Hollins University announced Thursday that Mary Dana Hinton will serve as its next president.

Hinton is currently the president of the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and has worked in that position since 2014. The college enrolls about 1,700 undergraduate women.

Before Saint Benedict, Hinton worked as the vice president for academic affairs at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York. She holds a Ph.D. in religion and religious education, a master’s in clinical child psychology and a bachelor’s in psychology.

Hollins’ former president Pareena Lawrence departed the university last summer after a two-year tenure. Nancy Oliver Gray, a retired Hollins University president, stepped into serve as the school’s interim leader while the university searched for a replacement.

Hinton will start Aug. 1 and will be the 13th president of the private university in north Roanoke County.

“President Hinton’s leadership experience prepares her perfectly to lead Hollins,” Alexandra Trower, chair of the Hollins University Board of Trustees, said in a news release. “We hoped to find a candidate who was a sitting president, who was passionate about women’s education and the liberal arts, and who was excited about building the trust and collective effort needed to support new programs for Hollins’ future. We found all of that, and we also found a remarkable woman.”

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