Summer 2021, Volume 46, Number 2

Commencement

Meredith College Celebrates Commencement for Two Classes

Features

How I Became Even Stronger in 2020

By Gaye Hill

2020 was a year like no other. A raging pandemic. Divisive politics. Natural disasters. A decimated economy. Uprisings against racial and social injustice. Many of us struggled mightily through the last year. And yet, against all odds, some alumnae found themselves becoming even stronger in spite of, and in some cases, because of, the challenges they faced. Read on to hear their stories.

Stronger gif with 2020 behind moving text
Jovita Lee and La'Meshia Whittington

Educating the Next Generation of Meredith Activists

Writer: Gaye Hill | Videographer: Kaylin Tsukayama

Adjunct faculty members La’Meshia Whittington, ’16, and Jovita Lee, ’16, formed a powerful connection with one another as Meredith students. That bond only became stronger after they graduated and continued working together as leaders in their fields. In spring 2021, they returned to Meredith to share their knowledge and rich experience by teaching a sociology course on racial equity and social justice.

Michael Altman, Director of Hospitality and Tourism program at Meredith

Industry Insights: Regaining Confidence in Hospitality and Tourism

Writer: Cailyn Whitman, ’18 | Videographer: Charlotte McKinney

Hospitality and Tourism Management Program Director Michael Altman shares a positive outlook on where the industry is headed following the pandemic.

Meredith student receiving COVID vaccine

Being A Part of the Solution

Meredith Community Contributes to Vaccine Research and Development

By Cailyn Whitman, ’18

Slowing the spread of COVID-19 has been and continues to be an all-hands-on-deck effort at Meredith and beyond. Wearing a mask, social distancing, spending more time at home – these are all necessary ways individuals have stepped up to help. But many have taken on even greater responsibilities to help bring the pandemic to an end. From vaccine research and development, to education on the benefits of the vaccine, faculty and staff, alumnae, and students have made remarkable contributions.

Alumnae Reunion Weekend, October 8-9, 2021

Classes ending in 0, 1, 5, or 6, we have missed you!

A new Reunion Weekend date has been rescheduled just for your classes!

Learn more

Portrait of President Jo Allen

the president’s column

The Light of Learning

History’s lessons teach us that our world and every aspect of it evolves, just as it does in the pursuit of higher education. Indeed, it is the promise of learning, growth, and betterment that marshal the forces of change in our individual lives; beyond that promise, education is hollow.

News

Meredith Celebrates Commencement for Two Classes

By Melyssa Allen

Meredith College held a total of 11 ceremonies over three weekends in May to celebrate Commencement for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021.

2021 Commencement ceremony
A closeup of a notebook with someone writing in it

Meredith Makes Test-Optional Admissions Policy Permanent

By Melyssa Allen

Meredith College is making permanent a test-optional admissions policy that was initially adopted because of the pandemic.

Meredith College Plaque

Meredith College Selected for Multi-Year Project of the Council of Independent Colleges

By Melyssa Allen

Meredith College is one of seven colleges and universities from across the country selected to serve as regional hubs for a multiyear project of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).

Johnson Hall building and fountain

IT’S TIME FOR MEREDITH MAYHEM 2021!

Learn how to make your gift today.
Sisu the dog and her unicorn

Art Professor’s Photo of Stray Dog Goes Viral, Brings Attention to Rural Shelter

By Melyssa Allen

Professor of Art Shannon Johnstone played a role in a recent story that went viral on social media and was featured in numerous media outlets.

Dr. Damon Tweedy

Meredith Welcomes Physician and Author Damon Tweedy for Virtual Convocation

By Melyssa Allen

Meredith College welcomed Damon Tweedy, a physician and author, for its Spring 2021 Convocation, which was held virtually on February 25, 2021.

Johnson Hall and the Meredith steps fountain on a beautiful day

Meredith Trustees Approve Faculty for Tenure and Promotions

By Melyssa Allen

Congratulations to the following faculty members who were approved for promotion and tenure during the Board of Trustees’ Spring meeting.

Book cover of Tell Me Who You Are

2021 Summer Reading Book Supports Anti-Racism Initiative

By Gaye Hill

Meredith’s Summer Reading book for 2021 is Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing our Stories of Race, Culture and Identity, by Winona Gua and Priya Vulcht.

Fullbright scholars

Three Meredith Alumnae Chosen for Fulbright Awards

By Cailyn Whitman, ’18

Three recent graduates of Meredith, Briana Petrusa, ’21 (pictured left), Bailey Birtchet, ’21 (middle), and Delaney Rhodes, ’20 (right), have been awarded Fulbright scholarships. The Fulbright Program funds scholarships for students to study, conduct research, or teach English abroad.

Exterior of Wainwright Music Building
By Melyssa Allen

Meredith College’s Board of Trustees has approved the addition of a Bachelor of Music in Performance to the College’s degree offerings.

Experts in the news

Meredith College experts have recently been featured in media outlets including USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Examiner, and The Conversation.

“In talking to travelers, what I am hearing is that they are tired. They’re tired of being cooped up and grounded. But even more, they’re tired of the contradictory or politicized messages of how we can safely travel, especially as the vaccine starts to make its way around the world.”

— Hospitality and Tourism Management Program Director Michael Altman in “How Should You Deal with Travelers Who Don’t Think the Rules Apply to Them?”, which was published by USA Today.

Lincoln has come under increased modern criticism because of statements about race that clearly reflect the white supremacist views of most 19th century politicians. For many, his flaws undermine his very real, significant achievements.” 

— Professor of History Dan Fountain in “Chicago Lists Lincoln Statues Among Monuments to Review,” which was published by The New York Times.

“It is clear that there is a great deal of support from moving the minimum wage beyond $7.25/hour, but serious differences exist between many groups in the state about how high the wage should be.” 

— Professor of Political Science David McLennan in “New poll shows most voters support raising North Carolina’s minimum wage,” a report about the March 2021 Meredith Poll, which covered issues including raising the minimum wage. This story was published by The Center Square and was featured in The Washington Examiner.

“But permanently expanding a federal SNAP program to students and making them aware of their eligibility has the potential to be transformative for those struggling to learn while not knowing where their next meal is coming from. In 1946, the National School Lunch Program was launched recognizing that children must be nourished to learn. Seventy-five years later, we believe the U.S. must address food insecurity among college students to ensure educational achievement for all.”

— Assistant Professor of Food and Nutrition Rebecca Hagedorn and her research colleague Anastasia Snelling, chair of the Department of Health Studies at American University, wrote in “1 in 3 college students face food insecurity – expanding SNAP benefits on campus will help stave off hunger,” published in The Conversation, a not-for-profit, independent source of information, analysis and commentary from the university and research sector.

Strong Stories

Briana Petrusa, ’21

Writer: Cailyn Whitman, ’18
Videographer: Charlotte McKinney

Fulbright recipient Briana Petrusa, ‘21, is combining her interests in chemistry and Spanish to pursue a career in medicine helping underserved populations.

Briana Petrusa
Meredith College Ring

Lost your ring? Need to order a new one?

A summer deal on new ring orders from Jostens

 

Making an Impact.

Read about a recent gift supporting study abroad, long time foundation giving, naming opportunities for the new academic building, and how alumnae and donors have stayed connected.

The Meredith Fund

Total Annual Giving Dollars

College's Greatest Needs

Total Donors

Total Gifts

Alumnae Connection

Author Karla Diggs

Karla Diggs, ’94

By Cailyn Whitman, ’18

First African-American Graduate of Theatre Program Authors Award-Winning Novel

Paige Layno Winn smiling at the camera
By Cailyn Whitman, ’18

English Alumna Makes an Impact Through Global Training and Development Initiatives

Coleman sisters in front of their shoes
By Mia Shelton, ’22

Sisters Turn Passion for Shoes into Business

Alumnae Reunion Weekend, October 8-9, 2021

Calling all alumnae with class years ending in a 7 or 2!

Mark your calendar for Alumnae Reunion Weekend – May 20 – 22, 2022!

three women in front of new york city skyline

MC is returning to NYC!

Join the Alumnae Association for our annual trip to New York.

Meredith Magazine

Volume 46, Number 2
Summer 2021
Kristi Eaves McLennan smiling at the camera

Kristi Eaaves-McLennan, ’14, MBA

Executive Editor

Melyssa Allen smiling at the camera

Melyssa Allen

Managing Editor

Karen Dunton smiling at the camera with her arms crossed in front of her.

Karen T. Dunton

Managing Editor

Gaye Hill smiling at the camera

Gaye Hill

Assistant Editor

Emily Parker smiling at the camera

Emily Parker

Writer

Cailyn Whitman smiling at the camera

Cailyn Whitman, ’18

Writer

Vanessa Harris smiling at the camera

Vanessa Harris

Art Director

Katie Bryant smiling at the camera

Katie Bryant, ’07

Senior Graphic Designer

Liza Bunce smiling at the camera

Liza Bunce

Web Designer and Developer

Kaylin Tsukayama smiling at the camera

Kaylin Tsukayama

Videographer and Photographer

Charlotte McKinney smiling at the camera

Charlotte Claypoole McKinney

Videographer and Photographer

Hilary Allen smiling at the camera

Hilary Allen, ’01

Alumni Connection Editor

Other Photographs by:

Gary Knight Photography

Flyboy Photo & Media

Meredith College Archives

Meredith College Students, Faculty, and Staff

Shannon Johnstone

David Timberlake

Kristi Eaves-McLennan, '14, MBA

Kristi Eaves-McLennan, '14, MBA

Executive Editor

Melyssa Allen

Melyssa Allen

Managing Editor

Karen T. Dunton

Karen T. Dunton

Managing Editor

Gaye Hill

Gaye Hill

Assistant Editor

Emily Parker

Emily Parker

Writer

Cailyn Whitman, '18

Cailyn Whitman, '18

Writer

Vanessa Harris

Vanessa Harris

Art Director

Katie Bryant, '07

Katie Bryant, '07

Senior Graphic Designer

Liza Bunce

Liza Bunce

Web Designer and Developer

Charlotte Claypoole McKinney

Charlotte Claypoole McKinney

Videographer and Photographer

Kaylin Tsukayama

Kaylin Tsukayama

Videographer and Photographer

Hilary Allen, '01

Hilary Allen, '01

Alumnae Connection Editor

Other Photographs by:

Gary Knight Photography

Flyboy Photo & Media

Meredith College Archives

Meredith College Students, Faculty, and Staff

Shannon Johnstone