Big announcement on the campus of hollins university in northern roanoke county today.
Pareena lawrence will replace retiring president nancy gray next summer.
Wdbj-7's shayne dwyer is live at hollins tonight with what the new president plans to do with the historic institution.
Chris-- lawrence comes most recently from augustana college.
She has a proven track record of doing big things, and she's hoping to do even more here.
On a college campus, a sweatshirt is as good as gold for new hollins president pareena lawrence.
The indian born educator has focused on liberal arts, women's education and international development her entire life.
(pareena lawrence/incoming hollins university president):"as i put all these pieces together it just felt like i'd come full circle and it was time to go lead a women's only liberal arts college."
Women's-only education was recently thrust into the national spotlight following the happenings at nearby sweet briar college.
Lawrence sees this as a prime opportunity for hollins to thrive across the globe.
(pareena lawrence/incoming hollins university president):"definete ly there is a need for women's education and helping women transform the world.
So it's very clear to me that this is the place, the right time for me to be at hollins."
Immediately after her introduction she was singing the school song, thrilling students to no end.
(tegan harcrout/hollins university student body president):"she just gets it, as soon as she talked to us everything she wanted to know about hollins was about the students.
She loved the students, she was so excited she wanted to know about the traditions everything that made hollins special is what she was thrilled about."
The search committee says it was a tall order replacing nancy gray.
But in their eyes, lawrence's dedication to the liberal arts and women's education makes her a perfect match.
(judy lambeth/hollins university board chairwoman):"she has led the effort on strategic planning and innovated in programs that are designed to help link the liberal arts degree with good employment after college so we think that she speaks our language so to speak."
Lawrence spent her day meeting with university leaders and with students.
And tonight she told students there was one thing she had to do.
Chris that was a trip by the campus bookstore to get her family some hollins swag.
Of course a good mom always has to bring presents home.