Centenary announces selection of 31st President
SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary College of Louisiana has chosen Dr. Christopher L. Holoman, an academic with extensive experience in college classrooms and administration, as its 31st president. Holoman is currently Provost at Hilbert College in Hamburg, New York, and will assume leadership of the 191 year old Shreveport institution in July.
"I am so excited to lead a college with the deep commitment to the liberal arts that Centenary has," said Holoman. "The liberal arts are essential to preparing students for the world in which they live because a liberal arts education teaches you how to think. In this fast-paced world, our students need tools like effective communication and critical thinking in order to reinvent themselves and adapt. Centenary is providing what our students need and what our society needs as well."
The Centenary College Board of Trustees announced Holoman's appointment following its Thursday, April 21, meeting.
"Dr. Holoman is the perfect person to lead Centenary at this time," said George Nelson, chair of the Board of Trustees. "Dr. Holoman's passionate enthusiasm for the liberal arts and his commitment to the social justice, service, and intellectual traditions that tie Centenary to the Methodist church really impressed both the search committee and the campus community. He is eager to start telling the Centenary story 'in more places than ever before,' and we look forward to welcoming him and his wife, Connie, to Shreveport and to the Centenary family."
Holoman believes these are challenging yet exciting times for higher education, with colleges and universities under increased pressure to demonstrate value to students and parents. He approaches the challenge confidently because, in his words, "Centenary has such a powerful story to tell." Holoman is particularly excited about Centenary's programs that "introduce our students to the world," such as Centenary in Paris, and reinforce the idea that learning takes place both inside and outside the traditional college classroom.
His first task, Holoman says, will be to learn more about the Centenary culture by talking with students, faculty, staff, and alumni. These conversations and listening sessions will set the stage for adopting a new strategic plan that will create a foundation for the College to increase enrollment, improve academics and student services, and better serve the Shreveport-Bossier City area.
Holoman has been at Hilbert College since 1999, first as an assistant professor and then full professor in the college's Department of Law and Government. He served as interim Vice President for Academic Affairs for a year before being named permanently to the position of Vice President and Provost in 2007. He also served as member or chair for numerous college committees including the Middle States accreditation self-study steering committee and the service learning committee. Holoman also chaired the Western New York Chief Academic Officers Council and served as a mentor in the Council of Independent Colleges' New Chief Academic Officer program.
Prior to joining Hilbert College Holoman served on the faculty at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Holoman earned both doctorate and master's degrees in political science from the University of Chicago. He also holds a bachelor of arts from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, majoring in international relations with a focus on economics. He has authored numerous papers and articles on international policy, cooperation, and monetary policy.
Dr. Holoman and his wife, Connie, are proud parents of two grown daughters.
Dr. Holoman succeeds Dr. David Rowe, who has led Centenary as President since August 2009. Dr. Rowe is leaving to become president of Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida.