Hollins University President Gray to retire in 2017

Credit: Hollins University
Credit: Hollins University (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - After nearly 12 years, Hollins University President Nancy Oliver Gray announced on Thursday that she is retiring from office at the end of the 2016-17 academic year.

"I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve this extraordinary community of talented, creative, and committed people," Gray stated in a letter to the campus community. "I am proud of all that we have accomplished together."

Gray came to Hollins in January 2005, after serving five-and-a-half years as president of Converse College in South Carolina. Her list of accomplishments is long, including significant gains in enrollment with the largest class of incoming new students in 22 years starting this August.

As Hollins' eleventh president, Gray has 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; a Master of Fine Arts degree in children's book writing and illustrating; and a faculty-designed honors program that complements the University's academic curriculum and provides students a multidisciplinary and research-based experience.

All Hollins students are now guaranteed opportunities for study abroad, leadership development, undergraduate research, and internships, which are important building blocks for success post-college.

Gray is a native of Dallas, Texas. She and her husband, David Maxson, have seven adult children between them as well as ten grandchildren, and she told the campus community she wanted to spend more time with her family.

In the meantime, she is eager to lead Hollins' celebration of its 175th anniversary during the 2016-17 academic session.

"Hollins has an exciting year ahead and I am thrilled to be welcoming our new and returning students as we celebrate 175 years of educating women," she said.

Lambeth stated that a presidential search committee is being established to recruit Gray's successor.