Class of 2015 Selects President Jo Allen as Commencement Speaker


It is a tradition at Meredith for the senior class to select the speaker for their commencement.

This year’s speaker has special meaning to the class and to the College. The Class of 2015 has asked President Jo Allen, ’80, to give their commencement address.

President Jo Allen

Allen, the first alumna to serve as Meredith’s president, began her tenure as president in July 2011, just before the Class of 2015 moved in as freshmen. This special relationship with the class prompted their officers to extend the invitation to her.

“We asked Dr. Allen to be our commencement speaker because of her unique relationship with our class,” said Senior Class President Alexis Trell. “Her first year as president was our freshman year, so we have grown with her over the last four years at Meredith. She spoke at Fire and Water at the end of our freshman year, and it seemed fitting to ask her to speak again at our commencement.”

President Allen was honored by the Class of 2015’s request.

“I could not be more thrilled or humbled by their request.  I am so pleased that they see us as being on this important journey through four years together—and I couldn’t agree more,” Allen said. “I am sure I have grown and learned and appreciated the opportunities that Meredith offers every bit as much as they have and do.”

Trell and her classmates admire Allen as a leader, and appreciate her status as a Meredith alumna.

“She has done amazing things for Meredith and has worked to ensure that the College will continue to go strong into the future,” Trell said. “It is truly special to have an alumna as the president of our college. She understands the value of Meredith’s traditions and the sisterhood that comes along with it.”

President Allen said she has learned from the Class of 2015.

“As we have grown together, they helped me learn what the Meredith woman of 2015 really is—how strong, smart, savvy, and connected she is,” Allen said. “And I am so impressed with the caliber of our students’ character. I see deep moral and intellectual prowess in understanding the most complicated and challenging issues of our times. They inspire me in every possible way.”

Trell looks forward to hearing Allen’s commencement address.

“During this time of transition [for graduates], it is inspiring to know that she has been in the exact same position as us and has gone on to achieve incredible success for herself and for Meredith,” said Trell.

Meredith College will hold its 2015 commencement on Saturday, May 9, at 7 p.m. in Dorton Arena. The ceremony will be livestreamed at

Young Alumnae Board Easter Egg Hunt

On Sunday, March 29th, the Meredith College Young Alumnae Board hosted an Easter Egg Hunt for their spring family event. They had over 150 people in attendance for the egg hunt. There were lots of activities for the kids to enjoy which included hula-hoops, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and more. Of course the Easter bunny hopping in was a big hit and everyone got their picture taken. At the event, they collected items for Campus Kitchens which is a campus organization that prepares and delivers a weekly meal to children in the community. Many items were donated such as measuring utensils, baking sheets, mixing bowls, soap, cleaning supplies, and other various kitchen supplies. We would like to thank everyone for coming out and donating items to Campus Kitchens. We look forward to more events in the years to come!





ARMS Update

Greetings from the Office of Admission,

Spring is just around the corner!  It was definitely a busy fall for alumnae, so here are a few recruitment efforts that took place.

Fall Recruitment Focus Week
The Fall Recruitment Focus Week took place October 27-31.  There were 68 alumnae who e-mailed 403 prospective high school students encouraging them to apply to Meredith.  Many alumnae were from NC, but there were also alumnae from Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Colorado, and China who contacted prospective students.  Thank you for all your efforts!

“Let’s Talk about Strong” coffee chats
During the week of October 27-31, the “Let’s Talk about Strong” coffee chats took place for the first time in key out-of-state areas and Charlotte, NC to help boost applications.  Alumnae in Charlotte, Virginia, DC, and Maryland met with high school seniors to share their Meredith experiences and to encourage these young women to apply.  Several of these students ultimately applied to Meredith and were accepted.  We would love for these coffee chats to grow every year, so thank you to those alumnae who helped pilot this event for the first time!

What’s coming around the corner?

Spring Recruitment Focus Week
The Spring Recruitment Focus Week will take place during the week of March 9-13.  Alumnae will contact admitted students via e-mail and share their Meredith experience.  Our goal is for every admitted student to hear from a Meredith alumna.  This personal touch as well as an alumna’s personal story will certainly impact a student’s decision to choose Meredith.  Alumnae will also encourage students to attend Experience Meredith, our Accepted Student Day, on Saturday, March 21st.

As a reminder, if you know a student who would be a great fit for Meredith, please refer her via the online referral form here:  By referring a student, her $40 application fee will be waived if she applies to Meredith.

If you are interested in becoming an ARMS volunteer, please complete the online interest form here:  We would love to hear from you!

I look forward to working with all of you this spring!


Going Strong,

Anna Buryk ‘09
Assistant Director of Admission

Young Alumnae Board Oyster Roast

Oyster Roast Pic

On Sunday, February 22nd, the Young Alumnae Board hosted an Oyster Roast for young alums at Shuckers off Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh.  There was a great turnout! There were some amazing raffle items by Salty Girl Designs from Brooke Lupton, ’08, Waccamaw Pearls from Virginia Claire Tharrington, ’10, Sift with Style from Katie LeWare Humber, ’05, Southern Draw from Amber Johnson, ’10, The Middle Monkey from Anna Taylor Freeman, ’99, and Indigo Home. Stay tuned for details about the Young Alumnae Board’s fabulous spring young alumnae Social.

Message from President Allen

March 5, 2015

Dear Alumnae and Friends,

By now, you no doubt have heard the surprising news that Sweet Briar College, one of our women’s college sisters, is closing its doors as of August 31, 2015. Our hearts go out to Sweet Briar students and alumnae on the sudden loss of their beloved alma mater. As a champion of an all-women’s education, I am pleased to report that Meredith has become one of the institutions offering expedited transfer admissions to Sweet Briar College students.

The news about Sweet Briar comes on the heels of last week’s announcement that the Women’s College of the University of Denver will also be closing. At one time, the U.S. boasted about 270 women’s colleges; today, that number is fewer than 40.

All of the former women’s colleges seem to have followed a similar path of low enrollments, inadequate financial support, and ultimate decisions to close or go co-ed. As a Meredith alumna, I know first-hand the value of a women’s college education and reaffirm our commitment to remaining a women’s college.

As President of Meredith, I find it essential that our “Going Strong” brand is more than a catchy slogan. It is a reality based on extensive research and reflects the strength of our educational programs, enrollment, financial position, and reputation in the community and among top employers and graduate programs. Much of that support comes from you, and I could not be more grateful or proud that Meredith’s alumnae and the larger community have taken such extensive measures to preserve this beloved institution.

Through your support and the fine work of our faculty and staff, in fact, we have just enrolled our second largest class in history. We have just reached an all-time high in our endowment of $94 million, and we have just had our largest fund-raising year in history—all exceptional evidence that Meredith’s friends are powerful forces in ensuring the well-being and future of the College.

Many of you have asked, “Can I do more?” And the answer, always, is “yes.” Here are some ways you can help ensure Meredith’s long-term strength.

1. Financial support is always appreciated. There has never been a better time to double or triple your annual gift to Meredith. Cash gifts bring opportunities for immediate impact in programming, scholarships, facilities enhancements, and other critical needs of the College. On the other hand, making a long-term impact may appeal to those who would consider an estate gift or a planned remembrance. Please contact our Institutional Advancement Office at (919) 760-8060 or

2. Recruiting help is also appreciated. Meredith has made its reputation on its successes in helping strong women become even stronger. When you see a promising student, talk with her about Meredith. And please send us her name and contact information, and our admissions team will reach out to her. You can reach our Admissions Office at (919) 760-8581 or
Of course, your being a shining example of all the good that Meredith does is our best advertisement. We hope you talk about your Meredith experience with great fondness, highlighting exceptional experiences of rigorous learning in a supportive environment of faculty, staff, and friends. We hope you wear your class ring, and we hope you return for events throughout the year – and especially for your reunion years.

Next year, Meredith will celebrate her 125thanniversary. We are planning a week of events and celebrations for Founders’ Week in late February, culminating in a past-present-future gala event. Please make early plans to attend. Again, this is a great time to reconnect with faculty, staff, and your other friends.

Meanwhile, thank you for all you do to help Meredith continue going strong – and for all the ways you can help us become even stronger.


Jo Allen, ‘80

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