An anonymous alumna donated $75 million to Hollins University, a women’s college in Roanoke, Va., the university announced Thursday. It is the largest single gift in Hollins’s 179-year history, as well as the largest donation ever received by a women’s college. It also represents one of the biggest single gifts ever given to any college or university solely by a woman.
The funds will be used to establish the Levavi Oculos Endowed Scholarship Fund, which takes its name from the first line of Psalm 121 and means “I lift up my eyes.” It will provide scholarships and other financial assistance to Hollins’s roughly 800 undergraduates, of which 36 percent are low-income students, 34 percent are the first in their families to attend college and 30 percent are students of color, according to the university’s press release.
“This gift is such a profound and powerful statement about the value of higher education for women,” said Hollins president Mary Dana Hinton. “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 funds will be provided in $25 million increments over the next three years, beginning no later than June 30, 2022.
“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,” said the anonymous donor who made the gift. “It ensures Hollins can move forward, with confidence, as an institution committed to women and the liberal arts.”