Hollins University announces new president

Photo courtesy Hollins University.
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7)- Hollins University announced its new president Thursday. Mary Dana Hinton, Ph.D. will serve as the next president of the institution; she is currently the president of the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota.

"I am overjoyed to be named the 13th president of Hollins University,” said Hinton, a North Carolina native who has served as president of Saint Ben’s since July 2014. “Hollins’ steadfast commitment to the education of women, its grand ambitions for the future and the strong desire to not only be an inclusive leader in women’s education but a higher education innovator reflects the incredible vision and enormous potential of the university. I am grateful for the opportunity to, alongside the Hollins board, faculty, staff, alumnae and, of course, the outstanding student body, envision and work toward an incredibly bright future.”

Hinton has had a number of accomplishments during her time at Saint Ben's, some of which include implementing a $43 million campus buildings update and completing a $100 million fundraising campaign. The campaign, which has raised $105.4 million as of January, is the biggest in the school's history and includes the two largest gifts ever given to the college.

In addition, Saint Ben's endowment has increased 46 percent under Hinton's leadership, and its annual fund grew by 24 percent.

Hinton has been at the forefront in creating an environment at Saint Ben's that will provide a liberal arts education teaching women to think critically, lead courageously and advocate passionately, while working to increase and institutionalize diversity and inclusion efforts on campus.

“President Hinton’s leadership experience prepares her perfectly to lead Hollins,” said Alexandra Trower, chair of the Hollins University Board of Trustees. “We hoped to find a candidate who was a sitting president, who was passionate about women’s education and the liberal arts, and who was excited about building the trust and collective effort needed to support new programs for Hollins’ future. We found all of that, and we also found a remarkable woman.”

Hinton previously served as vice president for academic affairs at Mount Saint Mary College in New York and as associate vice president of academic affairs at Misericordia University in Pennsylvania. She is a member of the board of directors of the American Association of Colleges and Universities and the Council of Independent Colleges.

Hinton holds a Ph.D. in religion and religious education with high honors from Fordham University, a Master of Arts degree in clinical child psychology from the University of Kansas, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Williams College. Williams awarded Hinton its Bicentennial Medal, which honors members of the Williams community for distinguished achievement.

“President Hinton is simply a gem,” Trower said. “She exudes competency and strength, with a quiet dignity. She is eloquent and warm. She’s sophisticated and yet down-to-earth. She is so thoughtful about students and optimistic about the opportunities Hollins can seize. She is simply a person you want to be around.”

Hinton will officially take office at Hollins on August 1.

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