Holle Family Foundation donates $10 million to C&IS

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Holle Family Foundation donates $10 million to C&IS

Audrey Harper | @CAudreyHarper, Contributing Writer

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The Holle Family Foundation gave $10 million to the College of Communication and Information Sciences, the largest donation in the college’s history, according to an announcement by dean Mark Nelson on Wednesday, Sept. 18. The donation was made in honor of Everett Holle, an alum of the College of Communication and Information Sciences. Holle was inducted into the C&IS Hall of Fame in 2015 and passed away in 2017.

Brigadier General Everett Holle graduated from The University of Alabama in 1950 and wrote for The Crimson White. 

“We are honored to permanently associate General Holle, a paragon of the communication industry, with excellence and creativity in communication arts at The University of Alabama,” UA President Stuart Bell said in the announcement.

The gift, pending approval from the Board of Trustees, will fund the Holle Center for Communication Arts, an interdisciplinary center in C&IS, establish the Holle Endowed Chair of Communication Arts, enable C&IS to recruit and retain esteemed scholars and faculty members of national and international distinction in communication, provide permanent program support for the C&IS Hall of Fame and the Holle Awards for Excellence and Creativity in Communication, and to enhance the Everett Hughes Holle Endowed Scholarship. 

“The Holle Family Foundation Board of Directors is pleased and honored to partner with The University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences to promote excellence in the communication arts by providing student scholarships, recognizing achievement in the communication field and supporting faculty growth and development,” Patrick O’Neil, chair of the Holle Family Foundation, said in the announcement.

The Holle Awards for Excellence and Creativity in Communication are highly sought after, but the qualifications are controversial.

The Crimson White reported in April 2019 that because the awards were open to undergraduate and graduate students, some felt it gave graduate students and non-UA students an unfair advantage. The particular award in question was for $10,000.

Each year since 2015, one recipient in 5 different categories is awarded the $10,000 for achievements in filmmaking, book arts, media writing, public speaking, and screenwriting. In the announcement, Nelson said the donation could help bolster the education of C&IS students.

“As the cornerstone of the Holle legacy, the Holle Center will distinguish itself nationally as a highly visible interdisciplinary platform that builds capacity for critical thinking, engenders empathy and prepares students to be active and engaged citizens capable of succeeding in any career path in the context of the digital age,” Nelson said.