Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday Thirteen: I love Hollins

My alma mater is Hollins University, though it was Hollins College when I received my diploma in 1993.

The administration building at Hollins University.

Here are 13 reasons why I love this school:

1. Women who are going places start at Hollins. Never was there a truer motto. Hollins gave me a sense of self, a feeling of strength, and a sense of personhood.

2. Attending classes bestowed upon me a sense of worth that I sorely lacked.

3. The campus is truly lovely. A visit to campus will restore my spirits quicker than Prozac.

4. Professor Jeanne Larsen. Jeanne took me under her wing for much of the time I was there and fostered my writing. (You can see a picture of her here.)

5. The library. Hollins has a great library, although it is now in a different building than it was when I attended school. The picture of above is where the old library stood; now it is a museum.

6. They only ask for money once a year!

7. I have fond memories of my time on campus, even though I was not a traditional student.

8. The Horizon program, Hollins' route for non-traditional age women. I was 22 years old when I entered this program; actually a bit young for it, but that is how I went in nevertheless. I was able to work and go to school part time.

9. It took me eight years to obtain my four-year diploma, so I have spent a lot of time on campus.

10. They offer many events to the public. If I were inclined I could spend some time on campus every week at some free event or another.

11. Completing my B.A. in English gave me a sense of purpose and pleasure that nothing else has matched (excepting maybe my marriage).

12. The writing courses at Hollins taught me how to refine my writing abilities. While I often suspect I am a disappointment since I haven't written a book, I know that I am a better writer for having attended the college.

13. Hollins has fostered some famous people: Ann Compton ’69, who was (is?) chief Washington correspondent for She has covered every president since Gerald Ford and has reported on seven presidential campaigns. Sally Mann ’74, M.A. ’75 was named “America’s Best Photographer” by Time magazine in 2001. Writer Annie Dillard ’67, M.A. ’68 won the Pulitzer Prize for Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Lee Smith ’67 is widely known for her novels and short stories, including Me and My Baby View the Eclipse, Fair and Tender Ladies, Oral History, The Devil’s Dream, and The Last Girls. Not to mention Betty Branch, whom I wrote about yesterday.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; you can learn more about it here. My other Thursday Thirteens are here. This is number 108!


  1. What a beautiful campus! Sounds like a great school. My undergrad school was in downtown Pittsburgh. Not a very pretty campus, to say the least!

    Happy TT!

  2. Lovely 13! I was a young "non-traditional student" at Rutgers too. It felt strange, but I feel that being surrounded by these seemingly more accomplished folks made me work harder.

    I only wish I didn't quit. While I don't know what it is I want to do, whatever it entails it will include returning, and this time finishing, school. After all these years I could still kick myself!

  3. These soul searching lists make me ponder and are so honest sandy

  4. What better tribute is there than to say it is better than Prozac?!

  5. Sounds like a great school and I have to agree that the campus looks gorgeous!!

  6. I didn't get quite the same things out of college that you did, but I totally understand where you are coming from here.

  7. My spoken word and scrabble freinds Mara and Kathleen went to Hollins. Mara was a Horizons student too. I think she had that same teacher you mentioned.

  8. Really wonderful shots of the campus, and lovely memories. I have heard of Hollins College - and will likely hear more now that it's a university.

  9. I love Hollins! I graduated from Roanoke College in 2007, so I spent some time on the Hollins campus. Truly beautiful! They are doing great things for women in our community!


  10. The campus is just beautiful. What a lovely place to attend school. Sounds like you had a great time there. That's awesome!

  11. Great post and also, thanks for posting the reminder for the Meet-Up tomorrow. Should have done it myself... working on it, okay?

    Hey, maybe you took 8 years at Hollins just because you didn't want to leave all of it's beauty behind. Would love to walk that campus every day!


  12. Well, I will just say that one thing I myself love about Hollins is that I get to meet smart, talented, resilitent, witty, charming students. People. Like you, Anita. What a gawgeous blog! What terrific posts--stories, rants, and especially oh yes the poems. Huge thanks from an anonymous reader named Jeanne...


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