The ‘A’ Fund – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

The ‘A’ Fund

The HWS Architecture Department has recently nominated Nick Batson ’11 as a recipient of The ‘A’ Fund scholarship.

The ‘A’ Fund was established by Professor of English Grant Holly, his daughter-actress Lauren Holly-and their family, friends and colleagues in honor of Alexander Holly, son of Grant, brother of Lauren.   Alexander tragically passed away as a young man, before he was able to realize his ambition to become an architect.  The ‘A’ Fund , which gives aid to outstanding architecture or archeology majors entering their third year at the Colleges, was started in 1992 to create a lasting tribute to Alexander, or “A” as he was known.

Like Alexander, Batson, an architecture major and classical studies and aesthetics minor, had an early interest in architecture and design.

“I became interested in architecture when I was pretty young,” says Batson, a member of the Asian Student Union and a Phi Sigma Kappa brother.  “I remember my Dad saw me building with blocks one day and said I could be an architect or an engineer.  I grew up with that idea in my head.”

Planning to attend a master’s program in architecture after graduation and get solid work experience through internships, Batson set that goal in motion this summer with an internship at Daniel R. Long Architect & Associates in Geneva.

“My summer internship was great,” says Batson, who also works as a tour guide for the HWS Office of Admissions.  “I wanted to do an internship so that I could get experience in the field and see what it was like.  The time in Dan’s office really helped me to accomplish that.  It helped me to get a sense of what I would be doing everyday as an architect.”

Now studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, Batson says that Associate Professor of Art Stan Mathews had told him he would be “getting some interesting news soon.” 

“My mom called me a few days later and told me about the award,” Batson says.  “I was pretty surprised and excited about it.  It’s a great honor, and I’m very grateful for it.”

According to Lauren Holly’s Web site, “Alexander Innes Holly, ‘A,’ as we called him, was a boy filled with dreams, hopes, and plans.  Although he was only fourteen when he died, he had traveled extensively in Europe and Central America, lived in New York City and Los Angeles, and these experiences produced in him a fascination for architecture and archaeology.”

“And what are architecture and archaeology but the physical evidence of the dreams, hopes, and plans of our species: archeology recreating the world of those who have gone before us, and architecture mapping the world we live in now, and the one on the edge of being built?”

“The ‘A’ Fund for Architecture and Archeology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges has been created in Alexander’s memory to help fulfill the dreams, hopes and plans of generations of students studying these subjects for years to come.”