Jane Parke Batten, Hollins' 2008 Commencement speaker with Kate Sayers Martin '08, a member of the Batten Leadership Institute.
In 2002, Hollins created the Batten Leadership Institute, or BLI. It is named for the late business leader and philanthropist Frank Batten, and his wife, Jane Parke Batten, Hollins class of 1958.
Frank Batten was the widely respected chair and CEO of Landmark Media Enterprises, LLC, which owns newspapers, specialty publications, television stations, and, before it was sold to NBC Universal, the Weather Channel. Frank Batten’s mother, Dorothy Martin Batten Bass ’24, his wife, Jane Parke Batten ’58, and one of his daughters, Dorothy Batten ’85, all attended Hollins. He also served on the Hollins Board of Trustees.
Batten grew up in Norfolk working for the family-owned newspapers and became their publisher at age 27. In the 1980s, he and his company took a calculated risk with the start-up of the Weather Channel.
The Batten family has been extraordinarily generous, having given more than $170 million to a variety of schools and organizations, including Hollins.