Mary Grace Hankins

Class of 2015

As a fourth generation Emory & Henry student, Mary Grace has served the college community as a leader and a student.

Mary Grace was a fourth generation Emory & Henry student from Boones Mill, VA. who majored in Chemistry. She is now attending the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in Chapel Hill, NC to pursue a doctorate of pharmacy. Her Senior Honors Thesis involved analyzing water samples from sites along the three forks of the Holston River and testing them for the presence of triclosan. The purpose of the research was to find whether or not triclosan is present in surface waters in the Southwest Virginia area. 

In addition to being in the Honors Program, Mary Grace was the Vice President of Student Government, President of the Emory Activities Board, President of Delta Omicron Pi social sorority, and a member of Cardinal Key Honor Society. She was also extremely involved with the Orientation Program from serving as a volunteer orientation leader after her freshman year to eventually serving as the Student Chair of Orientation Programs. Mary Grace said, “I had so many amazing experiences in my time [at Emory, but if I were] to pick just one favorite memory of Emory & Henry, it would be the moment when Fall 2014 Orientation finally got started and it was my turn to officially welcome the Class of 2018 to campus.” 

As part of the Honors Program experience, we encourage our scholars to partake in various travel opportunities, whether it is going to New York City with their cohort or study abroad. Mary Grace was among the first group of students who participated in the first Honors Program sponsored trip to Greece in Spring 2013. She said, “It was my first time out of the country, and I got to see so many incredible, ancient places.” Afterwards, during her junior year, she received the Emily Williams English-Speaking Union Scholarship and was able to study at the University of Cambridge for two weeks in the summer. While there, she studied the early stages of pharmaceutical drug discovery and the immune system. 

Extracurricular Activities:

Student Government, Emory Activities Board, Delta Omicron Pi, Cardinal Key Honor Society, Orientation Leader, Student Chair of Orientation 

Q: Would you change anything about your Honors Experience? Details?
If there was one thing I would change about the honors program experience, it would be to foster more communication between cohorts. Students within each cohort tend to develop a culture of their own when they are in class together which translates outside of the classroom for some cohorts but not for others. This classroom culture is different for each group of students, but it can be hard to get this kind of interaction with the people in other cohorts. It would have been nice to know a little bit more about the honors students who were younger than I, but at the same time, Honors work gets much more independent the longer you are in the program.




Boones Mill, VA


Chapel Hill, NC