GREENLAND — Scott Holloway was entering his senior year at Babson College when he decided to pursue a $5,000 award presented to an aspiring young entrepreneur.
“Scott was really a party animal in school,” said his father, New Hampshire automotive mogul Paul Holloway. “I mean, if there was a party, my son was there. And then all of a sudden this prize was made available to the students, and he came home and told his mother (Anna Grace), ‘I’m going to enter and I’m going to win.’ And you know what? He busted his butt and he won. And let me tell you, no one was more surprised than I was.”
A couple of years later, Anna Grace Holloway, recognizing the value of incentive, teamed with the University of New Hampshire to establish an annual award similar to the one her son earned.
She unveiled the Paul J. Holloway Prize to her husband for his 50th birthday. That was 26 years ago.
“It’s the gift that keeps costing,” joked Paul Holloway.
The annual $25,000 stipend has directly resulted in at least three dozen successful business ventures, the Holloways said.
The pair are among a handful of New Hampshire residents to be honored with this year’s Granite State Legacy Awards, which are presented by the New Hampshire Union Leader. Sponsored by Centrix Bank, the awards are given to those who have made significant contributions over an extended period to their profession, community and state.
“(The Holloways) have meant so much to the university system and to the state,” said Michael Merenda, University of New Hampshire professor of strategic management and entrepreneurship, who oversees the Holloway Prize competition.
The award is now offered schoolwide in an effort to spur creative genius among those pursuing degrees outside of business as well.
“Well over 1,200 students have participated and many have gone on to start their own businesses or to help build existing businesses,” Merenda said. “The Holloways have really been catalysts for entrepreneurial innovation in this state and for launching a lot of careers.”
For the Holloways, it is all about making their state better.
“It’s really not about us. It’s truly about the students and their education and making New Hampshire a better place to live and work,” said Paul Holloway, who was first in his family to receive a college degree. “I just believe, 100 percent, that education makes a difference. It’s the future and (the) ticket to moving ahead. It’s so important, and I’ve seen not only the changes it’s brought about in my own family, but in so many others I’ve encountered within the state’s university system.”
Paul Holloway, president of the Holloway Automotive Group, has chaired the Community College System of New Hampshire board of trustees since April 2005, two years after he was appointed.
Prior to that, he served on the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees, the last four as chairman.
He’s also played an integral role in several Seacoast community-building projects, including teaming with other influential area business leaders to build and donate Exeter’s recreation park and industrial park.
Paul Holloway said his wife has set the pace for him, noting: “She’s worked tirelessly for the community for years. She’s had her own companies and has more degrees than I do. She’s an amazing woman who is very busy, very honest and completely forthright in everything she says and does.”
Among Anna Grace Holloway’s many community and charitable projects is the Wentworth Marina Striped Bass Tournament. The June 22 all-volunteer effort’s beneficiaries include the Wounded Warriors and Northeast Passage, which aids young veterans with disabilities.
“There’s not a dime of overhead. The people come out of the woodwork, and it’s amazing how much people donate for this thing,” said Paul Holloway. “The kids are terrific, and they’re fun, and they really get excited for this.”