Hollins University alumna makes $75M donation
Gift is largest in school's history
Hollins University has received a $75 million donation from an anonymous alumna, the largest in its history and believed to be the largest private donation to a women’s college, the university announced Thursday.
The gift will fund scholarships and undergraduate financial need. It will be given in $25 million increments to the Hollins endowment over the next three fiscal years, the school said in a news release. The first $25 million will be given no later than June 2022 and will establish the Levavi Oculos Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will support students beginning in fall 2023. By the 2025-2026 school year, Hollins estimates that a minimum of 125 students will benefit from the gift.
“Levavi Oculos” refers to a psalm in the Bible and is also written on the university’s seal. All of Hollins’ undergraduates are women, while men are allowed to enroll in graduate-level programs.
“This gift is such a profound and powerful statement about the value of higher education for women,” President Mary Dana Hinton said in a statement. “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.”
The donor spoke about the catalyst for her gift.
“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,” she said in a statement. “It ensures Hollins can move forward, with confidence, as an institution committed to women and the liberal arts.”
It is one of the largest gifts given to any college or university in Virginia. Other sizeable donations include: a 2007 anonymous donation of $100 million, largely for need-based scholarships, to Washington and Lee University; a 2007 gift of $100 million by Frank Batten Sr. to establish a school of leadership at the University of Virginia; a $100 million donation in 2019 from alumnus David Walentas to assist first-generation college students; and a $120 million gift in 2019 from alumni Jaffray and Merrill Woodriff to establish the U.Va. School of Data Science.