ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Hollins University was gifted its single largest gift in its 179-history, a donation that is also the largest ever received by a women’s college.
The $75 million gift, which was given by an anonymous Hollins alumna, is marking a plethora of firsts. It will also be the single largest donation given solely by a female donor and one of the largest ever given to a small liberal arts college such as Hollins, which is one of the country’s oldest institutions of higher education for women.
The gift will be provided in $25 million increments over the next three fiscal years. The first $25 million installment will be used to establish the Levavi Oculos Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will fund scholarships and provide financial aid to undergraduate students attending Hollins starting in the fall of 2023.
“This gift is such a profound and powerful statement about the value of higher education for women,” said Hollins University President Mary Dana Hinton. “The transformational educational opportunities created by it will have a visible and sustained impact for generations of women to come at Hollins. Most of all, this generosity will enable future students who otherwise would not be able to attend college to access that opportunity.”
Not only has the gift made history, but it will also have a tremendous impact on underserved and limited-income students at the university for generations to come. According to a press release, Hollins estimates that a minimum of 125 students will benefit from this gift by the 2025-26 academic year.
The record-breaking donation also comes at a time where the market for women’s colleges and universities is seeing a sharp decline. According to the Women’s College Coalition, there were more than 200 women’s colleges in the U.S. during the 1960s. Now, that number has shrunk with less than 40 women’s universities in the U.S. today.
The donor hopes the gift will help Hollins move forward during a time where women’s colleges are dwindling in the U.S.
“Hollins’ mission and the value of its enduring presence and direction as a progressive institution were the catalyst for my gift and the urgency of making the funds available immediately,” the donor said. “It ensures Hollins can move forward, with confidence, as an institution committed to women and the liberal arts.”