Kate Gibson Holland ’00 chose Shenandoah because of its beauty, size, location and quality of training she would receive, and the university having a conservatory was a bonus. “It’s been a long time since I was a student there, but I know that I really found my roots in both professional and personal relations there,” said Holland. “Some of my current closest friends were SU classmates.”
Holland’s fondest memories of Shenandoah are being able to sing in the Conservatory Choir while playing on the varsity tennis team at the same time, saying “it was a wonderful balance to be able to do both.” She also enjoyed her time as a resident assistant and putting together a weekend full of events during the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival for students who were staying on campus, as well as spending a few weeks touring Brazil with the Shenandoah Singers.
Holland is a production administrator for The Shed, a cultural center in Hudson Yards, Manhattan, New York City. “The Shed is a state of the art multi-venue structure that commissions original works of art, across all disciplines, for all audiences,” said Holland. In this role, she manages all administrative responsibilities that relate to theatrical production of The Shed, which includes working with artists, labor unions, vendors, and clients, as well creating new systems, budgets, schedules, and planning for upcoming productions.
Before her current position, Holland worked on and off-Broadway with gigantic stars and early career professionals on tiny projects to multi-million dollar projects, making it hard for her to choose what are the most rewarding experiences she has had in her career. “My career has been wild,” said Holland.
Holland believes her Shenandoah education prepared her for her career by letting her focus on discovering her passions and by also letting her explore variations on what she thought her goals were supposed to be.
“I had so many opportunities to do things,” said Holland. “I was an RA, I was in clubs and honor societies, I played a sport, I played in multiple ensembles, I changed my curriculum major several times and still managed to graduate within four years. I wouldn’t have been able to do all that I did without an extremely supportive community of faculty and staff.”
Holland’s advice to students is: “Know your worth. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, but do balance that with humility and a desire to grow.”