Holly Hubbs is a person who does it all. A teacher, musician, mentor and friend. She has experienced firsthand the value of a liberal arts education and embodies its spirit.
As a professor of music and professional saxophonist, Hubbs has had the opportunity to perform in some impressive venues throughout the United States and Europe. Her most memorable performance was as an ensemble director during a student tour in Budapest and Prague—the final concert was held at St. Matthias Cathedral in Budapest. She also played in a jazz band that performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. While one could assume that performing would provide Hubbs with the most satisfaction, the success of her students brings her a much different kind of fulfilment, even if this success is completely outside the realm of music.
“I had an amazing moment when one of my students presented research at a national conference in Chicago,” says Hubbs. “Her paper, titled ’Appropriation in Animation,’ was well delivered and well received. To see this young scholar giving a conference talk made me feel incredibly proud.”
Hubbs spent her undergraduate years at a small private liberal arts college and has been able to apply the ideals of that education to encouraging success in others. Hubbs uses her career as an example of how a liberal arts education gives one flexibility and dexterity within both their professional and personal lives. Much of it has, in fact, has been dedicated to endeavors outside of saxophone performance.
“In today’s world we must all be business people, self-promotors, technologists and more,” she says. “We must think outside our individual disciplines.”
Hubbs believes that one of the great things about an Ursinus education is that its breadth of scope prepares students for the many roads of their post-graduate journeys. But, furthermore, what also sets it apart in her mind is just how hands-on and involved the faculty become at the college. Ursinus is made special by the closeness of the relationships that are formed between faculty and students. In addition to her teaching duties, Hubbs serves as a mentor and friend. Many of her students—both current and former—have become a large part of her life, and she views them as family.
“The Ursinus bond endures long past a student’s graduation.”
The work that Hubbs does through the classes she teaches and musical ensembles she organizes has enabled her to foster growth within Ursinus students. She embodies the Ursinus mission in all that she does, and the result is a positive outcome for the overall college community.