Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, Receives the Largest Donation Ever Made to a Women’s College

Hollins University, the liberal arts educational institution for women in Roanoke, Virginia, received a $75 million gift from an alumna of the university who prefers to remain anonymous.

The gift is the largest donation in the history of the university and is thought to be the largest gift ever made to a women’s college. The donation is one of the largest single donations ever given to a college or university solely by a female donor, as well as one of the largest ever to a small liberal arts college.

The gift will establish the Levavi Oculos Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will exclusively fund scholarships and address undergraduate financial need for Hollins’ undergraduate students. Unlike most major donations which become active at a future date or only over a long period of time, this gift will be provided in $25 million increments to the Hollins endowment over the next three fiscal years.

“This gift is such a profound and powerful statement about the value of higher education for women,” said 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.”

Presient Hinton added that “the need for an educated citizenry and women’s leadership development is greater now than ever, yet higher education access is more challenging than ever. This gift allows Hollins to be able to provide greater access, now and into the future. We are proud to be a steward of this gift and to be able to touch the future in this way.”

The donor stated that “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. It ensures Hollins can move forward, with confidence, as an institution committed to women and the liberal arts.”

By the 2025-26 academic year, Hollins estimates that a minimum of 125 students – just under 20% of the current undergraduate student body – will benefit from this gift.

Filed Under: Women's Colleges


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