October 24, 2022 at 2:30pm

Dr. C. Kimm Hollis, a 1972 Millikin alumnus and retired department chair, Professor of Music, and Artist-in-Residence Emeritus at Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana, as well as founding endower of the eponymous Hollis Prize at Millikin University, has donated his collection of announcements, programs, mementos, and other ephemera about the Hollis Prize to the University Archives.

Amanda Pippitt, Director and Associate Professor in the Library at Millikin, states that “Dr. Hollis’s gifts enrich the Archives’ collection and document and preserve the history of the Hollis Prize, his generous gifts to the University, and his own experience as a Millikin student.”

The collection is a distinctive contribution not only as a primary source for future research, but it rounds out the School of Music’s own records about the prize. In the words of Brian Justison, the Director of the School of Music:

“Kimm’s retrospective has assiduously recorded the first twenty years of this lauded event for generations to come.”

First awarded in 2003, the Hollis Prize is unique among undergraduate music competitions for its recital performance format and rigorous audition process. Students compete in a semi-final round for the chance to perform in front of a live audience for the final event. The winner receives a monetary award of $2,000 and an opportunity to perform a solo recital at the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, Illinois. This award is the highest form of recognition given to a vocal or instrumental performer at Millikin University.

Past winners have gone on to perform with the Doc Severinsen Big Band, study in Yale University’s prestigious Opera Program, serve as President of the Illinois Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society, become private music instructors, develop curricula for musical education, and teach at Millikin University and the University of Illinois-Springfield, among other accomplishments.

Laura Ledford, Dean of the College of Fine Arts, noted the collection’s merits upon acceptance, saying it is “truly a testament to Dr. Hollis’s influence and commitment to the arts at Millikin. We’re enriched by his presence and support.”

More about the Hollis Prize, including a list of past winners, can be found at millikin.edu/hollis-prize.


About Millikin University

Millikin is a private, not-for-profit, four-year university with an enrollment of approximately 2,000 students in traditional and non-traditional undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Located in Decatur, Illinois, you will quickly discover that the signature of a Millikin education is a unique experience we like to call Performance Learning.

Since its founding more than 120 years ago, Millikin has operated under the philosophy of providing an education that combines theory with practice. While this was a radical idea at the time, we know today that students must perform their knowledge in order to be truly prepared for a successful career after college. Through immersive experiences such as internships, co-teaching, running a business, presenting research to experts and performing in front of audiences, students find new ways to live out their learning and reap the rewards of their hard work.

Visit millikin.edu to learn more.


About the Millikin University School of Music

The mission of the School of Music is to develop the whole musician – artistically, intellectually, technically – through the integration of theory and practice in an environment where students become active learners through their relationships with faculty, who themselves continue to grow as artists, scholars, and teachers.

Millikin's nationally recognized School of Music brings relevant, performance-based opportunities to all facets of undergraduate music education. With five distinctive music degree programs and additional certificate options, our students find their path to professional success through a blending of creative, performative, scholarly, and entrepreneurial experiences designed to train the next generation of music professionals. The School of Music also offers multiple opportunities for Millikin students to get involved in over seven ensembles. Students do not need to be a music major or minor to be involved.

Visit millikin.edu/som to learn more.


For further information, please contact LJ Pemberton, Marketing and Patron Relations Manager at Kirkland Fine Arts Center & the College of Fine Arts at 217.424.3931 or lpemberton@millikin.edu.