An active and respected proponent of the liberal arts and inclusion, President Hinton’s leadership reflects a deep and abiding commitment to educational equity and the education of women.
Mary Dana Hinton became the thirteenth president of Hollins University on August 1, 2020. Hollins University has been devoted to the education of women since its founding in 1842 and is deeply committed to the liberal arts and academic excellence. For more than 60 years, Hollins has also offered graduate education opportunities to both men and women.
The University, with the sixth largest endowment of private universities in Virginia, is recognized by U.S. News & World Report among Top Performers for Social Mobility. Students hail from 44 U.S. states and territories and 20 countries. Hollins features a nationally recognized creative writing program, the innovative Batten Leadership Institute, and the new Rutherfoord Center for Experiential Learning, which guarantees students real-world experiences beyond the classroom throughout all four years at the university.
For six years, Dr. Hinton served as the president of the College of Saint Benedict in Saint Joseph, Minnesota. Under Dr. Hinton’s leadership, the College of Saint Benedict implemented a collaborative strategic plan and dynamic vision to guide the College through 2020. During her tenure, the college completed a $100 million comprehensive fundraising campaign, exceeding its goal. Dr. Hinton also led the process to implement a $43 million campus facilities update, enabling the College to provide premier facilities for teaching, learning, and women’s leadership development.
Active in the national higher education arena, Dr. Hinton is a member of the Board of Directors for the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), Saint Mary’s School, and the University Leadership Council. She speaks frequently in the U.S. and abroad on topics related to the liberal arts and inclusion, and she founded the Liberal Arts Illuminated Conference. Dr. Hinton teaches in the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education doctoral program in higher education management and the CIC President’s Institute New President Program.
Dr. Hinton’s scholarship focuses on African American religious history, higher education leadership, strategic planning, the role of education in peace building, and inclusion in higher education. She is the author of The Commercial Church: Black Churches and the New Religious Marketplace in America and frequent op-ed contributor across higher education publications. Her TEDx talk, Leading From the Margins, reflects the thesis of her next book.
Dr. Hinton earned a Ph.D. in religion and religious education with high honors from Fordham University, a Master of Arts degree in clinical child psychology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Williams College. Dr. Hinton is the recipient of the Bicentennial Medal from Williams College and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Misericordia University.
President Hinton, her husband, Robert Williams, and their children, Hallela, Hillel, and Hosanna, make their home at Lorimer House, the Hollins University presidential residence.
Dr. Hinton’s current professional service includes:
• The Council of Independent Colleges, Board of Directors
• Association of American Colleges and Universities Board of Directors
• Interfaith Youth Core Board of Directors
• University Leadership Consortium Board, United Arab Emirates
• Lumina Foundation’s Quality Credentials Task Force, Member