Hollins University is a private university in Hollins, Virginia. Founded in 1842 as Valley Union Seminary in the historical settlement of Botetourt Springs, it is one of the oldest institutions of higher education for women in the United States.
Hollins enrolls about 800 undergraduate and graduate students. As Virginia’s first chartered women’s college, undergraduate programs are female-only. Men are admitted to the graduate-level programs.
Hollins is known for its undergraduate and graduate writing programs, which have produced Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Annie Dillard, former U.S. poet laureate Natasha Trethewey, and Henry S. Taylor. Other prominent alumnae include pioneering sportswriter Mary Garber, 2006 Man Booker Prize winner Kiran Desai, UC-Berkeley’s first tenured female physicist (and a principal contributor to theories for detecting the Higgs boson) Mary K. Gaillard, Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown, author Lee Smith, photographer Sally Mann, and Ellen Malcolm, founder of EMILY’s List