Photo of the Week!

Weatherspoon Gymnasium opened in 1970 with Meredith’s first indoor pool. The next year, a new group of synchronized swimmers, Floating Angels, performed. The swim team (later renamed Aqua Angels) has continued to delight audiences. The Spring Aqua Angels show has be rescheduled for Thursday and Friday April 14 and 15.  Both events will begin at 8pm. There is no admission charge for this entertaining event.

Founders’ Day Lecture

The Meredith College Alumnae Association
invites you to attend the

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Presidential Lecture Series featuring Dr. Maureen A Hartford

Monday, February 28th at 7:00pm
in Jones Auditorium, Meredith College Campus

President Maureen Hartford will lecture as part of the College’s 2011 Founders’ Day observance. Hartford, Meredith’s first female president, will discuss “Critical Thinking in Women’s Education.” She holds a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Arkansas, where her dissertation topic was “Profiles of Women Chief Executive Officers.” Hartford, whose career spans three decades of leadership in higher education administration and 12 years as Meredith’s president, will retire in June 2011.

Questions? Please contact the Office of Alumnae & Parent Relations at 919.760.8548 or alumnae@meredith.edu.

Photo of the Week!

1909 brought the first Founders’ Day, honoring Thomas Meredith (1795-1850) and celebrating the new name of Baptist University for Women: Meredith College.

At the 1966 Founders’ Day, as this photo shows, students honored him again by placing a wreath on his grave in Raleigh City Cemetery. The 75th anniversary of the 1891 charter of the College was also observed in 1966.

Let’s make the letter ‘C’ mean ‘Cookies’

In 2007 Gretchen Holt Witt, ’89 and her husband Larry learned that their precious two year old son Liam had a deadly form of pediatric cancer.  Their son, Liam was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma: a type of cancer that merely 30% of children survive. Stunned and frightened, they began to fight for Liam in every way possible.  Along the way, they were shocked to find out that pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children under the age of 18 yet is severely underfunded.  In December 2007, Gretchen and Larry founded Cookies For Kids’ Cancer, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funding for pediatric cancer research.  Their secondary goal: to make the letter ‘c’ mean ‘cookies’ – not ‘cancer’.

Cookies For Kids’ Cancer has been able to raise over 2.5 million dollars since its humble beginnings in 2007.  The organization has caught the attention of superstars such as Oprah Winfrey and Joan Cusack. They have even been featured on Live with Regis and Kelly, Good Morning America, CNN.com and in numerous publications such as the Washington Post, Parents, O, and Good Housekeeping.  All the while, behind the scenes Liam Witt continued his own battle against cancer.  In May of last year, Gretchen returned to Meredith College to deliver the Commencement speech to the class of 2010.  The Meredith College community was both honored and privileged to have their own real-life hero standing before them.  Her poignant speech inspired Meredith’s graduates to make a change in the world and to remain faithful and diligent no matter what the odds may be.

Sadly, on January 24th Liam lost his hard-fought battle with Neuroblastoma. His parents wrote, “Our dearest Prince could simply fight no more as his enemy had grown in size and strength. He fought fearlessly and relentlessly for 4 years… Our heart is broken and with it the ability to rationalize the rush of feelings that surround us.”  Prince Liam’s service took place on February 14th in New York City at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.  During the service, Gretchen spoke about the legacy that her son left behind, “When I think about my son, his life, his legacy and what he taught others, the message is clear:  it was love.   He lived his life with love as his true north.  Love for people, love for knowledge, love for living, love for life.  He truly lived to love.”

At the young age of six years old, Liam was somehow able to spark a revolution.  He has taught us how to live each day to its fullest, how to laugh and smile in the face of danger, how simple it is to make a difference and most importantly how to live a life full of love.  We post this story today in honor of our brave Prince Liam and our hero Gretchen Holt Witt.  We hope that you will be inspired to make a difference and change the world…one cookie at a time…

For more information on Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, click here.

Photo of the Week!

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Office of Alumnae Relations!

We hope that you’ll enjoy this week’s photo!

Students browse through the piles of flowers waiting to be picked up in Johnson Hall.

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