Carol S. Hollenshead
Carol served as director of CEW+ for 20 years and was responsible for establishing the Center as a foundational component of the University of Michigan, especially with regard to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In her first year in this role, she turned the Center for the Continuing Education of Women (CCEW), an organization with limited funding and exposure, into the Center for the Education of Women (CEW), engaging in national projects and greatly expanding campus presence. Carol built on the incredible work of the women who came before her and put CEW+ on the map and for that, we are forever grateful.
Creating the first report at the University of Michigan that looked at the intersection of race and gender in the experiences of faculty and staff on campus, Carol highlighted the plateaus women hit in their careers and advocated tirelessly for change. She was passionate about ensuring everyone had an equal opportunity and access to a college degree, understanding the power of education to empower individuals both economically and socially. The Center received numerous awards under her leadership, including from The National Council for Research on Women for “demonstrating the power and value of research and informed action” in 2005.
Carol played a key role in establishing the Women of Color in the Academy Project (WOCAP); embraced development work, securing CEW+’s first major endowment gift of $1 million; invested heavily in the sustainability of the Center; and advocated for the first maternity leave policy on campus. She wasn’t afraid to start the tough conversations and demand that everyone, regardless of race, gender, class, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation have equitable experiences as staff, faculty, or students.
Carol also understood the importance of advocacy on a broader stage, and in 2005 worked with CEW+ donor Twink Frey to establish the Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist (VSA) Program. This program brings social justice activists to campus, with the goal of supporting their work, enhancing their networks, and connecting them to the U-M and local communities.
In honor of her impactful, dedicated efforts, the Carol Hollenshead Award for Excellence in Promoting Equity and Social Change was established upon her retirement from the Center. This award honors faculty and staff whose sustained efforts, like Carol’s, have resulted in greater equity in regard to gender, race, class, age, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
Carol Hollenshead changed CEW+ and the University of Michigan for the better and her legacy, though impossible to measure, will be felt for generations.
Carol’s family has kindly requested that donations be sent to CEW+. If you would like to make a gift in memory of Carol to any CEW+ fund, you may do so here. If you would like to make a contribution in support of the Carol Hollenshead Award for Excellence, you may do so here with the comment that the gift be applied to the Carol Hollenshead Award.