Laura Lundegard '18, whose research area of interest is integrative medicine, specifically the integration of alternative practices into Western medicine to treat PTSD, is one of those activist scholars. She spent last summer interning with the UNC Program of Integrative Medicine.
"The level of support provided by the Holleran Center goes above and beyond just academics," said Lundegard, a behavioral neuroscience major. "This past summer, [along with other Holleran Center scholars] we organized a suicide prevention walk with the American Suicide Prevention Foundation in Westport, Connecticut, that we are attending this Sunday with a team of Connecticut College students. [We] were able to bring together a large group of students to organize around mental health awareness and suicide prevention because of the Holleran Center's incredible support."
Hanako Brais '18, who is working on social justice in the arts by examining the cultural equity gap in the contemporary art world, was full of praise for the Hollerans.
"We could continue singing praises of the Holleran Center, because it has played such a monumental role in our Conn experiences. But, we will conclude in thanking Carolyn and Jerry Holleran for the wonderful gift of the Holleran Center. The Center has brought wonderful peers and mentors into our lives," said Brais, an anthropology major.
The Holleran's gift will be used to endow important faculty and staff positions, as well as to support community-based courses both for first-year students and for those in the Holleran Center's longstanding certificate program. The gift also designates $100,000 for the Connecticut College Fund, which will provide immediate support for the needs of the students, faculty and the College more broadly.
"Coming to Conn was a very transformative experience for me," Carolyn Holleran told the audience. "It's where I learned who I was, and it's an incredible thrill for us to be able to use our resources to continue what we really believe in, which is our mission to find a way for everyone to reach their greatest potential."