L. Cocke Memorial Building
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used for administrative offices, the Charles L. Cocke Memorial
Building served as a library from 1908 to 1955. The seven-year
fundraising drive for the building began shortly after Cockes
death in 1901. The design by architects Frye and Chesterman featured
an Ionic portico and the Georgian proportions and trim then generally
considered colonial. Covered colonnades were added to give the
building breadth within a year of its completion.
1852, ten years after its establishment, the coeducational Valley
Union Seminary was transformed into the first womens college
in Virginia and one of the first in the nation. It was renamed
for benefactors John and Ann Halsey Hollins in 1855. Hollins Institute
became Hollins College in 1911 and Hollins University in 1998.
known as the founder of Hollins, 24-year-old Charles Lewis Cocke
arrived in 1844 to head the seminary. While still in his teens,
Cocke had written of his ambition to dedicate himself to the higher
education of women in the South. At a time when prevailing
thought ran counter to that notion, Cocke persisted. This
school recognizes the principle that young women require the same
thorough and rigid training as that afforded to young men,
wrote Cocke in 1857. Today, Hollins University offers undergraduate
liberal arts education for women, selected graduate programs for
men and women, and community outreach initiatives.
© 1999 Terry White, Drawing © 1999 Bill Harrah.