Pamela Hollie lived and worked in Asia, the Pacific and Europe for four decades, and during much of that time, as now, she also called Gambier home. As a journalist, first at the Wall Street Journal and then at the New York Times, she was a national correspondent, financial writer and foreign correspondent. Her international work — which included positions at the Asia Foundation in Southeast Asia and the Pacific and at the Nature Conservancy’s international unit, as well as consultancies for Microsoft/Asia and assignments for the United Nations Development Program in Micronesia — was part of her lifelong engagement with international subjects and global challenges.
Like many members of the Kenyon community, she formed lasting relationships with students, as well as alumni whose philanthropy she encouraged in her role as Kenyon’s senior philanthropic advisor, from 2005 to 2013. Along with her husband, P. F. Kluge ’64, who retired in 2020 after almost three decades as the College’s writer-in-residence, Hollie often welcomed students into their home and garden, planting the seeds for connections that endure today.
Now, one of those students has decided to honor her with a multi-million dollar gift to endow a chair in her name.
“It was a total surprise,” Hollie said of her reaction when D. Matthew Voorhees ’95 called her with the news of his intent. “He's a wonderful guy and I thought it was an incredibly generous and loving act.”
Voorhees, now a member of the Kenyon Board of Trustees, first met Hollie as a student when he was living in Lewis Hall as Kluge was researching his seminal Kenyon book “Alma Mater: A College Homecoming.”
“Pamela is an amazing person,” Voorhees said. “Upon meeting her as a young and naive first-year student, she opened my eyes and mind to a world not only beyond Kenyon, but beyond Ohio and the United States. We have traveled extensively together since and our journeys over the last several decades have helped inform my perspective of this globe.”
Voorhees is now the CEO and cofounder of Anybill Financial Services, a Washington, D.C.-based provider of tax payment services.
He previously honored the couple with a gift to name the seminar room within Keithley House for them (the house is named after his mother, Marilee Keithley Roche), as well as the creation of the P. F. Kluge ’64 Collegian Fund for the student newspaper, of which Kluge is advisor emeritus.
Voorhees wants to help faculty forge relationships with future students that will be as impactful as Hollie’s relationship has been with him. “I am very grateful and fortunate to help the College replicate my own learning journey with this unique endowed chair and am hopeful that the faculty participating in this program can offer students a positive and mind-bending impact — much as Pamela has had in my own life,” he said.
In creating the endowed chair, Voorhees made Hollie the first solo woman and first woman of color to receive such an honor at Kenyon. “This is a diverse and interesting place, and we need to think globally and we need to think inclusively,” Hollie said.
The Pamela G. Hollie Chair will be awarded on a three-year basis to support “a tenure or tenure-track faculty member in any discipline whose teaching and research programs address global challenges including (but not limited to) climate change, immigration, food security, access to justice and civil rights.”
Sheryl Hemkin, acting provost, shared her enthusiasm for the new role. “This chair is generously written to allow the holder to confront global challenges through their scholarly or artistic work, as Pamela has done throughout her career. We look forward to seeing how this position can help elevate the meaningful contributions that the faculty can make in their chosen field and be an example of how Kenyon can impact the larger world.”