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St. Louis couple makes $20 million pledge to Hollins University

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A St. Louis couple has pledged $20 million to Hollins University in Roanoke.

The gift from Elizabeth Hall McDonnell, and her husband, James S. McDonnell III presents the largest single gift commitment in the school’s 175-year history.

The pledge is intended for the university’s unrestricted endowment.

Elizabeth McDonnell is a member of Hollins’ class of 1962 and has served on the university’s board of trustees since 2008.

She and her husband committed $6.5 million last year to fund renovations to the university’s Dana Science Building and Hollins Theatre and to support visiting faculty in the theatre and playwriting programs.

The McDonnells also gave $3 million in 2009 to transform and update the theater space.

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