Vol. 14: Your Holland Hall alumni news
Linda Jenkins ’78
Linda Jenkins was the only Black student in Holland Hall’s graduating class of 1978. She received her BA in History/Urban Studies from Princeton University and her Master’s in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.After college, Linda’s career path took her to Long Beach, CA, for over a decade before returning to Tulsa. She is an expert in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of grants, budgets, employee management, public works, and strategic planning. If there is a process to something, Linda will undoubtedly streamline it and improve it. Linda currently owns and operates her own firm, Jenkins Consulting Group (JCG). Linda continues to organize and make things better for all of her clients.As the owner of Jenkins Consulting Group, she competed nationally to be inducted into the first class of BoardSource Certified Governance Consultants® (BCGT) in November 2012. BCGCs facilitate BoardSource’s nonprofit board governance training classes in their own communities. Prior to her role at JCG, while serving as community investments vice president at Tulsa Area United Way, she facilitated the development of three initiatives to improve service delivery systems: Tulsa Community AIDS Partnership, Success By 6® (early childhood education and care), and 2-1-1 Tulsa Helpline. For her efforts, she received the Evergreen Spirit Award from the AIDS Coalition of Tulsa in 2004 and Leadership Award from Tulsa C.A.R.E.S. in 2006. Linda currently serves as a consultant to the Holland Hall Board of Trustees and the Alumni Association in diversity, equity, and inclusivity initiatives.Linda was recently interviewed by current student Micaela Atkinson ’22. When asked what advice she would give current 17- and 18-year-olds, she said, without hesitation, to develop an attitude of gratitude. She started a gratitude journal in the early 1990s and wrote down five things before she went to bed each night. Her journaling led her to look intentionally for things that were happening during her day. It shifted her perspective on life and allowed her to focus on the good things, not the negatives. Now, Linda writes down seven things each night because five just isn’t enough!
Linda is pictured with her mom and sister, alumna Deborah Jenkins '75 at the NCAA Women's Final Four!
As for being an African American woman, Linda is incredibly proud of her race. She is also a citizen of the Muscogee Creek Nation, which only adds to her pride. Muscogee Creek Nation women are filled with great strength, perseverance, and are excellent leaders, she said. It drives her to always want to do her best and be the best person she can be. She feels a responsibility to live up to that legacy and represent that vision of strength in all areas of her life.A book she recommends for everyone to read (or listen to) to understand the Black experience in the United States is “The Warmth of Other Sun: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration,”by Isabelle Wilkerson. It follows the choice so many African Americans made to leave the South in search of better lives for themselves. “One of the best ways we have to understand history is to humanize it … to tell our history as stories, and the author does it brilliantly. When we can empathize by seeing the world through the eyes of others, we have opportunities to understand and learn from what happened in the past,” Linda said.When she’s not busy making things better for those around her, she can be found cheering on her favorite WNBA and NCAAW players and teams. She is an avid NCAA Women’s Final Four attendee with her mom and sister, alumna Deborah Jenkins ’75, when global pandemics don’t get in the way of her plans!
Robert Butler ’94
Rob has some exciting things happening these days. He was just named Head of School at Forsyth in St. Louis, MO, effective July 1, 2021! Rob holds a Master of Arts in English from Oklahoma State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Northeastern State University.Rob has spent his career working in the field of education and is having his pinnacle moment. He spent a decade as an English teacher, as director of track and field for middle and upper school, and as an assistant to the director of admissions at Holland Hall. After a brief two-year stint at Washington University in St. Louis as the assistant track and field coach, where he coached three national champions and a dozen all-conference athletes, he moved back into the scholastic scene at Whitfield School in St. Louis where he worked his way up to being Middle School director.
He and his family moved to Grosse Point Woods, Michigan, where he serves as assistant head of school and head of middle school at University Liggett School. Rob is an avid supporter of and implementer of diversity, equity, and inclusivity initiatives. He will replace a soon-to-be-retired and his former Holland Hall track and field coach, Dan Hildebrand, as Forsyth’s Head of School.Rob’s advice to today’s student body is this: “The version of me in high school is not the version of me now. To those making straight As, keep it up and keep doing your thing because you’re going to be just fine. To everyone else who is not crushing it and might not be soaking up the experience, just know the version of you right now is not who you’re going to be forever. At least try to take some things from this experience, even if it’s not the most motivating or stimulating thing to you, or if you’re distracted by other things, please know that the experiences you’re having and the things you’re doing now will help shape who you will be in the future.“Keep grinding and doing what you’re doing even if you’re not inspired by everything. It will pay off in the end. You might find yourself in a situation where you might be leading a school one day. The idea of the guy who ran through the glass door in high school now being in charge of a school was something I would have never imagined.“To all the students from under-represented groups who maybe don’t see a lot of themselves around the school — if there are times where you feel like it’s not your school or you don’t feel like you have a place there or you’re questioning whether this is the right path for you, stay strong and stay the course because it is. I had a lot of those moments and a lot of moments where I was frustrated about certain things and I wanted to leave, but the best thing was for me to stay and to be there to get the most out of my experience. There were so many things about my experience at Holland Hall both as a student, a teacher and a coach that really shaped who I am today. I am grateful for all of them — the joy and wonderful things that happened, and also for the pain I endured as well. I wouldn’t trade that for anything because it shaped who I am today.”We wish Rob the very best in this well-deserved, new endeavor. Rob has two siblings who also graduated from Holland Hall – Ericka ’98 and Justin ’04, who serves as Holland Hall’s director of enrollment management.