Save the Date for Reunion 2016!

The next Alumnae Reunion Weekend will be held May 13-15, 2016. All alumnae are invited to attend, but classes ending in a one or a six will be celebrating a special class reunion.

The following essay was written by alumna Janet Morris Belvin, ’70, as a reflection of her time on campus during Reunion Weekend this year. We hope that like Janet, you are able to join us at Alumnae Reunion Weekend to renew old friendships and to be reminded of why Meredith alums are Forever Strong.

The Class of 1970 – Forever Strong
By Janet Morris Belvin

When I left Meredith College in 1970 as a brand new college graduate, I was 21 with a teaching job already lined up. I weighed 125 pounds and didn’t have a wrinkle on my face, an extra pound on my torso, or a serious thought in my head. All I knew was that I was now free to be a grown-up.

Fast forward 45 years and things are slightly different. I’m now 66 and retired from a teaching job that put between two and three thousand middle and high schoolers in my classrooms over the years. I like to think I made a difference in their lives, but truthfully, I know there were some I couldn’t reach, some I could never help. My weight is…well, let’s just say it’s considerably more than 125 pounds and I have quite a few wrinkles and grey hair (if I don’t make my every-four-week appointment at the salon.) Those are all pretty negative things but the silver lining is that none of that mattered this weekend as I met with several dozen of my former classmates from the Class of ’70 for our 45th reunion.

This was one of many times I have gathered with the Meredith girls (it is a women’s college) but for the first time, it felt different. There was a spirit of joyfulness among all of us, a real feeling of gratitude that we had survived so much and were together again on that beautiful campus. I would venture to bet that at some point during the weekend, every one of us had a fleeting moment of desire to go back in time to when we were college girls again. Of course that time is lost (“temps perdu” as Marcel Proust called it in Remembrance of Things Past,) but the memories of those heady days in the late sixties were all around us this weekend. We might have wrinkles and grey hair, we might be battling cancer or Parkinson’s disease, we might have been dealing with aging parents or grieving lost loved ones, but for two precious days, we regained all those lost hours.

We were living again with suitemates and roommates in Vann or Stringfield or Faircloth or Heilman dorms. We wore Pappagallo shoes and Villager sweaters over our McMullen blouses. We listened to the Temptations and read To Kill a Mockingbird. We worked in chemistry labs or solved math problems. We went to fraternity parties at NC State or drove to Chapel Hill for our dates at UNC. Frantically, we typed our term papers on portable Royal typewriters provided by our parents who were still living and paying all our bills.

On campus, we sunned on the roofs of the breezeways (Skin cancer? Not us!) We attended our early morning classes in pajamas covered with our London Fog raincoats. No need to worry – there were no men in our classes. And in our sophomore year, a new tradition was born out of our rebellious and crazy natures – an original singing group called “The Bathtub Ring.” Forty five years later, there is still a Bathtub Ring on campus, but now you have to audition for it. The members of the original Bathtub Ring were on campus this weekend and serenaded all of the classes with their signature song, “Cigarettes and Whiskey and Wild, Wild Women – (They’ll drive you crazy, they’ll drive you insane.)” Needless to say the crowd went wild.

The last precious hours of our reunion were spent in hugging and laughing and promising to get together for our fiftieth, though I’d be willing to bet we won’t wait that long. Life has given us many lessons in the forty-five years since our graduation. We’ve married, divorced, given birth, buried parents and children, had careers, made homes, had spectacular successes and spectacular failures. But for the few hours when the Class of 1970 was together again on that magnificent Raleigh, NC campus, none of that mattered. We were ageless and time no longer mattered. All we knew for that wonderful weekend was that we were together and we had friends for life. Like the motto for our wonderful Alma Mater, we are “Forever Strong.”

Class of 1964’s Fiftieth Reunion Celebration in Sansepolcro, Italy

From April 13th through April 23rd, members of the Class of 1964 celebrated their fiftieth reunion in Italy. The trip included a stay at Meredith’s Palazzo Alberti in Sansepolcro as well as many excursions to nearby towns. Look for more details of their trip in the July issue of The Lux Alumnae Newsletter!

The travelers arrived in Florence, Italy, where they began their adventure.

The travelers arrived in Florence, Italy, where they began their Italian adventure.

Caroline Vaught McCall '64. Joy Adams Lucas '64, and Emmalee Harris Hughes '64 shopping in Florence.

Caroline Vaught McCall, ’64, Joy Adams Lucas, ’64, and Emmalee Harris Hughes, ’64, shopping at Mercato Centrale in Florence

Sue Ennis Kearney, '64 ...

Sue Ennis Kearney, ’64, at Dievole Winery

The travelers in Montecasale, where they toured St. Francis's favorite mountain retreat.

The travelers in Montecasale during a tour of Saint Francis’s favorite mountain retreat

Emmalee Harris Hughes, '64, in front of the Palazzo in Sansepolcro.

Emmalee Harris Hughes, ’64, in front of the Palazzo in Sansepolcro

Join the Young Alumnae Board at Flywheel!

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Calling ALL Meredith College Alums! Grab your water bottles and pearls! You won’t want to miss out on our private FlyWheel Event! Come FlyStrong with us on Sunday, May 31st at 2:30pm. We will meet up with fellow angels at FlyWheel in Cameron Village for a private ride and an amazing raffle, which include some items from b.good, Brixx, Moon & Lola, Busy B’s Monogramming, and 31 Bags. You’ll also get a racer back t-shirt! Come prepared for a good workout. Don’t worry about what to wear. Pick something comfortable for you. Shoe rental is included in the cost. Click here to preregister as spots are limited!

Class of 2015 Selects President Jo Allen as Commencement Speaker

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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 youtube.com/MeredithCollegeLive.

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!

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