Hollins University president stepping down after two years

Pareena Lawrence was university's 12th president

ROANOKE, Va. – Hollins University President Parenna Lawrence is stepping down.

A letter posted Thursday by Alexandra Trower, chair of the university's board of trustees, confirmed the news.

Trower cited Lawrence's desire to pursue international education and development as her reason for leaving the university.

The board plans to announce an interim president shortly and assemble a search community for the university's new president.

Lawrence became president on July 1, 2017. 

Below is the full letter:

Dear members of the Hollins Community,

I am writing on behalf of the Board of Trustees to share with you the news that President Pareena Lawrence has decided to step down from her position to pursue her long-standing interest in international education and development.

We offer our sincere thanks to President Lawrence for her dedicated service and contributions to the University. Over the past two years she spearheaded important innovations to our academic and co-curricular programs while championing new institutional partnerships. We are appreciative of her efforts to help develop a new strategic plan for the University and to launch the new Apartment Village that will serve generations of students. We also thank her for her enthusiasm for our mission of educating women to live lives of consequence.

Very shortly, the Board of Trustees will announce an interim president, and over the summer we will appoint the Presidential Search Committee. In the meantime, we are fortunate that Hollins has a strong bench of senior leaders who are well prepared to oversee the University during this transition.

I wanted to deliver this news to you directly and assure you that our dedicated leadership will make this a smooth and successful transition. While change is never easy, Hollins’ future is bright, and I am confident that we will grow even stronger during this process.


Alexandra Trower, Class of 1986
Chair of the Board of Trustees