The Holle Family Foundation has committed a $10 million gift to the University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences — a tribute to Brigadier General Everett Hughes Holle and the largest gift ever to the school — and UA will name its new Center for Communication Arts in Holle’s honor.
Holle graduated from the university in 1950, joining the U.S. Army as a radio/television/motion picture officer and acting as the Army’s network liaison. Upon his return to Birmingham, he became a member of the 87th U.S. Army Maneuver Area Command, where he held several positions until his retirement in 1985.
Holle also had a 40-year career in the Birmingham television industry at WAPI (now WVTM) NBC 13 and was active in numerous civic organizations.
“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,” said UA President Stuart Bell. The gift will establish the Holle Center for Communication Arts, an interdisciplinary center in C&IS.
“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,” said Mark Nelson, dean of C&IS.
Pending approval of the UA Board of Trustees, the gift establishes the Holle Endowed Chair of Communication Arts, enhances existing space to house the Holle Center for Communication Arts, provides permanent program support for the C&IS Hall of Fame and the Holle Awards for Excellence in Creativity in Communication, and enhances the Everett Hughes Holle Endowed Scholarship, established in 2009.
The Holle Awards for Excellence in Creativity in Communication were established by Holle in 2015 to reward student achievement in the areas of book arts, filmmaking, media writing, public speaking and screenwriting.
Holle was inducted into the C&IS Hall of Fame in 2015. He passed away in 2017.
“The world’s complex social, cultural and political environment demands the highest levels of communication skills to create lasting solutions to difficult problems,” said Patrick O’Neil, chair of the Holle Family Foundation. “The UA-HFF partnership will provide an environment and academic structure for future students to nurture and employ these much-needed talents.”