Hollins University observes one of its most cherished traditions, Founder’s Day, on Thursday, February 28.
The event celebrates the birth of Charles Lewis Cocke, who served as president of Hollins from 1846 until his death in 1901. Even though Cocke came to Hollins after its establishment in 1842, he is considered the school’s founder because the institution would not have survived without his leadership during financial crises, disease epidemics, the Civil War, and other challenges. (Cocke was born on February 21, 1820.)
The Founder’s Day program will begin that afternoon with members of the senior class and a member of the campus community chosen by that class processing to the Cocke family cemetery, located at the southeast end of campus, and placing a wreath on Mr. Cocke’s grave. The annual Founder’s Day Convocation follows at 4:30 p.m. in duPont Chapel, an event open to the general public as well as students, faculty, and staff.
This year’s convocation features a panel of recent alumnae who will share how Hollins has shaped their lives and careers:
Lauren Grace Bakst ’11 double majored in dance and gender and women’s studies and is a choreographer, performer, writer, and feminist thinker whose choreography has been presented throughout New York City and Philadelphia. She is also the development associate for BOMB magazine, a non-profit arts and culture quarterly.
Nandini Roy ’06 holds degrees in business and mathematics and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After graduating from Hollins she worked with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and then earned her M.B.A. at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business. She is currently a senior consultant in the advisory practice at Ernst and Young.
Carla Guerrero Santos ’07 graduated with a degree in sociology and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She received a Master of Nonprofit Management degree from the University of Central Florida. She worked as a development coordinator with the Bradley Free Clinic in Roanoke until December 2012, when she was promoted to chief operating officer.
Puja Sharma ’11 majored in biology with minors in mathematics and physics and is currently a Ph.D. student at the Virginia Tech—Wake Forest School for Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. She is working in the Spinneret-based Tunable Engineered Parameters Lab at Virginia Tech, where her research focuses on cancerous cells.
Elysse Stolpe ’10 double majored in history and international studies and is a Phi Beta Kappa inductee. A second-year student at the University of Virginia School of Law, she received the school’s Dillard Fellowship in 2012 and was named to the 2012-13 Editorial Board for the Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law. Last summer she assisted in the prosecution of international drug trafficking and national security matters at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Founder’s Day has been commemorated at Hollins since 1898.