Alumnae News

Women who are going places start at Hollins. And we’re proud to share the news of the places they’ve gone.

Alumnae in the News

Photo of Jenny Van Leeuwen Harrington

After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree at Hollins in economics, Jenny Van Leeuwen Harrington ’97 went on to complete her M.B.A. degree at Columbia University. Today, she is a portfolio manager and CEO of Gilman Hill Asset Management in New Canaan, Connecticut. Her success attracted the attention of Barron’s, which recently spoke with her about her investing approach.

“The people whose portfolios I manage have worked to save every penny,” Harrington told Barron’s. “They are mostly retired and they are investing in this dividend-income strategy because that’s the income they need to live on. The primary approach I take is to look at a company and know that its dividends are safe, come hell or high water, and that we could go through the worst of times, like 2008-2009, and there should be no disruption to those dividends. I’m looking for a resilient stream of cash flows that support the dividends that’s almost tangible – that you can really see and feel and sink your teeth into.”

Barron’s complete interview with Harrington  –  (please note that the article is paywall protected).

Julia Voorhees Emmons '63

Julia Voorhees Emmons ’63, former executive director of the 10,000-member Atlanta Track Club and former director of the Peachtree Road Race, the world’s largest 10K, is among the five newest members of the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame.

Emmons; former Atlanta Falcons linebacker and five-time Pro Bowler Keith Brooking; Atlanta Hawks radio broadcaster Steve Holman; high school, college, and professional basketball coach Bob Reinhart; and cable network sports reporter Craig Sager will be officially inducted at a ceremony at Atlanta’s Buckhead Theater on February 17, 2017.

The Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame’s mission is to honor Atlanta sports heroes, remember great moments in Atlanta sports history, and preserve the past from which future generations can learn and take pride.

In her 22 years as head of the Atlanta Track Club, Emmons was very active on the national running scene. She served as chair of women’s long distance running for USA Track & Field from 1990-1996. She directed the men’s and women’s marathons and race walks for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and was on the U.S. women’s track and field team for the 2004 Athens Olympics as assistant coach for endurance events. In 2005, Emmons served as an assistant manager for the U.S. track and field team at the World Championships in Helsinki.

Beth Macy

Fresh Air, one of public radio’s most popular programs, welcomed journalist and bestselling author Beth Macy M.A. ’93 as the show’s featured guest on October 18.

Macy talked with host Terry Gross about her new book, Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South.

Audio and a transcript of the interview are available here.

Natasha Trethewey

Natasha Trethewey M.A. ’91 has been awarded the 2016 Fellowship for Distinguished Poetic Achievement from the Academy of American Poets.

The Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University and former U.S. poet laureate will receive a $25,000 prize.

The fellowship has been presented annually since 1946 to a single poet, and was the first award of its kind in the United States. Previous winners include Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Frost, and Ezra Pound.

“Natasha Trethewey’s poems plumb personal and national history to meditate on the conundrum of American racial identities,” said Marilyn Nelson, chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. “Whether writing of her complex family torn by tragic loss, or in diverse imagined voices from the more distant past, Trethewey encourages us to reflect, learn, and experience delight. The wide scope of her interests and her adept handling of form have created an opus of classics both elegant and necessary.”

Trethewey’s works include Native Guard (2006), winner of the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, and three other poetry collections: Thrall (2012), Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002), and Domestic Work (2000). Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a book of creative nonfiction, was published in 2010.

Trethewey was inducted in 2013 into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2012 was named the state poet laureate of Mississippi. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.

Stella Thayer

Tampa Bay Downs President and Treasurer Stella Ferguson Thayer ’62 has been named one of the most influential women in Tampa Bay sports by the Tampa Bay Times.

Thayer, who began riding horses when she was five years old, has been involved with Tampa Bay Downs for more than 50 years. In 1986 she outbid New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to purchase the horse racing facility. “Soon after,” the Times reports, “Thayer named controller Lorraine M. King as Tampa Bay Downs’ general manager. It marked the first time in turf history a thoroughbred track had separate female ownership and management.”

The Times adds, “Thayer has been a pioneer for bay area women in the business world, too. She was the first woman to preside over the Tampa Chamber of Commerce and has served on a number of boards.”

Traci DeShazor

Traci DeShazor, who completed her M.A.L.S. degree in justice and legal studies at Hollins in 2010, has been named deputy secretary of the commonwealth by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

A native of Danville, DeShazor previously served as the deputy director of the Virginia Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. In this role, she worked as a federal liaison between the commonwealth, the Virginia congressional delegation, the White House, and other states and territories. Prior to joining the McAuliffe Administration, she served on the Governor-Elect’s transition team and as the African American outreach coordinator for the McAuliffe for Governor campaign.

DeShazor also holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from Virginia Tech and is a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, Virginia Commonwealth University’s Minority Political Leadership Institute, and the Sorensen Institute’s Political Leaders Program.

Amanda Cockrell Award

Amanda Cockrell ’69, M.A. ’88, founding director of the graduate program in children’s literature at Hollins, and editor of the Hollins Critic, has been recognized by The Francelia Butler Conference (FBC) with a new award named in her honor. The Amanda Cockrell Award highlights the creativity, diversity, and talent of Hollins’ children’s literature graduate students.

“When considering all that Amanda has poured into this program from the beginning and all she has done for its students, naming the award after her was the obvious choice,” said Amy Deligdisch, a children’s literature graduate student and co-chair of FBC for 2016. “Over the years she has counseled us, taught us, guided us, answered a million questions, sent a thousand emails, and kept track of dozens of students at once. We salute her for creating a program that has become a safe haven to so many of us, a home away from home.”

With R.H.W. Dillard, Cockrell founded the program in 1992, one of the first of its kind in the country devoted exclusively to the study and writing of children’s and young adult literature. Today, students may pursue an M.A. or M.F.A. in children’s literature, an M.F.A. in children’s book writing and illustration, or a certificate in children’s book illustration.

President Obama presented Annie Dillard ’67, M.A. ’68 and nine other recipients with the 2014 National Humanities Medal during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. The medal honors individuals or groups “whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities and broadened our citizens’ engagement with history, literature, languages, philosophy, and other humanities subjects.” Dillard, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and many other books, was cited “for her profound reflections on human life and nature. In poetry and prose, Ms. Dillard has invited us to stand humbly before the stark beauty of creation.”

Sally Mann ’74, M.A. ’75 was a finalist in the Nonfiction category for both the National Book Awards and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence for her memoir, Hold Still. She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Read more

Mary Beth Hatten

Mary Beth Hatten ’71 received the prestigious Max Cowan Award, given to a neuroscientist for outstanding work in developmental neuorscience. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Read more

Laura Ann King Warner ’49 received the Arts Achievement Award from the Arts Alliance Mountain Empire for artistic excellence, perseverance, and a deep commitment and sustained contributions to the arts and cultural community. Among many noteworthy accomplishments, Warner is credited with saving an expanding what is now the Mountain Empire Children’s Choral Academy.

Carol Semple Thompson

Carol Semple Thompson ’70, one of the most decorated female amateurs in golf history, is now one of the first women to be admitted to the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in Scotland, considered the home of golf. She has been one of America’s premier amateur players for more than four decades, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in November 2008, elected to the National Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame for 2007, and named the 2005 PGA First Lady of Golf. Thompson is a veteran of 100 USGA championships, and owns seven national titles that include the 1973 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, four U.S. Senior Women’s Championships, and two U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships. Thompson was inducted into Hollins’ Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994. Read more

Holly Hendrix

Holly Hendrix ’75, former trustee and former president of the Hollins Alumnae Association Board of Directors, has been named to the Financial Times of London’s Top 400 Advisors for 2015. The list is an elite group of the best financial advisors in the U.S. To come up for consideration, an advisor has to manage at least $200 million, have at least 10 years of experience, and work for a leading brokerage firm. Hendrix is Managing Director of Wealth Management at UBS Financial Services, Inc.


Ellen Parke ’71 (second from right) is the International President of the Circumnavigators Club, an international organization for men and women who have circumnavigated the globe that was founded in 1902 as a men’s club. The Club’s highest honor is the Order of Magellan, and has been awarded to Sandra Day O’Connor and Neil Armstrong, among others. In early April 2015, Ellen presented the Order of Magellan to Ann Compton ’69 (second from left) in recognition of her distinguished 40 year career covering the White House for ABC News. On hand for the event, held at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC, were Barbara Duckworth ’72 (at left) and Suzy Mink ’74 (at right).

Callie Virginia Smith Granade

The federal judge who struck down Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage is U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. “Ginny” Granade ’72. In January 2015, she ruled that the Alabama Marriage Protection Act and the amendment that later enshrined it in the state constitution both were unconstitutional. This article outlines Granade’s career, from being the first woman hired as a federal prosecutor in Mobile, to becoming the first female federal judge in southwest Alabama.

Beth Macy

The New York Times calls her book, Factory Man, “one of the best, and surely most talked about, books of 2014.” Beth Macy’s M.A. ’93 book received coverage on NPR and many other major media outlets. In this Southern Living article, Macy talks about her book with another acclaimed Hollins author: Southern writer Lee Smith ’67.

Suzy Redpath

Vice chair of the Board of Trustees Suzanne Allen Redpath ’69 is the senior coordinating producer for CBS’ 48 Hours. Her team won the Emmy for Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in a News Magazine, for their coverage of the day the Boston marathon bomber was caught. This marks the third Emmy Award for Redpath in her career.

Alex Trower

Executive vice president of global communications at Estee Lauder, Alexandra Trower ’86, has devoted herself to protecting the lives of female journalists in an increasingly complex and dangerous world. Calling her a “trailblazer who excels in defining the progressing role of women in business, while demonstrating outstanding commitments to responsible and innovative leadership,” the International Women’s Media Foundation recognized Trower with its Corporate Leadership Award.

Wyndham Robertson portrait

The first female editor at Fortune magazine, Wyndham Robertson ’58, has been named to the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame. Wyndham is also a former business editor of Time magazine and former chair of Hollins’ Board of Trustees. (Photo: Wyndham with her portrait in the Wyndham Robertson Library.)