia's first chartered women's college , undergraduate programs are female-only. Men are admitted to the graduate-level programs. Hollins is known for its undergraduate and graduate writing programs, which have produced Pulitzer Prize -winning authors Annie Dillar former U. Other prominent alumnae include pioneering sportswriter Mary Garber ,  Man Booker Prize winner Kiran Desai , UC-Berkeley's first tenured female physicist and a principal contributor to theories for detecting the Higgs boson Mary K.
The area where Hollins College developed was the site of Botetourt Springs. The area developed as a resort which operated from to It then became the site of a short-lived seminary. When it failed the property and buildings were acquired for Valley Union Seminary. The institution of higher learning that would become Hollins was first established in by the Reverend Joshua Bradley as the coeducational Valley Union Seminary.
Cocke arrived with his wife, Susanna, and 16 slaves. Before the Civil WarHollins used the labor of enslaved people to build and maintain the grounds. In addition, many students brought "servants" with them who were likely slaves. After slavery was abolishe Hollins employed many formerly enslaved people, mostly women whose names were not recorded.
Students were encouraged to ignore these workers in the college handbook during this era, and employees were forbidden from developing friendly relationships with women studying at Hollins.
As the head of Hollins, Cocke saw his students as a part of a family and himself as their father figure.
His pedagogy was based upon the "southern sensibility that a lady was to be trained to submit to the order of men". Students at the school during this period remember the "unbelieveably [ sic ] serious" instruction and "high standards".
The Hollins of Cocke's ambitions was limited by region, as Cocke was interested in educating women only from Southern states.
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Its remote location far from the better respected and funded men's institutions put Hollins in contrast with the Seven Sisters in the Northeast.
Despite its academic rigor, Hollins and other southern women's colleges were smaller and poorer than women's college such as Smith College and Mount Holyoke in the north. From until his death, Cocke did not take a stipulated salary from the institution so that the trustees could instead put the school's income toward paying faculty and improving the grounds.
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Charles Lewis Cocke's death in at the age of eighty-one was a grave moment for the Hollins Institute, but the transition to the leadership of his forty-five-year-old daughter Matty Cocke was smooth. Estes Cocke, handle the school's financial dealings entirely.
Miss Cocke shared the opinion of President John McBryde of Sweet Briar Women's Collegewho in decried the "independence" sought by Vassar and other members of the Seven Sisters and suggested instead that women's education focus on "grace [and] refinement". Because the Cocke family owned Hollins, the school could not raise an endowment through alumna donations.
This was not unusual for the time; as ofonly seven southern women's college were certified by professional organizations as "standard," while both Hollins and Sweet Briar were designated as "approximate". Richardson's letter and prompting from the presidents of Mount Holyoke and Bryn Mawr sped up the accreditation process.
The Cocke family turned the school over to a board of trustees and President Cocke tendered her resignation inas the school finally gained accreditation. Hollins was home to the first exhibition gallery in the Roanoke region in In when he was 31 years of age John R. Everett was elected President of Hollins College, a position he held until he resigned in Hollins was home to the first graduate program focusing on the writing and study of children's literature, established in The institution was renamed Hollins College inand in it became Hollins University.
In Aprilthe president directed the temporary removal of four volumes of the university yearbook from the library's digital commons after the blackface controversy involving Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
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The four volumes,contained photographs of students wearing blackface. The university issued a statement saying access to the digitized yearbooks would be restored as soon as the university developed accompanying "educational information regarding the history and practice of blackface to help all of us understand why it is a racist and prejudicial practice. The Wyndham Robertson Library and the Working Group on Slavery issued a statement in response objecting to the decision, stating that, "we cannot and do not support any erasure of institutional history, even if only temporarily" and recommended that the affected yearbooks be made electronically accessible again along with a statement on the content.
She is the first African American president in the university's history.
An active and respected proponent of the liberal arts and inclusion, her leadership reflects a deep and abiding commitment to educational equity and the education of women. The Hollins College Quadrangle consists of six contributing buildings. The earliest buildings were built for the Botetourt Springs resort which operated from to and then became a seminary. The first built specifically for the new college is East Building, erected opposite the hotel building.
The Main building was built in at the north end of the quadrangle, Bradley Chapel was erected in between the East and Main Buildings, the octagonal Botetourt Hall was built inand the Charles Cocke Memorial Library was built in at the south end of the quadrangle.
The main dorm of Hollins University was decorated and improved in the 19th century by local carpenter and woodworker Gustave A. Seadon sic was a very interesting character with a wry sense of humor, even though he had troubles spelling in English. One year just before the Civil War, his journal notes he had to build a walkway to the necessary-a walk way to the outhouse behind the building.
The next year he cryptically noted a cover to the walkway to the necessary. Obviously, the young ladies didn't like getting wet as they walked downstairs. Hollins University has a number of beloved traditions, many of which have been observed for more than years.
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One day in October, after the first frost, classes are cancelled so that students, faculty, and staff can climb nearby Tinker Mountain while wearing colorful and silly costumes.
After a lunch of fried chicken and Tinker Cake, the students and new faculty perform skits and sing songs before returning to campus. The exact date of the celebration is a closely held secret.
Hollins offers small classes with a student-tear ratio in a variety of majors. The most popular majors are English, psychology, studio art, business, and biology. Currently Hollins offers graduate programs in dance M.
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As ofHollins offers a graduate-level certificate in Children's Book Illustration. Hollins was one of the first colleges in the nation to establish a study abroad program, launching Hollins Abroad-Paris in Approximately half of Hollins students have an international learning experience. Hollins runs its own programs in London and Paris; non-Hollins students are free to apply to the Hollins Abroad-London and-Paris programs. Hollins also sponsors an annual service-learning project in Lucea, Jamaica.
In January, or J-Termstudents follow their own independent course of study with a sponsoring professor, take off-campus internships, or study abroad with other Hollins students.
The innovative calendar, established inwas one of the first in the nation. Hollins's peer tutoring center is known as the Center for Learning Excellence and includes the Writing Center, which offers students support and feedback on their writing interests, and the QR Center, established inwhich offers support to students enrolled in quantitative courses.
A liberal arts school, Hollins has designed its own Education through Skills and Perspectives ESP general education requirement program. These requirements can be completed in as few as 8 courses but aim to help the students explore other fields of study while rounding out their basic understanding of the world.
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Hollins offers majors in the fields of studio art, art history, biology, business, mistry, classical studies, communication studies, dance, economics, English, environmental studies, film, French, gender and women's studies, history, interdisciplinary studies, international studies, mathematics, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, public health, religious studies, sociology, Spanish, and theatre.
Other academic offerings include: arts management certificate, the Batten certificate in leadership studiesHollins Outdoor Leadership certificate, education, first-year seminars, three-year accelerated degree program, pre-law, pre-med, pre-nursing, pre-vet, short term, and Horizon program for adult women. The graduate program in creative writing was founded by Louis D.
Rubin, Jr. The Jackson Center for Creative Writing is home to Hollins' esteemed undergraduate and graduate writing programs, which have produced dozens of writers of national and international acclaim, including Lee Smith '67 and Pulitzer Prize winners Annie Dillard '67, M. Taylor M.
Kiran Desai M. The fiction of Madison Smartt Bell M. In fact, Hollins's creative writing program has been called "the most productive writing program in America" by Creative Writing in America. The campus has three literary magazines.
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Cargoeswhich won the Undergraduate Literary Prize for content by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs in The Albumwhich is offered as a more alternative campus periodical, and Gravelwhich focuses on student work centered around multicultural and diverse identities. Established inthe Horizon program helps nontraditional female students earn a balor of arts degree, the same degree offered to traditional students. Horizon students are fully integrated into the Hollins community and often participate in campus activities, clubs, and study abroad.
Intercollegiate sports include basketball, lacrosse, riding, soccer, swimming, tennis, cross-country, and volleyball. In the past Hollins has had programs in golf, fencing, and field hockey. Hollins is well known for its riding program and was named a Kaplan "Hot School" for riding in - To date, Hollins has won 18 individual national championships, two team national championships, and four individual national high point rider championships.
Hollins consistently dominates ODAC team competition.
Hollins does not have a mascot, and the sports teams do not have an official nickname. Instudents voted against mascot ideas. As part of its Education through Skills and Perspectives ESP general education requirement program, two regular terms of physical education course work are required for graduation.
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There are nine residence halls on campus. Most first-years live in Tinker and Randolph in doubles. Sophomores and juniors generally live in West or in singles in Tinker and Randolph, and primarily seniors with a few exceptions live in Main, or the university apartments across the street from campus.
Housing choices are determined by a lottery number given after the housing deposit is paid in the spring; the lottery numbers are assigned randomly from within a preset range determined by class year. All undergraduates are required to live on campus. The exceptions to this rule are Horizon nontraditional students, married students or those with children, those over the age of 23, or those whose official residence with parents or guardians is in the Roanoke Valley area.
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