Arlington, VA (Aug. 17, 2022) – The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) today announced John S. Hollemon III, dean of inclusive excellence & chief diversity officer at Hampden-Sydney College (VA), as its new director of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Hollemon’s hiring advances the association’s vision of a sustained, long-term commitment to DEI as a core principle. He begins his role with NACAC on September 15.

NACAC CEO Angel B. Pérez said Hollemon will help guide the association as the profession navigates creating a more equitable and inclusive future through changing professional standards, policies, and practices.

“The entire NACAC community has made diversity, equity, and inclusion a top priority for the association,” he said. “I look forward to working with and learning from Dr. Hollemon’s rich experience in higher education and DEI leadership. He comes to NACAC at a time of extraordinary change, and I know he will make a great impact on our association and profession.”

Thanks to the efforts of numerous NACAC members, several committees developed recommendations that will inform the work Hollemon will lead.

With NACAC’s Ad-hoc Committee on Leadership in College Admission report, insights from the CEO Listening Tour summary, and recommendations from the Lumina-funded Toward a More Equitable Future for Postsecondary Access report, Hollemon and NACAC have a breadth of member-informed directives to advance DEI in the college admission counseling profession. As stated in the Lumina-funded report, “The impediments to racial equity in college admission and financial aid are complex, systemic, and longstanding, so the work to dismantle those impediments requires courage, collaboration, creativity, and an unrelenting commitment to both understand the problems and continue to strive to solve them.”

Pérez said Hollemon’s background and experience have equipped him to move the association and the profession toward the shared goal of diversity and equity among professionals and students involved in the admission process.

Hollemon said he hopes to help NACAC take a leading role in advancing DEI  strategies throughout admission profession.

“There is no one size fits all approach to DEI issues, especially when factoring in the institutional and geographical diversity of high schools, colleges, and universities represented by NACAC,” he said. “As I get started in this new role, I plan to listen to the association’s voices. From these conversations, I hope to tap into and build upon the existing infrastructure and adapt long-term strategies to make campuses more equitable for all. Without understanding the complexities of power dynamics in action and various constraints, it’s difficult to approach DEI work meaningfully.”

Hollemon has led civic, cultural, and community engagement at Hampden-Sydney where he advised senior leadership on creative approaches to developing and implementing evidence-based DEI programs. He also identified gaps across the institution and offered solutions for creating, implementing, and monitoring programs designed to move the DEI strategic framework forward.

He currently serves as deputy Title IX coordinator at Hampden-Sydney and is past president of the Virginia Association of Student Personnel Administrators. Prior to Hampden-Sydney, Hollemon was resident hall educator and retention specialist for the Brother 4 Brother Mentoring Program at Ferrum College (VA).

Hollemon received his bachelor’s degree from Randolph-Macon College (VA) and his master’s degree from Liberty University (VA). He earned a certificate in “DEI in the workplace” from the University of South Florida and his doctorate from Virginia University of Lynchburg.

Get to Know Dr. John S. Hollemon III

New NACAC Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • What drew you to apply for the DEI job?
    When applying for DEI roles, I tend to gravitate to those roles that inspire me and give me the best opportunity to contribute to something much greater than myself. The Director of DEI position with NACAC did precisely that. Coming from a previous role as Chief Diversity Officer and working adjacent to my colleagues in admissions for over a decade, I have experienced the growing pains of pivoting to becoming a more inclusive organization. I also appreciated the transparency in the job posting about the DEI work that had been accomplished, as well as what’s needed to take the NACAC and its membership to the next level. When the opportunity presented itself to continue my DEI Advocacy on a larger scale with an association representing 25,000 members and hundreds of schools, colleges, and universities, there was no possible way I could turn down this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
  • What is your proudest professional achievement?
    My proudest professional achievement is the creation of the Brother 4 Brother Mentorship program at my last institution. The program was established to address retention concerns with BIPOC and First-Gen student populations. Since its inception, the program has retained 96% of participants who have maintained a cumulative 3.04 GPA, exceeding institutional averages.
  • When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
    I love spending time with my family and friends. While COVID-19 has slowed things down for us all, you can typically find me traveling to a new destination, sampling new food trucks and restaurant locations, playing pick-up basketball, and keeping up with various fandoms (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Marvel, and many more!).
  • What are you looking forward to in the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia)?
    I’m looking forward to being back in an urban environment, continuing my DEI advocacy for students, expanding my personal/professional networks, exploring the various cities and neighborhoods of the DMV, and seeing myself reflected in the communities where I live and work.
  • DC, Maryland, or Virginia? Pick one.
    As someone who was born in the city of Richmond, I’m a little partial to Virginia!
  • What five words would you use to describe yourself?
    Astute, Gregarious, Wanderlust, Innovative, Inquiring
  • What do you think others would say?
    I believe others who know me say I’m an advocate committed to disrupting oppressive systems.
  • Do you have a favorite quote?
    “The place in which I’ll fit will not exist until I make it” – James Baldwin
  • If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
    If I could be any character, it would have to be Mace Windu of the Star Wars franchise.
  • What would colleagues be surprised to learn about you?
    I worked my way through college as both a collegiate and professional mascot.