Known in the classroom for his clever teaching techniques, fast-paced lectures and encouraging-manner as well as at university sporting events for his purple coat, Bison horns hat and friendly greetings, Doy Hollman has been a staple in the Lipscomb University community for the past 41 years.
The now retired mathematics professor, former registrar and dedicated Bison fan, was the subject of powerful testimonies and recipient of several gifts, including a Lifetime All-Sports Bison Athletics Pass, at a retirement reception in his honor on Monday, Dec. 5, in the Hall of Fame Room.
A native of Loretto, Tennessee, Hollman first came to Lipscomb in 1975, on a one-year appointment to teach mathematics.
“They told me that they only needed me for a year, and then 41 years later, I am finally leaving,” Hollman joked.
Hollman, who had received a bachelor’s degree and master of studies degree at Middle Tennessee State University as well as his Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi, had worked for nearly 10 years at the secondary level, before spending the next 41 years of his professional career as a professor of mathematics at Lipscomb.
In 1985, Hollman decided to switch gears and accept a position as the university’s registrar, and in 1989, he transitioned back into teaching mathematics and into a part-time role with Lipscomb Admissions. In this part-time role, Hollman evaluated transcripts of international and transfer students until 2002.
As a professor of mathematics, Hollman taught several undergraduate classes throughout the years as well as the Teaching Calculus graduate course. He also helped create and teach the History of Math senior-level course.
Admired for his firm faith and servant nature, Hollman also spent the past 41 years preaching at local churches: Paragon Mills Church of Christ from 1978-81, College Grove Church of Christ from 1985-95 and Leeville Church of Christ from 2007-15. During his time at Leeville, Hollman occasionally preached sermons focusing on math in the Bible. He said he did this especially for his Lipscomb University students that would come to Leeville on particular Sunday mornings. Hollman was also known for serving at Lipscomb’s Provost Breakfast, a breakfast to honor graduating seniors, throughout his time at Lipscomb.
During the reception, colleagues including Norma Burgess, dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; Randy Bouldin, vice provost for academic affairs and graduate studies; Gary Hall, professor of mathematics; Carroll Wells, chair and professor of mathematics; Justin Myrick, dean of the Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering; and Philip Hutcheson, athletic director for Lipscomb Athletics; shared fond memories of Hollman.
"Dr. Hollman was a cooperative member of the math department and was always willing to teach later afternoon and night classes for the department," said Wells.
“I had Dr. Hollman in class, and he has done so much for the university in so many ways – the greatest being the Christian example he has given me as a professor of math,” said Hall. “I have never heard him say a bad thing about anyone, and he has always been such an enthusiastic, upbeat encourager.”
“Doy cares about students and their welfare; he visits sick people and he is a great teacher,” said Bouldin, who served as a student worker for Hollman for four years, and served alongside him as Lipscomb’s assistant registrar. “I strongly believe in longevity in a place, and although I know Doy would have touched lives in different places over a span of 41 years, he has touched the same people at Lipscomb over and over and I believe that deepens the connection and family. Thank you Doy for the really wonderful way you have served this place.”
“If there was a Mount Rushmore of Lipscomb fans, Doy Hollman would be on it,” said Hutcheson as he presented Hollman with the Lifetime All-Sports Bison Athletics Pass on behalf of Lipscomb Athletics.
Further, Hollman's uniqueness included using a wooden pointer during classroom instruction and having his students stand in class. Hollman also affected other members of the Lipscomb community.
“Dr. Hollman has been a tremendous and positive influence of our athletic programs and teams,” said Patrick Cameron, assistant director of Campus Security. “He has always had such a positive and supportive nature about him, and that has been a true blessing.”
“I would say that he is in part responsible for Lipscomb’s only national championship in 1986 because he helped introduced John Kimbrell, who was also from Loretto, Tennessee, to Lipscomb,” said Andy Lane, assistant athletic director of operations for Lipscomb Athletics. “As both a professor and former registrar, Dr. Hollman inspired many people – from greeting them at ball games, to teaching them in classes – we are grateful for his service to Lipscomb.”
Hollman says for the past 41 years Lipscomb University has been a home. He has gotten to share his faith with his students; his wife Rita, worked as a part-time English professor from 1988 to 1990; his son Matthew Ray Hollman (’02 and ’03) received a Bachelor of Arts in Bible in May 2002 as well as a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from Lipscomb in December 2003; and his daughter Elizabeth Rivera (’06), joined the Beaman Library staff in fall 2014 as its special collections librarian.
“I thank the Lord for my wonderful family, both immediate and at Lipscomb,” said Doy. “I have fostered many memories at this place and feel very privileged to have spent the past 41 years of my life and professional career at Lipscomb.”
Hollman said he also has an interest in Lipscomb’s history and is in the process of writing a small book on Lipscomb trivia.
Hollman thanked his friends and colleagues at his retirement reception saying, “I hope Lipscomb University is as good to you as it has been to me.”