Meredith Alumnae Awards Presented During Reunion Weekend

blog post 5.25.17Meredith College alumnae gathered on campus May 19-21 for Meredith Alumnae Reunion Weekend. More than 600 were in attendance for the weekend of events.

The Class of 1967 celebrated their 50th reunion and were inducted into the Golden Oaks Society at a luncheon on May 19. In her remarks, President Jo Allen, ʼ80, reminded alumnae of what Meredith was like during their time on campus, including world and state events and popular television shows. Allen concluded with a list of impressive careers from the Class of 1967. After reciting their oath, President Allen gave each alumnae a pin as a symbol of their membership to the Golden Oaks Society.

Friday evening all classes celebrated together in the Johnson Hall Rotunda and enjoyed music from the Fantastic Shakers in the courtyard.

Saturday morning alumnae awards were presented and President Allen gave a State of the College. President Allen’s talk covered issues in higher education, perceptions about private colleges, as well as a Meredith College update which included enrollment, facility enhancements, athletic accomplishments, and a Beyond Strong │ The Campaign for Meredith update.

In addition, Claire Sullivan Slaughter, ʼ72, president of the Meredith Alumnae Association, passed on her duties to Amanda Steele Johnson, ʼ96, who will serve in the role of two years.

Class meetings were held that afternoon and on Saturday evening individual classes held activities. The weekend concluded with a worship service in Jones Chapel and a brunch Sunday morning.

Congratulations to this year’s alumnae and philanthropy award recipients. Read more about this year’s recipients below.

Yvette Brown, ’90
Distinguished Alumna Award

Yvette Brown, ’90, was an outstanding student and leader at Meredith and through her professional work and community involvement she is educating the next leaders in the medical field.

Brown received her medical degree from Medical College of Pennsylvania. She is an obstetrician/gynecologist and the assistant medical officer for Keystone Women’s Care in Pennsylvania. She is a member of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association, and the American Association for Physician Leadership. She has also held positions as a board member of the Cumberland Valley Health Network, board chair of the Cumberland Valley Physicians, and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Brown enjoys teaching nursing students while performing procedures in the operating room and lectures at nursing conferences. She also provides sexual health education to college students.

Brown serves on the Meredith Board of Trustees and she and her family have established a scholarship for Meredith students. She has also served on the Meredith College Alumnae Board, Kresge Foundation Grant chairperson, co-chair of the Campaign for Meredith, and as a Meredith Leadershape speaker.

Kahran Myers, ’09
Recent Graduate Award

Kahran Myers, ’09, is making an impact on her community by using the knowledge she gained in the classroom at Meredith and at Charlotte School of Law to help those in need.

Myers is employed by Wells Fargo Bank N.A. as an operational risk consultant and is on the risk assurance and testing team. She is also a managing attorney for the law offices of T. Greg Doucette where she focuses on areas of business law, civil rights, criminal defense, civil litigation, contract drafting, and negotiation. Myers also works with Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights to offer pro-bono representation in Charlotte. That work led her to stand up and be heard in September 2016 when protests began in the aftermath of a fatal shooting of an African American man by a police officer. Myers risked her own physical safety each night, so that her voice could be heard through multiple media outlets to make sure the true story was being told. She live-tweeted during the demonstrations, did interviews with the BBC, CNN, multiple online publications, and was featured in an episode of The TD Jakes Show. In addition, she provided pro bono defense work to people unlawfully arrested while exercising their constitutional rights. Over the span of four days Myers displayed an immense level of compassion, strength, fearlessness, and resiliency. She made a real impact on her community and showed that she is a true representation of Going Strong.

Margaret Currin, ’72
Career Achievement Award

Margaret Currin, ’72, has had a well-respected and lengthy career of service in the justice and legal education professional field.

In 1976, Currin was the first person to enroll at Campbell University’s law school and as a student she clerked for the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. She graduated second in her class in 1979. Afterwards she went to Washington, D.C., to serve as a legislative assistant and counsel to U.S. Senator John Tower. Currin returned to Campbell in 1981 to serve as assistant dean of the law school and associate professor.

President Ronald Reagan nominated Currin to be U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina in March 1988 and she served until 1993. Following this appointment she returned to Campbell once again and taught law until her retirement in May 2013. During that time she established the Campbell Law Externship Program to give students experience in public service, non-profit, corporate, and pro-bono environments.

Currin has served the Raleigh legal community in numerous roles including president of the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys, chair of the Wake County Board of Elections, served as General Counsel for the state Republican Party, and represented political committees before the Federal Election Commission. She remains active in the N.C. and Wake County Bar Associations and serves on the N.C. Bar Association BarCares Board of Directors.

Ann Batson James, ’67
Meredith Philanthropy Award

Ann Batson James, ’67, has a strong commitment to Meredith College and supporting programs at Meredith that she holds dear.

For example, James and her husband, Allen, made a gift to support Meredith’s study abroad program in Sansepolcro, Italy, in honor of Betty Webb, one of Ann’s classmates, as well as in the memory of her aunt, Mary Alice Batson Ward, Class of 1937, who she affectionately called Aunt Sister.

As a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Ann is committed to historic preservation, so her gifts to The Meredith Fund are intended to care for Meredith’s historic campus.

James also supports the Class of ’67 Scholarship Fund, the president’s discretionary fund, the Meredith Legacy program, and has a planned gift.

James majored in home economics at Meredith and went on to earn an M.S. in rehabilitation counseling at East Carolina University. She has been a member of the Meredith College Board of Trustees since 2013, serving on the investment and outreach committees; is a member of the Meredith Legacy Scholars Committee, the Friends of Sansepolcro, and has served on the Human Environmental Services Centennial Committee.

Bobbitt Clay Williams, ’57
Meredith Philanthropy Award

Bobbitt Clay Williams, ’57, lives in Newport Beach, Calif., with her husband of almost 62 years, Bill. Williams majored in business administration and believes Meredith has directly contributed to the wonderful life she has led.

In 2015, Bobbitt’s husband wanted to commemorate the couple’s 60th wedding anniversary with a gift to Meredith. They gave a $1 million gift to name a space on the second floor of Johnson Hall the Bobbitt Clay Williams Executive Suite. The gift helped renovate Johnson Hall and moved all the College’s executive team to one area helping to centralize functions.

Bobbitt has been a devoted volunteer of her time, talents, and financial resources to causes such as the American Cancer Society, the Arts in Orange County, the Philharmonic Society, and the Catalina Island Conservancy.

In 2010, she received the Golden Baton Award from the Philharmonic Society of Orange County presented in recognition of outstanding commitment to the Arts in Orange County. In 2004, she received the prestigious St. George National Award from the American Cancer Society in recognition of her leadership in her community to eliminate cancer. She has helped expand the programs and services of the region and supported the Society’s mission through fundraising efforts. Her devotion of working with the organization began in 1982 after her brother passed away from cancer.

Meredith is grateful for her gift in the Beyond Strong Campaign and lasting impact students will experience when they come into Johnson Hall.

Josephine Cooper, ’67
Reunion Philanthropy Award

Jo Cooper, ʼ67, is a member of the Board of Trustees and co-chair of the Beyond Strong Campaign Steering Committee. Cooper has played an important role in guiding the Campaign with her expertise and for that Meredith is grateful.

Cooper has had substantial accomplishments in her life after majoring in business administration at Meredith and receiving her MBA from Duke University. Her career in public policy has been focused primarily on environmental and energy issues. Since her retirement from Toyota Motors North America as vice president for public policy and government affairs, she started her own consulting firm that provides crisis management, public policy, and communication services.

Cooper feels it is important for alumnae to figure out what they are passionate about at Meredith and remember what the College gave them during their time here and give to keep Meredith Going Strong.

The degree she has a great passion for is international business. She recently setup the Cooper International Business Travel Trust, a program that allows Meredith students and a professor to go to different countries during the summer to learn about their business practices.

She also supports the Lois Frazier Endowment for Women in Business, the Class of 1967 Scholarship, and the Meredith Fund.

Cooper recently gave her time on an alumnae panel at a “Strong Women to Success” event on campus, where students were able to hear her wisdom and panelists discuss the role of sponsorship and mentorship in their careers and how it has helped them be successful.

Photo Shows Yvette Brown, ’90, Kahran Myers, ’09, Margaret Currin, ’72, Ann Batson James, ’67, and Jo Cooper, ’67. Not pictured: Bobbitt Clay Williams, ’57. 

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