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A History of ^ 
Meredith College 

Carolyn C. Robinson 


The Vision Revisited chronicles the years 

of Meredith's history from 1971-1998, picking up 
the narrative begun so ably by Mary Lynch 
Johnson {A History of Meredith College [ist and 
2nd editions]). Since Meredith's chartering in 
1 89 1, the college has changed its name, its loca- 
tion, and, many times over, its faculty, staff, and 
administration, but Meredith has never aban- 
doned the high calling of its founders: namely, to 
provide women w^ith an excellent education in an 
atmosphere of strong tradition, complete academic 
freedom, and spiritual affirmation. Carolyn 
Covington Robinson has shown respect, both for 
the myriad changes necessary to propel a women's 
college into the 21st century and for the ties that 
bind Meredith to a rich past. 

This volume weaves a narrative tale that 
encompasses the whole of American society (wars 
and rumors of wars, political influences, fashions, 
trends, technological and scientific advancements) 
as well as the life that was and is Meredith 
College. Robinson's mission, clearly, is to see 
Meredith in a larger context, to eradicate the 
boundaries between pristine and often isolated 
academe and the culture at large. She records the 
visits of United States Presidents, of Supreme 
Court Justices, of famous historians, scientists, 
and artists, to show that Meredith is no longer — 
and no longer can be — neglectful of the political, 
sociological, and ethical controversies raging 
beyond the stately entrance fronting Hillsborough 
Street. She puts Meredith inside the mainstream of 
modern America and invites the world beyond this 
campus to look, see, and understand the influences 
that have shaped Meredith students and faculty. 

In her able hands, Meredith is re-seen, re- 
examined, re-assessed, re-visited. Readers will 
gladly follow Robinson's highway to the future — 
whether it leads through cyberspace or daily cam- 
pus life — to discover what the coming century 
holds for Meredith in particular and for women's 
colleges in general. Both as record and tale. The 
Vision Revisited proves endlessly instructive and 
fascinating. Even those who have never "visited" 
Meredith in the first place will feel that they are 
coming home to timeless truths about education 
and about culture as Robinson brings news of 
what — in poet William Butler Yeats' words — "is 
past, or passing, or to come." 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 




A History of 
Meredith College 


roil F G E ^'^ 


Published by 


3800 Hillsborough Street 

Raleigh, North Carolina 27607-5298 

Design and production by 
Morrisville, North Carolina 

©1999 by Carolyn C. Robinson. All rights reserved. 
Printed in the United States of America by 
Thomson-Shore, Inc. 

00 The paper used in this publication meets the minimum 
requirements of the American National Standard for 
Information Sciences — Permanence of Paper for Printed 
Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984. 

The photographs on the following pages were reprinted 
courtesy of Steve Wilson: 81, 152, 190, 245, 292. All other 
photographs are from the Meredith Archives. 

ISBN: 1-879635-01-1 

LC NUMBER: 98-89707 

10 987654321 


The College's most valuable history can be 

found in the minds and hearts of all who 

have passed through her doors. 





1971 I 7 


1972 I 20 

1973-I975 I 39 

4 "treasure in earthen vessels" 
I976-I980 I 69 

I981-1983 I 106 

6 morning's ENERGY 
I984-I985 I 134 

1986 I 155 

I986-1988 I 162 

1989-1990 I 192 

I991 I 216 

11 "a cloud of witnesses" 

1991-1993 I 233 



I993-1994 1 256 

1995 I 2.73 

1996-1998 I 300 


NOTES I 355 


INDEX I 375 


THROUGHOUT THIS WORK, I have feigned embarrassment at the number 
of pages allotted to Meredith's last twenty-seven years — only slightly 
fewer than historian Mary Lynch Johnson allowed for her more than a 
century-long record from the 1835 Baptist State Convention, when the 
idea of a female seminary was conceived, through 1972, when A History 
of Meredith College, Second Edition, was published. On the other hand, 
I have sincerely rejoiced in Meredith's competence and confidence as the 
College prepares to face a new millennium. It takes chapter and verse to 
account for survival — indeed the prosperity — of "the fittest" in an era 
of demise for many women's colleges. 

It also takes people who believe that the telling is worth the doing. I 
am profoundly grateful to President Weems and Vice President Spooner, 
who invited me to write this portion of Meredith's biography, to vice 
president and dean of the College emeritus, Allen Burris, who checked 
for correctness of research interpretation, and to Suzanne Britt, who crit- 
ically read each chapter as it groaned through the DeskJet printer. I also 
appreciate the senior management team's resistance to editing. 

Martha Harrell and Sharon Woodlief have been particularly helpful, 
as have the staffs of the Carlyle Campbell Library and of the Office of 
Marketing and Communications. From the hbrary, Ted Waller has en- 
couraged me even as I invaded the sanctity of the college archives, for 



which he is responsible; and from the Office of Marketing and Commu- 
nications, director Jeannie Morelock and graphic design manager Trisha 
Gwaltney have demonstrated great care in arranging for the production 
of this book. The wilHngness of the trustee chairman, administrators, 
academic department heads, and directors of administrative divisions to 
submit to formal interviews and of some trustees, faculty, staff, students, 
and alumnae to converse informally has added the personal dimension 
that is so typical of the college they represent. 

My only regret is that Meredith's family is too large to mention each 
member by name; the constraint has been genuinely painful, 



ASK MEREDITH WOMEN for college memories. Recent graduates will speak 
of friendships, of favorite professors, and, in this age of speedy transporta- 
tion and speedier communications, of going places and doing things. But 
among those whose student days spanned one of the college generations be- 
tween 194Z and 1986, many will recall with genuine pleasure the aroma of 
bread baking across Hillsborough Street from the campus. When the Won- 
der Bakery, successor to the old Royal Baking Company, stopped baking in 
the eighties to become a quick stop for buyers of day-old bread, it lost its 
power to penetrate the senses of the college community. Progress, or some 
other encroachment on the culture, had prompted the relocation of its 
ovens, their heady, yeasty fragrances now spreading nostalgia across some- 
one else's front lawn. But for almost half a century, Meredith women had 
breathed deeply of the leaven that permeated the whole of their college 

There's an analogy here. It begins with a parable of Jesus as retold by 
Matthew and Luke: 

Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like 
unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of 
meal, till the whole was leavened.^ 


The message gathers momentum as the disciples are called also to be salt 
and light in their society, and it continues through the ages as people re- 
spond through their churches and institutions to the promptings of their 
own spirituality. The late George Buttrick, a twentieth-century theolo- 
gian, Presbyterian minister, and seminary professor, wrote of leaven as "a 
silent agency"' — "[s]hrewd ears would be required to detect leaven busy 
at its task"; as an ''invisible and inward''' process — it "works by conta- 
gion, until the whole is leavened."^ 

CONSIDER MEREDITH IN the context of the parable and of the last years of 
the twentieth century. In 1971, when Mary Lynch Johnson's A History of 
Meredith College, Second Edition, left the book bindery and made its 
way into the hands of grateful readers and researchers, the nation was 
undergoing self-analysis following the assassinations of civil rights leader 
Martin Luther King, Jr., and of presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy in 

1968. We were adjusting to a new power — that of the youth culture — 
which seemed to be manifest in the 300,000 seekers of "peace and 
music" at the three-day Woodstock Festival in upstate New York in 

1969. It was the same exhilarating year of Neil Armstrong's walk on the 
moon. We found ourselves in an ongoing controversy — then known as 
Women's Liberation, later the Feminist Movement — which, after five 
years, was settling in as a permanent philosophy. We were immersed in 
the Vietnam War — already eight years old — the country's collective 
mind sometimes protesting against, sometimes supporting, the fighting 
forces in Asia, the Hawks and Doves at home. 

Those tumultuous days ushered in the seventies — a time of students' 
contagious restlessness and their financial supporters' shaken faith. East- 
ern cults, like the "Moonies" and the Flare Krishnas, stripped youthful 
seekers of their convictions and reindoctrinated them to new sets of be- 
liefs, and, from those tenacious groups, parents sometimes "kidnapped" 
their own children for deprogramming. In the throes of that culture, 
Meredith's President E. Bruce Heilman resigned and John E. Weems suc- 
ceeded him as the sixth president of the eighty-year-old college. 

Distracted by the planning and arranging of September inaugural fes- 
tivities surrounding the new president, Meredith people might have taken 
little note of a politically motivated break-in at Washington's Watergate 
Hotel in August 197Z. In fact, Americans were at first far more preoccu- 


pied with President Nixon's heralded visit to China than with the inva- 
sion of the Democratic National Committee's headquarters by a few Re- 
publican underlings. Later, however, the event and all its consequences 
consumed us for months on end, until, in 1974, the House Judiciary- 
Committee voted Articles of Impeachment, and Richard M. Nixon re- 
signed the presidency of the United States. 

Despite the nation's rapt attention to events in Washington, Meredith 
conducted its affairs as it always had — in the tension of change. In 1972, 
it launched a progressive continuing education agenda of enrichment op- 
portunities for both women and men and a re-entry program for women. 
Thus it became a true pioneer in the now-popular movement of adult ed- 
ucation. The program's impact could be measured a quarter century later 
by Meredith students, 21-25 percent of whom were above the age of 

But the nation could never measure the impact of the Vietnam War. In 
1973, ^ peace treaty was announced to a relieved world. Simultaneously, 
a battle of emotion and determination raged in state legislatures across 
the land as proponents and opponents of the Equal Rights Amendment 
raised their voices every way but in unison, and a stormy decade later, the 
ERA died for want of ratification; however, the Women's Movement had 
gained a foothold strong enough to witness, in 1972, African-American 
Shirley Chisholm's seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomina- 
tion; in 198 1, Sandra Day O'Connor's becoming the first woman ap- 
pointed to the United States Supreme Court; in 1983, astronaut Sally 
Ride's traveling in space; and, in 1984, Geraldine Ferraro's eagerly ac- 
cepting the Democratic Party's nomination for vice president of the 
United States. 

The thought of women's aspirations to such high places was almost 
foreign to the nation, as had been the idea of women's education to some 
North Carolina Baptists in the mid-to-late 18 go's. But in the decade of 
those bold political initiatives, Meredith trustees were perceived as not at 
all radical in electing the first female — Sandra Thomas — to a vice presi- 
dency. And discarding some of the social shackles of a bygone era, the 
College ceased its in loco parentis role but held firm to some of its social 
policies. The Honor Code remained an integral part of student life. 

In the United States, national honor was reborn in the celebration of 
the nation's Bicentennial in 1976. And early in its third century, America 


was, at least briefly, the focal point of nations as eyes turned toward 
Camp David, the Maryland presidential retreat, where President Carter 
encouraged long-time adversaries, President Sadat of Egypt and Premier 
Begin of Israel, to sign a "Framework for Peace." The new hope for the 
Middle East was dashed in 1979, however, by Iran's capture of American 
hostages and by a near meltdown of the nuclear plant at Three Mile Is- 
land, New York. The nuclear disaster somehow reminded us of the men- 
acing Cold War being waged between our nation and its allies and the So- 
viet Union and the Communist Bloc. But a glimmer of hope would again 
break through in 1985 when Russian President Chernenko's death paved 
the way for his successor, Mikhail Gorbachev, and President Ronald Rea- 
gan to agree to negotiations on nuclear arms control. By 1989, the Cold 
War would end, and, by 1992, so would the Soviet Union. 

Meanwhile, Meredith saw a need for post-baccalaureate work in areas 
not available to working women at nearby universities. And, as in many 
cases, past predicted future: In 1984, the College re-established graduate 
studies, a Baptist Female University feature that had lain dormant for 
most of a century. Two years later, federal laws on sex discrimination 
would call into question the legality of graduate work for women only. 
But once the dust settled, Meredith's singular commitment to women re- 
mained intact. 

The dust of society's unprecedented perplexities never seemed to settle, 
however: The national deficit climbed into the trillions of dollars; a rising 
crime rate and increased drug use alarmed citizens and law enforcers 
alike; and AIDS, a new and deadly disease, baffled the medical profession 
and thousands of suffering patients. On opposite sides of the globe, 
China's brutality toward the young demonstrators in Beijing's Tienanmen 
Square sickened human-rights advocates — as did apartheid in South 
Africa — while the emancipation of Eastern Europe, signaled by the fall of 
the Berlin Wall in 1989, was cause for worldwide rejoicing. 

Occurrences at Meredith might have dimmed in comparison, but on 
the campus of a small college, all events seem global. While the world 
hardly noticed, some Baptists and their institutions stood in distress — or 
sat helplessly by — as ultra-conservative members of the denomination 
planned and executed a takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention and 
many of its agencies. Educational institutions lost academic freedom and, 
in some cases, accreditation, as their boards of trustees were packed with 


extremists. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in neighboring 
Wake Forest was one of the first to succumb. Amid strong opposition 
from some leaders of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina — 
one of the few remaining moderate arms of the denomination — the alert 
administration and Board of Trustees of the College found a way to 
amend Meredith's charter, thereby fashioning its own "declaration of in- 
dependence." The resolution adopted on February zz, 1991, stated the 
board's intention to elect its own members — a privilege heretofore as- 
sumed by the convention — and "to further the purposes of the institution 
as they are stated in its charter." The action was a fitting reward for 
Meredith's century of educating women, for its unwavering determina- 
tion in the light of myriad cultural changes, for its confident leap into its 
second century. So the banner of academic freedom waved aloft as the 
College approached its centennial observance, beginning February zy, 
1991, and continuing for an entire year. In 1997, the trustees would dis- 
tance Meredith further from the Baptist State Convention of North Car- 
olina — so far, in fact, that the College would lose its monetary support 
from the organization of its founding. But in taking a step away from the 
Southern Baptist Convention of the nineties, Meredith took a step toward 
its true heritage of "freedom from sectarian influence."^ 

And now in the latter years of the twentieth century and the early years 
of Meredith's second century, the College has taken a quantum leap into 
the Information Age. Nineteen ninety-five was known as the "Year of the 
Internet.""^ The World Almanac and Book of Facts i^<)j estimated that 
"more than 30 million computer users populated this electronic global 
village lof one hundred countries] by late 1996 and that some 8 to 10 
million had access to the World Wide Web."^ 

But with all the instant electronic communications, society's struggles 
continued. In America's corner of the global village, we have contended 
with political gridlock in Washington; the effectiveness — or lack thereof 
— of elementary and secondary education; grade inflation in higher edu- 
cation; the judicial system; health insurance; homelessness; child abuse; 
terrorism; poverty; gun control; racial tension; and the morality of people 
in high places. We have heard cries of corruption fall on law enforcement 
agencies and on prisons that are populated with what many perceive to 
be an inordinate number of poor, young, black males. We have watched 
radicals pelt the airwaves with militia propaganda aimed at government 


conspiracies. Such anti-government theories apparently triggered the 
tragic bombing in 1995 of an Oklahoma City Federal building, in which 
168 workers and children died. In 1997-98, still more children lost their 
lives as middle- and high-school students used guns to settle their griev- 
ances on the school grounds. 

And, in the throes of this culture. President Weems has announced his 
plans for retirement. It is important to note that, in 1998, Meredith was 
one of only eighty-plus women's colleges remaining in the United States. 
In the late nineties, Raleigh neighbors Peace and St. Mary's chose to re- 
define themselves, Peace changing from junior to senior college status, 
and St. Mary's dropping its two-year college curriculum altogether while 
retaining its high school program. Many of the 300 women's colleges ex- 
isting in the sixties have closed their doors, and others have staked their 
futures on co-education. 

At Meredith, more than 50 percent of all alumnae have graduated in 
the last quarter century and have taken or are taking their places in soci- 
ety. As students, most were of traditional age and status, some older 
women; some Honors Scholars; some Teaching Fellows; some graduate 
degree seekers. They selected from new majors, degrees, and programs; 
they learned — and learned from — state-of-the-art technology in new or 
refurbished buildings; they meditated in campus gardens and worshiped 
in Jones Chapel; they demonstrated that "Meredith is the maturing of a 
woman";^ and they sat in classrooms of the teacher/role models then oc- 
cupying the earthly spheres vacated by their legendary predecessors who 
have graduated from this life. 

AND A MEREDITH alumna savors again the aroma of bread baking across 
Hillsborough Street as she returns to one of Buttrick's questions: "How 
far the leaven has penetrated who can tell?" and to his answer: "The 
process will continue until the whole is leavened."^ 


RALPH WALDO emerson's cssay on "History" asserts, "All history be- 
comes subjective; in other words there is properly no history; only biogra- 
phy." This volume, then, is the continuing biography of a college grown to 
adulthood. Its essence is the lives of a great many people — inhabitants of 
a century of change, climbers to the edge of an era of technological won- 
ders, interpreters of Meredith's vision of educating women for their times. 

The written biography began with Mary Lynch Johnson's A History of 
Meredith College, which introduced the College through the men and 
women who conceived it, nurtured it past its infancy, and guided it 
through its first sixty-five years. Published in 1956, the history was re- 
vised and reissued in 1972 to add events of the next sixteen years.* The 
second edition was too near publication to include the period of transi- 
tion in which the fifth president of Meredith resigned and the sixth as- 
sumed office. 

In the foreword, Dr. Johnson wrote of the resignation of President 
E. Bruce Heilman: "The swiftly moving, significant events of [his] admin- 

* Other Meredith histories include An Oral History of Meredith College Alumnae, 
catalogued in 1989 and compiled by Jean Batten Cooper, '54, as the thesis for her 
Master's Degree in Liberal Studies at Wake Forest University; and Images: a Centen- 
nial Journey, a pictorial history of the College, written by Suzanne Britt, instructor 
of English, and published by the Meredith Press in 1991. 


Historian Mary Lynch Johnson autographs for eager readers 
A History of Meredith College, Second Edition. 

istration required a long and important new chapter. As this section was 
virtually completed before he accepted the presidency of the University of 
Richmond . . . , no mention is made of that great loss to Meredith."^ 

Constraints of the publishing schedule also made it impossible for the 
historian to record more than a reference to the naming of a new presi- 
dent: "John Edgar Weems, vice-president for finance and administration 
at Middle Tennessee State University, was elected President of Meredith 
College on October 14, 1971. When he assumes office on January i, 
197Z, a new chapter will begin in 'the ever unfolding text' of Meredith's 
history."^ Before turning the page to the "new chapter" — the Weems ad- 
ministration — this history will better serve its readers and the college 
whose life it records to review the end of the Heilman years. 

Bruce Heilman accepted the presidency of the University of Richmond at 
2:00 P.M. on March 26, 197 1. The official announcement reached Mered- 
ith an hour later in a special convocation, when Shearon Harris, vice chair- 
man of the Board of Trustees, read a statement from Dr. Heilman: 

Today a decision which has come about over a period of some three 
months is being culminated. I regret that I cannot personally trans- 


mit the details to you, but find it necessary to be on the campus of 
the University of Richmond, where ... I am to be elected President 
of that institution, effective September i. . . . 

I came to Meredith because I saw a grand opportunity. I have been 
committed to spending my life here if that proved appropriate, . . . 

Actually, I have not finished my task and will continue to provide 
the best leadership I know during the next five months. While you 
may not look to me for long-range decisions, we can together con- 
solidate and fulfill and move to action plans already made and de- 
cisions already reached.^ 

One of the "decisions already reached" affected Leslie Syron, department 
chairman for sociology, one of the first two scholars to participate in the 
recently funded sabbatical leave program.* Dr. Syron later wrote, "Who 
at Meredith . . . can forget the snow and sleet that upstaged both Bruce 
Heilman's resignation and my departure for London? Cliff Cameron's 
plane could not land, so a substitute announced [Heilman's] resignation; 
but my plane took off for the first stage of a longed-for sabbatical."^ It 
was late for snow, but old-time Raleighites could remember wintry bites 
of past springs. And although C.C. Cameron, chairman of the Board of 
Trustees, could not reach Raleigh from Charlotte, Harris, a resident of 
the capital city, relayed the breaking news. 

Heilman returned from his short stay in Richmond long before Syron 
ended her study at the University of London. He attended to unfinished 
tasks with his usual exuberance and, by way of the Alumnae Magazine, 
reflected on his years at the College: 

Meredith is ... a great institution. Her people, including those hun- 
dreds who have been her students over the years, are an outstanding 
example of the best to be assimilated into a society which needs 
their kind[s]. The campus looks even more beautiful as I think 
about leaving it, the facilities measure up in an even more impres- 
sive fashion as I compare them with institutions of like kind. The 
community in which it lives is unparalleled. The spirit which exudes 
from within and without is unlike any I have witnessed anywhere. 

* According to historian Mary Lynch Johnson, the trustees had adopted "a system of 
sabbatical leaves" in Dr. Campbell's administration but had not funded it until 1970. 
Under the new system, William Ledford, chairman of the Department of Foreign 
Languages, had traveled in Spain during the first semester (MLJ, History, 335-336). 


Expectation runs high. Financial circumstances are perhaps the best 
they have ever been. Enrollment is at its peak. The administration 
and faculty are able to fulfill the commitments of planning already 
completed, and trustee leadership is the best. 

I know now^ better than I could have known when I was looking 
to the future as a part of Meredith, that I believe my own propa- 

In the same magazine, alumna and trustee Laura Weatherspoon Harrill, 
'27, majored on some of the president's specific accomplishments: contin- 
uation of high academic standards; increases in faculty compensation by 
5Z percent; sabbaticals; an increase in the number of faculty with doc- 
toral degrees; and an expanded student body, whose numbers rose by 44 
percent "with no significant change in quality by the usual measures."^ 

Almost immediately following Heilman's resignation, the presidential 
selection committee of trustees set out to find his successor. L.M. Massey 
chaired the committee of Shearon Harris; Elizabeth James Dotterer, '30, 
of Sanford; Nelson Strawbridge and W.J. Broadwell of Durham; Seby 
Jones of Raleigh; and C.C. Cameron of Charlotte. Also, consultants to 
the selection committee represented other segments of the Meredith fam- 
ily. Academic department chairmen Sarah Lemmon, history; Roger 
Crook, religion; and David Lynch, music, served with Sally Horner, as- 
sistant professor of chemistry, for the faculty. Craven Allen Burris, dean 
of the College; Joe Baker, business manager and treasurer; John T. Ka- 
nipe, Jr., executive director of development; and Mary Bland Josey, di- 
rector of admissions, served for the administration. Edith Stephenson 
Simpson, '48, past president of the Alumnae Association, was liaison for 
the alumnae and Gail Knieriem, president of the Student Government As- 
sociation, for the student body. Dr. Lemmon chaired the committee of 

As President Heilman's moving date approached, the executive com- 
mittee of the Board of Trustees designated Dean Burris as acting presi- 
dent, granting him the full powers of the presidency. Almost a quarter 
century later, Burris, who had come to Meredith in 1969, remembered his 
dual role as a "mammoth task," saying he should have appointed an act- 
ing dean. But, as freshman Margaret Farmer observed, "This . . . was a 
time in which the students became more familiar with the dean and more 


appreciative of his humor and good leadership. Anyone who had to 
search the whole of Johnson Hall to find Dr. Burris was certainly made 
aware of the complexity of his position."^ In fact, Meredith students soon 
solved, for themselves at least, the puzzle of where, when, and how to lo- 
cate him: "When he was upstairs, he was the president, and when he was 
downstairs, he was the dean!"^ 

The president's move upstairs occurred during the 1970 renovation of 
the administration building. Since Meredith's relocation in 1926 from 
downtown Raleigh to its present campus several miles to the west, the li- 
brary had occupied the second and third floors of Johnson Hall, and the 
president had administered college policies from the first floor, east wing; 
however, the library's exodus in 1969 to a new facility, named in honor of 
Carlyle Campbell, had permitted the practical expansion of offices down- 
stairs in Johnson for the dean, the registrar, and the business manager, as 
well as the creation of a spacious upstairs suite for the president. And 
with the sometimes-irreverent irony of youth, students immediately 
observed the president's having positioned his offices off the rotunda's 
second-level balcony and directly below the inscribed words of Jesus: "I 
am the way, the truth, and the life." 

Meanwhile, Dean Burris encountered additional changes in the way 
and the truth of his life. After the executive committee had named him 
acting president, the trustees also drafted a proposal to amend the by- 
laws, changing Burris's permanent title from dean to vice president and 
dean of the College; Baker's from business manager and treasurer to vice 
president for business and finance; and Kanipe's from director of devel- 
opment to vice president for institutional advancement. The amend- 
ments, introducing the title of "vice president," would clearly define the 
organization of and the responsibilities within the administration. As the 
College had grown in size and scope, directors had served under direc- 
tors, possibly confusing outsiders — and insiders — who had little or no 
knowledge of the job descriptions and flow charts. At its semi-annual 
meeting on September 24, the full board approved the actions of the ex- 
ecutive committee. 

The trustees made another significant decision that day. At the sugges- 
tion of the administration and faculty, W.H. Westphal, chairman of the 
instructional programs committee, discussed the "growing importance of 
women" in business and industry. His committee had come to believe, he 


Bryan Rotunda, following the renovation of Johnson Hall in i9'/o. 

said, that Meredith needed "to move toward a B.S. degree," allowing 
"more flexibility to . . . graduates in the areas of science, mathematics, and 
home economics."^ On Westphal's motion, the trustees authorized imple- 
mentation of the Bachelor of Science degree" by the regular due process 
... at the most advantageous time,"^° thereby resurrecting an option that 
had been buried for thirty-three years. The College had granted the B.S. 
from 1914-26 to students in such specialized subjects as home economics 
and general science; from 1931-33 to prospective teachers seeking certifi- 
cates in elementary education; and from 1932-38 to music majors. 

Following the productive meeting, the trustees joined faculty, staff, 
students, and guests on the east campus to put another house in order — 
that of the recently completed E. Bruce Heilman Residence Hall. While 
under construction, the building had been called "New South," but when 
seniors occupied it in October 1969, they dubbed it the "Heilman 
Hilton." On that September day in 197 1, however, Meredith gave the res- 
idence an official name and dedicated it in honor of the fifth president of 
the College. Although former President Heilman had assumed his duties 
in Richmond only three weeks earlier, he and Mrs. Heilman, with their 
five children, returned for the ceremonies. 


IN ITS EIGHTIETH charter year, the College braced itself for an onslaught 
of societal changes in "the real world" — as students everywhere deemed 
all existence beyond campus confines. But Meredith seemed to be in good 
hands under its acting president, its astute trustees, its experienced and 
dedicated faculty, administration, and staff. Financial support had made 
possible the construction of not only one residence hall but of two. En- 
rollment was up. Bright promises seemed to beckon the College into the fu- 
ture as the community reveled in the commencement just past, when 
Meredith awarded degrees to its largest class of 220 seniors; when Suzanne 
Reynolds became the first graduate to earn a 4.0 average on all academic 
work; when Gv^ndolyn Matthews Hilliard made history as the first 
African-American to receive a degree at Meredith; and when the senior 
class gave a precedent-setting initial gift of $7,000 to endow a visiting 
lectureship in honor of LiUian Parker Wallace, professor of history, 
1921-62.* Beyond year-end ceremonies in May, eleven high school stu- 
dents enrolled in the inaugural Summer Study/College Credit for High 
School Students, and seven of those young women apphed for admission 
in August of 1972. 

The season of firsts continued to the end of the semester as seniors 
Marjorie Moore Council, Ann Victoria Googe, Renee Elks, Sara Joyce 
Munden, and Marjorie Jo Anne Weaver basked in the glory of not only 
completing their requirements for graduation but also for being the first 
Meredith students to receive certification by the Council on Social Work 
Education. The recently approved constituent membership in the council 
distinguished Meredith as the only private college in North Carolina to 
merit that accreditation. In fact, at the time, Meredith and Baylor Uni- 
versity were the only Southern Baptist institutions with CSWE-approved 

But as euphoria soared on the campus, gloom settled over higher edu- 
cation in general. In the first place, Americans were in the doldrums be- 
cause of a sluggish economy. Also, they smarted under the previous year's 
violence on the nation's campuses. A faint glimmer of light was appear- 
ing, however, according to a 1970 entry in the Encyclopedia of American 
Facts and Dates: 

*Dr. Wallace died sixteen days after the Class of 1971 established the endowment in 
her honor. 


The unrest that had disturbed colleges throughout the country in 
1970 was largely dissipated and there were no occurrences of the vi- 
olence that had so shocked the nation, such as at Kent State Uni- 
versity in Ohio [when the Ohio National Guard killed four students 
in a Vietnam War protest]. Many major problems still confronted 
educational institutions. The National Science Foundation reported 
that federal aid to colleges and universities was the lowest since 
1966, with education also being caught in government budgetary 

While Meredith received no federal funds, except for financial assistance 
to students, nor was it particularly vulnerable to "government budgetary 
considerations," it was certainly aware of the nation's economic prob- 
lems. And while the College experienced no violence or uncontrolled 
protests among its student population, it was attentive to trends. 

The Alumnae Magazine departed from tradition to run in the June 
edition an insert from Editorial Projects for Education, Inc., titled "Are 
Americans Losing Faith in Their Colleges?" The article suggested an 
almost-unprecedented reluctance on the parts of individuals, businesses, 
and governments to fund the nation's colleges and universities. Student be- 
havior, including a flagrant disregard for "traditional values," and the in- 
ability of authorities constructively to channel the new activism allegedly 
undermined the public trust. The magazine material predicted dire conse- 
quences for "the smaller and less affluent colleges."^- This report followed 
an earlier study by the Carnegie and Ford Foundations titled The New De- 
pression in Higher Education, which showed Meredith "as one of 12 out 
of 41 institutions considered not in financial trouble, or at least not in 
jeopardy of failing to do acceptably that which she is seeking to do."^^ 

While Meredith was "not in trouble" in those days of soaring infla- 
tion, the faculty — temporarily, at least — felt the economic pinch in its 
collective pocketbook. Members of that body heard unwelcome news at 
their September meeting from business manager Joe Baker, who declared 
that "salary checks to be distributed on September 24 will reflect no 
raises for those who began work under a new contract after August 15, 
197 1 . . . ."^"^ To comply with President Nixon's "New Economic Policy," 
and as part of a nationwide effort to reduce inflation and unemployment, 
the College was required to freeze wages for ninety days, effective August 


15. Baker assured the faculty, however, that he would find "some legal 
way to grant the raises contracted for . . . ."^^ He found the way through 
attrition and allowable small cost-of-living increases. 

In addition to the economic concerns of his colleagues and to the in- 
nate dynamics of academe, Dr. Burris faced the clamor of a student body 
eager for independence. Student demands were doubtless inspired, in 
part, by the June 30 passage of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution 
of the United States, which lowered the voting age from twenty-one to 
eighteen years. Meredith women had returned for the fall semester with 
self-determining hours on their minds. The year-old student life commit- 
tee of the Student Government Association had proposed that the closing 
times of 11:00 p.m. on Monday through Thursday nights, midnight on 
Fridays, an hour later on Saturdays, and 11:30 on Sundays be replaced 
with hours that students, with their parents' permission, set for them- 
selves. The committee's lines of responsibility resembled those of Con- 
gress to the President of the United States: Changes in regulations must 
survive the committee, the student body, and, finally, the president's veto 
pen before becoming the law of the campus. 

The Twig promoted self-limiting hours early in the fall term when 
Susan Van Wageningen concluded an editorial with the question, "Is 
Meredith a baby-sitting agency or an institution of higher learning? "^^ 
On the same page, an editorial cartoon depicted a well-dressed, serious, 
young woman, who balanced in her hands the issue of self-limiting hours 
against that of responsibility, each matter registering equal weight. In 
contrast, a later edition carried a caricature of the acting president, ap- 
parently by the same unidentified student artist, showing Burris measur- 
ing the proposed rule change against his rejection, with rejection far out- 
weighing the student proposal. Not until the spring semester, after the 
new president's arrival, were self-limiting hours adopted, and then only 
on an experimental basis for seniors living in "North" dormitory. A year 
later, the policy became law campuswide. 

On-campus concerns were not the exclusive thrust of the Twig, either 
by news item or editorial. Issues such as the Vietnam War; inflation; a 
residue of nationwide student unrest on the one hand, apathy on the 
other; and the fledgling movement known as "women's lib" invited 
analyses of philosophies, traditions, and authority. Behind the scenes, 
however, the Twig staff found difficult and time-consuming the week-to- 


week grind of publishing a paper. Early in the semester, editor Van Wa- 
geningen penned "A Cry for Help," in which she chastised students for 
leaving the publishing of their newspaper to the "efforts of three or four 
students," and in which she complained of "a heavy heart, tired eyes, sore 
fingers from typing, and a compounded migraine headache."^'' 

If apathy prevailed in the newspaper business, energy abounded in 
other matters. For example, Cornhuskin', the twenty-six-year-old au- 
tumn festival, prompted fierce competition between classes. And the fac- 
ulty joined the fray. Each class adopted a theme, developed it, and pa- 
raded it before their peers. Coveted awards for original songs, tall tales, 
hog-calling, corn-shucking, and apple-bobbing were steppingstones to 
the big prize of Cornhuskin' itself. At its beginning in 1945, Cornhuskin' 
was a simple distraction from the routine of campus life, but by 1971 it 
consumed students for weeks prior to its occurrence. Reporter Anne Wall 
commented on the competition under the Twig's headline of "Juniors 
take Pumpkin[;] Sophomores place second": 

The emotions of Meredith students are mixed; Juniors are elated 
over a victory; Seniors are elated over being close to 'getting out'; 
Sophomores want to know why the Freshmen didn't play by the 
rules; and the Freshmen would still like to know what the rules are. 
The Juniors and Freshmen tied in script. The Juniors cut no one; the 
Freshmen cut Sophomores; the Sophomores cut women; the Seniors 
cut Meredith tradition and the faculty cut themselves. It was, to say 
the least, a cutting experience. . . }^ 

An editorial in the same issue questioned the spirit of the tradition: "Must 
the students rely on constant criticism of existing conditions to provide a 
theme? . . . When the theme is developed at the expense of unduly criti- 
cizing conditions or even individuals, the whole concept of Cornhuskin' 
is distorted." ^^ The Twig both refuted and confirmed "distortions" in fu- 
ture versions of the competition. In 1972, Cornhuskin' was touted by ed- 
itorialists Eleanor Hill and Janice Sams as having been "much more in 
line with the general 'fun' concept than some have been in years past . . . 
where the scripts and costumes have bordered on sheer repulsiveness."^° 
Two years later, a letter to the editor from student Meredith McGill de- 
nounced the tradition for causing "division and ill feelings." She offered, 
"Please, let's keep Cornhusking Isic], but let's keep it in its place."^' 


Another major event each autumn was the semi-annual Meredith Play- 
house production. While the College produced plays in both the fall and 
spring, it had not until 1971 offered a musical. The play was The Sound 
of Music. Margaret Farmer wrote, 

Behind the polished and delightful production seen by a tremen- 
dous audience were hours of work unparalleled by any previous 
Playhouse presentation. In the hopes of having at least ten children 
try out, Mrs. Linda Bamford linstructor of speech and theater, 
1970-75], placed in the paper an advertisement which brought the 
response of seventy-five children competing for seven parts.^^ 

Religion professor Bernard Cochran played Captain Georg Von Trapp. 
Students in the cast included Susan Tew as Maria; Nancy Crews as Liesl; 
Patsy Johnson as Mother Abbess; Ann Goodson as Baroness Elsa 
Schraeder; and Lissy Wall, Jeanie Alford, and Elizabeth Triplett as Sisters 
Berthe, Margaretta, and Sophia, respectively. 

The "cast" of the Alumnae Magazine, published quarterly, changed dra- 
matically that fall when Norma Rose, longtime professor of English and 
chairman of the department, resigned as editor, a post she had occupied 
since the magazine's inception in 1946. The winter issue carried the name 
of Carolyn Covington Robinson, '50, as successor to Dr. Rose. Then di- 
rector of alumnae affairs, Mrs. Robinson was Meredith's first director of 
publications and had been a member of the magazine staff since 1968. 

As magazine editor, Mrs. Robinson shouldered a few additional re- 
sponsibilities — few indeed compared to those of Jane Greene, '29, assis- 
tant librarian for twenty-six years, who had agreed to undertake for one 
year supervision of the Carlyle Campbell Library's entire operation. Miss 
Greene seemed to be the obvious choice to succeed the retiring Hazel 
Baity, 'z6, head librarian since 1940. Greene was one of a larger-than- 
usual number of new administrative staff directors who filled vacancies in 
1971: Paul Holcomb, J.D., succeeded Charles Patterson as director of es- 
tate planning; Gene Phillips, B.D., followed Charles Parker as campus 
minister; Jean Teague, A.B., became director of student activities; and 
Marie Capel, M.Ed., created the guidance and placement service. Not ex- 
clusively Meredith's staff member, but with an office on the campus, 
M. Austin Connors, Ed.D., became director of Cooperating Raleigh Col- 
leges, the consortium of Meredith, Peace, St. Augustine's, and St. Mary's 


Colleges and North Carolina State and Shaw Universities, which had 
been coordinated from its inception in 1967 by John A.Yarbrough. 

THE DYNAMICS OF change drive colleges and universities. But sometimes 
life-altering ideas subtly point institutions in new directions over time 
while simpler and more tangible developments seem immediately to en- 
ergize the community. Such was the case with creative uses of the year-old 
Weatherspoon physical education building, which housed Meredith's first 
indoor pool. In the fall semester, a new group of synchronized swimmers 
performed its premiere, Once Over Lightly, attracting an audience of 
more than two-hundred people, including Herbert Weatherspoon, whose 
generosity, with that of his family, made the new building possible. Fran 
Vandiver, instructor in physical education, organized and directed the 
show. The swim team later named itself "Aqua Angels" and became a reg- 
ular among Meredith's various performing groups. 

In every academic year, there seemed to be almost as many groups — 
some organized, some not — on the campus as there were individuals. All 
composed the college community. Carlyle Campbell, fourth president of 
Meredith, said, community is "at the heart of civilization, social history; 
civilization began when someone said 'let's' [and] T became 'we.' "-^ And 
when a member of the community excelled, the "I" was applauded by the 
"we." Such was the case when Carol Grant, a freshman in 1971, received 
a national March of Dimes Award in Atlanta on October 8 for her "tire- 
less efforts" in educating the public about birth defects.^'* Not only had 
she chaired the state's Teen Action Program (TAP) in 1970, but the fol- 
lowing year, she was also elected Young Adult Chairman for the North 
Carolina chapter. She had fought a losing battle to end freak shows at the 
State Fair in 1968 but was successful in inspiring the State Legislature in 
1969 to pass a bill "prohibiting the exhibition of children under the age 
of 18 [who have] birth defects."^^ Born with phocomelia (shortened 
arms), Grant also wore braces on her legs. Following her graduation in 
1975, she earned a master's degree as well as a doctorate in rehabilitation 
counseling at East Carolina and Southern Illinois Universities, respec- 
tively. Late in Jimmy Carter's term as president of the United States, he 
appointed her to the national Architectural and Transportation Barriers 
Compliance Board, and she was in line to chair the board when Carter 
lost his bid for reelection to Ronald Reagan. 


Although Meredith had previously accepted physically challenged stu- 
dents, it enrolled Carol Grant as the Federal and State Governments v^ere 
demanding reasonable access to buildings and other facilities. Joe Baker 
reported the College's having modified a bath, changed one room, and 
built some ramps for her. "From that point on, within another year or 
tw^o, we had to have ramps and access routes . . . and elevators for build- 
ings of three or more floors."-^ 

UNDER THE PRESS of responsibilities. Dr. Burris might have imagined his 
term as acting president was longer, but he wore the mantle of chief ad- 
ministrator only from September through December. On October 14, 
1971, two months after Burris's appointment, L.M. Massey, chairman of 
the presidential selection committee, called a special meeting of the board 
to present the committee's top prospect. By way of the candidate's re- 
sume. Dr. Massey introduced the vice president for finance and adminis- 
tration at Middle Tennessee State University, recommending "the election 
of John E. Weems as the sixth president of Meredith to take effect on Jan- 
uary I, 1972."^^"" Dr. Weems was elected by unanimous vote. 

Chairman C.C. Cameron announced the news to reporters: "We feel 
fortunate in securing a man of Dr. Weems's experience and expertise in 
the field of higher education who can continue to lead Meredith toward 
academic excellence, financial stability and service."^^ Weems, who was 
also present for the announcement, said, "I am very impressed with the 
tradition of academic excellence at Meredith, and I am particularly im- 
pressed with the high calibre of students here and the obvious dedication 
of the faculty."^^ 

On the following day, Friday, October 15, the college community met 
the new president in convocation. On stage with him to receive a wel- 
coming ovation were his wife, Frankie Gooch Weems; their daughter, 
Nancy, 10; and their sons, John Mark, 17, and David, 12. 

^Although the college catalogue has, from 197Z, listed Craven Allen Burris as presi- 
dent between Drs. Heilman and Weems, minutes of the Board of Trustees indicate 
that John Edgar Weems was elected by the trustees as the sixth president and was so 
introduced at his inauguration, both by the chairman of the Board and by the 
printed inaugural program. 


CARLYLE CAMPBELL, PRESIDENT of the College from 1939-66, offered 
timeless insights into the evolution of institutions like Meredith. On 
Founders' Day of 1966, the year of his retirement, he said. 

When we consider such institutions as Meredith in historical per- 
spective, we are likely to have two distinct, immediately conflict- 
ing, reactions: first, of the immense changes in circumstance and 
procedure, so obvious and so pervasive as to create a feeling of 
sharp contrast between the past and present; then, on deeper re- 
flection, a recognition of an underlying consistency and integrity of 
purpose which make these transformations secondary to the con- 
viction that both past and present are but successive chapters in an 
ever-unfolding text. 

In 1972, the text unfolded, and a new chapter began. 

John Edgar Weems was thirty-nine when he was elected president of 
Meredith College. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, he chose George 
Peabody College in his hometown for his undergraduate as well as his 
graduate education. Upon receiving the Bachelor of Science degree in 
1953, with majors in economics, business administration, and education, 
he was one of seven young men selected by Proctor and Gamble to par- 
ticipate in the company's executive training program. But after two years, 



he returned to Peabody, earning the Master of Arts degree in administra- 
tion of pubhc education and business education before joining the faculty 
of Atlantic Christian (now Barton) College in Wilson, North Carohna. 
Later he moved into administration as director of admissions and place- 
ment, soon adding the duties of student personnel services to his v^ork- 
load. In 1959, he accepted the position of dean of admissions and records 
at Kentucky Wesleyan and, in 1961, carried the same title to Middle Ten- 
nessee State. There he implemented a system of computer registration 
that w^as adopted as the model for Tennessee's entire state-supported sys- 
tem of higher education. 

Again in his home state, he resumed work toward a doctorate in ad- 
ministration of higher education, his dissertation dealing "primarily with 
institutional research designed for making sound administrative decisions 
in higher education."^ Peabody awarded him the Doctor of Education de- 
gree in 1965. Meanwhile, promotions at Middle Tennessee State ac- 
corded him a deanship and then a vice-presidency. At the time the trustees 
tapped him for the Meredith presidency, Dr. Weems was responsible for 
all areas of Middle Tennessee State's administration except for the faculty 
and student personnel divisions. 

When the Weems family moved to Raleigh, they and Meredith were 
not strangers. Between his introduction in October and his arrival in Jan- 
uary, the president-elect had several times met with students and other 
members of the community. But once he made the permanent move, his 
calendar was filled. One of his early commitments was to deliver the Jan- 
uary commencement address back at Middle Tennessee State. And he was 
frequently on the speakers' circuit for Meredith groups that were vying 
for opportunities to make his acquaintance. He received a cordial wel- 
come. In fact, when he addressed the Durham-Hillsborough Alumnae 
Chapter, Mayor Fred Cates of Hillsborough announced that the town 
council had named Weems honorary mayor. 

Over the course of the next several months, the College more or less 
dictated the president's schedule. Early in the year, he joined the executive 
committee of the Board of Trustees in a meeting called to accept a chal- 
lenge gift of $150,000 from trustee C.C. Barefoot and Mrs. Barefoot, and 
to recommend to the full board that "New North," the twin dormitory to 
Heilman, be named Barefoot Residence Hall. 

Also in January, the Lectures in Religion series featured Elton True- 


blood on one of his several visits to the campus. A Quaker, philosopher, 
and author, Dr. Trueblood was "probably the best known American 
writer in religion."^ His work dealt primarily with the philosophy of reli- 
gion; and as he developed his topics at Meredith — "The Future of the 
Christian Faith" and "The Development of an Honest Belief" — he ap- 
plied his philosophy to the culture of the period. 

The annual January Religious Emphasis Week was "always a spiritu- 
ally significant experience in the school year."^ The 1972 version was pro- 
moted on the front page of the Twig under the bylines of students Judy 
Yates and Dianne Reavis: "In an age of cold reason saturated with flaring 
emotions, riot, and unrest, one may not feel that it is so great to be alive. 
But we of REW (Religious Emphasis Week) have chosen to celebrate the 
hopeful aspects of life.""^ Ed Christman, guest theologian and chaplain at 
Wake Forest University, advanced the theme of "What a Great Day to be 

It would not have been far-fetched to adapt the theme of that Religious 
Emphasis Week to the annual Founders' Day observances, as celebration 
was usually the mode. At his first Founders' Day on February 25, Weems 
presided over a morning convocation observing Meredith's eighty-first 
charter year and featuring an address by Henry Hall Wilson, president of 
the Chicago Board of Trade. In a ceremony emulating a portion of the 
first Founders' Day in 1909 — the year in which Baptist Female University 
became Meredith College — a coterie of people traveled to old City 
Cemetery downtown to place flowers on the grave of Thomas Meredith, 
the founder whose name the College adopted. Celebrations continued 
through an evening banquet honoring C.C. and Kilty Barefoot for having 
given "the second largest gift from . . . individuals to the Meredith Ad- 
vancement Program."^ With the Barefoots, both for dinner and for the af- 
ternoon dedication of Barefoot Residence Hall, were their five daughters, 
two of whom — Barbara Barefoot Smith and Beverly Barefoot Ceglia — 
are alumnae of the College. 

The importance of Meredith's seventh residence hall would be mea- 
sured by the number of its occupants. Already full, Barefoot Hall had 
brought resident enrollment to 1,102 that year. Mary Bland Josey, who 
was alert to numbers as they applied to the economy, had projected the 
need for an incoming freshman class of 340-365. But actual enrollment 
exceeded expectations. She reported. 


As of May 15, 1972, it looks as if the freshman class, including day 
students, will be about 370-375 in number. With 1,125 former 
and new resident students having paid advance deposits . . . , plans 
have been made to use the eighteen spaces on the second floor of the 
infirmary for resident students, and a waiting list for new students 
has been started.^ 

A full house was also expected for the highly anticipated three-day 
symposium on "Urban Life and the Political Process," a March event 
that promised as keynote speaker the Honorable Shirley Chisholm, 
representative from the Twelfth Congressional District in New York. 
Congresswoman Chisholm, having aspired to higher political achieve- 
ment, had declared her candidacy for the Democratic presidential 
nomination, the first African-American woman to seek the highest 
elective office in the land. Following the symposium, at which the can- 
didate spoke to more than 1,300 people, the Twig trumpeted, "A fast- 
talking Shirley Chisholm breezed into North Carolina Monday. . . ."^ 
An overnight guest in the Mae Grimmer House, Chisholm invited the 
alumnae office staff to join her for early-morning conversation and 
coffee. Her white male secretary issued the invitation and brewed the 
coffee. In those days, few male secretaries could be found in Meredith's 
neighborhood; and the idea of a white male's serving a black female 
was a phenomenon. It still is. Although Chisholm would lose her 
party's nomination, she would gain advocacy for her cause to end 
racial and gender bias. 

The thirtieth annual Alumnae Seminar preceded the symposium by 
four days. Co-sponsored by the Alumnae Association and the Depart- 
ment of Psychology, the one-day event featured Martha S. Grafton, dean 
emeritus and acting president of Mary Baldwin College. Mrs. Grafton's 
address, "Women's Lib: a Second Look," was among the early speeches at 
Meredith to focus on the women's movement of the seventies. Crediting 
the then-current crusade to Betty Friedan's nine-year-old fiery treatise. 
The Feminine Mystique, Grafton taught a history lesson: 

Women's Liberation, a movement which can be considered almost 
as old as humanity . . . ranks along with war, civil rights, law and 
violence, and ecology as one of the prime concerns of the decade, 
... If today's feminist movement came out of the civil rights move- 


ment, as many think, the first drive was closely associated with abo- 
lition of slavery and [with] temperance.^ 

Gender was not a concern at the student-faculty basketball game in 
March, but competition was fierce. The students won 34-32, despite the 
eighteen points scored by religion professor Bernard Cochran. Ellen 
Bullington, a reporter for the Twig, wrote, "The faculty had a slight 
height and a considerable weight advantage, plus their star. Dr. Cochran. 
Dean Burris showed great ability with his fantastic drop shots, and well- 
placed lay-ups. He also demonstrated a talent for giving the ball to the 
wrong team. . . ."^ 

The focus shifted from student-faculty relations to student-family re- 
lations when Wayne E. Oates, professor of psychology at Southern Bap- 
tist Theological Seminary, addressed the subject at a Meredith Christian 
Association (MCA) forum and again when mothers, fathers, siblings, and 
other kin came visiting for Parents' Weekend. The recently formed Par- 
ents' Association convened its second annual meeting on a Saturday, but 
the top attraction of the day was the crowning of Springs Queen, Nancy 
Crews, and the presentation of her court. ""' 

Meanwhile, back at the president's residence, the Weemses spared no 
efforts to open their home to guests, both the curious and the altruistic. 
President Weems reported, 

This house has been tested and put to use. In a brief three-month 
period more than three thousand people have been invited into our 
home for entertainment in one way or another. These occasions 
have ranged from casual dinners for other couples, to formal din- 
ners for twelve, to seated dinners for the entire faculty, to a large 
buffet for the total senior class, to receptions for five hundred. ^° 

The first president's residence on the campus, the Massey House was 
named in honor of trustee Luther M. Massey and his wife, Vivian Daw- 
son Massey, who contributed the initial funding toward its construction. 
Ground was broken on Founders' Day 1971, and the spacious and ele- 
gantly appointed residence was waiting when its first occupants, the 

'•'The Celebration of Spring replaced the forty-five-year tradition of May Day in 
1971, and a spring dance concert, first staged in 1975, replaced the traditional May 
Day and Springs Court dances. 


Weems family, arrived to claim it as their home. Dedication of the house 
was scheduled for President Weems's inauguration day. Special guests 
would include Dr. and Mrs. Massey; their daughter, alumna Carolyn 
Massey Kitahata, '51; and the many donors of rooms, furnishings, and 

But months before the inauguration, the College bustled with year-end 
activities. Surprised students welcomed a dinner-hour distraction in early 
May when United States presidential hopeful Senator Terry Sanford 
dropped by the dining hall to campaign for the Democratic Party's nom- 
ination. The Twig singled out his response to one of the burning issues of 
the day: "Sanford favors immediate withdrawal of troops [from Vietnam] 
while supplying the necessary economic aid for rebuilding of the devas- 
tated country. . . ."^^ 

Sanford's visit closed the books on politics, at least until after com- 
mencement. But the College opened its new History of Meredith College, 
Second Edition, by Mary Lynch Johnson as alumnae made their annual 
pilgrimages back to the campus for Alumnae Day. Eager readers crowded 
the Massey House to claim copies of the revised history for themselves 
and to honor the author at an autograph tea. At the same time, guests 
toured the new residence and met the Weemses at home. 

Coming "home" herself, Nancy Blair Viccellio, '35, addressed the 
alumnae at their annual meeting. In fact, much of commencement week- 
end honored alumnae, who played second fiddle only to the seniors. Dr. 
Johnson was in the spotlight both as author of the history and as honoree 
of the Class of 1972, whose gift to the College was the establishment of 
the Mary Lynch Johnson Library Enrichment Endowment. With a con- 
tribution of $z,ooo and a commitment from its members to designate fu- 
ture gifts to the endowment principal, the class specified that "Annual 
earnings . . . will be used for acquisition of learning resources, with pref- 
erence being given to needed periodicals."^^ 

Mary Yarbrough, retiring chairman of the Department of Chemistry, 
also received multiple honors. She and Charles Tucker, assistant professor 
of sociology, were named Outstanding Christian Educators, an annual 
award created by Greensboro's First Baptist Church and later funded by 
the Parents' Association. Dr. Mary, as she was affectionately known to 
generations of students, and Mabel Claire Hoggard Maddrey each re- 
ceived an Alumna Award. Yarbrough was again recognized in com- 


mencement exercises when President Weems announced receipt of a be- 
quest toward an endowment to establish the Mary E.Yarbrough Chair of 
Chemistry. The letter of intent, dated April 12, 1970, and addressed to 
"President, Meredith College," contained moving personal words: 

I am not acquainted with you nor you with me, and you will never 
know me as you will not receive this letter until after my death. My 
daughter, Helen Davie Bedon, was a graduate of Meredith as a 
chemistry major in 1945 and went on to receive her Ph.D. degree in 
this field and to teach chemistry. She loved the college and also Miss 
Yarbrough dearly. . . . [My daughter] died in 1966.^^ 

Also on Class Day, the Saturday preceding commencement, the Col- 
lege dedicated the Margaret Bright Gallery of Class Dolls. Located on the 
third level of Johnson Hall's Bryan Rotunda, the gallery displays as many 
dolls as there have been graduating classes, beginning with 1902. Each 
doll, dressed by the class it represents, reflects the culture of its time. A 
gallery visitor finds the sedate young woman of the early 1900s and the 
flapper of the '20s; the flower child of the '60s and the feminist of the 
'70s; the casual woman of the '80s and the career woman of the '90s. 
Dorothy Loftin Goodwin, '47, who inherited Miss Bright's responsibility 
for and care of the collection, reminded Alumnae Magazine readers that 
Miss Bright, the first caretaker of the dolls, died in June 1969, "after hav- 
ing attended every commencement, beginning in 1903, when she had en- 
rolled as a freshman at Baptist Female University. . . .^'^ 

While the College would remember Class Day for celebrations, hon- 
ors, and dedications, it would remember graduation day, in part, for the 
rain that doused the best of plans. The ceremony, set for Elva Bryan 
Mclver Amphitheater, was quickly shifted to Jones Auditorium, a situa- 
tion that necessitated a tight squeeze for all. Possibly more than one per- 
son in Jones that day recalled the previous year's commencement exer- 
cises in Weatherspoon Gymnasium, when folding chairs supplemented 
the bleachers' seating capacity of 670, and a malfunctioning electrical 
system — some said it was body heat — triggered the fire alarm. Although, 
after a moment of uneasiness, the audience reacted calmly, the 197 1 grad- 
uation event was the first and last scheduled for the gym. 

Threat of fire was rarer than threat of flood, but the fact remained that 
commencement crowds had outgrown the seating capacity of Jones Au- 

A NEW CHAPTER: I972 I 2-7 

ditorium. In both years, however, the seniors were as thoroughly gradu- 
ated as if they and their famihes had been more comfortably accommo- 
dated. In 1972, the 213 candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree and 
the 13 for the Bachelor of Music heard the Reverend J. Dewey Hobbs, 
minister at the First Baptist Church of Marion, North Carolina, preach 
the baccalaureate sermon in the morning and the Honorable Naomi E. 
Morris, judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, deliver the com- 
mencement address in the afternoon. At the end of the day then, and even 
before his inauguration. President Weems had survived an entire semester 
at Meredith. 

SUMMER IS THE shottcst distance between two terms. But after every com- 
mencement, the College experiences a few interminably long and bleakly 
silent days of closure before preparations for another semester begin. 
Once the inundation starts, the campus is awash with reminders of the 
brevity of the season: summer school; special interest camps for young 
people; workshops for older people; the refurbishing of a dormitory; or 
the modernizing of a classroom building. 

In the summer of 1972, the new Cate Center attracted much of the at- 
tention. In the heat of a southern July, the student store, lovingly known 
as the Bee Hive, moved — lock, stock, and textbook — from its old, 
frame, termite-infested quarters to its sleek, new home across the campus. 
The center would also house other student-related facilities, but not until 
construction was more nearly complete, possibly in October. When the 
trustees met in September, President Weems urged them to tour the build- 
ing. "It's like a visit to the 21st century," he boasted. ^^ 

Space was a precious commodity. When movers exited the Bee Hive 
with the last boxes of No. 2 yellow pencils and blue, spiral-bound note- 
books, the art department, with "print-making supplies, ceramics, and 
power tools {implementa electrica)" entered the forty-six-year-old relic, 
"formerly the rear section of the auditorium, circa 1926-1949."^^ The 
home economics department also claimed a portion of the old "tempo- 
rary" building's stockroom for refinishing furniture. 

While the campus hummed with summer activities, some Meredith 
people were thousands of miles away. For example, William Ledford, 
chairman, and Katalin Galligan and Helen Daniell of the foreign lan- 
guage department conducted special studies in Spain and France. Dr. Led- 


ford's group centered its work in Madrid, while students of Drs. Galligan 
and Daniell studied in Paris and Nice. These forerunners of the Meredith 
Abroad program allowed students to earn special studies credits. 

Other summer events were unrelated to the College except that they 
occurred there. Some visitors participated in Project Help; some in the 
Southern Baptist Convention-sponsored Journeyman Program; some in 
football, basketball, cheerleading, and majorette clinics; some in a Family 
Life Education conference; and some in a Latter Day Saints retreat. 
Summer-school students and equitation enthusiasts swelled the overall 
seasonal population to 3,000. 

Meanwhile, another college catalogue went to press; textbook orders 
congested the book store; the housing staff paired freshman roommates; 
prospective teachers came for interviews; long-time faculty revised 
courses; the dining hall served three meals a day; a mammoth new com- 
puter — Meredith's first — was fifted by crane to Johnson Hall's third 
floor; the inauguration committee met frequently; and the College hon- 
ored the Baptist State Convention staff and Raleigh's Baptist pastors and 
their families at a fourth annual picnic. And plans took shape for Mere- 
dith's pioneer program in continuing education. Dean Burris cited the 
self-study of 1968 as having originated the idea for the program. The 
study, he said, showed "a great deal of vision as to where Meredith ought 
to go to meet the needs of women in modern society."^'' 

A PIONEER IS one who conquers a frontier. The definition applies not only 
to the College and its new program but also to Anne Clarke Dahle, '54, 
the first coordinator of continuing education. After several years of teach- 
ing, of working as a computer programmer, and of rearing her children, 
Dahle earned a master's degree in mathematics at North Carolina State 
University. "In the process," she said, "I was really struggling with how 
hard it is for women who have been out [of school] to find a place to get 
back, how to do it, what to do."^^ Through her career in continuing edu- 
cation, as coordinator and later as director of the successful re-entry pro- 
gram, that early experience seemed to have translated into a calling. 
Through the next twenty-two years, her passion would be to guide other 
women in their searches for "a place to get back, how to do it, what 
to do." 

Dahle began her work in the fall, and, by spring, continuing education 

A NEW CHAPTER: 1972 I 29 

offered three enrichment courses: one in reUgion and one in art, taught 
by department chairmen Roger Crook and Leonard White, respectively, 
and one — a study in historic preservation titled "Saving Yesterday for 
Tomorrow" — developed by Emyl Jenkins of Raleigh. Two decades later, 
Dahle would recall that "We had a number of newcomers to Raleigh sign 
up for [the latter]. They are now leaders in historic societies; I see their 
names [in print] from time to time."^^ 

The continuing education program was already functioning when the 
faculty convened for an August workshop to hear Robert E. Stoltz, di- 
rector of the regional office of the College Entrance Examination Board 
(CEEB), predict problems soon to face higher education. One factor that 
Stoltz introduced was a sure decline in the national birth rate; therefore, 
he said, colleges must "consider new [applicant] pools — especially adult 
and part-time students ."-° Meredith, the pioneer, had already blazed the 
trail. That first year, the College put in place a new option for admission 
of high school graduates who were over twenty-three years of age. Waiv- 
ing regular requirements, it would accept the women as degree candi- 
dates, but only after satisfactory completion of fifteen hours of work. 
Two women enrolled under the plan. One of the two, Eugenia Sealey 
Cross, graduated; whereas, in the two decades from 1976-96, 857 re- 
entry women earned undergraduate degrees under the plan. 

In a sense, every member of the college community is a pioneer, con- 
sistently reshaping the institution. In 1972, the College reflected on the 
influence of former English department chairman Julia Hamlet Harris, 
who had retired in 1952 and died in 1965. Dr. Harris had left the greater 
part of her estate to Meredith. A terse entry in the minutes of the execu- 
tive committee of the Board of Trustees for August read, "It was an- 
nounced that the Merit Scholarships of Meredith College would be con- 
tinued and the names of the Merit Scholars would be changed to Julia 
Hamlet Harris Scholars to honor a long-time faculty member . . . who has 
endowed these scholarships through a bequest from her estate."^^ The 
Twig offered further details: Harris "bequeathed the College her estate of 
$135,000 with the request that the gift be used for scholarships for 
promising and deserving students."-- During the process of renaming the 
scholarships, Eleanor Edwards Williams, '37, a former student of Dr. 
Harris's, looked at and beyond the generous bequest: "In leaving her 
monetary estate to Meredith College," Williams wrote, "Dr. Harris added 


a powerful postscript to her generous giving of herself as scholar, teacher, 
and friend. Naming the Honor Scholarships in her memory was like giv- 
ing a proper title to an heroic poem." Williams recalled another image of 
her former teacher: "She taught culture by presence. . . . Her entrance 
into a room somehow made the ceilings taller." ^^ The Class of 1950 
would further honor Harris's memory by its gift in 1975 of a portrait of 
the long-time English professor. The painting by artist Hallie Siddell of 
Raleigh stands on an easel in the Harris Rare Books Room of the Carlyle 
Campbell Library. 

THE COMINGS AND goings of the scholars who teach are among the dy- 
namics of academe. While the two new department chairmen appointed 
in 1972 had joined the faculty in the sixties, they were accepting new re- 
sponsibilities, new challenges. Clara R. Bunn, assistant professor of biol- 
ogy, assumed the role of acting chairman of her department in January 
1973, while John Yarbrough, who had held the post since 1943, was on 
sabbatical leave. A member of the faculty since 1969, Dr. Bunn earned 
the A.B. in chemistry at Meredith and the M.S. and the Ph.D. in biology 
at North Carolina State. The trustees would name her permanent chair- 
man in March 1973. 

Sally M. Horner, assistant professor and new chairman of the Depart- 
ment of Chemistry, taught at Meredith for the 1965-66 term and re- 
turned in 1967. She succeeded Mary Yarbrough, who retired after thirty- 
four years. At the time of her appointment. Dr. Horner was on sabbatical 
leave for research in X-ray crystallography at Duke. She began her un- 
dergraduate work at Meredith, but both her B.S. and Ph.D. degrees came 
from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Horner's predeces- 
sor, "Dr. Mary," would continue to teach. 

As surely as academic people come and go, academic programs evolve. 
The 1972-73 catalogue offered for the first time an arrangement with 
American University in Washington, D.C., for Meredith students to par- 
ticipate in a Washington Semester, "which introduces students from all 
over the nation to a first-hand study of American politics." The same cata- 
logue listed Special Studies — Community Internship — for the first time. 
(Additional options, such as Independent Study, Directed Independent 
Study, Honors Thesis, and Group Study have appeared in subsequent 
course listings.) And Dean Burris reported that future catalogues would 


likely offer business and economics courses to "prepare Meredith stu- 
dents for higher management positions in industry."^'* 

In that era, the predicted impact of the computer on future generations 
of teachers, students, and programs was probably more theory than fact. 
Meredith's foray into computer technology was in the form of IBM data 
processing, primarily for use in the business office but a boon also to the 
offices of institutional advancement, the registrar, and the president. 

Little, if any, argument arose as to the usefulness of computers, the re- 
naming of scholarships, the appointment of new department heads, or 
the creativity of some academic offerings, but much debate erupted in the 
August faculty meeting over a motion to allow student membership on 
the Academic Council.* The pros clamored for democracy, while the 
cons decried a confusion of responsibilities and raised the recurring ques- 
tion: If instructors were ineligible for membership, why should students 
be eligible? After two postponements, the faculty cast ballots in Decem- 
ber, defeating the proposal by a vote of 33-28. 

Voting was a hot topic that fall. The pending presidential election, pit- 
ting incumbent Republican Richard Nixon against Democratic Senator 
George McGovern, produced campus polls showing that seventy-five per- 
cent of faculty responders supported McGovern for his stance on the 
Vietnam War, honesty in government, the economy, and the environ- 
ment.^^ As for students, the numbers were uncertain, except to the extent 
that "A relatively higher proportion of underclassmen support President 
Nixon than upperclassmen," as reported in the Twig}^ 

Freshman Kathy Hall voted in Wake County that year, although her 
parents lived in Edgecombe County. Eager to cast her first ballot after the 
voting age was lowered to eighteen, she, like many students nationwide, 
took seriously the opportunity. In October 1971, she tried to register to 
vote in a Raleigh precinct, but the registrar refused her application on the 
grounds of residency requirements. Hall appealed to the Wake County 
Board of Elections and again was rebuffed. Undaunted, she carried the 
matter to Superior Court, where Judge Coy Brewer heard her case de 
novo, but not before she had opened a bank account in Raleigh and 

*At the time, the Academic Council comprised departmental chairmen but later 
developed a policy whereby members could not succeed themselves in successive 
three-year terms. (Conversation w^ith Dean Burris, February 8, 1994). 


changed her address on her driver's Ucense and college records from her 
parents' home in Tarboro to Stringfield Hall, Meredith College. When 
Judge Brewer ruled in her favor, the Board of Elections appealed to the 
Supreme Court of North Carolina, arguing that Hall v^as in Raleigh only 
to attend Meredith; that she went home for holidays; that her parents 
paid her tuition; that her grades went to them; that she had personal 
property, including her dog, in Tarboro; and that her church membership 
was in her hometown. But the Supreme Court of North Carolina ruled in 
her favor. Its proceedings for March 15, 1972 read. 

After certification for initial appellate review, the Supreme Court, 
Sharp, J., held that finding that student had abandoned her former 
domicile and had acquired new one in place where she was attend- 
ing college supported judgment that she was entitled to vote in such 

More of Justice Sharp's opinion is on record: 

Whether a particular student is entitled to register and vote in the 
town where he or she is attending college must be determined by the 
application of the rules stated herein to the specific facts of that in- 
dividual's case. Decision here relates directly to the plaintiff only. 
This is in no sense a class action.^^ 

Hall admitted to full knowledge of the use of absentee ballots, but she 
chose the more challenging route to the voting booth. While she did not 
"fix" the problem for all college students, she set an example of working 
within the system. 

On a much broader scale, the Vietnam War seemed to be the rallying 
point behind political unrest. But history notes that the conflict divided 
the country in off years as well as in election years. Apparently, it was the 
major cause of student rebellion, and one of the epidemics of that rebel- 
lion was the use of mind-altering drugs. In 1971 the trustees had reaf- 
firmed a previous policy: "Meredith College students shall not possess or 
use drugs illegally on or off campus. Any known violation shall result in 
suspension or expulsion."^^ In 197Z, Dean Marie Mason issued the re- 
sults of a survey of students in area colleges. At Meredith, 670 responses 
out of 1,000 students surveyed revealed that one percent had used drugs, 
presumably marijuana, on the campus and 13 percent outside the college 

A NEW CHAPTER: 1972 I 33 

confines. Dr. Mason interpreted the percentages as "extremely low as 
compared to other campuses in the city."^'^ The alleged violators were un- 

While drug use seemed to be escalating everywhere, other symptoms 
of youthful unrest began a slow but steady decline. Sophomore Janice 
Sams participated in a protest demonstration at the State Capitol in April 
and compared student attitudes of the day with those of the recent past: 
"Gone was the violence (perhaps as a result of Kent State); gone was the 
blatant intolerance to speakers; and gone was the real urge to chant ob- 
scene slogans." Instead, she wrote, "there were pleas for students to reg- 
ister to vote and to exercise that privilege. There were pleas for united pe- 
titions from universities and colleges in response to the war, and pleas for 
these institutions not to support the 'war companies' who manufactured 
'dead bodies.' "^i 

Conveying the gentler demeanor of students nationwide, Meredith 
women seemed to reflect "a more relaxed attitude than in previous years," 
according to a discussion among the trustees. "There is no indication that 
they are less concerned about the problems of the world than they have 
been before, but their general attitude concerning the methods of bring- 
ing about change appears to be different."^- Change did not occur by os- 
mosis; conscious efforts aided and abetted the evolution. For example, 
the Student Government Association sponsored a leadership workshop 
aimed at "decreasing campus 'unrest' and increasing campus interest and 
cooperation."^^ And a desire for harmony spurred black students to seek 
a united voice in campus life, resulting in a new club called "Black Stu- 
dent Unity." Dispelling speculation that the new sisterhood would isolate 
the sixteen African- Americans on campus, the organizers stipulated that 
"white students would be eligible for admission later."^"^ The small but ac- 
tive minority population sought a cultural awareness that would chip 
away at racial bias. 

Interestingly enough, this period was one of students' growing concern 
for the wider community. Meredith women had traditionally offered their 
time and talents in service projects but, by 197 1, the College saw the need 
systematically to match students' interests to the community's require- 
ments. Leslie Syron, chairman of the service-oriented sociology depart- 
ment, accepted the challenge of coordinating service activities, publishing 
in 1972 Meredith's first Directory of Volunteer Opportunities. The pam- 


phlet listed twelve agencies and, in some cases, several areas within an 
agency in which students volunteered. 

One special community project did not precisely fit the categories iden- 
tified in the directory; rather, it called for a cooperative venture between 
Oakwood, a Raleigh neighborhood in transition, and the College. The 
old Victorian homes in Oakwood, which had surrounded Meredith's 
original campus, were being refurbished by homeowners abandoning the 
suburbs. Challenged by the neighborhood's new residents and the Oak- 
wood Garden Club, Sarah Lemmon envisioned a project and developed 
a proposal uniquely suited to Oakwood and to the history and sociology 
departments. She and her counterpart in sociology. Dr. Syron, believed 
that if the old neighborhood knew and understood its history, it would be 
better armed "to battle the destructive forces of inner city decay that often 
follows urbanization."^^ So some of Meredith's history and sociology ma- 
jors would amass data on "the origins of the Oakwood neighborhood, its 
growth and development, its original inhabitants, and the identification 
and description of the area"^^ for a study on "Value Development in Tran- 
sitional Oakwood." The proposal caught the imagination of the North 
Carolina Committee for Continuing Education in the Humanities, and 
the organization funded the project. Dr. Lemmon said, "It is hoped that 
a humanistic approach to the phenomenon of urbanization may ease the 
tensions of change ."^^ 

As the College strengthened ties with the community, it also reaffirmed 
its association with North Carohna Baptists — descendants of those who 
had founded the institution almost a century earlier — through a program 
of competitive scholarships for Baptist young women. The admissions of- 
fice developed the idea, and the director defined it as an arrangement 
whereby a need-based, renewable award of $ioo-$i,ooo per year would 
be available to one entering freshman from each of the ten Baptist asso- 
ciational regions in North Carolina. 

The relationship between the College and its community seemed to 
perptuate a mutual confidence. Similarly, a step-by-step relaxing of cam- 
pus regulations implied a deepening faith in the wisdom of the Meredith 
student. For example, she could at last choose whether to attend Wednes- 
day worship services. And she was required to be present for only one 
convocation each week. 

That generation was also the first in a long time to read the Twig as a 

A NEW CHAPTER: 1972 I 35 

weekly rather than a bi-weekly publication. The initial issue of the fall 
term announced the change. The staff of the four-page paper kept up the 
pace, as promised, perhaps recalling with a touch of envy a special eight- 
page edition compiled the previous spring by a Western Civilization class. 
An editorial in the March 30 issue had read. 

As members of Dr. Parramore's Western Civilization class, we have 
been poked, shoved, and driven in desperation to the realization of 
the importance of being well-informed. This issue of THE TWIG is 
the result of our efforts to help you know a little more about your 
college, your state, and your country. . . . THE TWIG desperately 
needs your active participation to become the true voice of Mere- 
dith. This issue is an attempt at catching your attention, at provid- 
ing you the opportunity to take a stand.^^ 

Thomas C. Parramore, professor of history, who came to Meredith a 
decade earlier, was perhaps the most outspoken faculty member — publicly, 
at least — against student apathy and for student responsibility. 

While it tried subtly to teach responsibility, the College also deter- 
mined to practice it. Fiscal accountability was not the least of its con- 
cerns. President Weems told the trustees that the Association of American 
Colleges "predicts that 48 percent of the nation's private, accredited four- 
year colleges and universities will exhaust their liquid assets over the next 
decade." He added, 

So immense has the problem become, in fact, that some fund raising 
officials recently came forth with the assessment that nonprofits 
need upward of $50 billion by 1975 just to stave off disaster. 

Nonprofits are cannibalizing their endowments, not to build 
grand and glorious edifices nor to fill the first violinist's chair, but 
simply to keep running on a day-to-day basis. ^^ 

But Meredith postponed the financial doomsday as foretold by the prophets 
until some unnamed tomorrow. President Weems warned, however, that 
the College would "require $144,000 additional each year to maintain 
[its] present . . . expenditure level.'"*^ His statement followed Vice Presi- 
dent Baker's optimistic report to the faculty that Meredith had experi- 
enced an exceptional year, the restricted endowment and investments to- 
taling approximately $1,8 million.'^i 


Vice President Kanipe looked ahead to Phase 2, of the Meredith Ad- 
vancement Program (MAP), which would add to the endowment coffers. 
Phase I, he said, specified a goal of $5,000,000 for capital funds, and 
more than $4,200,000 had already been committed.'*^ 

INAUGURAL FESTIVITIES BEGAN on September 21, a cool, rainy Thursday. 
Dinner in Belk Hall preceded an adaptation of television's popular This is 
Your Life to the life of the new president. The John Weems Show, hosted 
by Mary Jean Burton and written by Gloria Smith and Karen McLean, all 
juniors, ran the gamut from hilarious to sentimental. But David Lynch, 
chairman of the music department, restored a measure of formality and 
ended inauguration eve with a recital on the Cooper Organ in Jones Au- 

Thursday's wet weather caused some consternation for the inaugura- 
tion committee, chaired by Dr. Lemmon, The ceremonies were set for the 
Elva Bryan Mclver Amphitheater because no indoor facility on the cam- 
pus could accommodate the "family," much less friends; expected repre- 
sentatives from one-hundred colleges and universities; and guests from 
twenty learned societies, educational entities, and professional organiza- 
tions. But Friday — Meredith College Day in Raleigh — as proclaimed by 
Mayor Thomas W. Bradshaw, Jr., was warmed by a bright sun that mer- 
cifully and quickly dried the amphitheater's brick seats and grass footrests 
in time for the ceremony. Early arrivals, then, could listen comfortably to 
the forty-five-minute preludial concert by the Triangle Symphony. 

Dignitaries in dazzling academic regalia processed at eleven o'clock. 
The presidential party included three representatives from the Baptist 
State Convention: T. Robert MuUinax, executive secretary; W. Perry 
Crouch, general secretary-treasurer; and Thomas M. Freeman, president. 
Other members of the party were Luther M. Massey, trustee and chair- 
man of the presidential search committee; Mary Lynch Johnson, college 
historian; Mayor Bradshaw; Ben C. Fisher, executive secretary, Education 
Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; Seby B. Jones, chair- 
man of the Board of Associates; Faye Arnold Broyhill, trustee; C. Allen 
Burris, vice president and dean of the College; Alyce Epley Walker, pres- 
ident of the Alumnae Association; Carolyn Carter, president of the Stu- 
dent Government Association; O.L. Sherrill, executive secretary of the 
General Baptist Convention; John M. Lewis, pastor of Raleigh's First 


The inaugural procession on September zz, 197Z, is led by 

marshal Gwen Noble, 'y^. President John E. Weems, O. L. Sherrill, 

executive secretary of the General Baptist Convention; and 

C. Cliff Cameron, chair of the Board of Trustees. 

Baptist Church; C.C. Cameron, chairman of the Board of Trustees; and 
the presidents of the institutions composing Cooperating Raleigh Col- 
leges. Ms. Carter; Mrs. Walker, Mrs. Broyhill; Drs. Burris, Freeman, and 
Fisher; and Messrs. Jones and Bradshaw brought greetings from their re- 
spective organizations, and, under the title, "A Goodly Heritage," Dr. 
Johnson reviewed the administrations of the previous presidents. Before 
introducing Dr. Weems, Mr. Cameron recognized Drs. Campbell and 
Heilman, the fourth and fifth presidents, respectively. The rites of investi- 
ture included Dr. Massey's presentation to Dr. Weems of the Presidential 
Medallion, a case silver replica of the college seal encircled by a "filigree 
of oak twigs with leaves and acorns, and . . . suspended from a ribbon of 
maroon and white, the college colors."'^^ 

President Weems titled his inaugural address "Upheld by the Affec- 


tions of a Great People," borrowing a phrase from M.L. Kesler, trustee of 
the College from 1896 -1927, who had also insisted that the institution's 
survival depended not only on money but also on "great and loving 
hearts." This characterization, said the president, "was never more true 
than in the eight years between the chartering and the opening date of the 
Baptist Female University." But, he added, "there has never been a dearth 
of great people to help Meredith blossom throughout her history. . . . 
Many have contributed a lifetime of service; others have shared the ideals 
in a monetary way."'*'* 

Weems read from Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote, reminding the 
audience's visionaries that they might see something of themselves in the 
heroic fictional character, and recalling that Man of La Mancha, the pop- 
ular musical adaptation of Cervantes' classic, challenged the idealist "to 
dream the impossible dream." 

Reflecting on the evolution of the liberal arts, Weems compared the 
practicality of curricula of the earliest colleges to the rigidity of more re- 
cent interpretations, separating the arts and humanties from more spe- 
cialized curricula. Although "only in recent years have the two concepts 
begun to amalgamate," he said,'*^ Meredith's dreamers of impossible 
dreams have always insisted upon providing "the finest educational ex- 
perience available."'*^ 

By implication in his address and by proclamation in later remarks, 
Weems defined himself as a futurist. In the context of that designation of 
himself and, therefore, of his administration, he said on inauguration day, 

Are we truly grasping for an unreachable star.'* I think not. But it 
will take the same courage, tenacity, and devotion which has long 
been exhibited here to attain the noble quest. We have set our sights 
to be the very best in women's education. . . . For me this quest is the 
challenge to provide a truly modern liberal arts education. ... To 
keep a college abreast of developments and conversant with the 
frontiers of knowledge is a noble quest within itself.'*^ 



women's colleges 


"MEREDITH IS THE maturing of a woman." The statement comes from 
President Weems's inaugural address and expresses a philosophy that 
rings true in every era of Meredith's history. Twenty years past the inau- 
guration, writer Suzanne Britt, an instructor in the English department, 
suggested that women mature, in part, by the difficulties of their choices. 
In her pictorial history. Images: A Centennial Journey, published in 
Meredith's one-hundredth charter year, Ms. Britt said that the period in 
which a woman chooses a college is "a crisis of decision — the landmark 
year between random, careless youth and thoughtful, conscious matu- 
rity."^ From each side of two decades. Dr. Weems and Ms. Britt have spo- 
ken to the maturing of thinking minds and liberating spirits. 

In the years following President Weems's inauguration, the maturing 
of women — indeed, the maturing of women's colleges — was redefined. 
Almost every aspect of society had changed, including the perception of 
educated women. Gone were the concepts of learning for the sheer joy of 
it and of learning for its own sake, and present was the radical new no- 
tion that women must learn for their own sakes — not merely to please 
parents, husbands, children, and watchful communities nor to qualify for 
a certain social circle in life after college. 

Society had come to expect more of women and of women's colleges. 
In 1974, the Wall Street Journal published an article, "Making a Case for 



"Women's Colleges," citing Elizabeth Tidball's study of entries in Who's 
Who in American Women. Discovering that most of the 1,500 women of 
achievement whom she researched were alumnae of women's colleges, 
Tidball concluded that "female coed college graduates are less than half as 
likely to be 'career successful' than are graduates of women's colleges."^ 
Nevertheless, some of the prestigious colleges for women — Vassar, Sarah 
Lawrence, Skidmore, for example — had already surrendered to the na- 
tional trend of coeducation while others held tenaciously to their found- 
ing purposes. In 1972, Mt. Holyoke made a conscious decision to reaf- 
firm its "for women only" status; Mills College would follow in 1990. 
Bryn Mawr, Smith, Wellesley, Hollins, Randolph-Macon, Salem, and 
Meredith, among others, unceremoniously went about the business of ed- 
ucating women. 

Meredith's single-sex status had not been publicly questioned at this 
juncture. In fact, the College was so focused on emerging opportunities 
for women that coeducation was a moot issue. President Weems had al- 
ready appointed a brainstorming committee to devise ways of encourag- 
ing students "to compete for the new kinds of careers opening for 
women."^ The community was not surprised, then, when he addressed 
the 1973 North Carolina Legislature — the only male to do so — as a pro- 
ponent of the Equal Rights Amendment; when, in 1974, Meredith ap- 
pointed its first female vice president; nor when the College implemented 
in 1975 a program designed to raise the sights of its women students. 

The proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution was sim- 
ple and familiar: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or 
abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex."'* After pass- 
ing both houses of Congress, it went to the states for ratification. When 
it came to the floor of the Senate of North Carolina, President Weems was 
there. In his address, he barkened back to Meredith's beginnings: 

The struggle to establish Meredith College indicates that North 
Carolinians in the 1830's faced the same issues being presented 
today concerning the Equal Rights Amendment. It took almost 60 
years from the time our school was proposed before it was agreed 
that a college Ifor women] should be founded. Educational oppor- 
tunities were not readily available to women and basically the same 
arguments were used to suggest that women did not need academic 

WOMEN AND women's COLLEGES: 1973-1975 I 4I 

training and were, in reality, better off without it. Meredith College 
has spent 74 years proving to the State of North Carolina and the 
nation that women have great contributions to make.^ 

Of rights and responsibilities he said, 

History will show that granting of rights is progressive. Double and 
false standards inevitably erode the confidence of the governed. In 
my opinion, we have a distinct moral responsibility to give all of 
our citizens equal protection under the law. It is an old, illogical and 
irrational idea that someone can be protected by abridging [her] 
rights .... [W]omen deserve total justice, equal protection, equal 
opportunity, and equal responsibility. . . .^ 

Weems later admitted to greater enthusiasm for the support of Senator 
Charles B. Deane, Jr., who sponsored the legislation, than for the amend- 
ment itself.'' Both Senator Deane and President Weems were wary of ex- 
tremists who spoke for and against the ERA and credited those lobbyists 
with the vote against ratification in North Carolina. 

The mood of Meredith students toward the amendment was difficult 
to measure. The editorial position of their newspaper was pro ERA; how- 
ever, as one would expect, letters to the editor argued for both sides. A 
similar clamor echoed through the nation, but elected officials had the 
final say, and ratification failed. 

The College had some amending to do, as well. But compared to the 
nation's tumultuous journey through the channels of the Equal Rights 
Amendment, Meredith's voyage toward changing its rules of govern- 
ment was smooth indeed. An amendment to Article V of the bylaws 
added a vice president for student development and described the ad- 
ministrator's responsibilities: coordination and direction of "the offices 
of Admissions, Campus Minister, Counseling, Dean of Students (in- 
cludes Student Government, Student Activities, and Student Housing), 
Financial Aid, Placement and Career Planning, Student Health Services, 
and other activities relating to these offices."^ A selection committee con- 
ducted the search. By memorandum dated May 12, 1974, Clara Bunn, 
chair, conveyed the committee's opinions: the new vice president should 
be a woman with a Ph.D. degree, the terminal degree "preferable but not 
necessary"; a fresh face from outside the Meredith community — "for a 


new outlook"; a person trained in student personnel services — but 
"qualifications and experience outweigh this factor"; an administrator 
experienced in "dealing with faculty and students directly." She should 
also be "self-confident," "dynamic," "enthusiastic and discriminating."^ 
In the hope that such a person existed, the College advertised the posi- 
tion in the Chronicle of Higher Education, encouraging women to apply 
and touting Meredith's location as "one of the most stimulating aca- 
demic atmospheres in the nation," The search was intense but brief: San- 
dra Carol Thomas accepted the postition by letter dated August 1 6 and 
began her duties on September 2, although the appointment was not of- 
ficial until the full Board of Trustees elected her at its semi-annual meet- 
ing on September 27, 

Bill Norton, director of information services, titled his statewide 
news release "Meredith Names Vice President for Student Develop- 
ment." While the Twig ran essentially the same story, its front-page 
headline for September 12 evoked excitement: "Meredith appoints first 
woman V.P." In the same issue, Genie Rogers directed a portion of her 
editorial to Dr. Thomas: "You have set one precedent already, and, who 
knows, perhaps one day someone will follow you to the never-before- 
achieved accomplishment of becoming Meredith College's first woman 

Thomas had already resigned as dean of Lindenwood College in St. 
Charles, Missouri, to finish her dissertation for the Ph.D. While her grad- 
uate studies included work at Harvard and at the University of Colorado, 
she completed her doctorate in higher education and college and univer- 
sity administration at St. Louis University and her master's in college and 
student personnel administration at Indiana University. She had earned 
her undergraduate degree in English and Spanish in her native state at the 
University of Texas in Austin. 

Her then-recent attendance at a Latin American conference on the 
changing world of women contributed to her manuscript, "Women and 
Politics: Ways to Broaden the Political Participation of Women in the 
Americas," which won first place in a competition sponsored by the Inter- 
American Commission for Women. As a result, Thomas was honored by 
and invited to address the general assembly of the Commission — a 
branch of the Organization of American States — in Washington, D.C. 
Later, in her first address to Meredith students, she challenged them to 


"educate themselves for responsibility ... in international, national, 
local, and college affairs," and to "be involved in legislation which affects 
women and women's needs. . . ."^° 

Eager to provide suitable office space for their new colleague, admin- 
istrators confiscated one end of the blue parlor. A remnant of the days 
when the words "social grace" were spoken as one, the tastefully ap- 
pointed parlor stretched along one side of Johnson Hall's west wing. As 
expected, a minor controversy arose over the dismantling of that hal- 
lowed hall, the rose parlor on the opposite side having fallen to progress 
some years before. Through Editor Rogers, the Twig supported the 
change: "Dr. Thomas is fresh, eager, and excited about helping Meredith 
students. Considering this, we should welcome her to an office where she 
is close to us."^^ 

Momentum was on the side of progress in ways other than an increas- 
ing need for office space. For example, both Vice President Thomas and 
President Weems supported the idea of improving students' perceptions 
of themselves and of improving society's perception of women. The pres- 
ident's sense of urgency escalated when he sat in Belk Dining Hall with a 
student who said she aspired to be a legal secretary. Why, he wondered 
aloud, would she not want to be a lawyer? Her surprising skepticism 
about herself moved him to appoint an ad hoc committee on raising the 
sights of women. The title itself reflected Weems's position, as expressed 
in his ERA address to the General Assembly and in a February 1973 in- 
terview with students Mary Owens and Barrie Walton: "Women need to 
expect to be a part of the economy and . . . aspire to . . . top management 
position[s]," he said.^^ 

Women's issues sprang up in the consciousness of whoever allowed 
them to take root. Weems, nevertheless, reported to the faculty in 1974 
that both liberal arts and women's colleges were facing "some uncertain 
times," although, he added, "We are at full capacity with a full-time 
equated enrollment of approximately 1300 students, making Meredith 
the largest private women's college in the South." ^^ He credited Mere- 
dith's reputation and the work of the admissions office rather than the 
women's movement for that status. 

Uses of titles and names loaded women's arsenals with ammunition for 
the struggle against a culture that was slow to change. The College was 
sometimes the target. Phyllis Trible, '54, wrote. 


It Strikes me as odd that Meredith should continue to refer to fe- 
male heads of departments as chairmen; that masculine pronouns 
should continue to be used as generic terms, especially at a women's 
college; and that alumnae should be identified by the names of their 
husbands. ... 

At Meredith, I was taught to distinguish between the masculine 
alumnus/i and the feminine alumna/ae. Would that our conscious- 
ness about the Latin language transfer to our consciousness about 
the English language . . . .^"^ 

Jane Cromley Curtis, '71, also protested: 

I'd like to have my name back, please. ... I was very disappointed 
to notice that all my mail from Meredith came addressed to Mrs. 
[husband's name]. ... If such formidable agencies as the Social Se- 
curity Administration and the . . . Department of Highway and 
Motor Vehicles can acknowledge me ... as Jane Cromley Curtis, 
maybe my very own college can do that, too.^^ 

Then came an opposing view from Elizabeth Garner McKinney, '42: 

I read the letter . . . from the alumna who wanted "her name back" 
on her mail from Meredith. If that is her wish, then her request 
should be granted; but please don't address my mail as Ms. Eliza- 
beth Garner McKinney. . . . 

I like my name the way it is, and the title by which I am ad- 
dressed has nothing to do with my rights as a person. ^^ 

From social expressions, such as gender-specific language, to visiting 
speakers, such as Wilma Scott Heide, president of the National Organi- 
zation for Women; from academic innovations, such as a B.S. degree in 
business administration, to national or global observances, such as Inter- 
national Women's Year, Meredith wended its way, sometimes gingerly, 
sometimes boldly, through the women's movement and other cultural de- 
velopments of the early- to mid-seventies. 

At a student government-sponsored convocation in 1974, Heide spoke 
on "Sexism is a Disease and Feminism is the Cure," declaring that "sex 
stereotyping is as detrimental to men as it is to women." '^ World- 
renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead addressed a Meredith audience 

WOMEN AND women's COLLEGES: I973~I975 ' 45 

that year on the topic of "Where Today's Students Fit In." With some dis- 
appointment, President Weems recalled her lecture and others by eminent 
speakers of the times, saying, "We bring people in for their knowledge 
and want them to share their research, findings, and insights into the 
world, and we get a raising the sights of women speech." ^^ 

Meanwhile, the Bachelor of Science degree program was finahzed. 
After a thirty-five-year hiatus, the degree was again offered in 1973 — in 
chemistry, home economics, and mathematics, with biology and business 
administration being added the following year. 

And a new English course, Stereotypes of Women in Modern Fiction, 
created excitement for continuing education students who said, "[We] no 
longer are just treading water; [we] are moving ahead with the current." ^^ 
As swiftly as the current raced in the seventies, women activitists might 
have paddled through the rapids still more vigorously following the re- 
lease of a 1973 Newsweek and Associated Press survey of college publi- 
cations editors showing that women's rights placed only fourth in a sur- 
vey of "the five issues of most concern" on college campuses. First among 
the issues was the Vietnam War; second, the environment; third, racism; 
and fifth, drug addiction.^° 

No such polling data for Meredith women are available; however, 
records of students' opinions are plentiful. For example, the Twig sug- 
gested that the national energy crisis was among the top concerns of 
Meredith women. Lessons from the news media taught that the dilemma 
of the early seventies was due, in large part, to the nation's having con- 
tinuously used more oil than it produced but also to OPEC's (Organiza- 
tion of Petroleum Exporting Countries) having dramatically raised the 
price of oil, causing shortages and adding serious problems to an already 
inflated economy. Long lines of gas-thirsty cars and frustrated drivers 
were common sights at service stations along Hillsborough Street. In 
homes all over the city, people lowered their thermostats. Meredith's dual 
heating system solved few problems, although it used natural gas and oil 
interchangeably. In 1973, the gas company warned that no gas would be 
available to the College after November 16, and the oil company allo- 
cated only 168,000 gallons of its precious fuel for the year, signaling a 
potential shortage of 40-50 thousand gallons. The crisis left the College 
with no alternative but to cut two days from the December exam sched- 


ule, add a week to Christmas vacation, and increase spring break by two 
days. Students could make up their class work at a later time. 

The crisis, which affected all sources of energy, continued into 1974. 
Students became conservationists. They hailed the administration's deci- 
sion to douse exterior display lights; they fumed at lights burning in 
empty classrooms; and while they appreciated the dramatic display of the 
new fountain between the giant magnolias at Johnson Hall's front door, 
they also calculated the energy expended by its twenty multicolored lights 
and ten water height stages. A letter to the Twig, signed by juniors Woody 
Dicus, Cookie Guthrie, Meg Pruette, and Elaine Williams dubbed the 
fountain "our contribution to the energy crisis."^^ But problem solving is 
rarely simple. In that case, maintenance of the valves and pumps required 
minimal use, so the administration announced that the water and light 
display would be continued but on a limited basis. The twenty-foot cir- 
cular fountain, which eventually could be flaunted in all its glory — and in 
good conscience — was named for and dedicated to Henry M. and 
Blanche Shaw of Raleigh on September zy, 1974. 

The Twig both agitated and mollified the community's new-found ob- 
session with extravagance. Editor Genie Rogers vented her frustration: "I 
was appalled to enter the library last Friday and find that on a perfectly 
gorgeous day both the heater and the fans were running. . . ."^^ Four edi- 
tions later, Meredith McGill defended the library, explaining that the 
lights alone provided one-fourth of the building's heat, even on a cold 
day. She also answered queries about the heating and cooling of residence 
halls, reporting that Stringfield, Vann, Brewer, and Faircloth, the original 
dormitories, were equipped with sensors, "which control the temperature 
in areas instead of individual rooms."-^ About that time, Joe Baker threat- 
ened to employ a full-time thermostat adjuster. 

Students did not exhaust their fervor in the energy crisis; they exerted 
an abundance of it in questioning the ongoing compulsory attendance 
policy at convocation. Their complaints disparaged not only the policy 
but also the programs — mediocre at best, they said — and poor faculty 
attendance. President Weems appointed five faculty members and five 
students to lead a discussion of the matter at the December 1973 faculty 
meeting and later to make recommendations. By the following April, the 
ad hoc committee submitted a resolution which the faculty was ready to 
adopt and the students wanted to hear: The attendance requirement 


would be dropped and the schedule changed from weekly to monthly 
convocations. The resolution also called for a standing convocation com- 
mittee and funds to underwrite its work. 

If students hungered for interesting programs at convocations and 
other events, some speakers doubtless helped to satisfy those appetites. In 
March 1974, United States Senator John Tunney, Democrat of Califor- 
nia, kicked off a four-day symposium on "The Press, the President, and 
the People." The topic was timely, given an intense interest in the bur- 
geoning Watergate scandal. In successive sessions. North Carolina's At- 
torney General Robert Morgan; State Senator Hamilton Horton from 
Forsyth County; Henry Hall Wilson, former White House aide; Britt 
Hume, an associate of syndicated columnist Jack Anderson; and Raleigh 
Times editor, A.C. Snow, lit up the stage of Jones Auditorium with such 
topics as "The Press and Mr. Nixon: the Case for the Defense" and "Re- 
sponsibility of the Press to the Office Holder." 

In less than six months, Richard Nixon resigned as president of the 
United States. As he sank in the quagmire of his administration's desper- 
ate attempt to bury its misdeeds, he took high-ranking officials with him. 
The debacle that mesmerized the nation through months of intrigue and 
despair ended with Senate hearings, bringing to light the culpability of the 
president and his conspirators. Participants on both sides of the law — 
many who might otherwise have become footnotes in history — achieved 
celebrity status. Some spoke at Meredith. For example, Jill Wine Vogler 
of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force delivered the 1974 com- 
mencement address; six months later, Egil Krogh, Jr., Nixon's undersec- 
retary of transportation and the first of the Watergate coverup team to be 
sentenced for his involvement, addressed a convocation audience on the 
topic of "Prison: the Great Equalizer." 

Uninvolved in Watergate but one of the year's more controversial 
speakers, Sidney Abbott was relegated to an evening engagement, even 
though the SGA had proposed that she address a Monday morning con- 
vocation audience. But at the time of the proposal, the required atten- 
dance policy was still in effect; therefore, the student government repre- 
sentatives compromised, agreeing to an evening event where attendance 
was voluntary. The booking of Abbott, a lesbian and author of Sappho 
Was a Right-On Woman, led to some consternation by students who op- 
posed an avowed lesbian's having a campus forum, and, according to 


President Weems, the whole affair challenged the 1966 speaker policy as 
set forth by the Board of Trustees to "insure orderly practices in keeping 
with the academic freedom and excellence maintained at Meredith Col- 
lege."^^ Banning the engagement, however, would call into question the 
policy's "academic freedom" clause. 

No cloud of contention hovered over the campus when Shana Alexan- 
der addressed a convocation audience in December 1975, but perhaps 
some apprehension rained down when she suggested to the News and 
Observer that "the written word is becoming extinct."^^ A regular on 
CBS television's highly rated Sixty Minutes, Alexander was the first 
woman on the writing staff of Life Magazine and the first female editor 
of McCall's. 

Lectures, concerts, drama, and art exhibitions, usually open to the 
public, have contributed to the scholarship — and the entertainment — of 
the Meredith family and the Raleigh community since the early 1900s. An- 
nual events such as Religious Emphasis Week, Black Emphasis Week, 
Founders' Day, and commencement, as well as one-time occasions such as 
symposia and workshops, have also left a legacy of interesting speakers — 
some well-known, some not — who imparted substantive thoughts and 
compelling words. Established lectureships, however, were relatively new. 
The Distinguished Faculty Lectures, introduced in 1964, continued, and, 
in 1973, Meredith announced its inaugural Staley Distinguished Christian 
Scholar Lecture. Eric Charles Rust, professor of Christian philosophy at 
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, spoke on "Christian Thought in a 
Naturalistic Era." Two years later, the lectureship became the first such se- 
ries to be endowed. The Thomas F. Staley Foundation was the benefactor. 

The lecturers' stage and the listeners' arena converged on a direct path 
to the classroom and wherever else learning took place — in the basement 
of Poteat Residence Hall, for instance. Lyn Aubrecht, assistant professor 
of psychology, created an animal laboratory there, where would-be exper- 
imental psychologists gained knowledge in the concepts of their science. 
At first, eight rats occupied the premises, but the rodent family soon grew 
to a dynasty of twelve — Billie, Laverne, Waldo, Maggie, Bo, Delve, Niki, 
Josephine, Tammi, Hermann, Chew, "and their sister." The Twig took 
note of their "special suite," featuring "air-conditioning, piped-in music, 
breakfast in bed, and maid service . . . ."^^ Dr. Aubrecht eventually dis- 
placed the animal experiments with technology. 

WOMEN AND women's COLLEGES: I973~I975 ' 49 

Ideas born in laboratories, classrooms, and meeting rooms often served 
as springboards for new programs, as in 1973, when the Academic Coun- 
cil determined that a senior might earn a second but different baccalau- 
reate degree by meeting certain requirements, including at least thirty ad- 
ditional hours in residence. And, while new programs were conceived, 
old ones were often reconsidered. Through all the years and in great 
numbers, Meredith women had become teachers, and many of them still 
prepared for that profession. Although career choices were less pre- 
dictable in 1975, teacher education was very much a part of the plan 
when the curriculum committee proposed the awarding of continuing ed- 
ucation units for non-credit enrichment courses in order "to have a stan- 
dard of reporting educational efforts from one institution to another."^^ 
The State Department of Public Instruction gave the proposal a boost by 
its willingness to accept CEUs as a basis of credit for teacher recertifica- 
tion. Meredith's stellar teacher education program had recently received 

Also in 1975, Meredith, the only private college in North Carolina so 
recognized, received full accreditation by the Council on Social Work Ed- 
ucation. The long struggle was over. The College had been granted con- 
stituent membership in 1969, which was continued on a year-to-year 
basis. Although the council had placed Meredith on probation for the 
1973 spring term, it encouraged the College to reapply after implement- 
ing planned improvements. And a September letter from Leslie Syron to 
President Weems conveyed the good news that the program had indeed 
been approved for another year. Dr. Syron pointed with pride to two 
graduates of the Class of 1973 who placed at the second-semester level as 
they started their master's program in the Graduate School of Social 
Work at the University of North Carolina: "When a 'new baby' program 
is regarded as equivalent to the first semester of graduate school work, I 
think you can beam with pleasure!" she said.^^ 

Syron, herself, "beamed with pleasure" when she reported the possi- 
bility of Meredith's becoming the "first college in North Carolina ... to 
launch a Human Services Program."^^ Human services, wrote Suzanne 
Reynolds in the Alumnae Magazine, would encourage students "who 
want to work with people" to set their career goals.^° A departmental 
brochure clearly explained the theory behind the program: "Think how 
art, music, psychology, or sociology could be used in a career in rehabili- 


tation," it proffered.^^ The primary component of the curriculum would 
be an internship in the student's chosen field, preparation for which 
would include development of attitude, skills, and knowledge. On the 
subject of "working with people," Reynolds quoted Dean Burris: 
"Meredith College has always been committed to encouraging its stu- 
dents to be humanitarians. The number of our alumnae who through 
their vocations and avocations have performed services which enhance 
the quality of life witness to this commitment." ^^ Implementation of the 
program, to be directed by sociology instructor Eugene Sumner, was 
scheduled for the fall semester of 1974. 

About the same time, the history department inaugurated its Capital 
City Semester, a block course in which Meredith women with students 
from other colleges immersed themselves in state government. They saw 
politics in action, participated in seminars, heard speakers from several 
branches of government, volunteered their services, and wrote research 
papers. After the first semester, Dean Burris reported that the pilot project 
"did not attract as many students from other colleges as we had hoped, 
but it was very successful for our own students." ^^ The course survived, 
and a year later the department inaugurated a new major in political 

In those years, Meredith's role on the stage of academe underwent in- 
tense scrutiny. The script was reread and often rewritten as new offerings 
diversified the curriculum; as career emphases threatened — in the minds 
of purists — the liberal arts tradition; as Scholastic Aptitude Test scores 
dropped nationally while grades at Meredith rose dramatically; as tenure 
for faculty could not be counted on as an automatic reward for length of 
service; and as Meredith weighed its mission of educating women in the 
context of the Triangle's burgeoning population. 

The administration vowed to make endowed professorships a top pri- 
ority, aiming for at least one such professorship in every academic de- 
partment. A grant for educational enrichment from the William R. 
Kenan, Jr., Charitable Trust significantly boosted that hope, and, in May 
1975, the College named its first distinguished visiting professor: Arthur 
Poister joined the music faculty for the 1975-76 school year. While he 
had retired from Syracuse University eight years earlier, he had held sim- 
ilar professorships in as many colleges, universities, and conservatories as 
he had accumulated years of retirement. "Dr. Poister," said department 


chairman, David Lynch, "is probably the most influential organ teacher 
in the United States."^"* Having studied under Poister, Lynch spoke from 
experience. The pupil's admiration of the teacher was further evidenced 
by Lynch 's covert trip to Syracuse University to help dismantle and ship 
to Raleigh Poister's old teaching organ. The visiting professor's discovery 
of it in his Meredith studio was a happy surprise. 

Dr. Poister's appointment, which continued for a second year, was 
made possible by the Kenan grant. Both the grant and the appointment 
attested to and enhanced Meredith's academic reputation. Other evi- 
dences of that repute had preceded and would follow the first visiting 
professor. For example, two national honorary societies/fraternities — Pi 
Kappa Lambda, music, and Phi Alpha Theta, history — chartered chap- 
ters at the College in 1973 and 1975, respectively. Only one year later, 
Meredith's Phi Omicron Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta was named the best 
chapter in Division I colleges, the competition including more then one- 
hundred colleges. At the same time, the faculty reflected a 10 percent rise 
in the number of doctorates — to about 50 percent. Eighty percent of all 
department heads could claim that distinction. 

Meredith continued its quest for outstanding visiting professors, and it 
was no less diligent in its search for permanent teaching scholars. The 
College appointed new chairmen of three academic departments in two 
years. lone Kemp Knight, '43, was named acting chairman of the De- 
partment of English for the fall semester of 1973 while Norma Rose was 
on sabbatical leave. With Mary Lynch Johnson and Dr. Rose, Dr. Knight 
was one of "the Big Three," a student-coined epithet that carried through 
Dr. Johnson's retirement. Knight had headed the English department at 
Shorter College before returning to Meredith, her alma mater. She earned 
the master's degree at the University of Pennsylvania and the Ph.D. at the 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before engaging in post- 
doctoral research at the University of London, the British Museum, and 
Oxford University. 

William Bradley Turpin came in 1973 to chair the psychology depart- 
ment; however, he remained for only one year, having been replaced in 
1974 by R. John Huber from Skidmore Coflege. Dr. Huber, 33, was not 
only the youngest department chairman but also the first Roman Catholic 
on the faculty. After twenty years, he would reminisce about his own and 
Meredith's heritage, calling his tenure "a good fit." He said, "When 1 was 


in Providence, Rhode Island, I saw the first Baptist church that was built 
in the United States, and when I went in and looked at it, I felt a kinship. 
I . . . felt I was a part of the system and serving that system. A notion of 
stewardship comes to mind. . . . "^^ Dr. Huber earned the B.A. degree at 
Kent State University, the M.A. at the University of Vermont, and the 
Ph.D. at the University of New Hampshire. 

Also in 1973, Joseph Browde left Columbia College for Meredith to 
chair the education department. Dr. Browde earned the B.A. degree at 
Rutgers University and the M.A. and Ed.D. at Syracuse. While he held a 
B.D. from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, he could be heard occa- 
sionally in the pulpit of Raleigh's First Presbyterian Church — and could 
usually be seen in the choir. 

While departments greeted new chairmen, the Carlyle Campbell Li- 
brary rallied around its new acting head, when Jane Deese retired and 
Michael Dodge became her successor. About the same time, the hbrary 
welcomed a 300 percent increase in funds for acquisitions, the growth in 
income including a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation for li- 
brary endowment. 

IN 1974, ONE might have thought it premature to look ahead as far as 
1990 to student population worries, but a thirty-year decline in enroll- 
ment at private colleges signaled difficulties ahead. The decline had not 
yet affected the College; in fact, in 1973-74, Meredith had enjoyed its 
largest student body to date, and indications were that enrollment in 
1974-75 would surpass that peak. But Weems expressed concern at the 
small number of commuters: "Within a zo-mile radius of our campus are 
approximately 600,000 people. Projections . . . suggest that this area will 
contain 1.2 million by 1990. We would be smart to see this as a pool of 
potential applicants. ... It will be necessary for us to expand our efforts 
in the direction of community students."^^ He pointed to possibilities: 
"We view the continuing education program as the launching pad for 
many adult students who will ultimately seek a degree at Meredith. The 
success of this program could contribute handsomely to our stability."^^ 
Already Mrs. Dahle was reporting that several non-traditional-age stu- 
dents, who had entered on a non-credit basis, had changed their status 
and were seeking credit. And the admissions office expanded its efforts, 


increasing the number of commuter applicants by lOO percent in the next 
two years. 

As analyses continued, the summer school schedule changed in 1974 
from one five-week term to three three-week sessions, each class meeting 
three hours daily. The new calendar would accommodate public school 
teachers as well as Meredith students who might wish to attend addi- 
tional summer sessions elsewhere. 

A summer's study in England was an exciting new venture in 1974. The 
idea went on trial as two faculty members and twenty-two students ac- 
complished a semester's work in London that summer. Roger Crook, 
chairman of the Department of Religion, had been named director of 
Meredith in Europe at the beginning of the spring semester, and he, his 
wife, and one of his six sons spent the summer in England, as did Sally 
Page of the English department. Dr. Page taught English drama, and Dr. 
Crook taught the history of Christianity in England. They were joined by 
Peter Peek, an English educator, who offered a class in the ancient history 
of the country. Then the three professors collaborated on a course that in- 
troduced contemporary England, supplementing class work with tours to 
historical sites. The 1975 version of Meredith Abroad (the program's new 
name) saw the number of students increase by five and the faculty mem- 
bers by one. The College thus entered a time when every Meredith student 
would have "the opportunity to spend one semester in Europe, being 
taught by our own faculty members, ... to provide a full semester's credit 
with little, if any, more cost than a semester on our campus in Raleigh." ^^ 

Possibilities for Meredith Abroad seemed to reach as far as one could 
see; however, the College sometimes cast a wary eye toward trends that 
occasionally crept unnoticed into the scheme of things. In November 
1973, Dean Burris mentioned to the Academic Council that "grading 
standards and practices" might need attention. ^^ And early in the spring 
term of 1974, Eleanor Hill used her editorial privilege to denounce in the 
Twig the unusually high number of students on the dean's list for the pre- 
vious semester, her critical piece warning against Meredith's becoming an 
"insignificant diploma mill. . . ."""^ But Mary Bland Josey assured the fac- 
ulty that the College had held steadily to the number of students in the 
top quarter of their high school graduating classes; however, she reported 
that Scholastic Aptitude Test scores had decreased nationally over the 


previous decade. President Weems echoed Josey's observation, recalling 
the nationwride drop in the verbal portion of the SAT from its original 
norm of 500 to its then-current average of 448. He quickly quoted statis- 
tics for Meredith: with an average of 487, he said, the College was thirty- 
nine points above the national verbal mean score that year."*^ Josey also 
commented that first-year grade averages at Meredith had climbed from 
2,.zo in 1963 to 2.63 in 1972. Dr. Lemmon pointed to the curriculum re- 
vision in 1969 for a partial explanation: "Now instead of the freshmen 
being required to take certain subjects," she said, "they are allowed 
choices enabling them to gravitate toward the area in which they feel 
most confident." "^^ The dialogue continued. In a letter to the editor, Josey 
answered some of the Twig's allegations: 

In drawing inferences from the proportion of students on the Dean's 
List and of freshmen with B averages or higher (33 percent of the 
year's freshman class), all of us need to . . . view these facts in 
proper context. In 1969 there were changes in the academic pro- 
gram which included more flexibility in course choices for the fresh- 
man year than existed in the past. 

Though the Twig and I share the same concern about the length 
of the Dean's List, we need to recognize there are legitimate philoso- 
phies about grading that differ from ours. As long as we have sound 
instruction, none of us need quibble too much over grade point av- 
erages. ... Do students enter Meredith expecting a more challeng- 
ing program than they find? . . ^^ 

Also by way of the Twig, Frank Grubbs, professor of history, joined the 

I am somewhat concerned that our students will read your editori- 
als and believe that things are going down at Meredith. This is not 
the case. Returning alumnae are constantly amazed at the progress 
which Meredith has made since they graduated. Let us not create a 
"gasoline panic" when calling for better programs. I think that your 
point is well taken: you wish to make a good college better.'*'* 

A second editorial apologized for having omitted a reference in Josey's 
letter to an article in the News and Observer, which reported that col- 
leges nationwide were noting a rise in students' grades. 


THE COLLEGE WAS Small cnough to adapt its academic offerings and prac- 
tices to its students' needs yet large enough to offer a varied selection. But 
still the winds of specialization swirled more briskly than some liberal 
arts traditionalists thought safe. Dean Burris pointed to the earliest cata- 
logues of Baptist Female University which "made no distinction between 
hberal arts and vocation.'"*^ And President Weems said, "Women are be- 
coming more determined to use their college training in economically 
productive ways. . . . Our versatility in this area is . . . one of the major 
reasons for immediate past successes."'*^ 

By 1973, Marie Capel, the assistant dean of students for vocational 
guidance, carried a new title: director of placement and vocational guid- 
ance. From its genesis in 197 1 as liaison between students and the job 
market or graduate school, the office had grown in those two years to in- 
clude vocational guidance and testing. In Ms. Capel's first year at Mere- 
dith, she organized a Graduate School Day, in which eleven schools par- 
ticipated and — a first for Meredith — she administered the Graduate 
Record Exam on the campus. During the spring semester, recruiters in- 
terviewed more than two-hundred student job applicants. 

Also in 1973, Meredith received a federal grant to study the feasibility 
of a venture into cooperative education. Mary Yarbrough, former chair- 
man of the chemistry department, was campus adviser. In 1974, after a 
year of discussing possibilities and gathering convincing information, the 
College gave the new program its blessing. A student with at least fifty- 
eight hours of college credit could alternate a semester of study with a pe- 
riod of full-time, career-related employment and earn academic credit for 
it. While the program's opportunities were not immediately seized upon 
by large numbers of students, other facets of career planning — seminars, 
job fairs, career days, day-to-day guidance — became increasingly popu- 
lar. In 1974, representatives of school systems, graduate schools, and 
businesses interviewed more than 500 Meredith students. The office ex- 
panded its program of career development, and its new name — Office of 
Career Services and Cooperative Education — reflected the change. It also 
moved from Johnson Hall to Cate Center, a mecca for some of the stu- 
dent services not categorized as strictly academic. 

Attesting to the College's commitment to provide vocational guidance 
and pre-professional direction for its students, attorney Paul Holcomb, 
director of estate planning, assumed the role of adviser to pre-law stu- 


dents, and Clara Bunn, chairman of the biology department, to pre-med 
students. In addition to law, medicine, and social work courses, pre- 
professional studies were established over the ensuing years in such areas 
as dentistry, veterinary science, theology, library science, special edu- 
cation, journalism, and others. For the first time in 1974, through Coop- 
erating Raleigh Colleges, Meredith women could participate in North 
Carolina State's year-old Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Subse- 
quent college catalogues stipulated that an Army or an Air Force com- 
mission was possible under the program. 

"real world" matters were often weighed heavily on the grounds of 
both cultural and academic considerations. The voting booth's accessibil- 
ity to the student was one such issue. The student life committee submit- 
ted to the Academic Council a resolution strongly urging the suspension 
of classes on election day, November 6, 1973, but the council's vote nul- 
lified the resolution. An editorial in the Twig, implying that teachers often 
scheduled tests on election day to make time to cast their own votes, de- 
plored the decision: "Students who cut classes to go home and vote 
would not be allowed to take make-up tests; therefore, Meredith students 
are [subtly] being prevented from voting.'"*^ The editorial writer appar- 
ently had not received word of Dr. Lemmon's motion in Administrative- 
Academic Council to amend the schedule for 1974 so as to offer no 
classes on election day and to compensate for the lost class time by delet- 
ing a day from autumn recess. Two years later, the subject returned to the 
Administrative-Academic Council in the form of a resolution calling for 
suspension of classes for election primaries, as well. Dr. Thomas moved, 
Dr. Burris seconded, adoption of the resolution, but the discussion that 
followed produced a majority vote of "nay." In the same meeting, the 
Council voted to suspend classes for three hours on Meredith's first Play 
Day since 1966. 

On February Z4, 1973, the trustees held their own election. Clara Car- 
swell of Charlotte and United States freshman Senator Jesse Helms of 
Raleigh were tapped to fill two- and three-year unexpired terms, respec- 
tively. Mrs. Carswell was present and, after the unanimous vote, took her 
seat on the board. Senator Helms had sent regrets. Mrs. Carswell's po- 
tential effectiveness on the body was not questioned by the community; 
however, Helms's election was an enigma to many. The archetypal south- 


ern conservative's representing one of the moderate southern states w^as 
considered by some to be unusual in itself; that he would be making pol- 
icy for a college identified as progressive seemed an anomaly to his critics. 
Faculty and staff hesitated to react negatively in public, but Twig editor, 
Janice Sams, was fearless: 

"Guilt by association" can be extremely detrimental to an institu- 
tion of higher learning, particularly one which strives academically 
to mold free and responsible women into involved citizens. . . . 

The unanimous election of Senator Jesse Helms to the Board of 
Trustees will probably not destroy [Meredith's] image, but I do not 
think his selection can be made without some question or comment. 
As an editorialist with WRAL-TV in Raleigh, Senator Helms often 
employed an attitude which seems entirely too contradictory to the 
very principles by which Meredith College stands."*^ 

Sams cited Helms's position as a proponent of the Speaker Ban Law; his 
attacks on Martin Luther King in particular and the Civil Rights Move- 
ment in general; his opposition to Medicare and other social issues. As it 
turned out. Helms attended no meetings of the Board in his three-year 
term, allowing those fearing his influence to breathe a collective sigh of 

Another trustee election made history at the 1975 Baptist State Con- 
vention in Asheville when Lucile Oliver of Pinelevel became the first fe- 
male non-alumna to gain a seat on the Board. 

CONCERNS OF AND for studcnts Were as much in the Meredith tradition as 
were the seriousness of academics and the hilarity of Cornhuskin'. But as 
the cultural landscape shifted, so did the vantage points for change. The 
early- to mid-seventies found Meredith still feeling its way toward meet- 
ing the needs of minority students. In February 1973, Black Voices in 
Unity — organized in 1972 as Black Student Unity — sponsored its first 
annual Black Awareness Week. Through oratory, art, music, film, and live 
drama, the week indeed stirred an awareness of black culture and was de- 
scribed by the Raleigh Times as "an attempt to give white students a new 
insight into what it means to be black. It also was designed to help in- 
crease black self-awareness among the black students."'*^ The emphasis 
helped editor Sams of the Twig appreciate "what we . . . must continually 


Strive for if we are ever to relate as human beings to each other." ^° Soon 
afterwards, BVU called for "better circumstances" at the College.^^ Its 
charges of individual harrassment and humiliation were particularly seri- 
ous. The organization also asserted that black women were not elected to 
leadership positions nor inducted into Silver Shield; that minorities were 
not represented in the admissions office; that few minority professors 
taught few minority studies; and that Meredith offered no counseling for 
black students. Sadly, some of BVU's concerns — particularly those relat- 
ing to individual behavior — might have lingered to some degree at 
Meredith, as they did in many communities of mixed races and differing 
cultures. But they and other accusations have been addressed over the 
years. In 1994, Dean Burris said, "Generally speaking, for the last 
twenty-five years, we've been committed to trying to attract black faculty, 
and we've attracted some good ones. We have hired a good many Black 
Americans — and other races, for that matter — but it has not been an 
easy road." If they were really good, he said, "they would get offers at 
higher salaries than Meredith could pay; otherwise, they would leave for 
the same reasons that white teachers leave" — because they were working 
toward advanced degrees, because they didn't fit in here, or because they 
weren't competent.^^ As to whether the student body should reflect soci- 
ety, to the degree that it is possible for a single-sex college to do so, Bur- 
ris said, "I don't think the student body has to reflect. It is self-selecting. 
I hope people who come from a culture that's a little different feel wel- 
come here, whether they're African-Americans or South Asians."^^ 

The Twiggs first edition of the 1973-74 term introduced "Joyce Mar- 
tin's Black Perspective," a column that assured minority students a voice 
through the newspaper. Late in that college generation, Deborah 
Matthews, '77, served on the Judicial Board of the Student Government 
Association and as president of the day students. In 1977-78, Joyce 
Montgomery, '78, chaired the Judicial Board, was named to Who's Who 
in American Colleges and Universities, and was tapped into Silver Shield. 
Both Matthews and Montgomery were African-Americans, as was Yvette 
Brown, 1989 -90 president of the SGA and, as a freshman, was president 
of her class. And, in 1989, the Office of Admissions employed Vanessa 
Goodman, '88, who had been elected president of her senior class, as a 
recruitment assistant for minorities; in 1993, Ms. Goodman was named 
assistant director of admissions. 

WOMEN AND women's COLLEGES: 1973 ~I975 ' 59 

BVU also requested professional counseling, as had some individual 
students. The SGA's legislative board and student life committee pro- 
posed the creation of such a position; the administration approved; and 
Elizabeth Wilson, the first full-time college counselor, joined the dean of 
students' staff in the fall of 1973. 

Students' concerns covered a wide range of issues, some as narrow as 
others were broad, many involving rules for campus living and regula- 
tions governing the community. Some of their issues continued into the 
nineties. For example, open house, which would include male visitation 
in the residence halls, was an ongoing topic for discussion. In the fall term 
of 1973, the legislative board of the SGA considered a bill that would 
allow a three-hour "open house" on Sunday afternoons. In 1974, how- 
ever, the trustees upheld the president's veto. 

At the same time, the student life committee called for revision of the 
drug policy, deleting the words "mandatory suspension or expulsion" for 
known violations. The committee preferred the penalty of probation, 
inasmuch as it provided some opportunity of "helping a fellow student 
with her [drug] problem, rather than multiplying her woes with swift 
punitive action."^'* 

The intensity of such discussions was eased by what seemed to be 
comic relief, such as an SGA report in the Twig: "Dr. Weems has now ap- 
proved the hair roller policy. . . . Rollers can now be worn everynight [sic] 
in the cafeteria and during Saturday and Sunday breakfast. Rollers can 
also be worn in the library on Saturday afternoons."^^ 

The "lighter side" could also apply to some of the entertainment that 
students booked for themselves. The Bathtub Ring, a campus singing 
group, could usually count on a "gig" for a traditional event or two. 
Founded in 1968 by Betty King, Ayn Sullivan, and Peggy Timmerman, all 
members of the Class of 1970, the group had first performed during Rush 
Week at a Phi luau. The Student Handbook reads, "Their blend of rebel- 
lion against and honoring of Meredith traditions has made them a peren- 
nial favorite at Cornhuskin' and other campus events."^^ In the late 
nineties, the Bathtub Ring was still alive and well as underclass women 
had replaced — by audition, of course — graduating seniors. But for some 
occasions, students went far afield to find their crowd-pleasers. Such was 
the case in 1974 when creative juniors transformed the usually formal 
junior-senior into a party of jeans-clad classmates, seniors, and their 


dates. While spaghetti was the only entree on the menu, the real main 
course was an after-dinner concert by the world-renowned Serendipity 
Singers. And, taking advantage of the football season at neighboring 
universities, students, with the help of Dean Joyce White, planned mix- 
ers with West Point cadets for the Friday nights before the UNC-Army 
game in October and the Duke-Army game in November. The Twig 
reviewed the October invasion: "Dancing rarely lagged as the band, 
'Faded Blue,' played excellent music."^'' The gym provided the dance 
floor; the hut offered a coffee house for conversation; and the new Gate 
Center attracted the pool players. 

Gate Genter opened in the 1972-73 school year and was dedicated on 
Founders' Day, 1974. It provided space for student activities on the sec- 
ond floor and the post office, book store, and Kresge Auditorium on the 
first. The center was named in honor of Kemp Shields Gate of Ghapel 
Hill, whose great niece, Frances Gate, was a sophomore at the time, and 
whose niece, Jane Gate Fowler, had graduated in 1953. The retired es- 
cheats officer at the University of North Garolina had given Meredith 
more than $400,000, the College's largest single gift to date. Gate's con- 
tribution was supplemented by grants from the Z. Smith Reynolds and 
Kresge Foundations. 

As Gate Genter became functional, trustees targeted other areas for 
change. They determined in September 1973 to construct a new riding 
ring, "properly designed and large enough to accommodate horse 
shows."^^ The new show ring was dedicated on Founders' Day, 1976, in 
memory of Zeno Martin, business manager and treasurer, 1943-53, who 
was primarily responsible for bringing equitation to Meredith, and in 
honor of Lorna Bell Broughton, '16. In April, Mrs. Broughton's brother, 
Victor Bell, co-sponsored the arena's first major event, a show attracting 
more than two hundred participants. 

Another structure had already taken shape in the minds of administra- 
tors and trustees and, later, on the drawing boards of architect Garter 
Williams. In February 1973, Glaude Williams, vice chairman of the 
trustees' buildings and grounds committee, recommended that the College 
build a fine arts building to ease the crowding of the music and art facili- 
ties. With the stipulation that approximately one-third of the needed funds 
would be in hand before the first brick was laid, the board voted "aye" to 
the recommendation. Since 1949, the music department had thrived in 



The 1974 show, Applause, receives acclaim, as does Jones Auditorium, 
then recently renovated to serve as a theater. 

and outgrown its space in Jones Auditorium and Music Building; the art 
department claimed foster homes all over the campus, but Joyner Hall was 
its headquarters. The trustees also instructed the College to air-condition 
and refurbish Jones Hall — its auditorium for music and drama produc- 
tions, its classrooms and practice areas for the teaching of art and drama. 
On completion, the renovations received rave reviews. Of the auditorium, 
drama critic Bill Morrison wrote in the News and Observer, "It's a most 
handsome theater, comfortable and acoustically sound, with the show 
[Applause] soaring easily to the upper reaches of the balcony. . . . "^^ 

As committees and individuals pondered the proper location for the 
new building — ultimately being designed only for music — they suffered 
through eleven months of indecision. Until they knew where to build, 
they could not know when to start. By January 1974, the decision seemed 
conclusive. Some trustees pictured the structure between the Mae Grim- 
mer Alumnae House and Joyner Hall, but students, faculty, and alumnae 


voiced opposition. In addition, the master plan showed a yet-to-be-built 
chapel on that very spot. Eight months later, the building sat — in the 
mind's eye and only briefly — between Gate Center and the Weatherspoon 
Building. Finally, in September, the trustees decided to house the music 
department close to its roots, its new home to be constructed next to 
Jones Hall and overlooking the lake and amphitheater. 

The location was generally agreed upon by the trustees, even if it 
meant the dismantling of the old log hut nearby. Built in 1942 for meet- 
ings and social occasions, the hut had become, of late, a coffee house. The 
cozy friendliness of roaring blazes in its two mammoth stone fireplaces 
had alleviated many a case of homesickness in students who, because of 
the times and the social regulations, had been limited by having few 
places to go and fewer ways to get there. Both they and the faculty — 
particularly the long-timers — disparaged destruction of the hut but were 
assured the trustees would consider a new version of the old cabin at a 
later date. In fact, said Joe Baker, they considered moving the hut to a dif- 
ferent location until the lowest bid came in at $3 5,000. 

As construction of the music building began, the President's Dining 
Room, which would accommodate up to sixty people, was almost ready 
for use. In the lower regions of Belk Hall, the handsome but windowless 
dining area was carved out of the forty-five-year-old dark and eerie pas- 
sageway familiarly known as the tunnel. While less than ideal, especially 
for claustrophobic diners, the President's Dining Room was rarely empty 
at the dinner hour, its popularity extending beyond the College to the 

Plans for the President's Dining Room, Cate Center, and the music 
building were carefully laid before the launching in 1968 of the Meredith 
College Advancement Program (MCAP), the most ambitious to date of 
all Meredith's fund-raising drives. The goal of MCAP was $5 million in 
five years, the money to finance five new buildings, renovations of older 
structures, and miscellaneous college needs. On Founders' Day in 1973, 
the year that Meredith's gift income exceeded $1 million for the first time, 
MCAP chairman, Shearon Harris, announced that commitments had ex- 
ceeded the goal by $93,000. Indeed, five new buildings — the Weather- 
spoon Physical Education and Recreation Building; the Massey House; 
Heilman and Barefoot Residence Halls; and Cate College and Continuing 
Education Center — attested to the success of the drive. 

WOMEN AND women's COLLEGES: 1973-1975 I 63 

The financial picture was good in 1973, and the administration in- 
tended to keep it that way. Despite inflation — "the greatest financial 
problem facing our college in these uncertain times," said Weems^° — 
guardians of the purse strings made every effort to hold tuition and fees 
to affordable levels, particularly in light of the fact that, in 1974, 20-22 
percent of the students received financial aid. In 1973, the $2,600 cost for 
a year at Meredith was considerably lower than private education's na- 
tional average of $3,241. Opponents of below-average student charges 
argued that the faculty and staff, therefore, could not be paid on the level 
of institutions of like kind. The College compensated, at least to some de- 
gree, with benefits and privileges. But some of the remuneration for ser- 
vices rendered was dictated by Federal law. For example. Vice President 
Baker announced in April 1974 that the new Wage and Flour Law would 
affect some pay scales and that on May i, the effective date of the bill, 
"all Meredith employees would be paid at least $2 per hour."^^ His an- 
nual report contained even better news: "Effective July i, 1974 every em- 
ployee at Meredith will be eligible for the same fringe benefits regardless 
of position." ^^ 

In 1975, the State of North Carolina slightly brightened the economic 
futures of its private colleges and their in-state students, earmarking $200 
per student for each school's financial aid account and a tuition grant of 
$100 per semester for each undergraduate North Carolinian. 

President Weems, the futurist, insisted early that Meredith develop a 
substantial endowment. In his fourth year, he could point with pardon- 
able pride to the growing financial base and to his administration's en- 
dowment goal of $30,000,000. At the time, approximately $3 million 
had been added to the coffers. 

The president also predicted the importance of computer technology 
to institutions like Meredith. In three years, the College advanced from a 
data-processing system of limited use to a computer terminal connected 
to the Triangle Universities Computer Center. "One of the major uses of 
the computer will be information retrieval," said Weems. "It is my phi- 
losophy that the best decisions can be made by those people with the 
most accurate information. . . ."^^ Congruent with his statement was his 
decision that Meredith's trustees would be "the most informed board in 
the country." ^"^ And primarily for their information but also for myriad 
other uses, he initiated two publications: first, in the earlier years, the 


President's Notebook series, and later, Strategic Planning Documents, 
both of which emanated from his office at the rate of several each year. 

Video technology also made its debut in 1973-74. A studio camera 
using black-and-white film, a video-cassette player, and a television re- 
ceiver were the first components of the eventual impressive store of tech- 
nical equipment to swell the holdings of the Carlyle Campbell Library. 

Library holdings have always been a measure of academic effective- 
ness. But no yardstick, thermometer, scale, or vessel could gauge the en- 
ergy expended by a college like Meredith for the general well-being of its 
students, whether they wanted it or not. Concern for students' safety had 
increased over the years as the need for it had multiplied. The rounds of 
one nightwatchman — sufficient security for most of the previous years — 
was perceived as more apropos of the Victorian era than of the restless 
society of the seventies. The student population, as well as the number of 
campus facilities, had grown, and students came and went during later 
hours. As of 1972., nighttime security guards complemented the daytime 
force. In 1974, Mr. Baker reported that they would receive police training 
in the use of firearms and academic training from Wake Technical Insti- 
tute. Daniel G. Shattuck was named the first chief of security in 1972; 
when he retired in 1996, his successor, Michael Hoke, inherited a force of 
fifteen women and men who wore badges but carried no guns. 

AS THE COLLEGE was Concerned for its students, alumnae were concerned 
for their college. Among President Weems's early observations was that 
Meredith alumnae "must be the most fiercely loyal in the world. . . ."^^ 
And Dean Burris remembered his first impressions of Meredith in 1969: 
"I was young and green and used to other settings; I had never before 
seen alumnae[/alumni] like the alumnae here."^^ Their material gifts were 
one measure of their devotion. Inspired by new development on the west 
campus, Laura Weatherspoon Harrill, '27, a participant in the Weather- 
spoon family's gift of the physical education building, assumed her own 
personal project of soliciting funds for the purchase of oak trees to be 
planted near Cate Center and the Weatherspoon Building. The slogan of 
her direct mail campaign to alumnae was "Go MOD with me in '73," 
MOD being the acronym for Meredith Oak Donor. Through her land- 
scape gardener's discerning eye, Mrs. Harrill envisioned an avenue of 
oaks extending from the Mae Grimmer Alumnae House to the Massey 


House. Her project resulted in the planting of ninety trees, including a 
grove of twenty at Gate Center. The grove — each tree of a variety differ- 
ent from the others — w^as Lucile Withers Ferrell's gift in honor of her 
Class of 1907. 

While Harrill beautified the landscape, Sarah Elizabeth Vernon Watts, 
'34, refurbished the Harris Rare Books Room in the Carlyle Campbell Li- 
brary for a historical collection. Not only did she furnish the room, but 
she also undertook the job of collecting items of historical significance. 
Portraits of Thomas Meredith and his wife, Georgia Sears Meredith, 
dominate the wall space over a display case of treasures such as President 
Richard Vann's Bible from the cornerstone of old Faircloth Hall on the 
original campus; Lillian Parker Wallace's Phi Beta Kappa key; President 
Carlyle Campbell's watch; the original words and music to "You're the 
Queen of Our Hearts," by Mary O'Kelly Peacock, '26; and the Gold 
Medallion, the Governor's Award for Achievement in Literature, which 
was presented to Bernice Kelly Harris, '13, the first novelist to be pub- 
lished by the University of North Carolina Press. In the Harris Room, 
books and original art work abound, and individual and class scrap- 
books combine to write their own biography of the College. Occupying 
shelf space with museum pieces are contemporary file boxes, one for each 
class, "cunningly made to look like beautiful books bound in maroon"^^ 
and gilt-stamped with the college seal. Inside each file are appropriate 
memorabiha — programs, snapshots, and the like — from the class repre- 
sented. The boxes were a gift of William M. Watts and his corporation, 
Mid-State Paper Box Company. 

Throughout Meredith's history, alumnae have given money, personal 
treasures, time, leadership, and talents. They have also given of them- 
selves to their society and, therefore, to their College. In 1975, Susan 
Jackson Mellette, '42, associate professor of internal medicine at the 
Medical College of Virginia, received the Virginia Cancer Society's high- 
est award for her outstanding contributions to cancer control, and Betty 
Duckworth, '68, was named manager for female affirmative action for 
the southern region of the Xerox Corporation; in 1974, Anne Bryan, '71, 
was elected president of the Meredith College Alumnae Association, the 
youngest woman in many years to hold that office; in 1973, Elizabeth 
Davis Reid, '46, filled a seat on the Raleigh City Council, and Casey Mc- 
Daniel, '73, became a special agent with the State Bureau of Investiga- 


tion, proving that even very young women were capturing jobs previously 
reserved for men. 

ON OCTOBER I, 197Z, Oliver L. Stringfield, M.D., son of Oliver Larkin 
Stringfield, early fund raiser for BFU, wrote President Weems a letter: 

You said you were surprised by Meredith girls at first "because they 
come on so strong." Do you know why? Anyone who has been on 
the campus for any length of time will get that unconscious feeling 
of well being by noting the uplifted faces of the girls and their 
"doing their own thing." There is an invisible CANOPY hovering 
over the campus supplyed [sic] and governed by the Almighty 
which supplys [sic] the fuel for this spirit. There you have it.^^ 

Meredith liked to think that if students "came on strong," they exem- 
plified the benefits of a woman's college environment. In any case, they 
contributed greatly to spirit and to academic reputation. In the 1973 
North Carolina Student Legislature, the Best Small College Legislation 
Award went to the Meredith delegation that sponsored a bill "for protec- 
tion of information or sources received and used by a newsperson." ^^ That 
same spring, Cathy Murff won a Phi Beta Kappa Award for her paper ti- 
tled "North Bloodworth Street: the Effects of Economic Progress," which 
was judged "the best historical research done by a student in Wake 
County in the past year."-"*^ And Debbie Edge received the same award in 
1975 for "William Boylan: Adopted Son of Wake County." The list grew 
to include Julie Jones for "Whigs in the North Carolina Revolutionary 
Period"; Mazie Fleetwood for "North Carolina Supreme Court Justices 
of the Nineteenth Century"; and the fifth history major in seven years so 
recognized, Nancy Martin for her paper on the Pearsal Plan. And the 
near "monopoly" continued into the eighties when Phyllis Wurst, '84, 
again captured the prize, and Silda Wall, '80, won the State Historical So- 
ciety's Hugh Lefler Award for her paper titled "Josephus Daniels: Per- 
sonal Injector in Political Policy." 

In 1974, another talented student, sophomore Beth Leavel, worked 
magic through her original choreography for Applause, the fall playhouse 
production. Ms. Leavel had studied dance before entering Meredith, but 
her love for the stage was sparked by drama coach Linda Bamford's hav- 
ing realized her potential in choreography, and by her previous year's role 


as Rabbit in the College's production of Winnie-the-PoohJ^ In his review 
for the News and Observer, Bill Morrison wrote that Applause was "con- 
vincingly danced — with several droll touches along the way from chore- 
ographer Beth Leavel. ..." He also hinted of things to come: "The show 
had a Broadway sheen. . . ."''^ Even before the rave review, Leavel con- 
fessed to the Twig that she dreamed of working on Broadway. The cast 
thought she was well on the way, and indeed she was. In her first major 
role there, she sang, danced, and acted her way into the character of 
Annie Reilly — "Anytime Annie" — in the multi-year run of 42nd Street. 

For Beth Leavel, Broadway was the road to success; for Meredith, 
Hillsborough Street was still the road to everywhere in town. The Col- 
lege and the city never developed the "town versus gown" rivalry of 
some academic communities. To the contrary, history records numerous 
instances of happy cooperation. On the memorable occasion of July 4, 
1973, Meredith welcomed 8,000 revelers who rocked the campus at the 
city's "first Independence Day celebration in years. . . ."^^ Memories of 
the event lingered, at least in the mind of columnist A.C. Snow, who 
wrote in the gloom of the following February, "The Meredith ducks . . . 
made news last July 4 when, during [director] Ira Wood's 'Richard, the 
Third' at Meredith's pond, they drowned out the actors' lines with their 

WHEN SENIOR CLASS president, Jo Ann Williford, unveiled the 1975 class 
doll, she described the doll's apparel: skirt, tank top, sheer shirt, tie scarf, 
clogs, and an International Women's Year pin. That summer, the Alum- 
nae Magazine pictured Vice President Sandra Thomas presenting an iden- 
tical pin to India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at Mrs. Gandhi's New 
Delhi home. (Thomas had represented the World Education Fellowship 
in India in December 1974.) 

International Women's Year, 1975, evolved from a 1972 resolution of 
the United Nations General Assembly. President Gerald Ford ordered its 
observance in the United States, and Meredith celebrated it for a week 
but observed it all year. To begin the campus celebration, Betty Friedan, 
founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the Na- 
tional Political Caucus, addressed a college and community audience on 
October 6. Her topic was "The Women's Movement: Where Are We 
Now and Where Are We Going?" During the celebration, Lisa Sergio, 


who had spoken in 1972 at a United Nations Workshop, appeared for a 
return engagement. Sergio was the first woman radio commentator in Eu- 
rope and, for many years, a newscaster and opera and concert broad- 
caster in the United States. 

Vice President Thomas, an official delegate of the U.N.'s World Edu- 
cation Fellowship to the International Women's Year World Conference 
in Mexico City, June 19 -July 4, reflected on the year's significance: 

International Women's Year ... is a call to action for the recogni- 
tion of the achievements, the potential, and the status and con- 
ditions of women throughout the world, with the vision that it 
will bring advancement for women in every country, and that it 
will introduce an era when governments give high priority to the 
goal of women's equality, ergo, the betterment of the condition of 
all people. ^^ 

KNOWLEDGE REPRODUCES ITSELF in understanding. How students and 
alumnae use it as leavening is the College's primary contribution to soci- 
ety. It stands to reason, then, that if Meredith is the maturing of a 
woman, it is also a participant in the maturing of a society — locally, na- 
tionally, and globally. 


"treasure in 



IN 1976, ALLEN Burris defined the Christian college as "the church min- 
istering to society's needs in higher education."^ The church college, he 
said, "acknowledges its Christian pre-supposition and places its Christian 
bias at the heart of what it is about. But, like a hospital whose first duty 
is to heal, a college's first duty is to educate."- Burris's thoughts on the 
Christian college composed the lead article for the first edition of Mere- 
dith, successor to the Alumnae Magazine. 

Because of the College's religious heritage, its community spoke easily 
of its spiritual dimensions; however, such speech was often foreign to so- 
ciety in general, particularly outside the Bible Belt. But even before the 
premier edition of the new magazine found its way to mailboxes around 
the country, a smattering of religious language crept into national con- 
versations and raised questions, if not eyebrows, on the six o'clock news. 
This was the period of Jimmy Carter's rise to national political power. A 
Southern Baptist, governor of Georgia, and candidate for president of the 
United States, Carter spoke the idiom of a southern churchman, though 
much of the nation had never learned the language. An editorial writer in 
the Christian Century said. 

The arrival of a "born again" Southern Baptist layman on the na- 
tional political scene . . . pushed [journalists] into the unfamiliar ter- 



ritory of subjective religious feelings, and away from more familiar 
and objective issue decisions as they were influenced by religion. 
When Jimmy Carter began talking of his "born again" experience 
in the North Carolina primary in April 1976, reporters latched on 
to the famihar labels of "conservative" and "fundamentahst" to de- 
scribe the candidate's religious views. Gradually, it became journal- 
istic shorthand to identify Mr. Carter's "religious" supporters as 
evangelicals, a term which suggested to many readers a group of 
rigid, deeply committed Christians who have taken strong stands 
on political and religious issues.^ 

Partly because of such labels, people like Jimmy Carter and colleges like 
Meredith were — and are — sometimes misunderstood. Burris's magazine 
article, however, clearly articulated Meredith's philosophy, comparing the 
dual nature of the church college to that of the human creatures found in 
the first two chapters of Genesis: "they are made in the image of God and 
they are made of the dust of the earth." In like manner, he said, "the 
church college, as a human institution, . . . partakes of [the] attributes of 
power and responsibility with all the limitations of earthliness. In this 
context, we have no excuse for inaction and no basis for pride in our own 
power and virtue.""^ 

Certainly the College was not guilty of inaction in the mid- to late- 
seventies; however, some distractions were pardonable in 1976 as voters 
prepared to cast their ballots for the first elected president since Watergate 
and as the nation observed, often with spine-tingling, emotion-packed fer- 
vor, its Bicentennial Year, Meredith went early to the bicentennial party. 
For Parents' Weekend in 1975, students fashioned a Liberty Tree by hang- 
ing signs and effigies from the Umbs of a small red maple between Johnson 
and Joyner Halls. Through the Twig, history Professor Frank Grubbs 
reached beyond his classroom to teach the meaning of the tree: 

The Liberty Tree was used during the Revolution Period as a focal 
point for Colonial dissent against the British in Boston and other 
towns. The Boston Tree was the most famous and was cut down 
twice by the British. The Meredith tree will be decorated [similarly] 
to the first Boston tree and all items on the Meredith tree will be 
copied after the original. ... As far as we know, Meredith is the 
only College in North Carolina planning such a restoration.^ 

"treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I 71 

Students decorate a liberty tree in commemoration of 
America's Bicentennial in 1976. 

And as far as anyone knew, Meredith was the only college "flying" a 
19 X 12-foot flag patterned after specifications set forth by the first Con- 
tinental Congress in 1777. Home economics major Mary Lou Journigan, 
'75, hand-sewed the flag in a special studies history course. Frequently on 
loan for bicentennial observances, the flag came home only occasionally 
and, because of its size, was draped from one of the upper levels of Bryan 
Rotunda rather than flown in the literal sense. Among Meredith's indirect 
contributions to the celebrations were the several alumnae who accepted 
leadership roles in their cities and counties; for example, Julia Bryan, '73? 
served Meredith's larger community as executive director of the Wake 
County American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, As the bicenten- 
nial wound down, Bryan returned to Meredith as assistant director of 

For the bicentennial convocation on February 2, 1976, Alvin Pous- 
saint, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, spoke 
on "The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights Movement." Dr. Poussaint was 
also a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, a member of 
PUSH (People United to Save Humanity), treasurer of the Black Academy 


of Arts and Letters, author, and student of black and white relations in 
the United States. 

Bicentennial observances ushered in 1976, and the presidential elec- 
tion ushered it out. Meredith people chose political sides and supported 
their candidates — either Jimmy Carter, the Democratic Party's nominee, 
or Gerald Ford, winner over Ronald Reagan for the Republican Party's 
nomination. The fall's first edition of the Twig showcased politics, run- 
ning cleverly biased pieces under even more cleverly constructed titles, 
such as Phyllis Burnett's "Will America recall Ford?"^ America would 
readily re-elect the incumbent if sophomore Carol Lancaster had her say. 
An active student partisan, Lancaster worked in an official capacity to or- 
ganize a campaign stop at Meredith for Jack Ford, son of the incumbent. 
At the Heck Memorial Fountain in the courtyard. Ford delivered a speech 
on behalf of his father and of vice presidential candidate, Robert Dole. 
The News and Observer for October 9 reported, "President Ford's 24- 
year-old son Jack promised a Republican victory in North Carolina in 
November to the cheers of some 1,500 women at Meredith College here 
Friday."'^ Lancaster had been a youth coordinator for Ronald Reagan in 
the North Carolina presidential primary and one of twenty "Reagan- 
ettes" at the Republican National Convention. Kim Farlow, a Twig re- 
porter, called her "a 5'! " package of political dynamite."^ 

At least two Meredith students witnessed the January 20, 1977, inau- 
guration of Jimmy Carter, the thirty-ninth president of the United States. 
Deciding on inauguration eve to make the trip, juniors Vicki Jayne and 
Ginger Gay left Meredith within the hour and arrived in Washington, 
D.C. at 3:00 A.M. Jayne told the Twig that, from their perch atop a CBS 
News trailer, the pair enjoyed an unobstructed view of Carter and his 
running mate, Walter Mondale, taking their oaths of office.^ 

SIMULTANEOUS WITH EARLY political rhctotic and bicentennial obser- 
vances, Meredith inaugurated its Raising the Sights of Women program. 
In 1975, the College had received a grant of $75,000 from the Andrew W 
Mellon Foundation to underwrite RSW for three years, beginning in Au- 
gust. Director Sarah Lemmon, who had chaired the committee and been 
instrumental in fashioning the proposal, said RSW was not to offer stu- 
dents "a whole smorgasbord of careers but to help them strengthen their 
psychological tools so they [would] know what to do."'° Toward that 

"treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I 73 

end, Meredith would sponsor symposia and panels; artists-in-residence; 
student exchanges; and other enrichment possibilities. Workshops for 
training faculty and student leaders would underscore the importance of 
the program across the curriculum. 

A year after the first grant had arrived, Lemmon accompanied Presi- 
dent Weems and Vice President Kanipe to New York City to appeal to the 
Rockefeller Foundation for additional funding. A foundation staff mem- 
ber dashed the hopes of the delegation with her terse statement: "I don't 
think you can raise the sights of Southern women." ^^ That opinion not- 
withstanding, a different — and enthusiastic — foundation official called 
several months later with happier news: "I have just been reading your 
proposal, and I don't know of anything else like it anywhere in the coun- 
try. . . . We want to give you $25,000," she said, "but you have to show us 
what you will do with it." ^- 

The committee did a great deal with the Rockefeller grant and others. 
In addition to ongoing symposia, such as assertive decision-making and 
a Life Directions Seminar for freshmen, Raising the Sights of Women pro- 
vided countless opportunities for students to participate in off-campus 
events. One of the hallmarks of the program was demonstrated by four 
students who attended a 1977 International Women's Year observance in 
Houston, Texas. On their return to the campus, they demonstrated in 
every way available the advantages of their opportunities. The same held 
true for gymnastics team members who enrolled in a week-long clinic in 
Florida and for the Outing Club who went camping and skiing in Colo- 
rado. Under the RSW umbrella, other students participated in programs, 
such as the North Carolina Student Legislature and the United Nations 
Seminar at Harvard where, in a mock U.N. session, Meredith women vic- 
ariously became the delegates from Sweden. 

In RSW's first year, freshmen suggested a spring festival of creativity, 
bringing to the campus for two days Heather Ross Miller, Suzanne New- 
ton, Sylvia Wilkinson, and Patricia H. Howell — writers who read and 
discussed their work. The festival also sponsored a musical treat as Alice 
Parker, composer, conductor, and arranger for the Robert Shaw Chorale, 
conducted her original choral work, Journey: Pilgrims and Strangers, 
benefiting from student vocalists and an orchestra from North Carolina 
State. At voice instructor Jane Watkins Sullivan's suggestion, the College 
commissioned Parker to compose another work just for Meredith. The 


commissioned cantata, Commentaries, was based on the poems of Emily 
Dickinson and performed not only by Meredith's Chorale, Chorus, and 
Renaissance Singers but also by the Brenau College Women's Concert 
Choir, the Mississippi University for Women Concert Choir, and the 
North Carolina Little Symphony. The 1978 premier performance of 
Commentaries was the cornerstone of a four-day choral festival at the 
College. The festival was reminiscent of a similar event at Loyola Univer- 
sity in New Orleans in 1977, where the Chorale was one of ten ensembles 
and the only all-female choir invited to participate. 

Students chose Women in Sports as the theme for the second semester 
of Raising the Sights of Women, inviting to the campus Janet Guthrie, the 
first woman to drive a race car in the Indianapolis 500. The physicist- 
turned-sportswoman captured the attention of the News and Observer: 
"A bachelor's degree in physics may have helped in her mechanical pur- 
suits, but she denies she is unique. 'All that talk about women not being 
competent in math is brainwashing,' she said. 'Music is an intricate a sub- 
ject as math, and women have traditionally and easily mastered that.' "^^ 

Maggie Odell, Twig editor, wrote of her hope that the theme would 
arouse new diligence in bringing women's athletics to Meredith. Her edi- 
torial reminded readers that "It hasn't been long since Billie Jean King 
opened the question with her defeat of Bobby Riggs, the most celebrated 
male chauvinist pig in America. . . ."^"^ The editor alluded to the heralded 
tennis match of 1973, which brought victory to the female tennis star and 
energized the women's movement. Odell would have been a freshman 
that year; perhaps she had participated in, or at least witnessed, reaction 
to the match. The News and Observer had reported the celebration: 

Some 300 students at all-female Meredith College here celebrated 
Mrs. King's victory over Riggs by trying to stage a "jockey raid" on 
N.C. State University. 

The students massed on Hillsborough Street in front of Meredith 
and asked for a police escort down the street to predominantly male 
N.C. State. 

But the policemen talked them into heading back to Meredith 
where they held a joyous celebration.^^ 

The cutline for a photograph in the story read, "Meredith students chant 
'Bobby Riggs is 55 and we are No. i.'"^^ 

"treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I 75 

Raising the Sights of Women offered something for everybody. One of 
its popular presentations, a symposium titled What Future for My Gen- 
eration? intrigued its Meredith audience. Beginning with the showing of 
zooi: A Space Odyssey, the four-day symposium ended with the closing 
of a time capsule to remain sealed for fifty years. When the capsule is 
opened in 2028, its contents will indicate "lifestyles, interests, and pur- 
poses of society in general and Meredith in particular, 1978 version."^^ Its 
"myriad articles" are "as Meredith as a 1978 Twig and as universal as a 
Big Mac wrapper." ^^ 

Some years later, in a conversation with head librarian Jonathan Lind- 
sey. Dr. Lemmon reflected on Raising the Sights of Women. Particularly 
pleased with the active roles of students in the plans and procedures, she 
said, "It was in the practice of doing [that] one of the objectives . . . [was 
met]. . . . There was a great deal going on during those three years, and I 
think the campus resources, both intellectual and tangible/physical, were 
greatly increased during that time."^^ 

ONE OF THE majot considerations of the seventies was curriculum re- 
form. While the changes were adopted in the late seventies, the ideas 
were generated as early as 1974. For fifty years or more, the College had 
combined a student's credit hours and quality point ratio to determine 
her classification. In 1975, however, the instruction committee and Aca- 
demic Council succeeded in their efforts to eliminate the QPR compo- 
nent in such considerations, classifying students with 1-25 hours of 
credit as freshmen; with 26-59 hours as sophomores; with 60-89 
hours as juniors; and with 90 or more hours as seniors. The change came 
in the midst of intense study by a Task Force on Curriculum Reform, 
chaired by Sally Horner of the chemistry department. That summer, a 
study committee of Drs. Burris, Horner, Lemmon, and L. Frazier partic- 
ipated in a two-week, UNC-sponsored Institute for Undergraduate Cur- 
riculum Reform at Appalachian State University and later submitted its 
proposal to the task force for study. After a year's consideration, the task 
force recommended to Academic Council that the general education cat- 
egories — Humanities and the Fine Arts; Natural Sciences and Mathe- 
matics; and Social Sciences — be changed to Human Values; Society; the 
Natural Universe; the Human Body; Language; and the new category 
"Life Directions." The council, however, voted to retain the old cate- 


gories, with the addition of Health and Physical Education. It also ex- 
pressed a philosophy: 

Meredith College is committed to the education of the whole per- 
son. Therefore, basic requirements for all students are designed to 
encourage the full development of all of the capacities for human 
knowledge — sensing, feeling, and thinking. Courses in the arts, sci- 
ences, and humanities are required of all students as essential to a 
hberal education that is dramatically related to traditional knowl- 
edge, values, and insights and to the demands of a changing age. 
These courses are divided into four categories which expose the stu- 
dent to a broad distribution of human knowledge and to different 
modes of learning about herself and her world.^° 

In unveiling the new general education program, the Academic Coun- 
cil offered the following statement, which has since been printed in each 
edition of the college catalogue: 

Each student should examine human values and begin the lifelong 
process of developing her own beliefs about the meaning of exis- 
tence in relation to herself, to others, and to God. She should en- 
counter the great creative achievements of mankind and discover 
those values which are for her most essential to a rich, full, and sig- 
nificant life. She should understand herself in society and develop 
her knowledge about the human community, both in local, na- 
tional, and world expressions and in its past and present forms. She 
should have an informed concept of herself as a part of the natural 
universe, and she should develop skills in the processes of scientific 
reasoning and mathematics. She should know her own body and 
should develop skills consistent with her physique, natural abilities, 
and interests. She should develop an analytical and practical mas- 
tery of language as the primary medium through which we learn 
and share our knowledge. 

Toward these ends each student who receives the B.A. or B.S. de- 
gree must fulfill the requirements.^^ 

The task force, said Burris, "affirmed concern for vocation and voca- 
tional education . . . and gave rise to career planning and cooperative ed- 
ucation."^^ As the general changes took effect, individual departments 

"treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I 77 

busily fashioned new and improved programs, or they revised old ones. 
In his 1976-77 annual report, Dean Burris matched departments and de- 
scriptive terms: art, "complete rethinking"; business, "major significantly 
strengthened"; elementary education, "reworked"; foreign language, 
"significant changes next year"; music, "revised curriculum for all ma- 
jors;" sociology, "anticipates study and revision;" equitation, "program 
has improved markedly this year."^^ 

For relevancy in a rapidly changing culture, curriculum revision was 
commonplace. Since Dr. Huber had become chairman of the psychology 
department in 1974, he had steered the focus away from the philosophi- 
cal and toward the scientific, declaring that his predecessors had "put to- 
gether a psychology major with spit and bailing wire."^"* Now, he said, the 
department's two priorities were to put a "solid curriculum" in place and 
to get students involved: "In the first year, we had student representatives 
come on board and attend department meetings, and since that time they 
have had input. I like to think we're a little bit ahead of our time on that. 
We applied that first year and got the psychology honorary [Psi Chi]."^^ 
In just two years, the department, in cooperation with North Carolina 
State, hosted the 1976 Carolinas Psychology Conference. The event, at- 
tracting several hundred students from the Carolinas and neighboring 
states, was the first of the annual conferences for undergraduates in the 
area. It grew out of a philosophy of "trying to provide opportunities for 
women to become the very best scientists possible." ^^ 

In some instances, revised curricula brought new faces to the fore, and 
vice versa. In 1977, alumna Rebecca Murray became chairman of the De- 
partment of Education. Murray received her A.B. at Meredith in 1958, 
her M.Ed, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her 
Ed.D. at Duke. She left Columbia College in South Carolina to return to 
Meredith, where she immersed herself in campus activities. Her students 
usually saw her as an encourager; the College in general saw her as a 
lover of the classroom, of Meredith history, and of the stage on which she 
acted in many a presentation of the Meredith Playhouse and, later, of 
Meredith Performs. But policy makers and planners from entities as di- 
verse as Meredith and City Hall sometimes felt the sting of Dr. Murray, 
the gadfly, as she questioned motives and actions. 

John Holt had moved from acting to permanent chairman of the De- 
partment of Foreign Languages in 1976. He had recently completed his 


Ph.D. degree at Harvard, after having earned his A.M. there and his A.B. 
at the University of Virginia. Ann Kurtz succeeded him in 1979. Dr. 
Kurtz's extensive teaching experiences abroad included her then-most- 
recent tenure at Damavand College in Iran, a country very much in the 
news at the time of her appointment. She had earned her A.B. at Welles- 
ley and her A.M. and Ph.D. at the University of Maryland. 

In other instances, reorganization dictated personnel changes. As the 
continuing education program grew sufficiently to warrant additional ad- 
ministrators, Sarah Lemmon, history department chairman since 1962, 
was named the first dean of continuing education and special programs in 
1977. Frank Grubbs, already a member of the history department, suc- 
ceeded Dr. Lemmon. Dr. Grubbs completed his work for the A.B. at 
Lynchburg College and for the A.M. and Ph.D. at the University of Vir- 
ginia. Both he and his future wife, Carolyn Barrington, '60, had joined 
the department in 1963, and their ensuing courtship delighted starry-eyed 
students, as had the romance of L.E.M. Freeman, religion, and Katherine 
Parker, home economics, five decades earlier. Historian Mary Lynch 
Johnson recorded the Grubbs's marriage in 1965 as "the first between 
faculty members" since the Freemans wed in 1916.^^ 

Another reorganization occurred when Sally Horner, chemistry de- 
partment chairman, joined the administration as the first director of in- 
stitutional research in 1978. Reginald B. Shiflett, who replaced Dr. 
Horner, earned the B.S. degree in chemical engineering as well as the 
Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Virginia. Before coming to Mere- 
dith, Shiflett was chairman of the division of natural sciences at Camp- 
bellsville College, a Baptist institution in Kentucky. 

In 1980, as dean of students, Dorothy J. Sizemore became the newest 
member of the student development staff, and, by virtue of her office, a 
member of the faculty. Charles Davis resigned his chairmanship of the 
mathematics department to join the administration as assistant dean and 
registrar. Replacing him was Ed Wheeler, "a young scholar and teacher 
with deep roots in Baptist colleges."^^ Dr. Wheeler, who had taught at 
Northern Kentucky University for seven years, was an alumnus of Sam- 
ford for his A.B. and of the University of Virginia for his Ph.D. 

Having just completed his doctorate at the University of Utah in 1980, 
Eugene M. Sumner assumed the chairmanship of the Department of So- 

"treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I 79 

ciology and Social Work as Leslie Syron asked to be relieved of her ad- 
ministrative duties. Sumner joined the faculty in 1973 after holding sev- 
eral pastorates and an administrative post with the Free Will Baptist Chil- 
dren's Home in Middlesex. He is a graduate of Mt. Olive Junior College 
and of Atlantic Christian College. He earned the M.Div. degree at South- 
eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and the M.S.W. at the University of 
North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

IN THE mid-seventies, predictions of a dearth of college-age students 
dominated planning sessions and even some casual conversations. In 
1976, President Weems said, 

There is no growth indicated for private higher education in North 
Carolina in the next five years. . . . because of a decline in high 
school graduates. Demographic material . . . indicates that there is 
an out-migration flow from the State of North Carolina. Most pri- 
vate colleges within the state have depended upon recruitment ac- 
tivities in other states to maintain their enrollments. As a result 
enrollments in private institutions now exceed fifty percent in out- 
of-state students. National figures suggest that this availability of 
students also will decline rapidly in the i98o's.-^^ 

Such predictions would not have seemed to bode well for Meredith in 
light of the fact that 83 percent of its students were North Carolinians, 
but the College continued to enjoy year after year of record-breaking en- 
rollment. In fact, the Twig called attention to a housing shortage in the 
fall of 1978: "Due to the increase in resident students this year . . . three 
and four girls are sharing single rooms because of overcrowded condi- 
tions."^° The spring term of 1979 was no different: Forty-nine new stu- 
dents enrolled, bringing the resident population to 1,104, the highest ever 
recorded for a second semester. And that number would be thirty-four 
fewer than enrollment for the second semester in 1980. Dean White had 
shed some light on the overcrowding when she reported a 1977 retention 
rate of 85.5 percent, as compared to the national average of 67 percent 
for women's colleges. To ease the dilemma, Dr. Thomas recommended in 
April 1979 that as many as twenty seniors, preferably those graduating in 
mid-term, be allowed to live off -campus; however, no students accepted 


the invitation, either that year or the next. In September 1980, ninety-six 
prospective freshmen opted for a residence-hall waiting list, hoping that 
attrition would finally admit them to the college of their choice. 

Overcrowding was a solvable problem, markedly preferable to the op- 
posite extreme. Other predicaments thrust upon the College, to its bewil- 
derment, also required creative and sometimes painful solutions. For ex- 
ample, another energy crisis struck in the winter of 1977, as Raleigh 
suffered its coldest temperatures since 19 18. The maintenance staff quickly 
insulated exposed pipes and installed new radiator controls in the origi- 
nal residence halls, "making it possible for the first time to regulate heat 
in each room."^^ But Mr. Baker took additional steps toward conserva- 
tion. Some were drastic: Hot water temperature was lowered, and all 
thermostats were set at 65 degrees; heat in Johnson Hall and the class- 
room buildings was turned off from Friday to Sunday nights, making the 
weekend use of specified buildings almost non-existent. While Baker's 
practices might have seemed harsh, he was, after all, responsible for bal- 
ancing a budget against six fuel oil price increases that winter. And in the 
warmer days of April, campus residents and workers, who had shivered 
in January, February, and March, understood that Meredith's having 
saved about twenty-five gallons of oil every hour was necessary to sur- 
viving the winter with any warmth at all. 

The high cost of energy was indicative of the economy of the period. 
Inflation was a nemesis of the one-term presidency of Jimmy Carter. Col- 
lege fund raiser Royster Hedgepeth, new vice president for institutional 
advancement, understood economic pressure as it applied to educational 
institutions. In his first year, he wrote, "The bulk of college spending oc- 
curs in those areas where inflation has been most severe — areas ranging 
from salaries to energy costs. In some cases, the rate of increase in oper- 
ating costs has approached 20 per cent a year for the past five years." He 
cited startling statistics of the years 1973 -1978: "^^e cost of oil has in- 
creased 298 per cent and the cost of electricity 98 per cent. . . ." Dr. 
Hedgepeth warned that if tuition climbed at the rate of expenses, Mere- 
dith would price itself out of the market. Inflation, he said, was one of 
three factors "reshaping the face of higher education in America."^- The 
other two pressures, he said, were the shortage of students and changes in 
attitudes toward higher education, from the standpoints of both students 
and supporters. 

'treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I 81 

Snow blankets the campus in the winter of 1996. 

Into 1978, Weems continued the flow of information regarding a de- 
clining student-age market. For example, he said, in North Carolina in 
1980, "there would be 74,000 high school graduates, and ... in 1990 
there would be only 56,000. . . ."^^ How those statistics would affect 
Meredith depended, to a degree, on how the College defined itself, 
Hedgepeth said. "America's colleges and universities cannot be all things 
to all people. They must define whom they serve, where their money will 
be spent, and how they will present themselves. . . . Terms such as mar- 
ket analysis, product management, and cost effectiveness will be an inte- 
gral part of the college's new definition." He added, "In the process of de- 
finition, there is an inherent conflict between the need to change and the 
need to remain the same."^"* 

Royster C. Hedgepeth joined the administration June i, 1977, succeed- 
ing John T Kanipe, who had accepted the presidency of Southern Semi- 
nary Junior College. Hedgepeth reached Meredith by way of Hampden- 
Sydney, one of the then-few remaining private colleges for men — perhaps 
the only one — where he was associate director of institutional develop- 
ment. The thirty-two-year-old had earned the B.A. at Wake Forest, the 
master's at the University of Florida, and the Ph.D. at Cornell. The first 


new vice president since Sandra Thomas's election in 1974, Hedgepeth 
arrived as Tliomas prepared for a year's leave of absence, the College's 
having honored her request to fill a gubernatorial appointment as execu- 
tive director of the new^ office of citizen affairs for the State of North 

In one of Hedgepeth 's early sessions v^ith trustees, he reported that 
Madaline Elliott Buchanan, '28, w^anted to give money to Meredith for 
her class project to raise $50,000 toward a chapel fund. Minutes of the 
meeting read, "In discussing this matter, it was deemed necessary first to 
determine whether or not Meredith wishes to accept money for the con- 
struction of a chapel. . . . Following discussion [it was moved and sec- 
onded] that Meredith accept funds for the purpose of building a chapel 
and that it be included in the long-range priorities."^^ Long-range prior- 
ities, according to Hedgepeth, depended upon raising in the next few 
years more than $17 million for buildings, faculty and program devel- 
opment, and scholarships. In September 1979, when the Board of 
Trustees approved the fund-raising effort, they also adopted its name — 
the Visions Program — and its goal of $20 million. The goal was divided 
into two parts: $6 million for faculty development and capital outlay 
and $14 million for the general endowment. A month before the board 
formally inaugurated the Visions Program, the executive committee 
learned that Sarah Cook Rawley, '29, and her husband, D.A. Rawley, 
had given Meredith stock in a family-owned newspaper, the sale of 
which, Hedgepeth said, would mean approximately $628,000 in unre- 
stricted money for the College. Rarely were gifts of that size unre- 

Only months into the Visions Program, Vice President Hedgepeth re- 
signed. As of January 14, 1980, he was succeeded by Jerry E. McGee, a 
graduate of East Carolina University, who had earned his M.A, from 
Appalachian State and his Ed.D. from Nova University. Dr. McGee came 
from a five-year stint at Gardner- Webb, also a Baptist college, where he 
had served as assistant to the president. On football Saturdays, he 
donned a striped shirt and was spotted on television screens as an official 
in the Atlantic Coast Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic As- 
sociation. But on Monday through Friday — and some weekends — 
McGee coordinated the ambitious fund-raising effort, to be divided into 
two four-year phases, beginning in March 1980 and concluding in June 

"treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I 83 

1988. The College anticipated raising approximately $10,000,000 in 
each phase. 

THE LIST OF top priorities grew shorter on completion of the Harriet 
Mardre Wainwright Music Building. Dedicated on February 25, 1977, it 
was named to honor the memory of an alumna whose generous bequest 
had inspired an additional magnanimous gift from her husband, Irving 
H. Wainwright of Richmond, Virginia. The building's Clara Cars well 
Concert Hall, itself dedicated just a month earlier on January 21, 1977, 
was the site for the ceremonies. As new as it was, the 175-seat Carswell 
Hall had already been acclaimed as an answer to a community need, and 
rave reviews accompanied almost every mention of its acoustical capabil- 
ities. In addition to Carswell Hall, the Harriet Mardre Wainwright Music 
Building housed twenty-two teaching studios, eight practice rooms, three 
classrooms, and a music library. At the time of the dedication, 130 of the 
1,500 degree candidates were music mjors. Among the first guests of 
Wainwright were alumnae who returned on March 19 for "A Day of 
Music at Meredith," theme for the annual Alumnae Seminar. 

Mr. Wainwright said he admired Meredith's "sound management, 
growth with progress, and compassion for those being served." He also 
said that he and Mrs. Wainwright had been aware "of the plight of inde- 
pendent colleges in times of accelerating inflation." ^^ Some foundations 
and corporations were also knowledgable of the struggles in private 
higher education, the Kresge Foundation, for example, having been gen- 
erous in the past, was helpful again with a contribution toward the music 
building. On the reverse side of the check from the foundation, Stanley S. 
Kresge had handwritten this statement: "In the name and for the sake of 
Jesus Christ." 

Dedication of Wainwright Music Building was an event of Founders' 
Day, 1977. That celebrated day, like its predecessors, was memorable for 
its own style of ceremonies and observances of heritage. The longtime 
practice of placing flowers on Thomas Meredith's grave had shifted from 
the literal to the metaphorical in 1976, thanks to alumna Sarah Eliza- 
beth Vernon Watts and her family. The Wattses provided a small garden 
near Jones Auditorium, mounting there a plaque, on which is quoted a 
simple poem by Richard T. Vann, president of the College from 1900- 




While others slept below, he climbed the height. 

He stood alone, with vision strained afar. 

And, peering long into the lingering night, 

He saw the morning star. 

At that place, the wreath-laying ceremony has continued, and, from time 
to time, a member of the college family reports inquiries as to whether the 
tiny garden is Thomas Meredith's actual grave site. College archives do 
not record a motive for the Watts's gift, but friends of Mrs. Watts might 
surmise that her interest was in rescuing the tradition before it fell to the 
inevitable fate of mental and physical inaccessibility caused by the intim- 
idating traffic, both human and vehicular, around the City Cemetery in 
downtown Raleigh, where Thomas Meredith's grave remains. 

Under the assumption that the College was continually being founded, 
the trustees added a new tradition to the annual Founders' Day obser- 
vance by remembering an early founder and recognizing a contemporary 
counterpart. In 1976, the first year of the practice, Oliver Larkin String- 
field and C.C. Cameron were selected for the honors. Stringfield, "the man 
destined to bring success to the new venture in education," was elected a 
trustee in 1892 and employed as a fund raiser for Baptist Female Univer- 
sity in 1 89 3.^'^ Cameron, elected a trustee in i960, had chaired the board 
in 1969 and 1971-1974. A volunteer fund raiser for the College, he was 
founder of one of the largest mortgage banking firms in the nation. 

Oliver Larkin Stringfield died in 1930, but his family and Meredith re- 
tained close ties. The previous chapter quotes his son Oliver Linwood 
Stringfield's conviction that "there is an invisible canopy hovering over 
the campus."^^ Time and again, the son's adage was repeated. Certainly, 
tangible progress seemed evidence enough that the protective canopy was 
in place. On a campus valued at $22 million, landscaping, building, and 
remodeling excited donors and recipients alike. Such was the case when 
trustee J. C. Faw; his wife, Patsy; and their children, Diane, a Meredith ju- 
nior, and Jimmy, saw an opportunity to beautify the courtyard behind the 
new Harriet Mardre Wainwright Music Building with a garden of aza- 
leas, rhododendron, and evergreens. The Faw Garden was dedicated dur- 
ing Parents' Weekend activities, April 16, 1977. 

"treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I 85 

Meanwhile, members of the Class of 1928, led by Mabel Claire Hog- 
gard Maddrey and Mary Rodwell Smith of Raleigh, planned a fiftieth an- 
niversary gift far surpassing other class gifts, both in amount and scope. 
The initial installment, in excess of $50,000, sparked the drive to build 
the long-awaited chapel. An on-campus place of worship had not reached 
the top of the Hst of needs — nor even the hst of heartfelt wishes, as far as 
the administration and trustees were concerned — until the Class of 1928 
placed it there; however, records indicate that architects for half a century 
"took the hopes of a place of worship to the drawing boards, and every 
master plan from the beginning shows a chapel facing the front drive." ^^ 
But since relocating from downtown to the edge of the city, the College 
had some catching up to do, as far as construction was concerned. The 
last of the temporary buildings had been replaced as recently as the late 
sixties and early seventies. Also, students were encouraged to worship in 
the local churches rather than to isolate themselves from the townspeo- 
ple. In fact, Meredith and most of Raleigh's larger churches provided 
Sunday bus service until the number of students with their own cars ren- 
dered chartered transportation unnecessary. But when President Weems 
announced the drive to raise funds for a chapel, he expressed pleasure at 
the interest of alumnae: "Their efforts greatly stimulate the fund drive 
that will provide a focal point for worship on the campus and affirm our 
heritage in Christian higher education."'*" 

Soon, a chapel planning committee sat in the midst of constituent 
groups and individuals who mentally designed the chapel in their own 
images, so to speak. In 19 81, the editor of Meredith wrote of the com- 
mittee's apparent struggles: "The words and thoughts [have] seemed to 
come easily. The building has not. In fact, it may be safe to say that no 
other structure on the campus has elicited so much interest and so many 
deeply felt and openly expressed opinions."'*^ When chairman Marion 
Lark reported for the chapel planning committee, he said. 

The committee began to see that if the chapel is to be a building that 
will thoughtfully reflect our Christian heritage, it was necessary to 
give attention ... to theological understanding and symbolism 
rather than architectural design. In other words, we came to the 
conclusion that it is more appropriate to build a place of worship 
from the "inside out" than from the "outside in.""*^ 


Larry Williams, campus minister, also served on the committee. To him, 
"building a chapel is like 'parenting.' Both tasks take a lot of skill, a lot of 
patience, and a lot of love.'"^^ 

When the executive committee of the Board of Trustees met in Sep- 
tember 1980, they considered the proposed locations, one betw^een the 
Mae Grimmer Alumnae House and Joyner Hall and the other on the 
drive in front of the alumnae house. Architects Carter and Turner 
Williams, as well as twelve of the fourteen voting members of the build- 
ings and grounds committee, recommended the latter site. At the same 
meeting, trustee and president of the Alumnae Association, Mary Vir- 
ginia Warren Poe, '48, moved that the executive committee "authorize 
the architect ... to proceed with designing a chapel in the traditional style 
of architecture, with a steeple, designed basically for worship, of moder- 
ate proportions but of great beauty and highest quality.'"^'' The motion 

First estimated at $500,000, the cost was revised upward to approxi- 
mately $1,058,000. But the very prospect of a chapel inspired alumna 
Martha Salisbury Smoot, '33, to see that an organ was installed there in 
memory of her mother, Mary Estelle Johnson Salisbury, one of the "Im- 
mortal Ten" members of the first class of 1902. Mrs. Smoot's efforts 
added $62,000 to the fund. Until the chapel was built, Wednesday wor- 
ship services were held in Jones Auditorium or, occasionally, in Bryan Ro- 
tunda, while more intimate devotions were offered in various nooks and 

Jones Auditorium and the proposed chapel combined would not have 
accommodated some audiences, including commencement crowds; there- 
fore, Meredith was dependent upon the Elva Bryan Mclver Amphitheater 
for such occasions. Often, the College reserved North Carolina State's 
Wilham Neal Reynolds Coliseum or Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium as 
alternative sites in the event of bad weather. The weather was fine on the 
evening of September 18, 1978, for the inaugural Lillian Parker Wallace 
Lecture by Great Britain's former prime minister, the Right Honourable Sir 
Harold Wilson. An audience of about 2,000 heard the nation's long-time 
ally speak on "The Transatlantic Connection from Winston Churchill to 
Today," in which he told of his relationships with American presidents 
from Truman through Ford. The four-term prime minister had retired 
from office in 1976. On this, his first visit to the United States in four 

"treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I 87 

years, he warmly greeted members of his audience at a courtyard recep- 
tion following the evening lecture. 

The number of Raleighites attending open-to-the-public occasions 
seemed to increase from year to year. A more impressive phenomenon, 
however, was the number of people — a predicted 25,000 in 1975-76 — 
using the campus for their own agendas. The calendar already showed a 
summer schedule of thirty-four events, from the state games of the Special 
Olympics to the North Carolina Congress of the PTA; from the statewide 
Festival of Magic to the national convention of the American Dairy Sci- 
ence Association. Only a year later, Joe Baker reported that 52,000 visi- 
tors had discovered the inviting campus, and, in 1979-80, the guest list 
numbered about 75,000. 

A footnote to the summer of 1977 elaborated on members and guests 
of the National Men's Garden Club Association who suffered food poi- 
soning from a meal served on a summer day in Belk Dining Hall. Of the 
750 people who ate lunch there, 200 became ill, and the Health Depart- 
ment determined that chicken salad, refrigerated the night before in a 
deep container, had not cooled thoroughly and therefore caused the ill- 
ness. A physician and member of the garden club wrote in the organiza- 
tion's newsletter. 

No one had any idea that in the center of that deboned, chopped 
chicken being removed from the refrigerator lay the now chilled 
Staphylococcus germs that had remained warm long enough the 
previous evening to produce its debilitating and sometimes terrify- 
ing toxin. . . . Some 13-14 ambulance units and crews answered 
our distress call. . . . The hospitals all turned out as though an 
atomic bomb had hit."^^ 

Ironically, as the luncheon progressed that day, the Health Department 
routinely inspected the kitchen, awarding it an above-average grade of 
95. And as distressing as the illness was, it would have been more dis- 
turbing had poor sanitation caused the problem. 

But from the college menu — then and always — one could find more 
nourishing entrees to the campus than simply the open doors to facilities. 
For example, in the spirit of friendly cooperation between the College 
and the community, Meredith and the Junior League of Raleigh cospon- 
sored a forum on eleven Monday nights in the fall of 1976, exploring 


such topics as the interaction of state and national governments; reHgion, 
moraUty, and human rights; crises in the cities; and the future of the com- 
munity and the quahty of Ufe. The first speaker for the series was Saul 
Mendlovitz, president of the Institute for World Order and professor of 
law at Rutgers University, and the final speaker was Barbara Hubbard, 
president of the Committee for the Future in Washington, D.C., and au- 
thor of The Hunger of Eve. The interim participants, except for a return 
engagement of Lisa Sergio, were from among North Carolina's civic lead- 
ers and educators. 

By invitation, Meredith hosted in 1978 the fiftieth anniversary cele- 
bration of the Inter- American Commission of Women of the Organiza- 
tion of American States. The OAS comprised twenty-six member nations, 
and the commission expected a delegate from each. The organization 
chose Meredith because of "its high academic standards and leadership 
development of its students.'"^^ Speakers included His Excellency Jorge 
Luis Zelaya, assistant secretary general of the OAS; Her Excellency Maria 
Eugenia Oyarzum, ambassador to Chile; the Hon. Gabriela Touchard 
Lopez, president of CIM; and the Hon. Carmen Delgado Votaru, principle 
U.S. delegate to CIM. 

PAGE (Parents for the Advancement of Gifted Education), a program 
founded in 1978 for gifted and talented children, was also a cooperative 
effort. Meredith provided not only the facilities but also the first director 
and several faculty and student volunteers to lead classes, such as com- 
puter technology and astronomy in the sciences, and music appreciation 
and drama in the arts. The Twig professed the faith that PAGE was "the 
only program of its kind in the state of North Carolina and only one of a 
few in the entire nation.'"^-' Lyn Aubrecht, professor of psychology, was 
PAGE'S first director; he reported in 1996, eighteen years after PAGE's 
creation, that the program still thrived. 

If statistics for Cooperating Raleigh Colleges were reliable indications 
of Meredith's general appeal, they were also bases for truth in Weems's 
belief that high expectations are "hallmarks of a superior college.'"*^ In 
the mid-seventies, more than half the exchanges between the six colleges 
and universities of CRC involved Meredith. More specifically, for 1976- 
77, the consortium reported that 109 Meredith students were enrolled in 
courses at North Carolina State, and Z84 State students took courses at 
Meredith. Enrollment in courses at State was one of five options for 

"treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I 89 

Meredith's undergraduates. Other possibiUties included Shaw University 
and Peace, St. Mary's, and St. Augustine's Colleges. 

But students could also select from their own campus programs that 
had been inaccessible to earlier college generations. Meredith Abroad, for 
example, enjoyed increasing popularity. At first glance, the possibilities 
seemed most beneficial to students; however, the faculty also vied for the 
annual teaching positions, faculty development and international travel 
having become almost synonymous terms. Also, the College expanded its 
travel opportunities for alumnae. In 1977, Roger Crook, chairman of the 
religion department, traded his three-year-old "subtitle," of director of 
Meredith in Europe for that of coordinator of international studies, his 
responsibilities to include "planning, promoting, and directing programs 
directly or indirectly related to study abroad" but not be limited to the se- 
mester abroad program in London."*^ In an interview with Julia Bryan, 
Crook provided some background information: Shera Jackson, '69, 
Raleigh's 1973 Community Ambassador to West Germany, returned to 
her job as admissions counselor after a summer in Herford and environs, 
enthusiastically describing the old castles on the Rhine that Meredith 
could buy for "a song." That winter, Crook and Joe Baker looked into 
possibilities. They found that any one of the old castles would have pro- 
vided facilities and ambiance for a Meredith campus in Europe; however, 
estimates for costs of repairs and remodeling soon dispelled the dream. 
"Our alternative was to see about using existing institutions which could 
accommodate our students when the facilities would otherwise be unoc- 
cupied," Crook said, and he found such a residence hall at the University 
of London. "We are convinced," he added, "that an international thrust 
is imperative. ... To be well educated, we think, a student needs a cos- 
mopolitan approach. We feel that living abroad, for even a short time, 
and studying in another culture enriches education in a way that text 
book work simply cannot." Our program is unique, he said. It costs the 
same as a semester at Meredith, "and it is always geared this way so that 
it is possible for any student who can take a semester at Meredith to take 
this program."^° In 1979, the Meredith entourage spent the initial two 
weeks in Scotland before moving from St. Andrews to Durham, England, 
and finally settling at Whitelands College near Wimbledon for the rest of 
the stay. 

Vice President Thomas also believed in introducing Meredith people to 


cultures different from their own. During spring break in 1976, she took 
a group of twenty students for a week's study in Mexico. The next year's 
exploration was a bit more elaborate as she led forty-seven people, in- 
cluding students and faculty members, to Peru for "cross cultural learn- 
ing" in a "global classroom."^^ The classroom expanded to include a jun- 
gle expedition into the rain forest region; side trips to Cuzco and Machu 
Piccu; a Peruvian fiesta; and exchanges of ideas on cultural issues. And, 
for a concert in the salon of the Entre Nous Society, Meredith pianist 
Thomas Hardison played universally recognized works as well as the pre- 
mier performance of "Lines," a composition by his faculty colleague Peter 
Klausmeyer. As for the appreciative audience, which included the cultural 
attache of the American embassy in Peru, Thomas — referred to by her 
group as "Safari Sandra" — reported "hearty applause and a standing 
ovation" for Hardison's performance.^^ The vice president continued 
leading educational tours throughout her years at Meredith. At Christ- 
mas, 1979, faculty, students, and other friends followed her to Cuba, an 
excellent place, she said, "to study . . . the concept of revolution and also 
to experience third world development."^^ 

If Meredith, the college magazine, were wired for sound, the 1979 
winter edition would have blared forth spring and summer travel plans. 
Page 26 alone was a drum roll in print for "the second annual Meredith 
in Britain for Alumnae and Friends," to be coordinated by Dr. and Mrs. 
Crook; for a "nine-day travel odyssey through the best of Spain," to be 
led by Sandra Thomas; for six weeks of study at the University of Peru- 
gia, Italy, with two weeks of travel, offered by Bluma K. Greenburg of the 
art department; and for a tour of Egypt, Jordan, and the Holy Land, to be 
led by John and Frankie Weems. The same page pointed toward 1980, 
when the College would host a European tour to include the Passion Play 
at Oberammergau. 

While young women from Meredith studied abroad, some high school 
students extended their intellectual reaches in summer programs on the 
campus. In 1973, thirteen students enrolled in the new Summer Study for 
High School Students; in 1974, fourteen participated. At that point, the 
admissions committee recommended to the Academic Council that 
Meredith open some courses to area young women who were high school 
senior scholars, enabling them to earn early college credits. Later cata- 
logues described an evolution: "High school senior girls in the local area 

"treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I 91 

who are ready to undertake college-level study may enroll as special stu- 
dents in courses at Meredith. A student approved for participation in the 
Senior Scholars Program may attend classes for college credit in the sum- 
mer prior to her senior year or in either or both semesters of her senior 
year."^'* Also geared to high school students was merit weekend, an an- 
nual event for national Merit semifinalists and other select gifted students 
from the Carolinas and Virginia. The 1976 version explored the avant- 
garde topic of "Human Engineering: Hope or Thrust of the Future?" Fac- 
ulty panelists Lyn Aubrecht, psychology; Betty Webb, English; George 
Hoffman, biology; and Allen Page and Roger Crook, religion, were 
charged with developing the theme as well as with helping the young 
women deal with complex ethical questions. 

As the College led students to confront the complexities of their cul- 
ture, it also enticed them to explore their own educational and economic 
interests. Both cooperative and continuing education rapidly won con- 
verts. Starting with one student in one job in 1973-74, cooperative edu- 
cation mushroomed to thirty-seven placements in 1976-77. Marie Capel 
boasted of a student's placement in Sears Roebuck's first ever co-op posi- 
tion; the same was true, she said, of the Washington, D.C., office of the 
National Labor Relations Board, In 1976, at the request of the City of 
Raleigh and with a grant of $1,900 to underwrite the effort, Capel and 
Shirley Ihnen, special projects coordinator, completed a study of cooper- 
ative education in the four senior colleges and universities in the capital 
city and recommended municipal job classifications that could translate 
into cooperative education positions. 

Career preparation had indeed found a place at Meredith. Dean Bur- 
ns said, "In our efforts to find common ground for the twin concerns for 
the liberal arts and vocational education, the College attempted to make 
some progress toward meeting the growing desire for careers by the stu- 
dents."^^ Career Day in 1977 must have reflected the desired progress. Oc- 
cupational Outlook, '77, (OO77) attracted to the campus one-hundred 
representatives from business, government, service jobs, and graduate 
schools. Students exuded enthusiasm. Kathy Keith was one of the nation's 
sophomores selected by Mobil Oil for its "Explore the Business World" 
program. Keith spent four days discovering business in the "real world" 
of New York City with students from colleges and universities from 
around the nation, including Duke and William and Mary from the 


neighborhood. After the exploration, Keith reimbursed her host company 
by acquainting her peers with opportunities in business. 

In 1979, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation appointed Meredith — one 
of the fifty colleges in the nation — to its Visiting Fellows Program. 
Through the three-year program, which would fund a Fellow each se- 
mester, students would associate with outstanding career people "with 
liberal arts backgrounds who have succeeded in one or more fields of en- 
deavor, not necessarily the traditional ones."^^ In November, Meredith 
welcomed Max and Esther Krebs of the United States Foreign Service, as 
the first Fellows on campus. And, perfectly fitting the specification of 
"not necessarily the traditional. . . ," Johanna Dunn, who held a doctor- 
ate in art history but was a vice president of the New York Futures Ex- 
change, was one of five Fellows who came later. The Twig reported that 
Becky Batson Shaw, '69, a staff member at the foundation, was instru- 
mental in Meredith's appointment to the program. When the specified 
three years expired, the Parents' Association voted to underwrite the vis- 
iting fellows for another three, with head librarian, Jonathan Lindsey, 
succeeding Sarah Lemmon as coordinator. 

Continuing education, meanwhile, captured the imaginations of and 
offered possibilities to countless women past the traditional college-student 
age. If they could not come to Meredith for classes, Meredith sometimes 
took classes to them. Such was the case for thirteen employees of Rex 
Hospital, who completed Fielen Jones's English course on their own cam- 
pus, scheduling their classes around shift changes. But back at the Col- 
lege, increasing numbers of students returned to pursue their interrupted 
or postponed educations. The staff increased, and its headquarters ex- 
panded. When Sarah Lemmon became dean of continuing education and 
special programs on July i, 1977, Anne Dahle assumed responsibilities as 
director of counseling and the credit program; and Rosalie Gates, an as- 
sistant professor in the history department, became director of enrich- 
ment. The "special programs" segment of Lemmon's title included Rais- 
ing the Sights of Women; cooperative education; and some summer and 
miscellaneous programs. With her appointment came continuing educa- 
tion's move into a modular unit behind Belk Dining Hall. 

Dean Lemmon sought to expand the types of programs offered by con- 
tinuing education. Agreeing that a paralegal course was right for Mere- 
dith, the trustees approved it as a post-baccalaureate offering in February 

"treasure IN EARTHEN vessels": I976-1980 I 93 

1979. Dean Lemmon said, "To the best of our knowledge, this is the only 
post-baccalaureate legal assistants program between Philadelphia and 
Atlanta. . . . We believe we are meeting a definite need for career women 
interested in law but not interested in attending law school at this time."^^ 
Meredith offered the first "edition" in the summer of 1980, limiting the 
enrollment to thirty women, twenty-seven of whom completed the pro- 
gram. By late September, twelve were working under their new certifica- 
tion. Lemmon reported "an auspicious beginning," thanks to the board 
of advisers, the faculty, the library's "good collection through purchase 
and gifts from friends in the legal community," and to alumna Emily 
Johnson, '75, who returned to promote the concept and direct the annual 
summer studies. ^^ Johnson held the J.D. degree from the University of 
North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

The College had long delighted in the progress of continuing educa- 
tion. Women in the re-entry program developed a kinship of sorts, at first 
meeting informally as the Koffee Klatch but changing their name in 1979 
to WINGS (Women in New Goal Settings) and becoming the collective 
voice of adult students. In fact, WINGS evolved into a major organiza- 
tion that merited a vote in the Student Government Association. The or- 
ganization's purpose was "to provide information, fellowship, support, 
and leadership opportunity for all students at Meredith; to serve as a li- 
aison between the WINGS student and the on-campus community; and 
to voice WINGS student concerns through representation on the SGA Ex- 
ecutive Committee." ^^ 

For WINGS in particular and for continuing education in general, Vir- 
ginia Norton was one of the trailblazers, not as faculty or staff, as many 
of the pioneers were, but as student. A senior in 1977-78, a grand- 
mother, and, at 61, the oldest degree candidate of the period, Norton ex- 
emplified the appreciation and enthusiasm that many re-entry students 
declared. If Meredith was good for Mrs. Norton, Mrs. Norton was also 
good for Meredith. After enrolling in 1973, she participated in campus 
life to the fullest, serving as president of the non-resident students' orga- 
nization, winning the outstanding day student award, and being tapped 
into Silver Shield. The News and Observer named her Tar Heel of the 
Week, citing the subject's own epithet for herself: "Generation Gap 
Jumper."^'' Of her hunger for learning, Norton said, "I am often hesitant 
to leave campus to go home, being fearful that some lecture or concert or 


play may take place without me."^^ Of her joy in discovering "this smor- 
gasbord of delights," as she called the academic menu, she said, "For the 
literary enthusiasts who always wanted to read with understanding the 
love poetry of Robert Browning or Milton's Paradise Lost; or for southern 
women who wanted to understand Faulkner's interpretation of woman's 
role during the Civil War, there are experts in every field to lead the way."^^ 
Reflecting on cultural traditions and new-found choices for women like 
herself, she asked a rhetorical question: "Who knows what painter's pic- 
tures have been drowned in dish pans of the past?"^^ 

While women like Norton were ecstatic over choices, the Carlyle 
Campbell Library touted its own "smorgasbord of delights." In 1976, the 
library joyfully received financial support from the WK. Kellogg Foun- 
dation for Meredith's membership in the Southeastern Library Network, 
for a computer terminal that would link the College to the network, and 
for training the staff to use the terminal. The grant having arrived in li- 
brarian Michael Dodge's final year at Meredith, his successor, Jonathan 
Lindsey, elaborated on the benefits of SOLINET: "This system unites 
Meredith's library with many other libraries over the country and helps 
facilitate the location of volumes and the securing of cards for the card 
catalogue ."^"^ 

The Carlyle Campbell Library agressively increased its use of technol- 
ogy, but in the eyes of at least one student, one of the library's new elec- 
tronic devices was "an outrageous atrocity . . . committed against the in- 
tegrity of the Meredith College students."^^ The Twig had reported the 
recently installed security system in an innocuous statement on page 2 of 
the August 30, 1978, issue: "Located in each item in the fibrary is a metal 
strip which must be desensitized before that particular item may be re- 
moved. . . ."^^ This meant that all library patrons exited through a sensor 
that would sound an alarm if one attempted to smuggle out an article. 
Three Twigs later, a guest editorial writer lambasted the installation of 
the electronic security system, calling it "literally appalling" and "the 
gradual destruction of our Honor Code." She added, 

Although in reality the idea may be well founded, in that there was 
a degree of theft prevailing in the library, the installation of such an 
instrument, however, is a virtual slap in the face to the students who 
abide by the Honor Code. 

"treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I 95 

It is sheer hypocrisy to claim that we have a working Honor 
Code and simuhaneously install a machine that questions the hon- 
esty of students, faculty, and friends of the College. . . .^^ 

The writer abhorred the fact that the student life committee and the Silver 
Shield had no time to educate students to the problems before the sen- 
soring device was put into effect. Twenty years later, people who traveled 
in and out of the library accepted the system as a matter of course, ac- 
customed as they were to similar commentaries on their society. In the 
last quarter of the twentieth century, an unconscionable greed spawned 
theft; and metal detectors, burglar alarms, and hidden cameras searched 
out offenders in airports, department stores, convenience marts, banks, 
office buildings, private homes, automobiles, and the Carlyle Campbell 
Library at Meredith College. 

But despite the theft detector, the library acquired new Friends. 
Alumna Sarah Elizabeth Vernon Watts, who had already instigated sev- 
eral projects, such as the Thomas Meredith memorial in 1976 and the li- 
brary's historical collection in 1973, led a movement to re-establish 
Friends of the Library, the original and then-defunct version having been 
formed in 194 1. Such a group, thought Mrs. Watts, would not only cre- 
ate interest in and provide resources for the library but would also bring 
writers and other associates of books and ideas to the campus. L.A. Pea- 
cock, professor emeritus of English and dean of the College, 1948-69, 
served as the organization's first president. The board set membership 
fees at $5.00 for a contributing member; $10.00 for an associate member; 
$25.00 for a sustaining member; and $100.00 for a life member. In the 
first four months of its infancy, Friends of the Carlyle Campbell Library 
welcomed 180 charter members, almost one-fourth of whom were life 
members. Carolyn Andrews Wallace, '40, director of the Southern His- 
torical Collection in UNC's Louis R. Wilson Library, spoke at the first 
meeting on May 5, 1977. She suggested that the Friends group's greatest 
good would be monetary support for the library. "With the number of 
students increasing from nine hundred in 1966 to thirteen hundred in 
1976," she said, "it is no wonder that the growth in the library, gratify- 
ing as it has been, has not kept pace with that of the student body."^^ She 
reminded her listeners that, according to the standards of the Association 
of College and Research Libraries, Meredith was about 6,000 volumes 


short. But Dr. Wallace was optimistic, as had been Julia Hamlet Harris in 
her message to the first Friends of the Library group in 1948: "You may 
do anything from building a wing on the old library to furnishing it with 
duplicate copies of More's Utopia.'"^^ 

The organization scheduled two meetings a year: a membership dinner 
in the spring and a book-author luncheon in the fall. The inaugural lun- 
cheon on October 26, 1977, was an auspicious occasion, featuring 
Tarheel novelists Reynolds Price and Frances Gray Patton, with Walter 
Spearman of the University of North Carolina as moderator. 

Trustees learned of the new organization at their September 25 meet- 
ing, the day on which the Board of Associates established an endowment 
to supplement faculty salaries. FAME (Faculty Applied Meredith Endow- 
ment) was the brainchild of Laura Weatherspoon Harrill, '27, who chaired 
the ten-year-old Board of Associates in its only fund-raising project to 
that time. Assistant Professor George Hoffman, returning after a year's 
absence to teach for one more semester in the biology department, re- 
ceived the first FAME grant in 1978. While Dr. Hoffman's stipend helped 
pay his salary, later grants definitively fit the awards category. The family 
of Pauline Davis Perry, '38, honored her by establishing two cash awards 
in the endowment to replace the Outstanding Teacher Awards initiated 
by the First Baptist Church of Greensboro and later funded by the Par- 
ents' Association. The Perry awards honored excellence in teaching and 
outstanding research, publication, or artistic achievement, and, at the in- 
augural Dinner With Our Friends in April 1980, the first honors went to 
Jay D. Massey, chairman of the health, physical education, and recreation 
department, for teaching, and to Thomas C. Parramore, associate profes- 
sor of history, for research and publishing. On the same occasion. Presi- 
dent Weems announced the Board of Associates' establishment of two 
Laura Harrill Awards for faculty adjudged by the president to be deserv- 
ing of merit for campus involvement, academics, and commitment. Mrs. 
Harrill was present at the dinner and was as surprised at the establish- 
ment of the awards in her name as were Olive Taylor and Joe Maron at 
receiving them. Mrs. Taylor was an instructor of mathematics and Mr. 
Maron an assistant professor of art. Dinner With Our Friends also rec- 
ognized retirees and those members of the faculty and staff who had 
given twenty-five years of service to the College. 

Such annual occasions extended the long list of time-honored practices 

"treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I 97 

by a college already abounding in tradition and traditions. In the seven- 
ties, the word "tradition" did not always inspire reverence in a student- 
age population bent on breaking the mold, defying "the system." But the 
young women at Meredith protected their own traditional events with 
tenacity. Cornhuskin', for example, always evoked protective passion. In 
1978, some students and faculty dared to suggest changing the celebra- 
tion from Thursday to Friday night. The Twig interpreted an emphati- 
cally negative reaction: "[S]tudents complain over placing Cornhuskin' 
on a weekend night because it will interfere with their social plans; yet 
when Cornhuskin' interferes with Thursday classes, the students com- 
plain about the classes interfering with their celebration of the fall festi- 
val."^° Before writer Kristie Beattie signed off, she punctuated her editor- 
ial with a bit of sarcasm: "Granted, a solid education is not the first 
priority of every woman here, but because Meredith is here for the pur- 
pose of providing an education, academics must be given priority."^^ Sub- 
sequent activity calendars suggest that the wheels of change turned 
slowly; Cornhuskin' remained a Thursday evening phenomenon until 
1995 when, on its fiftieth anniversary, it was rescheduled for Friday. 

The faculty's quadrennial performance of Lewis Carroll's Alice in 
Wonderland was another of the traditions lovingly embraced, despite its 
time- and energy-consuming preparations. The first showing of Alice lit 
up the stage on March 15, 1924; the fourteenth version in 1976 was as 
well received as any previous one could have been. The first performance 
featured Carolyn Mercer, '22, instructor in French, as "an irresistible 
Alice, round-faced and wide-eyed,"''- and the fourteenth introduced Vice 
President Sandra Thomas in the starring role — "a natural choice for Alice 
with her softspoken voice and fair complexion." ^^ The 1976 production 
also introduced Dr. Huber of the psychology department as the new 
White Rabbit, a role played from 1924 -19 68 by the late Lillian Parker 
Wallace. As the student body expanded, so did the number of perfor- 
mances of each version of Alice. In 1996, the show attracted a full house 
for dress rehearsal and a standing-room-only audience for its two sched- 
uled performances. 

The Philaretian and Astrotekton Societies traced their tradition all the 
way back to the first year of Baptist Female University. Until 1920, the 
two literary societies, organized as Club A and Club B, met every Satur- 
day night for the purpose of "inspiring each other with a love for litera- 


ture and with a desire to promote the higher principles of self government 
and self control." ^"^ For students, society by assignment in the early years 
gave way to freedom of choice as Rush Week became one of the most 
competitive of all activities, each society vying for the largest number of 
recruits. The societies had dropped the word "Literary" from their names 
in 1950, their constituents professing the love of deeds over the love of 
words. In the seventies, they had become service clubs, the Astros adopt- 
ing the Shelley Child Development Center for physically and mentally 
handicapped children and the Phis committing their efforts to the local 
Cerebral Palsy Center. But the Human Services program was then the 
clearing house for service projects, and there seemed to be slight raison 
d'etre for either society. In 1976, project leaders Ruth Cralle, Astro, and 
Menda Sue Godfrey, Phi, saw "very few dedicated members in either so- 
ciety. . . ." In fact, they questioned "whether Billy Astro and Milton the 
Bear would ever arise from their present lethargy." -"^ But traditions died 
hard, and the service clubs continued to the end of the decade and be- 
yond, each with its own activities, and each with its own form of rush. 

The societies' apparent malaise might have been symptomatic of the 
times. In 1972, Janice Sams, editor of the Twig, mentioned in the Alum- 
nae Magazine "the formal killing of 'Apathy' in early January."''^ But 
from later reports, such as those relating to the two societies, apathy ap- 
peared to be alive and well in 1977, and the Twig published a cartoon by 
senior Beth Wicker. The two young women pictured were in conversa- 
tion. One asked, "What's 'apathy,' Julie?" Julie replied, "Gosh, I don't 
know. Who cares ?"^^ 

Two entities which had never been apathetic in their relationship were 
Meredith and its founding organization, the Baptist State Convention. In 
1979-80, the 1,115,124 North Carolina Baptists contributed through 
the Cooperative Program $498,768.17 to the College. ^^ The generosity of 
the state convention was not predicated on constant accord, although the 
bond was strong and usually cordial. Occasionally, murmurs emanated 
from one side or the other — or both. In 1976, for example, trustee 
Shearon Harris spoke of "a matter of concern" that the convention might 
limit the number of trustees from any single church to serve on Baptist 
boards. Mr. Harris's view was that such a move "would probably deny 
the institutions of the state some extremely able leadership. . . ."''^ The fol- 
lowing year. President Weems confided to the trustees his belief that "a 

"treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I 99 

change in the attitude and tone of the convention was apparent in the re- 
lation of the colleges to the church and to the Convention. . . . [and] that 
it might be necessary for colleges to begin justifying to the Convention the 
need for support." ^° Still another hint of concern entered the minutes of 
the executive committee for November 1980: A v^eek after Weems had at- 
tended the annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention, he said "there 
appeared to be a conservative trend within the Convention, but that there 
was no indication of growth among the ultra-conservative groups." ^^ 

Labels, such as "conservative," "moderate," and "liberal," had no 
bearing on an interesting exchange between Meredith and the Conven- 
tion in 1980. That summer, Cecil Ray, the convention's executive secre- 
tary, queried President Weems and trustee chairman, Seby Jones, as to the 
possibility of Meredith's selling four acres of its prime real estate for a 
new Baptist building. The trustees, however, expressed reluctance "to sell 
any of the land now owned by Meredith College because of the possibil- 
ity of future expansion."^- At their November executive committee meet- 
ing, they heard from their buildings and grounds committee additional 
reasons not to sell: 

1. The property in question is the wooded corner of Wade Avenue 
and Faircloth Street. If a building is constructed on that site, 
along with the proper parking spaces, the grove of trees would 
have to be taken down and Meredith would lose the screen which 
now exists between the College and the shopping center. 

2. Over the years the Convention probably will need more prop- 
erty for expansion, and the only land available for expansion 
would be additional property from the Meredith campus. 

3. This area would lend itself to only limited parking. ^^ 

The vote was 12-2 against selling. 

While the relationship between the state convention and the College 
remained solid, the Southern Baptist Convention, through some of its 
leaders, was beginning to rankle. In his first term as president of the huge 
body of Southern Baptists, Bailey C. Smith was widely quoted in major 
newspapers, including the News and Observer, as having said "God 
Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew."^'* On the day following the 
newspaper reports, the faculty unanimously passed and mailed the fol- 
lowing statement to President Smith: 


We, the faculty of Meredith College, are proud of our Baptist her- 
itage and affirm the strength which we gain through the roots of 
this heritage. 

A part of this heritage is the freedom of open inquiry and the 
freedom of individual conscience. It is, however, a political reality 
that the voice of one who has been elected president of the Southern 
Baptist Convention may be popularly understood to be representa- 
tive of all Southern Baptists and Southern Baptist institutions. It is 
in light of this reality that we note the recent statement of Bailey C. 
Smith, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, "... God 
Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew." 

While we recognize Mr. Smith's right to his views, we do not ac- 
cept this as our view. Standing within the Judeo-Christian tradition, 
we affirm that God is the God of all people and that God alone is 
judge. ^^ 

In its semi-annual meeting of September 26, 1980, the Board of Trustees 
voted unanimously to support the faculty's statement. 

AS THE CULTURE changed, so did the problems and concerns of students 
and Meredith's ways of addressing them. Vice President Thomas reported 
to the trustees in January 1977 that the college counselor as well as the 
campus minister were dealing with students who, "particularly this year," 
had home problems. ^^ No statistics are available as to the number of stu- 
dents whose parents were among the 1,083,000 divorce cases in the 
United States in 1976,^^ but the counselor's section of the Annual Report 
of the President i<)j6-i<)jj elaborated on the encroaching pattern: "It 
became apparent during the year that many students were experiencing 
problems related to the separation or divorce of their parents. In an effort 
to meet some of the needs of these students, the counselor and campus 
minister attempted to provide a group situation in which the students 
could express and deal with their feelings and concerns. . . ."^^ 

The Federal Government also expressed concern for students in the 
mid- to late-seventies, through an Internal Revenue Service mandate dis- 
allowing discrimination. In compliance, in a January 1976 meeting, the 
executive committee of the Board of Trustees issued a statement declaring 
that "Meredith College does not discriminate against applicants and stu- 

"treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I lOI 

dents on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin" and a directive 
"that such a statement be included in all brochures and catalogues deal- 
ing with student admissions programs and scholarships." Furthermore, 
vowed the trustees, "Meredith College has a racially nondiscriminatory 
policy as to employment of faculty and staff . . . [and] does not discrimi- 
nate against applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, and 
national or ethnic origin." ^^ Bill Norton, who oversaw publications, was 
adamant that the policy statement be included in all printed material pub- 
licizing the College. He had to be; noncompliance would have meant loss 
of Meredith's status as a charitable institution. The 1977 catalogue car- 
ried the first nondiscriminatory policy statement, which would be virtu- 
ally unchanged in the nineties, except for additions, as shown below, 
dealing with handicap and age: 

Meredith College admits women students of any age, race, creed, 
national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, 
and activities generally accorded or made available to students at 
the College. It does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, 
national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational poli- 
cies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and ath- 
letic and other school-administered programs. Furthermore, it does 
not discriminate in admission or access to its programs and activi- 
ties on the basis of handicap as defined by Section 504 of the Reha- 
bilitation Act of 1973. The vice president for business and finance 
at Meredith coordinates the College's nondiscriminatory policy on 
the basis of handicap. 

intercollegiate athletics seemed to take on new life in the seventies. 
Perhaps the momentum was inspired by the success of Meredith's first 
full-semester golf team in 1976, its having placed sixth in the Duke invi- 
tational competition; or the first winning seasons of both the tennis and 
volleyball teams. Already in place were basketball, gymnastics, and swim 
teams. If sports enthusiasts of 1976 could have peered into 1980, they 
would have witnessed the golf team's winning the NCAIAW state cham- 
pionship and the tennis team's taking the conference title. 

The teams were known as the Meredith Angels. From the earliest days 
of the College, "Angel" was a frequently used epithet for a student; and 
"Angel Farm" had been the home of the Angels since the campus moved 


from downtown Raleigh to the Tucker farm in 1926. Finally, in 1980, the 
executive committee of the Student Government Association led the Col- 
lege to adopt the angel as the school's official mascot, and the student 
body selected senior Teresa Parker Hamby's stylized drawing as the offi- 
cial representation of the Meredith Angel. 

"Why angels?" asked Caroline Vaught McCall, '64, in a 1989 college 
publication. Mrs. McCall, editor of Meredith Writes Home, a newsletter 
for parents of students, answered the question for her readers: 

In the early years of the College, a "brother-sister" relationship de- 
veloped between Wake Forest College (then located in the town of 
Wake Forest, only 17 miles from Raleigh) and the new Baptist Fe- 
male University (Meredith College). Though Meredith exerted strict 
social rules, the young women were allowed to share concerts, lec- 
tures, etc. with their "brother" college. In 1903 the editor of the 
Wake Forest newspaper wrote, "There is a ladder extending from 

the Baptist school in Raleigh to Wake Forest, and angels come and 

McCall also found that the campus water tank, circa 19Z6-63, fre- 
quently bore the words "Angel Farm" in letters large enough for all of 
West Raleigh to read. The daring display of questionable art was usually 
attributed to Wake Forest or North Carolina State students, who were 
reckless enough to climb the tank and clever enough to elude the night- 
watchman's flashlight, to say nothing of his ire. And in the eighties, par- 
ents proudly displayed their bumper stickers and oversized pins declar- 
ing, "My daughter's a Meredith Angel." While critics decried the angel 
image as that of a "Baptist girls' school" rather than of a progressive 
woman's college, the Meredith Angels were as socially sophisticated as 
their counterparts — the Lady Deacons of Wake Forest, for example — 
and as athletically aggressive in Division III of the National Collegiate 
Athletic Association (NCAA) as the Lady Tarheels of Division I. 

None of the Angels played in the Olympic Games; however, it would 
be safe to say that they joined other athletes and sports enthusiasts 
throughout the nation in stunned disappointment when President Jimmy 
Carter requested of the United States Olympic Committee a vote "against 
participation in the [1980] Moscow Summer Olympics" in Russia, and 
the committee adhered to his request. Carter's decision was among the 

"treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I 103 

"punitive measures against the USSR ... in retaliation for the Soviet in- 
vasion of Afghanistan."^^ 

With no athletic scholarships to offer, Meredith was rarely featured on 
the sports page of the daily paper; however, the College made news else- 
where as it graduated from the provincial image of many of the women's 
colleges of the era into higher degrees of sophistication for its students 
through travel and other opportunities for understanding their world. 
Early in 1978, senior Cindy Truelove flew to Ghana to attend a confer- 
ence sponsored by the United Nations Trade and Development Confer- 
ence and the IBM Foundation for Global Equality. In the meantime, her 
classmate Vicki Jayne planned a second trip to Washington, D.C., in as 
many years. As editor of the Twig, Jayne was invited to a White House 
news briefing, at which she could question President Carter, whose inau- 
gural ceremonies she had attended a year earlier. 

President Carter's administration was beset by problems, two of which 
were the steaming inflation rate at home and the simmering hostage cri- 
sis abroad. When the Ayatollah Khomeini wrested control of Iran in 1979 
from Shah Pahlavi, who was in New York for medical treatment, the dis- 
sident forces captured the United States Embassy in Teheran and held 
fifty-two Americans hostage for 444 days — until after Ronald Reagan 
had soundly defeated Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential election and 
had been inaugurated as fortieth president of the United States.* Mean- 
while, the nation's people became increasingly hostile toward the Ayatol- 
lah and his regime. Inspired by the popular song, "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 
'Round the Old Oak Tree," Americans everywhere displayed yellow rib- 
bons as a show of support for the hostages, and, in March 1980, the SGA 
sponsored a ceremony in which students so adorned one-hundred cam- 
pus oaks. 

In addition to Ann Kurtz, new member of the foreign languages de- 
partment, who had just arrived from Iran, Meredith also claimed per- 
sonal ties to the territory through Helen Turlington, former assistant pro- 
fessor of sociology, and her husband, Henry Turlington, a former trustee. 
In 1977, the Turlingtons had left their respective posts to serve as mis- 
sionaries in Iran, and, for a time in 1979, their well-being was uncertain. 

*The Charter Centennial issue of the student newspaper for February 27, 1991, 
reported that, in a 1980 mock election, 46 percent of the Meredith students voting 
had cast ballots for Reagan and 3 8 percent for Carter. 


But finally the good news of their safety reached the campus, and Mere- 
dith reported that "Helen and Henry Turlington . . . were the last 
Southern Baptist missionaries to leave the country, according to the 
Biblical Recorder. . . ."^^ On their return home, Mrs. Turlington re- 
joined the faculty. 

WITH ALUMNAE NUMBERING in the thousands, and with all its constituen- 
cies growing, Meredith constantly dealt with death in the college family. 
In that context, the years 1976-80 were, in many ways, some of the sad- 
dest. The historical account of an era cannot note all rites of passage; but 
neither can it fail to acknowledge the loss of some of the very young 
women, whose tragic deaths so deeply affected their peers in the residence 
halls and classrooms, or the older, wiser, legendary women and men, 
whose influence had already shaped the College forever. Ellen Amanda 
Rumley, a senior, died October 3, 1976; Linda Morgan and Susan Gen- 
carelli, both juniors, died in 1978. All three students were killed in auto- 
mobile accidents. And students Lynn Knott and Martha Nell Tucker died 
in 1976, both of natural causes. Carlyle Campbell, Meredith's fourth 
president, who served for twenty-seven years, died on July 27, 1977. 
Louise Lanham, associate professor of English, 1935-54, died April i, 
1976; Ralph McLain, professor of religion and chairman of the depart- 
ment for thirty-two years, died August 27, 1977, only three months after 
he retired; L.E.M. Freeman, professor of religion and head of the depart- 
ment, 1910-49, died January 21, 1979; and Ellen Brewer, professor of 
home economics, 1922-1966, died September 19, 1979. The deaths of 
trustees — both current and former — included Kemp S. Cate, July 23, 
1976; Robert W. Kicklighter, October 19, 1978; Bland B. Pruitt, Febru- 
ary 12, 1980; Henry M. Shaw, June 15, 1980; and Shearon Harris, Vice 
Chairman of the Board, August 28, 1980. Harry Dunston, cook, and 
Louise Booker, member of the housekeeping staff, each having served 
Meredith for forty-one years, died in May 1980 and July 17, 1980, re- 
spectively; and Mary Davis, in her fourth year as resident adviser, died 
August 28, 1976. 

In memory of Ellen Rumley, and with the financial help of her parents, 
the seniors in 1977 specified their class gift as a gazebo, which was later 
built near the lake and the Elva Bryan Mclver Amphitheater. And in their 
daughter's honor, Sarah Katherine Lurches Rumley, '43, and Leon Rum- 

"treasure in earthen vessels": 1976-1980 I 105 

ley established the Ellen Amanda Rumley Memorial Scholarship Endow- 
ment. Classmates and friends of Lynn Knott bought and hung in the Fire- 
side Room of Gate Center a seascape by Lynn's favorite artist, Austin 

Because Dr. Campbell's death occurred between semesters, Meredith 
chose the first convocation of the new academic year to remember him. 
Norma Rose, '36, spoke for the faculty; Zelma Green Williams, '61, for 
the alumnae; Edith Stephenson Simpson, '48, for the trustees; and John E. 
Weems for the administration. 

The News and Observer also paid tribute to President Campbell: 

Campbell was a man of great civility, scholarship and religious con- 
viction. And despite his distinguished bearing, he was a completely 
unpretentious man — open, approachable and genuinely caring for 
others. During his 29 years as head of the Baptist liberal arts college 
on Hillsborough Street, he imparted those ideals of knowledge and 
insight that give meaning and purpose to the lives of thousands of 
the school's alumnae. ^^ 

While Shearon Harris's service on the Board spanned only ten years, it 
was of such significance that his fellow trustees had voted in April, before 
his death in August, to "look with favor" upon constructing a new build- 
ing for the math and business departments and naming it in Mr. Harris's 
honor. ^"^ 

To reflect on these "saints" — students, faculty, staff, and trustees alike 
— is to revisit the meaning of "treasure in earthen vessels." In his 1976 
Meredith article under the same title. Dean Burris said, "Every Christian 
is a minister, called to mediate between God and other people, called to 
do the work of the world. This assumption is at the heart of curriculum 
planning, faculty selection, and instruction in a Christian college."^^ 





ON HER RETURN from 3. Summer seminar in India, Susan Gilbert, assistant 
professor of English, said, 

I think it is right remarkable that Meredith, which was once a tra- 
ditional — a very provincial — college, has a faculty of real world 
travelers. . . . 

We have in our minds now a picture of the Indian women and 
children, and somehow we have to help the young women at 
Meredith include in their life experiences a concern for those peo- 
ple. At eighteen or twenty, students can't be blamed for having their 
imaginations focused more narrowly on their own lives. Surely in 
these times they're worried about jobs. Will they be prosperous? 
Will they be secure? Our experiences in India must make us, their 
teachers, more secure in helping them gain perspective on their 
enormous wealth — to help them see it, be comfortable with it, be 
generous, and to find ways of being happy in being generous.^ 

Dr. Gilbert was one of fourteen professors from Raleigh who partici- 
pated in the 1982 Meredith-sponsored seminar, which was funded by a 
Fulbright-Hayes grant from the U.S. Office of Education. She kept com- 
pany in India with colleagues Dorothy Preston, mathematics; Ann Kurtz 
and William Ledford, foreign languages; Evelyn Simmons, economics; 



and nine faculty members from the Cooperating Raleigh Colleges consor- 
tium. Mrs. Simmons directed the group's search to determine how science 
and technology had affected India. She said the seminar "was designed for 
us to gain insight into Indian problems and prospects and culture; to re- 
turn to the Raleigh community and infuse others — students, faculty, and 
the community at large — with some of these ideas that would create a bet- 
ter understanding between the United States and India. "- 

Gilbert recalled a highlight of the trip: "I don't know how many of us 
had been received by a head of state before, but we — only our group — 
were in Mrs. Gandhi's residence for an hour around the conference table 
on Saturday morning."^ Indira Gandhi had met in 1974 with Vice Presi- 
dent Sandra Thomas, representative of the World Education Fellowship, 
and in 1976 with history professor Rosalie Gates, participant in a two- 
month seminar in India. Dr. Kurtz's meeting with Mrs. Gandhi was her 
second opportunity for an audience with a head of state, she having met 
with the Shah of Iran in 1978. 

In April 1983, K.R. Narayanan, India's ambasador to the United States, 
enriched the India-Meredith exchange when he addressed the subject of 
U.S. -Indian Relations in a public lecture on the campus. In smaller groups, 
he spoke informally about Gandhi, about the progress of his country as an 
industrial power, and about issues common to the United States and India. 
Narayanan noted that "no bilateral differences exist between the two na- 
tions, just differences in their approach to the rest of the world.'"^ 

While his colleagues traveled in India, Lyn Aubrecht, associate profes- 
sor of psychology, used a sabbatical leave to travel the world of politics in 
Washington, D.C., where he was on the staff of Congressman Austin J. 
Murphy of Pennsylvania, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Select 
Education. Dr. Aubrecht accepted his appointment as Congressional Sci- 
ence Fellow of the American Psychological Association because of his 
advocacy for programs for gifted children. Whatever he contributed to 
Representative Murphy's efforts toward such programs, he also found 
himself immersed in "the sale of AWACS planes to Saudi, Arabia; the 
Clean Air Act; the 'Apple Computer Bill'; Student Financial Aid; and . . . 
[research on] the MX missile."^ 

AIR TRAVEL AND iustaut Communication decreased the size of the world. 
And programs that attracted students to Meredith increased the size of 


the College. In the early days of the 19 8 1 fall term, three applicants for 
admission vied for every available space. Mr. Baker had already urged the 
trustees to act on alleviating a continuing "critical housing shortage" by 
transforming the fourth floor of Barefoot Residence Hall from attic to liv- 
ing quarters.^ But the renovations were not enough. By 1983, a modular 
housing unit provided rooms for twenty-three more students, increasing 
the residence possibilities on the campus to about 1,245. 

An ideal student population, said the administration, would be ap- 
proximately 1,600, including residents and commuters. In the 1982-83 
term, enrollment declined at twenty-one of the thirty private senior col- 
leges in North Carolina, and even with its residence halls overflowing, 
Meredith felt the pressure of the shrinking student-age population. In the 
fall of 1982, admissions counselors were on the road almost constantly. 
And to four Open Days during the year, they invited high school seniors 
and their parents to see for themselves the college routine and to absorb 
the campus ambiance. High school juniors were not ignored; Meredith 
gave them and their parents full attention as they conferred with both fac- 
ulty and admissions people during an annual Visitation Day. These re- 
cruitment efforts were in addition to the Summer Scholars program, 
through which rising high school seniors took college-level courses; and 
to Acteens Day, when members of the Baptist organization for teenage 
girls flooded the campus. And just to be sure it had covered all bases, dur- 
ing Christmas break in 1983, when prospective students would likely be 
free to watch television, Meredith aired its first television commercial on 
the local ABC and CBS affihates. 

The Class of 1983 had unwittingly posed a problem by graduating 353 
seniors, approximately thirty-five more than usual, leaving the admis- 
sions staff with thirty-five additional spaces to fill. The housing policy 
was clear: A student under the age of 23 lived either on the campus or 
with her husband or a close relative, but in unusual circumstances, a se- 
nior might receive special permission to live off campus; however, a stu- 
dent over the age of 23 was not "eligible for campus housing," unless she 
reached that age while a resident.^ 

In 1981-82, half the commuting students and ten percent of the stu- 
dent population were over twenty-three years of age. Also during that 
term, twenty-five international students made their impact on the cam- 
pus. More students and more programs necessitated additional faculty 


and staff. "Additional" faculty did not necessarily imply "new" faculty. 
For example, Betty Webb, '67, was a new department head but a seven- 
year veteran of the English department. As a Danforth Scholar, she had 
spent the previous three years pursuing the Ph.D. at the University of 
North Carolina in Chapel Hill. The Irish literature specialist was named 
chairman of her department in 198 1, succeeding Norma Rose, who con- 
tinued to teach. Having been a student of Dr. Rose's, Dr. Webb was reti- 
cent to acknowledge a new "pecking order." But one of her directives was 
that the department shed its reputation of formality, beginning with the 
use of first names in extra-classroom situations. She admits to having had 
difficulty speaking the first name of her professor "tripplingly on the 
tongue," as Hamlet admonished his players to "speak the speech,"^ but 
Webb was taken aback when the former chairman issued her own in- 
structions: "Betty," said Rose, "if you want to be less formal, you're going 
to have to stop answering 'yes ma'am' to everything I say."^ 

In its informal mode, the department honored Donald Samson, its one 
male member, at a wedding shower on St. Valentine's day in 1982. The 
Twig zealously, and with tongue in cheek, covered the event: "The groom 
was lovely in his red flannel shirt and black garter, which was worn fetch- 
ingly around his upper arm." Gifts from his colleagues included "a mul- 
titude of kitchen gadgets" and a pottery casserole dish.^° At the shower. 
Dr. Rose reportedly won the prize for knowing the greatest number of 
married couples in British literature. (She captured the edge by naming all 
six wives of Henry VIII.) 

The Departments of Art and Education also came under new leader- 
ship in 1982. Craig Greene, a member of the faculty since 1977, was ap- 
pointed chairman of the art department and Daniel Todd of the educa- 
tion department. Dr. Greene studied at Mars Hill College for the A.B.; at 
the University of North Carohna in Greensboro for the M.F.A.; and at 
North Carolina State University for the Ed.D. During his tenure of almost 
two decades, he would be highly effective in bringing the then-scattered 
art department under one roof. Dr. Todd, on the other hand, remained 
only briefly as chairman of the education department, but in the second 
year of his stay at Meredith, his department became one of three to offer 
graduate work. In addition to his three years at Meredith, his service to 
higher education included Pembroke State, North Carolina State, the 
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, East Carolina University, and 


Appalachian State. He had earned the bachelor's and master's degrees at 
East Carolina and the Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina in 
Chapel Hill. 

About 70 percent of the faculty held doctorates. Of the administra- 
tion's emphasis on credentials, Dean Burris said, "I wouldn't say that 
every good teacher who has, say, a master's degree will become a better 
teacher by getting a doctorate, but I think that, in most cases, it's true. . . . 
We're in the business of education, and if we assume that formal educa- 
tion doesn't improve one, we're pretty hard to defend." ^^ While teachers 
with terminal degrees were available in most disciphnes, there was "still 
considerable difficulty in finding doctorates in business," he said.^^ 

Finding enough money in their pockets was also difficult, according to 
the faculty. Although salaries had increased about ten percent in 198 1- 
8z, inflation was high, and the teaching staff voiced concern that neither 
their purses nor their services — meritorious or otherwise — were rewarded 
in "real dollars." But sometimes tenure was more desirable than money. 
In 1982, thirty-one of the seventy-eight full-time faculty enjoyed that as- 
surance. Those who taught in the smaller departments seemed to be 
more at risk than others because the governing policy expressly stated 
that no academic department could be completely tenured. The trustees 
discussed suspending those rules in unusual circumstances but discarded 
the idea in favor of authorizing multi-year contracts for up to five years. 
Joe Maron, assistant professor of art, was the first recipient of such a 

TO CREATE A fifth vice-presidency, the trustees again amended the by-laws, 
naming Joe Baker to the new administrative post of vice president for ad- 
ministrative affairs. Baker, who had served for seventeen years as vice 
president for business and finance, thereby assumed the role of official rep- 
resentative of the president and liaison to North Carolina Baptists. On Oc- 
tober I, 1983, Charles E. Taylor, with a B.S. and M.B.A. from East Car- 
olina University, joined the administration in the post vacated by Baker. At 
the time of his appointment, Taylor was business manager of Vance- 
Granville Community College in Henderson, North Carolina. At Mere- 
dith, he would be responsible for financial services, information services, 
the office of campus activities, the college store, central services and print- 
ing, environmental services, maintenance and housekeeping, food services, 


light and sound, the post office, security, the stables, and the switchboard. 
But as the decade of the eighties unfolded, perhaps the employment of a 
full-time painter and a full-time plumber was more indicative of the Col- 
lege's expansion than was the naming of a fifth vice president. 

Contracts with architects and builders, as well as with administrators, 
faculty members, and staff people, signaled a growing institution. "His- 
toric" was Joe Baker's word for the fact that both the chapel and the busi- 
ness building were on the drawing boards in 198 1. Not since 1926 had 
two buildings been under construction simultaneously, he said. The busi- 
ness building was dedicated on August 30, 1982, and the chapel twenty- 
five days later on September 24, 1982. When the contractor applied for a 
building permit for the Harris Business Building, he was surprised to 
learn that, in 1973, the city had zoned some of the land in Meredith's im- 
mediate neighborhood as "agricultural productive," including "a large 
portion of the western part of the . . . campus which at that time was out- 
side the city limits." ^^ Then when Raleigh annexed the College property, it 
failed to rezone the acreage as "office and institutional." A tongue-in- 
cheek Meredith news item, titled "Right Needle, Wrong Haystack," won- 
dered "if the city fathers take Meredith's nickname, the Angel [Farm] 
more seriously than the College does." A three-week waiting period and a 
speedy hearing met the requirements for rezoning, and, finally, the Har- 
ris Building was underway. "And one more row has been hoed at the 
Angel Farm," said the magazine. ^"^ 

The 24,000-square-foot structure would house the Departments of 
Business and Economics and of Mathematics. As recorded in the previous 
chapter, the building, which faces the Carlyle Campbell Library and is ad- 
jacent to Joyner Hall, was named in honor of the late Shearon Harris, a 
Meredith trustee and the former president, chief executive officer, and 
chairman of the board of Carolina Power and Light Company. Harris 
had also been a director of the North Carolina Foundation of Church Re- 
lated Colleges and parliamentarian of the Baptist State Convention. Pres- 
ent at the dedication on August 30, 1982, were Mrs. Harris and her 
daughters, Jenny Harris Wallace and Sarah Harris, who presented a por- 
trait of Harris for the new building. Fred Tolson was the architect and 
Davidson and Jones the builder. 

One of the intriguing features of the Harris Building was its purple 
walls. The Twig sought the reaction of Dr. Wheeler, chairman of the 


mathematics department and one of Harris's tenants. He said, "I thor- 
oughly enjoy the color scheme. . . . Besides the aesthetic considerations, 
I've noted that confronting a student by a purple wall at 8:00 a.m. 
markedly increases her alertness in class." ^^ But one of the most talked- 
about topics in general was the accelerated interest in business and math. 
When Lois Frazier, chairman of the Department of Business and Eco- 
nomics, said, "Business is a viable, changing, dynamic field,"^^ one needed 
only to look at statistics for proof. About the time she made the state- 
ment, her department had attracted approximately 200 majors. In fact, in 
the previous spring, Dr. Frazier had reported that i,2z6 Meredith stu- 
dents were taking some kind of course in business. 

The firm of F. Carter Williams designed the chapel, and, again, general 
contractor Davidson and Jones built it. Even before its dedication, the 
building was named in honor of Christina and Seby Jones, both of whom 
were generous contributors to the College. The honor also recognized 
Mr. Jones's advocacy for Meredith as a trustee. He was president of 
Davidson and Jones. 

Somehow, every stage of construction of the chapel was of intense in- 
terest to people who were already intensely interested in Meredith, and to 
some who were merely acquaintances. St. Mary's, the neighboring Epis- 
copal junior college for women, was a case in point. The school's chap- 
lain, Starke Dillard, hand-delivered to the College a gift of $100 from the 
students and faculty of St. Mary's, "with the hope," reported the Twig, 
"that Meredith's chapel becomes as dear to our campus as St. Mary's 
chapel has been to them."^^ Early in 1982, a horde of "sidewalk superin- 
tendents" crowded the front drive as a huge, yellow crane gingerly lifted 
the cross-topped steeple to the roof, but none of the onlookers seemed 
prepared for the emotion of the moments. 

The work of two chapel committees might have contributed to the per- 
sonal interest displayed in the construction. The programming commit- 
tee, chaired by Marion Lark, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hen- 
derson, North Carolina, was dubbed the "Inside-Out" Committee, and 
the buildings and grounds committee of the Board of Trustees, chaired by 
Claude Williams, was known as the "Outside-In" Committee. The for- 
mer group entertained ideas from Meredith constituents; visited other 
campuses in an effort to understand all the ways a chapel could benefit 
the College; and studied archival documents as bases for their recom- 

On a very early spring day in 1982, the steeple is put in place, and a 
cross is hoisted to the pinnacle of the Seby and Christina Jones Chapel. 


mendations. For example, they applied to their thinking Thomas Mere- 
dith's historic phrase, "on strictly religious principles," from his 1838 
Baptist State Convention resolution to establish a female seminary. In ad- 
dition to the historical and the religious components, the committee con- 
sidered the functional and the aesthetic — " 'a strong presence' but not an 
overpowering one," they determined. ^^ 

The 13,000-square-foot chapel sanctuary seats about four hundred 
people. The building also houses the offices of the campus minister. A 
small meditation chapel, made possible by a bequest from Ellen Brewer, is 
adorned with a batik — also a gift of the Class of 19x8 — by artist Pat 
Stumpf. And the batik was not the final gift to the chapel from the class; 
in 1988, it donated — to hang over the fireplace in the common room — 
a Paul Mennis oil painting of the original campus. 

The architects wisely included a bride's room in the plans; in January 
1983, Mr. Baker reported that the three-month-old chapel had been the 
site of sixteen weddings and that eighteen more were penned in on the col- 
lege calendar. Over the next decade, the number of weddings in the chapel 
would very nearly equal the number of weekends in the same time period. 
Marie Mason, coordinator of campus activities, said that by the end of the 
summer of 1993, the weekends were already booked for 1994, although 
the fees had increased from $75-$ioo for people with Meredith connec- 
tions and from $200 -$3 00 for others. 

President Weems spoke of the building as a "special gift to the greater 
community." He also saw it as a "special witness" and as "the gentle re- 
minder of our religious heritage." ^^ In the dedicatory address on Septem- 
ber 24, 1982, Duke McCall, president of the Baptist World AUiance and 
chancellor of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said, 

I thank God that we . . . can be reminded by this chapel that at the 
very heart of the human search for knowledge and truth is set this 
symbol of the redemptive act of God in Christ Jesus to remind us 
that "If you continue in my word (my message), then you are my 
disciples indeed; and you shall (not you may) know the truth and 
the truth shall set you free." 

May every benediction here be but a sign that the worship is 
ended and the service has begun.^° 

Dedication of the Estelle Johnson Salisbury Organ on Sunday, April 
10, 1983, completed the chapel sanctuary. W. David Lynch played a 


recital to a standing-room-only crowd. Custom-built by the Andover 
Organ Company of Lawrence, Massachusetts, the ornate instrument of 
1,394 pipes was the only mechanical action organ in the family of the 
seven North Carolina Baptist colleges. It resembled an eighteenth-century 
model; in fact, said Dr. Lynch, "There are organs like this built in the 
17th century in Europe that still play."-^ While Martha Salisbury Smoot 
initiated the largest gift toward the $150,000 instrument, the DuPont 
Foundation contributed $50,000. And, as a special golden wedding an- 
niversary gift to each other, Mabel Claire Hoggard Maddrey, '28, and her 
husband, Gordon Maddrey, furnished a carillon of Flemish bells. Since its 
installation by the Maas-Rowe Carillon Company of Escondido, Califor- 
nia, it has chimed the hours from 7:00 a.m. until midnight. At noon and 
at 5:00 P.M., it plays a concert — often of familiar hymns — for Meredith 
and its neighbors. 

The chapel faced a beautified front drive. In a valiant stand against age 
and weather, the few gnarled old cherry trees, circa 1926, that still lined 
the avenue from Hillsborough Street to Johnson Hall had been rejuve- 
nated by a host of younger trees. Through a letter to the Twig, Donald 
Samson of the Enghsh department had planted the idea of students' re- 
questing cherry trees for Valentine's Day gifts in 1980. In 198 1, he again 
promoted his cause: "I think . . . you would rather receive a cherry tree, 
which will cost $20 for a four to five foot tree and last for twenty years or 
more, than an $80 dozen of roses which would wilt in four days."^^ The 
idea took root. In April of the same year, Samson wrote another letter: "In 
the last two years, fifty Japanese cherry trees have been planted along the 
drive in front of Johnson Hall for all of us at Meredith to enjoy."-^ 

More cherry trees, more people, more cars were undeniable evidences 
of growth. In the past decade. Vice President Baker said in 1982, the stu- 
dent body had grown to about 1,600 young women. "And where to park 
[students'] cars is only one of the situations we face."^'* He named other 
challenges: an abundance of governmental red tape; a gross payroll of 
$352,668.42; a greatly expanded food service; and the privatization of 
some services, such as the cleaning of classrooms and offices. Ten years 
ago, he said, the operating budget was just over $3 million; in 1982 it was 
more than $9 million. Tuition and room and board had almost doubled 
from $2,500 to $4,400. But the good news that the endowment had in- 
creased to about $10 million from only $2 million brought a sense of 
freedom from fear of the proverbial rainy day.^^ 


As fees climbed, some of the people who charged them as well as some 
who paid them asked why. Others wondered why charges were not 
higher, inasmuch as Meredith's costs remained far lower than those of 
most of the private colleges in the state. President Weems explained: 
"Meredith is less likely to face competition [for students] from private 
schools than from public schools [where the tuition is lower], and this has 
a very strong effect on the amount of tuition that Meredith is able to 

THE COLLEGE GREW not Only in numbers of people and facilities but also 
in the interpretation of its mission. Continuing education continued blaz- 
ing trails. In 1982, the post-baccalaureate Cultural Resources Manage- 
ment Program awarded its first certificate to Jane Williamson Teague, 
'54, executive director of Raleigh's ArtsPlosure. And, in 1983, the Legal 
Assistants Program — one of only three on the east coast — earned the ap- 
proval of the American Bar Association. 

For several years, adult students had composed approximately 12 per- 
cent of the student body; in 1983 alone, forty of them progressed from 
the re-entry level to degree-seeking status. Recruiting was often a word- 
of-mouth phenomenon, but advertising also helped. In October of that 
year, the program's new director. Dr. Ironside, announced An Evening at 
Meredith for women over twenty-three. If the idea of personally intro- 
ducing the College to prospective students had worked for high school 
women, it should be helpful for older ones as well. Ellen Ironside was 
named associate dean for continuing education in 1983. An undergradu- 
ate philosophy major at Wells, the New Yorker earned a master's degree 
in music from Columbia. "When I began to think about what I might do 
when I grew up, I found I wanted to know more about adults' develop- 
ment,"^^ she said, and, on moving to Chapel Hill with her family, she en- 
rolled at the university in a doctoral program in adult education, and 
"Meredith's continuing education program was waiting not too far be- 
yond her dissertation."^^ 

A long-time advocate for continuing education for former students, 
the office of alumnae affairs had introduced in 1981-82 its Meredith-on- 
the-Road seminars, to be offered wherever an organization of alumnae 
deemed suitable. In the first year, Jon Lindsey taught a short course in re- 
source information to alumnae in Richmond and Anson Counties, North 


Carolina, and Rebecca Murray offered Children's Literature Revisited to 
a group in Red Springs. In the 1982-83 term, the Alumnae Re-entry 
Club (ARC) was organized to function much like a traditional alumnae 
chapter. One of its first projects was to establish the Anne C. Dahle Schol- 
arship for adult students. By 1996, the scholarship's principal had climbed 
to $47,000. 

Dahle cited some of the changes in the continuing education program 
since 197 1: "registration by mail, evening classes, transfer credit for nurs- 
ing school programs, official transcript evaluation for pre-admission 
advising, contract majors, credit for extra-institutional situations. . . ."^^ 
Her best experiences, she said, involved students: "More than one who 
has come in timid and frightened has developed self-confidence, self- 
understanding, as well as academic knowledge, and has gone out with a 
better ability to cope with her environment." ^° Especially, she remem- 
bered Lillie Lawson-Jones, who graduated in 1982 after only five regular 
semesters and three summers: 

Lillie Lawson-Jones dropped out of high school in the tenth grade 
because of disagreement with her mother. She worked in a variety 
of jobs, including driving a taxi in a large northern city. Later she 
moved south to live near her grandparents. When she was just past 
thirty, a series of unfortunate incidents led to her imprisonment. 
Her term was for eighteen to twenty years. She tells me that on her 
first day in the correctional center for women that she made a vow 
to take advantage of every opportunity that would improve her sit- 
uation. . . . 

She had completed the high school equivalency (GED) prior to 
her incarceration and had made acceptable scores. She took the 
Scholastic Aptitude Test in prison and again scored satisfactorily. By 
the time she could apply for study release, she had applied to 
Meredith and had conferred with me about her courses for the first 

This was a new experience for both of us. She had to learn col- 
lege procedure, and I had to learn prison procedure. . . . She may 
have been the first study release person to attend a small liberal arts 
college where the student is expected to participate in a total pro- 
gram, not just attend classes. . . . Faculty members and students 


happily provided transportation. . . . Prison officials were under- 
standing and helpful. . . . 

For Lillie, learning was an exciting experience. She made no effort 
to avoid difficult courses and met each challenge with enthusiasm.^^ 

When Lawson-Jones applied for parole, she knew it would be granted 
only after she had found a job and a place to live. A retired member of the 
college staff rented her a room, and she landed a job with flexible hours. 
Dahle continued. 

Again Lillie had to work through a new experience — freedom, . . . 
When she entered college, her goal was to become a social worker. 
. . . Lillie is in her second year of a graduate program in social work 
at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. ... It is not 
often that an academic adviser is able to watch such progress. 
Working with Lillie Lawson-Jones has been that most rewarding 
experience of my last five years. Probably of my entire career. ^^ 

As exceptional people in exceptional times lift careers beyond day-to- 
day routine, a vision revisited can inspire a college to step boldly past the 
ordinary. Meredith climbed above the status quo in February 1983 with 
the re-establishment of graduate studies. Offering the master's degree was 
not a spur-of-the-moment decision, the 1978-80 self-study having raised 
the possibilities. Clara Bunn chaired an ad hoc commitee on graduate 
studies, its members including Allen Page, religion; Lyn Aubrecht, psy- 
chology; Gene Sumner, sociology and social work; Jon Lindsey, library; 
Susan Gilbert, English; and Allen Burris, ex officio. Of their work. Page 
said, "If there is a stone unturned, it is because we didn't find the stone."^^ 
The committee's recommendation was short and to the point: 

The offering of post baccalaureate studies is consistent with Mere- 
dith College's mission, purpose, and history of providing outstand- 
ing educational opportunities to women. Therefore, we recommend 
that the college proceed to establish a process by which specific 
graduate programs can be considered and implemented.^'* 

The offering of graduate studies was consistent with Meredith's mission 
in 1983, as it had been in 1902. Although the College had awarded only 
three such degrees in the ten years between 1902 and 191 1, it had indeed. 


in those early years, granted the master's degree. ^^ The Academic Coun- 
cil endorsed the recommendation, and the faculty amended it to read, 
"that the college proceed to establish a process by which specific graduate 
programs and other post-baccalaureate programs can be considered. . . ?^ 
By unanimous vote, the Board of Trustees authorized graduate studies in 
business administration, education, and music on February 25, 1983. 
News of the giant step was accompanied by a statement of rationale from 
each chairman of the three departments involved. Lois Frazier of the busi- 
ness department said, "Until Campbell University initiated a satelllite 
master's program in business at Peace College in Raleigh, the nearest 
MBA possibilities were at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill 
and at Duke."^^ Daniel Todd, education, quoted statistics: "There are 
3,159 women teaching in the public schools of seven area counties to 
which Meredith is accessible; of those teachers, 2, zoo do not have grad- 
uate certification, there is no elementary education master's degree in 
Raleigh, and Meredith is already the certifying agent for elementary edu- 
cation students at North Carolina State University." ^^ And David Lynch, 
music and the performing arts, said, "Not only are no such programs 
available in our geographic area, there are only a few comparable ones in 
the entire Southeast." ^^ In fact, the committee had discovered that, in 
Meredith's neighborhood, only East Carolina and the University of North 
Carolina at Greensboro offered master's degrees in music performance. 
Meredith would offer one in performance and one in pedagogy. 

"Meredith must not limit its future by defining itself too narrowly," 
said President Weems as he encouraged the estabfishment of graduate 
studies."*" And Dean Burris added, "Of the thirty women's colleges in the 
nation with graduate programs, Meredith will be one of two offering 
graduate programs exclusively for women. . . ,"''^ the second being Sim- 
mons College in Boston. As plans were made and procedures outlined, 
dual responsibilities became apparent: Meredith must continue to scruti- 
nize its mission in the light of educating women for their times, and, to 
survive the approaching lean years of available college-age students, it 
must maintain a steady enrollment. In the practicality of the second area 
of concern, plans called for classes to be scheduled "for the convenience 
of the working adult woman"; for the instruction to come from the reg- 
ular faculty "plus some outside appointments for special expertise"; and 
for a six-year time limit to be set for completing the master's degree."*^ The 


first year's enrollment more than doubled expectations. By August 1983, 
forty-eight students had applied to begin the MBA, and forty were ex- 
pected to enroll; matriculation of all thirty applicants in education was 
anticipated; and, of the eight music department applicants, four or five 
were near certainties. A month later, at the September 1983 meeting of 
the Board of Trustees, the president reported that ninety students had ac- 
tually enrolled. Establishment of the program was partially underwritten 
by a portion of a million-dollar bequest that came to the College from the 
estate of Minnie Huffman Reddish formerly of Morganton, North Car- 
olina. Dr. Bunn accepted the post as first director of graduate studies. 

With all the indications of success in the new graduate studies, the core 
of the academic program remained at the undergraduate level. Given the 
number of graduate students seeking the MBA, it was not surprising that 
undergraduates also had been declaring majors designed to groom them 
for careers in business and the professions. Both the Departments of Busi- 
ness and Home Economics, for example, boomed with popularity. In 
198 1 and 1982 respectively, each of those departments installed charter 
members of national honor societies: in business, the Gamma Rho Delta 
Chapter of Delta Mu Delta, and, in home economics, the Delta Omicron 
Chapter of Kappa Omicron Phi. In 1982-83, home economics initiated 
concentrations in child development and family relations; clothing and 
fashion merchandising; consumer resource management; foods and nu- 
trition; interior design and housing; as well as general home economics. 
The American Dietetic Association approved the department's program 
in dietetics. In the same year and at the invitation of Duke University, the 
biology department, under its new name of biology and health sciences, 
offered its senior majors the opportunity to spend their final year at Duke 
in medical technology and to graduate from Meredith with a degree in 
that specialty. Curricular changes dictated a new name not only for the 
biology department but for the math department, as well: in 1982, it be- 
came the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Even the Department of 
English opened its door to specialization when, in 1983, it began offering 
for juniors and seniors a concentration in professional communications. 

In that year, for the first time, the number of students receiving the 
Bachelor of Science degree exceeded the number earning the Bachelor of 
Arts degree. Those and other statistics began to tell a story. For example, 
the number of graduates who became teachers dropped from 22.4 per- 
cent in 1979 to 12.5 percent in 1982; but the number who went into busi- 


ness and industry climbed from 41.9 to 51.0 percent.'*^ With some fre- 
quency, questions arose about vocational education in a liberal arts col- 
lege. Dean Burris commented on the subject in Meredith: 

The theme I've pounded on is that we try to plan and provide an ed- 
ucation which takes into account all the needs of our students on 
the proposition that a liberal arts education ... is not only not in- 
compatible with vocational education but is essential to it, and vice 
versa. . . . 

Meredith has always included concern for work. We've always 
trained working women. And, in the last ten years, we've tried to 
make that more explicit, both in our propaganda and in the pro- 
grams we've supported and pushed."^ 

IN HIS ANNUAL messagc for 1983, President Weems recounted the three 
phases of his administration: Phase one, the securing of Meredith, 
1972-76, was "devoted primarily to securing funds and devising a fi- 
nancial plan that ultimately would make Meredith one of the most finan- 
cially secure private institutions in our region." Phase two, the unfolding 
of Meredith, 1977 -198 1, "prov[edl to ourselves and the community at 
large that Meredith could provide many new needed services." In Phase 
three, academic reshaping, 1982-83, the College sought to "devise a pro- 
gram that would prepare the . . . student for living in the 21st century." "^^ 
Records of the twelve years of the then-current administration attest to 
the pattern, but they also show each phase overlapping the others. For 
example, the securing of Meredith in the seventies gained momentum in 
the eighties. In fact, in 1983, the projected eight years needed to complete 
the $20 million Visions program were adjusted to six. Dr. McGee spread 
the good news that every group of supporters had increased its level of 
giving. He told of the Chronicle of Higher Education's report that Mere- 
dith ranked "among the top colleges and universities in the country in the 
largest gifts received during 1983. "'^^ It was one of the years in which the 
Alumnae Association placed among the finalists for the United States 
Steel Award for annual giving, the 37.2 percent of contributing alumnae 
placing Meredith in the top 15 percent of all colleges in the nation. The 
faculty were also generous. Sarah Lemmon's gift of her residence in 1982 
serves as a case in point: The home, across Faircloth Street from the cam- 
pus, filled Meredith's need for a guest house, as Dr. Lemmon knew it 


IN PHASE TWO, the College attempted to distance itself from any perceived 
provincial image. The first paragraphs of this chapter indicate that the 
"unfolding" of Meredith continued beyond the five years assigned to it. It 
was a time when the world seemed to be everybody's responsibility. Af- 
fairs of nations and their people intruded by television upon the nesting 
places of those who had eyes to see and ears to hear. Occasionally, listen- 
ers heard the term "global village." 

Airplanes transported travelers to farflung places in a few hours, in- 
cluding the students in Meredith Abroad. Those who participated in 
19 8 1 recalled the excitement of England's royal wedding. Senior Jill Kib- 
ler remembered July 29 as "The day we all looked forward to and which 
made our trip complete. . . ." She told of the "few brave souls [who] 
camped out along the wedding route [to see] Prince Charles, Lady Diana, 
and other members of the Royal Family firsthand." '^^ Melody West, '83, 
spent the following summer in the same territory. She wrote. 

The students who went to Britain . . . saw the Royal Family, met 
Sylvester Stallone, saw Elizabeth Taylor, witnessed the horror of 
IRA bombings, walked on Hadrian's Wall, camped out at the hos- 
pital where Prince William was born, saw the Rolling Stones, met a 
guard at Windsor Castle, and heard a certain professor sing in an 
Irish pub. 

They also attended an embassy party in Paris, visited Shake- 
speare's birthplace, walked on mosaic floors made by the Romans, 
walked in the footsteps of Chaucer's pilgrims, and saw the Crown 

A HISTORY OF the College has been, is, and will be greatly enriched by its 
neighborhood of educational institutions, state government, the Research 
Triangle Park (RTP), business and services, the arts, and by people from 
around the nation and, indeed, from around the global village. As a grow- 
ing Meredith provided services, an also-growing community returned the 
favors. After almost two decades at Meredith, Dr. Shiflett of the chemistry 
department reflected on his move to Raleigh — a wise one, he said, for a 
chemistry professor. "For something very specialized that we want our 
students to see and have some experience with, we can go over to N.C. 
State or to some of the companies in the Triangle and get exposure that 
would be much more difficult for students at an isolated college."'*^ 


Conductor Gerhardt Zimmermann conducts the North Carolina 
Symphony in its annual Labor Day concert by the Meredith lake. 

On a list of Meredith's characteristics, one would never find the word 
"isolated." In 1981, Bob Wharton joined the faculty because he saw 
Raleigh "as a theater town and [was] bent on Meredith's being as strong 
in community theater as some of the long-established playhouses, such as 
Theater in the Park and the Raleigh Little Theater." ^° In addition to 
teaching, Wharton directed Meredith Performs, an "ambitious new ap- 
proach to theater on the campus."^^ In his second year, he persuaded a 
local television station to produce a professional ad as a public service an- 
nouncement. The spot aired frequently during the ticket-buying season, 
and the results were impressive, as were the performances of Rodgers and 
Hammerstein's The King and I, Charles Dickens's Nicholas Nickelby, and 
other presentations, including concerts by the choral and dance groups. 
Mr. Wharton was right; Raleigh was a theater town, and reviews for 
Meredith Performs often compared favorably with those of the more pro- 
fessional playhouses in the city. 

And what would any college give to see the handsome new North Car- 
olina Museum of Art relocate from downtown to the school's own neigh- 


borhood in 1983 ? Or what would any college give to host the North Car- 
olina Symphony's Labor Day concert, heard by thousands of music lovers, 
by the campus lake every September? (Admission: free!) The first such 
event was held on Sunday, September 5, 1982, and the annual concert has 
continued through 1998. Music has contributed significantly to the Col- 
lege's reputation. In fact, the music department once ran an advertisement 
in a symphony concert program that read "Where there's Meredith, there's 
music."^^ In turn, the symphony has been and is an arts treasure for the 
College, as is the Raleigh Symphony, and the National Opera Company. 
And the North Carolina Museum of Art, relocated to Meredith's neigh- 
borhood in 1983. 

Almost as joyous as hearing a symphony or visiting a gallery is finding 
the very course one seeks at a Cooperating Raleigh College. By 1982, ju- 
nior Kellie Farlow had taken three courses at North Carolina State. She 
wrote about her experiences in a guest editorial for the Twig: 

My NCSU registration card entitles me to . . . ( i ) use of the library, 
(2) intercollegiate athletic events, (3) use of the University Student 
Center, (4) membership in Friends of the College, (5) use of univer- 
sity infirmary, (6) use of Student Supply Store, and (7) other univer- 
sity facilities, services, and programs. 

It just seems a shame to me not to take advantage of one of the 
best universities in the country . . . when we are one mile down the 
road. . . P 

In the eyes of Meredith people. North Carolina State University has 
long been "one of the best" in many ways. Statistics are unavailable as to 
how many Meredith women and State men have met in college and mar- 
ried later, but a 1983 photograph in a college magazine depicted a differ- 
ent kind of love affair between the two schools. The picture showed what 
appeared to be hundreds of Meredith students lining a beltline overpass, 
cheering wildly as a bus transporting the 1983 N.C. State basketball team 
rolled down the highway below. On their way to the airport and Albu- 
querque, New Mexico, for the NCAA finals, the team's players could not 
have missed seeing a huge banner that Meredith students had draped 
over the bridge. It read, "Bring it back. Pack." The Wolfpack indeed 
brought it all back, N.C. State's having won the national basketball 
championship that year. 


The consortium of Cooperating Raleigh Colleges was among Mere- 
dith's many resources. It received a Title II-A Higher Education Act grant 
for 1981-82, which, with a gift to Meredith from the Jessie Ball DuPont 
Religious, Charitable, and Educational Fund, helped provide "the com- 
plete run" oi Music Index. The acquisition, housed at Meredith, was "the 
primary research tool for a strong music department . . . [and] not other- 
wise available in any academic institution in Wake County."^'* 

Local people in business and government and in the denomination also 
brought high levels of expertise to the campus. For example. North Car- 
olina insurance commissioner John Ingram taught the capital city class a 
lesson in the responsibilities of his office. About the same time, state trea- 
surer Harlan Boyles and municipal funds analyst John Barnes instructed 
residents of first Heilman on the whys and wherefores of inflation. And, 
in a speech sponsored by student government, R.G. Puckett, editor of the 
Biblical Recorder, identified some organizations — such as the Moral Ma- 
jority — and some people — such as Jerry Falwell, Bill Bright, and Jim 
Bakker — as "ringleaders in the attempt to legislate morality." ^^ 

In March 1982, Jay T. Mullins, director of the Shearon Harris Visitors' 
Center of Carolina Power and Light Company, spoke in convocation on 
nuclear energy. He said he expected the nuclear power plant, then under 
construction about twenty miles from the College, to be on line in 1985 
with one unit and in 1989 with the second. ^^ The first unit, he said, would 
supply electricity for 400,000 people, although Wake County's popula- 
tion at the time stood at only 300,000. In close time proximity, the busi- 
ness policy class heard David Rendal, vice president of Northern Tele- 
com, speak on international marketing. And, in 1983, Delta Mu Delta, 
the honor society for business administration, brought to the campus 
Jane Bergman, marketing and research specialist for WRAL-TV, for a dis- 
cussion on Career Paths in Marketing. Government also made its many 
contributions. Meredith hosted a 1982 winter seminar for the North Car- 
olina Federation of College Democrats, drawing on local leaders — Jane 
Patterson, secretary of administration; Chris Scott, secretary-treasurer of 
the state AFL-CIO; and Judge Willis Whichard of the Court of Appeals — 
as speakers. 

TOWNSPEOPLE ALSO GAVE the College high marks for including them in 
events of mutual interest. When Ross Millhiser, vice chairman of the 


Board of Philip Morris in New York, visited in April 1982, the planners 
invited thirty-five local business leaders to lunch. Perhaps neither the 
guests nor the business students who heard him could have imagined the 
extent of the disfavor that would be heaped upon the giant tobacco com- 
panies in the mid-nineties. Mr. Millhiser came to discuss topics other than 
problems associated with smoking, however; he came to praise liberal 
arts colleges: "I never knew a time when we needed the Meredith Col- 
leges of our land more," he said. ... "I think I could more readily entrust 
the destiny of Philip Morris to a scholar of Greek philosophy who em- 
ploys modern science to deepen his understanding than to a genius of so- 
phisticated technology to whom Greek philosophy is Greek." ^^ 

Mr. Millhiser was one of an interesting variety of speakers. Among 
other notables in 1982 were Gwendolyn Brooks, poet laureate of Illinois 
and the first black woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize; Alexander Julian, an 
award-winning designer of men's fashions; and Chris Sizemore, who had 
suffered through a multiple-personalities disorder, and whose story be- 
came public through the film titled The Three Faces of Eve. But each aca- 
demic year offered its own rewards. In 198 1, for example, just one two- 
day symposium on "Toward Conscious Conscience" had stirred such 
interest that classes were suspended at three o'clock Monday afternoon 
until eight o'clock Wednesday morning. The purpose was "to explore de- 
finitions of conscience. . . ; to raise levels of awareness about the roles of 
conscience for the individual and in culture; and to provide a variety of 
forums through which the Meredith community can grapple with the 
outcomes of conscience as a conscious benefit of personal interaction and 
decision making."^^ Virginia Carter, vice president of Tandem Produc- 
tions; Frank Wood, professor of neuro-psychology at Bowman Gray; 
Hedda Sharapun, associate producer of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, and 
Carll Tucker, editor of Saturday Review, addressed the topics. 

IN THE THIRD phase of the administration's emphases, the College ad- 
dressed academic reshaping, but one modification was not initiated by 
Meredith. In the 1981-82 term, the Council on Social Work Education 
directed that the College replace its certification program with a degree 
program, offering a major in social work.^^ The change appeared for the 
first time in the 1982-83 catalogue. And a year later, totally at Mere- 
dith's prerogative, computer science made its debut as a major. The 


1981-82 catalogue had also carried a new entry that drew attention 
more to location than to subject matter: "Through an arrangement with 
Marymount College in New York City, students may visit the college for 
one semester. The program provides many opportunities for study in the 
Manhattan area." 

To a greater degree than ever before, technology became the tool of 
choice, both for teaching and for learning. Ignited by the gift of a teach- 
ing computer from the Data General Corporation, the "computer explo- 
sion on campus"^° yielded a fall-out of a fully equipped laboratory in the 
new Harris Building and some computers in other buildings. Music stu- 
dents were among the first to learn the value of technology in their stud- 
ies, but all freshmen learned word processing in English in. In 1983, 
Dean Burris said, "The regular course in the introduction to computing is 
growing faster than we can get teachers to teach it. And, the new major 
is thriving."^^ As early as 198 1, Meredith added an office of computer 
services — or information services, as it was later called — although some 
computer technicians had been employed earlier. Mr. Taylor, who over- 
saw such operations, said in 1983 that the office "supports some 1600 
computer programs, 2000 procedures to run these programs and 150 
milhon bytes of data storage."^-^ 

While Meredith lived in the new world of technology, it returned to 
the Middle Ages for a time in September 1983. Beginning with convoca- 
tion on Monday and continuing through a courtyard fair on Friday, a 
week-long medieval festival recreated the ambiance of the period. The 
festival was a "week of music, lectures, films, drama, art, games, feasting, 
simulated combat, heresy, worship, sheep milking, medieval science, 
troubadors, knights, monks, nuns, tradesmen, shepherds, kings, queens, 
and fools."^^ Duke University lent the College a display of ancient manu- 
scripts; the coastal town of Manteo's brass rubbing shoppe lent expertise 
in its craft; and the religion department lent its talents to write and per- 
form a heresy trial. Guest speakers; musicians; and, at times, a costumed 
faculty, contributed to the mood. 

THE LARGER MEREDITH became, the greater were its concerns for security. 
From time to time, the College suffered the indignities of mischief, threats, 
even vandalism. In October 198 1, for example, a bomb threat disrupted a 
Meredith Performs production of Once Upon a Mattress in Jones Audito- 


rium. After the security staff and the Raleigh police saw to the evacuation 
of the building, searched thoroughly, and found nothing, the play contin- 
ued. Even more surprising were the several episodes of arson in the early 
evening of Tuesday, February i6, 19 8 z. In the first and most destructive 
incident, the arsonist set fire to a wastebasket in a third-floor restroom in 
Johnson Hall, completely destroying the room and costing the insurance 
company $32,000. That same evening, six additional blazes were extin- 
guished quickly, but the trauma of fear and uncertainty made for a long 
evening. On the following Sunday morning, a smoke alarm on the fourth 
floor of Vann Residence Hall alerted students to a hot iron left on a stack 
of clothes in the laundry room. And a week after the initial scare, some- 
one set fire to a sign-out card in Vann. Bill Norton, director of information 
services and official college spokesperson, became a regular on the six 
o'clock news as reporters interrogated him on the status of the investiga- 
tion. Concerned parents also wanted answers. The College assured the 
public of increased security; of Raleigh police investigations; of a "com- 
munity watch" by an SGA-appointed student task force; of additional 
smoke detectors in all buildings. And the North Carolina Arson Aware- 
ness Council offered a $10,000 reward for incriminatory evidence. 

With the sign-out card burning, the harassment stopped, but detectives 
continued their work. Surprisingly, they found that the largest blaze was 
not the first after all, earlier ones having been discovered but dismissed as 
accidental. All in all, twelve fires were set between January 24 and Feb- 
ruary 23. The arsonist, thought to be a student, was not identified. 

Threats to and destruction of property were signs of the times — but 
not the only signs. As women, in particular, heard the gospel of thinness 
preached by fitness experts and makers of perfume and clothing, some en- 
thusiasts threatened their own bodies with eating disorders. In 1983, Dr. 
Thomas was solicitous of the six to eight students suspected of anorexia 
nervosa. While it was a small number, she said, it "represents a sizeable 
increase over the number of cases at any previous time."^'* Her staff at- 
tended counseling workshops and designated places at which students 
could find help with such disorders and with other kinds of mental, emo- 
tional, and social problems. 

Students needed academic help, as well. The English department found 
it necessary to offer a non-credit course to prepare students for English 
III. Louise Taylor, associate professor in the department, reported that 


"forty Students identified as likely to have difficulty were sent a letter 
telling them about the course and that thirty-two of them enrolled in the 
voluntary course." ^^ 

THE DEGREE OF importance attached by students to their interests was 
usually discernible through the Twig. In the fall of 198 1, for example, 
women's issues still elicited response, as ERA supporters made their 
rounds seeking ratification for the amendment, which would fail in 1982. 
Of another issue that concerned women. Melody West, a junior, wrote, 

At the November 6 SGA meeting, the Meredith College student 
body decided to add its name to a petition urging Raleigh newspa- 
pers not to print the names of rape victims. 

It is uncertain how influential this petition will be, but at least the 
Raleigh papers will be aware of the concern in the area over print- 
ing these victims' names. ^^ 

And an editorial writer called for Duke University, where former Presi- 
dent Nixon earned his law degree, to reconsider its refusal to house the 
Richard M. Nixon Library: 

Duke University has been made an offer to build a library to house 
Nixon's 6,000 hours of tapes and 3 6 million pages of archives from 
the White House. Duke University Administration and Faculty have 
made a stand that they do not want to commemorate Nixon by 
building a shrine to honor him. 

Although some concern is understandable and justified in this sit- 
uation, over concern seems to be somewhat unfounded. The Nixon 
Library would be a great asset to the triangle area. The Library 
would draw national attention to this area. Because Watergate has 
only occurred once in the history of the United States . . . this library 
would stand as a historical monument to attract many historians 
and political scientists to the area. . . .^^ 

THE administration's FOURTH phase, beginning in 1983, saw Meredith 
as "the New Leader." And, in that capacity, said Weems, it is important 
that "our accomplishments are viewed by other institutions as attain- 
able."^^ This historical record documents some of the ways by which 
Meredith emerged as a new leader. When the president coined the phrase. 


however, he probably gave little, if any, thought as to hov^ the College 
would lead in the denominational struggles of the seventies and eighties. 
The situation was reminiscent of remarks by Edward Hughes Pruden, se- 
nior minister at the First Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., during the 
presidencies of Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and 
Nixon, all of whom he knew. (President Truman had attended his 
church.) While he was pastor-in-residence at Meredith, 1970-79, Dr. 
Pruden wrote for the Alumnae Magazine an article titled "From a Pulpit 
in Washington": "Washington Baptists sometimes say that they are 
Northern Baptists with a southern accent and Southern Baptists with a 
northern exposure. They hope that some day this spirit may be shared 
throughout the country, and the War Between the States be laid to rest."^^ 
Little could he have known then of the civil war to be fought in the eight- 
ies and nineties between Baptist inerrantists and moderates. Trouble was 
brewing in the Southern Baptist Convention, and battle lines were being 
drawn. The Christian Century warned, 

The biblical-inerrancy dispute that is currently upsetting the South- 
ern Baptist Convention is the most dangerous controversy the de- 
nomination has ever faced, according to Walter Shurden, professor 
of church history and dean of the school of theology at Southern 
Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. 

"The unique thing," said Shurden, "and the most dangerous 
thing, is that we now have for the first time ... a highly organized, 
apparently well-funded, partisan political party going not only for 
the minds of the Southern Baptist people but for the machinery of 
the Southern Baptist Convention." He charged that "the Southern 
Baptist inerrantists are a part of both the new religious and politi- 
cal right wing," and that they have been promoting a "fundamen- 
talist ecumenism" and a "new non-denominationalism" by cooper- 
ating more with other biblical-inerrancy advocates than with other 
Southern Baptists. ^° 

When Biblical Recorder editor R.G. Puckett spoke to the Student Gov- 
ernment Association that same year, he accused the "New Right" of try- 
ing to accomplish politically what they couldn't achieve spiritually.^^ It 
was the beginning of unprecedented changes for Baptists and, therefore, 
for Meredith. But at the time, North Carolina Baptists had designated 


more Cooperative Program dollars to Meredith than ever before. While 
they had contributed $498,768.17 in 1980, as reported in Chapter 4, 
they had designated $704,000 for Meredith in 198 1, attesting to a con- 
tinuing pleasant relationship — so far — w^ith each entity proud of and co- 
operative with the other. 

GIVEN THE CULTURE of the new decade, Meredith students, like most 
Americans, expressed opinions about the thousands of men and women 
marching on Washington to oppose the draft registration and on Chicago 
to support the Equal Rights Amendment. They discussed the grain em- 
bargo that President Carter imposed upon the Soviet Union for its action 
against Afghanistan. They wept for joy when, in 198 1, Iran released the 
Americans whom it had held hostage for 444 days. Meredith freshmen 
sponsored a religious service celebrating the event. Juniors Ann String- 
field, Debbie Huchinson, Georganne Narron, and Marie Hiott drove to 
Washington to see the drama unfold. Stringfield reported, "I recognized 
a few of the hostages. Elizabeth Ann Swift waved a flag at us. Others gave 
victory signs, waved, shouted, or simply smiled. Two hostages were prac- 
tically hanging out the windows [of the bus]. We yelled. We waved. We 
laughed. We cried. . . . "'- On the campus, students ceremoniously re- 
moved the yellow ribbons, which had adorned the trunks of one-hundred 
campus oaks since the hostage crisis began. 

Students then, as students always have, tempered their academic 
work with other interests — sports, for example. That the golf team 
played in the 198 1 AIAW Division III national tournament was hardly 
an everyday occurrence, however. The golfers not only made history by 
taking second place in the tourney, but they were also members of 
Meredith's first athletic team to receive a bid to compete for a national 
championship. The invitation to play in Sioux City, Iowa, followed the 
team's winning the state title and finishing second only to Wake Forest in 
the regionals. In Sioux City, additional honors went to rising sophomore 
Luann Johnson, who finished fifth individually and was named AU- 
American. Not to be overshadowed, an inspired tennis team captured 
the state title in 1982. 

And students enjoyed an innate capacity for refreshing frivolity. One 
of the Twig's lead stories in 1982 reported on two Meredith groups, the 
No No's and the 90 Percent Angels, who placed in the top five of an air 


band contest sponsored by WQDR, a local radio station. The paper ex- 
plained, "The term 'air band' applies to a band which mimes with silent, 
homemade instruments to the recording of actual performers ."^^ Jan 
Drach, lead singer for the No No's, sang into a hair brush. The 90 Percent 
Angels — with lead singer Carole Stebbins; keyboard (ironing board) 
player Randi Jones; guitarist (tennis racquet) Karen Mills; and drummer 
(barrels and stools) Nancy Byrns — appeared on WRAL-TV's eleven 
o'clock news. 

However proficient the airband "musicians," or even the golfers and 
tennis players, academics always came first. A student studying in the 
Carlyle Campbell Library had "a date with Carlyle."^'* (In fact, Lou 
Rosser, English, would report in 1997 that one of her re-entry students 
spent so many hours of her pregnancy in the library that she named her 
new son "Carlyle.") In 198 z, students apparently had many such dates 
if the unusually large number of seniors named to Who's Who Among 
Students in American Colleges and Universities indicated intellectual 
prowess. Members of a campus nominating committee submitted the 
names of thirty-one of their peers on the basis of "decidedly above aver- 
age academic standing, community service, leadership ability and future 
potential."''^ The honor attracted particular attention in 1982 because 
only one-third of that number had made the list in 198 1. Phyllis Wurst, 
one of the seniors named to Who's Who, captured the LiUian Parker Wal- 
lace Phi Beta Kappa Award for "the best historical research paper in 
Wake County," ^^ a feat that was becoming almost routine for Meredith, 
as recorded in Chapter 3. 

Soon thereafter, the Twig reported a contest of a different ilk: the first 
annual freshman-sophomore mathematics competition. Sophomore Beth 
Madren and freshman Cheryl Bailey pulled away from the fourteen 
other contestants to win first and second places, respectively. The news 
story implied admiration for the contestants, who had "tested their 
analytical skills and acumen against the treacherous shoals of the . . . 

The math students' academic victories and the Meredith Chorale's in- 
stant celebrity boded well for diversity. In November 198Z, the chorale 
performed in Reynolds Coliseum with renowned singer Barry Manilow 
— and at his invitation. The forty-voice group sang backup for Manilow's 
encores "I Write the Songs" and "One Voice." 


SO MEREDITH, THE larger college, knew and became known in a smaller 
world. As Suzanne Britt wrote in 1991, 

We do not live in a vacuum, despite youthful convictions that only 
the here-and-now matters, only the immediately useful seems ap- 
propriate to learning. Meredith College has understood and demon- 
strated this fundamental conviction about education. It is what the 
tired professor says to the querulous student after a classroom lec- 
ture. When the student asks the age-old question, "Will this count}" 
the professor answers, with all the energy she can muster, "Every- 
thing counts." And the gap between what we know and what we can 
do, in this world or the next, mercifully narrows. ^^ 


morning's energy 


WAS IT "morning in America"? Long after President Ronald Reagan's 
1984 election to a second term, political analysts continued to remind the 
electorate of a perceived "morning again" sensibility of his presidency. 
The same analysts searched for historical precedents that would explain 
the nation's new-found political leanings of the eighties. Americans had 
not made "a simple shift to conservatism," wrote Bill Boyarsky, a Reagan 
biographer. "The change was subtle and contradictory. . . ." But however 
the turn to the right was precipitated, he said, it was "in a way that ben- 
efited Reagan."^ And Michael Schaller, author of Reckoning with Rea- 
gan, America and Its President in the 1980s, observed a phenomenon: 
"College students liked talk of renewal from America's oldest serving 
president. On campuses where a few years before undergraduates had 
pelted Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, 20-year-olds screamed 'U.S.A.! 
U.S.A.!' in response to Reagan's oratory. He tapped a popular yearning to 
restore a sense of community, real or imagined, lost over the previous two 

Even among Reagan supporters, few took the eighties as an unquali- 
fied step forward because of the increasing emphasis on material success, 
image, and corporate greed — sometimes at the expense of compassion, 
kindness, open-mindedness, and generosity. But, in a sense, the mid- 
eighties brought morning to the College. For the nation, "morning" 


morning's energy: 1984-1985 I 135 

meant restoration; for the College, it meant exploration. Morning meant 
academic renewal; optimum enrollment, even in a declining student mar- 
ket; new and refurbished campus facilities; an established place in the In- 
formation Age; and financial security. The College was alive with morn- 
ing's energy. 

A lively concept sprang into being in May 1983, when the admissions 
committee recommended "that the College develop some identifiable 
program to enrich the educational opportunities for superior students."^ 
Actually, a challenge for superior students had been part of the academic 
conversation for some time, but the ensuing ad hoc committee attacked 
its assignment with such vigor that chairman Bernard Cochran was ready 
in September to recommend that Meredith establish an honors program. 
He offered the committee's rationale: 

The Honors Program at Meredith is envisioned as an intellectually 
stimulating and innovative educational experience which will serve 
to attract and retain the superior student. While in the best sense 
all academic instruction at Meredith is viewed as "stimulating and 
attractive," a special, identifiable "Honors" track will allow the es- 
pecially gifted student to develop academically to her fullest po- 
tential. . . ^ 

The program would admit honors students, on scholarship, to each en- 
tering class until, after four years, approximately seventy young women 
would claim that status. Through her honors coUoquia and her senior- 
year honors thesis, each scholar would be exposed "to a thorough exam- 
ination of a broad spectrum of human knowledge."^ She would be ex- 
pected to maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average in all her work, and, 
at graduation, would be designated an Honors Scholar graduate. In 
1984, when Meredith enrolled its first twenty-one honors students — 
more than the projected fifteen to twenty — the prognosticators upped 
their predicted total number from seventy to eighty by 1988. 

As the College finafized plans for its first class of honors students, it 
also established its first endowed professorial chair. Even before Dr. John- 
son's death in 1984, the determination was clear: the professorship would 
be designated the Mary Lynch Johnson Chair of English. In fact, the 
Brown Foundation had already promised to underwrite $100,000 of the 
endowment as soon as Meredith raised $400,000. Johnson died on July 


17, and, on July 20, the college community gathered in Jones Chapel to 
pay tribute to the legendary teacher, whose commitment to Christian ed- 
ucation at Meredith spanned 65 years. The college magazine reported, 

Dr. Johnson entered the academy division of Meredith (then Baptist 
Female University) when she was a sixth-grade student. From that 
time until she taught "The Poems of Milton" in the fall of 198Z she 
was connected with Meredith as student, professor, and college his- 
torian. She graduated in 19 17, returned to teach in 19 18, and was 
made chairman of the department of English in 1952. She remained 
in that post until her retirement in 1969 but continued to teach to 
full classrooms through the division of continuing education. . . .^ 

In 1984, the department in which Dr. Johnson had served for so long 
led the College to introduce Writing Across the Curriculum, a program 
through which every academic department would endeavor to improve 
the writing skills of its students. Also, the English department, along with 
art, economics, history, Latin American studies, psychology, religion, and 
sociology, participated in a new, team-taught, interdisciplinary course ti- 
tled "Woman's Odyssey." Funded by a grant from the Duke University- 
University of North Carolina Women's Studies Center, the course began 
in the spring of 1985 to help students "integrate the connections" among 
"education, selfhood, career, and family, and . . . address the problems 
confronting women in many aspects of life in the modern world," said 
Peggy Starkey, assistant professor of religion and coordinator of Woman's 

Meanwhile, other departments in the arts and humanities planned 
innovations of their own. For example, the cooperative efforts of the 
Department of Foreign Languages and of the student development di- 
vision, which was responsible not only for housing but also for pro- 
moting cultural awareness among all students, created a Spanish hall in 
one of the dormitories. By April 1985, eighteen students had applied to 
live on the hall, where they would concentrate on Spanish language and 

And more and more students were "speaking the language" of dance. 
In 1984-85, the health and P.E. department, as it was familiarly known, 
changed its name to the Department of Health, Physical Education, and 
Dance, attesting to the importance of dance in the curriculum. 

morning's energy: 1984-1985 I 137 

THE YEAR CHALLENGED planning Committees to observe in new ways 
some of the old traditions. The Founders' Day convocation, for example, 
opened the fall term, whereas its customary late February date was usu- 
ally a harbinger of spring. And the moving of the Baccalaureate service to 
the chapel after a thirty-five-year observance in Jones Auditorium "gave a 
new flavor to this very special time of worship for the Class of 1985," ac- 
cording to the Rev. Sam Carothers, campus minister.^ A significant aspect 
of the occasion was that an alumna, the Rev. Margaret Hess, '78, 
preached the first Baccalaureate sermon in the new chapel. 

In that same year, Meredith again availed itself of Dr. Lemmon's tal- 
ents, to say nothing of her dedication, by appointing her acting head* of 
the department of education for the spring semester, until Mary John- 
son, associate professor of education and a four-year veteran of the de- 
partment, assumed the permanent role the following fall. Dr. Johnson 
earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees at Western Carolina 
University and her Ed.D. at Duke. She had come to Meredith in 1980 
but was lured away, except for her continuous teaching in the graduate 
school, by the Wake County School System in 1984. A consistent advo- 
cate for public school teachers, Johnson later said, "There is a national 
crisis in education, and it is not all education's fault. I think it deals with 
some of the cultural changes . . . and the expectation that schools are 
supposed to do everything for everybody."^ While she had become well- 
acquainted with Meredith, Johnson's colleague Ronald Bird, who as- 
sumed headship of the Department of Business and Economics at the 
same time, was new to the College. He was still "new" when he left after 
only one year. 

As participants called attention to progress in the arts, humanities, and 
business, advocates for math and science did not sit idly by. The mathe- 
matics department took center stage in 1984, when one of its students ex- 
celled in a North American mathematical competition. Several official 
documents recorded the event, but the Twig couched the news in the stu- 
dent vernacular: 

Early on the morning of Saturday, December i, 1984, while most 
Meredith students were still dreaming about the Christmas dance 

*The designation "head" replaced the title "chairman" in 1983. 


that evening, six [others] joined 2,144 students from 350 colleges 
and universities in Canada and the U.S. in the William Lowell Put- 
nam Mathematical Competition. . . . 

[Sophomore] Laura Litchfield placed among the first quarter of 
the contestants nationally. . . .^° 

Dean Burris reported that Litchfield placed "very high in the scale along 
w^ith . . . students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 
North Carolina State University, Duke and Davidson." ^^ Meredith's aca- 
demic reputation continued in good company its merited place. 

In the good company of the Bov^man Gray School of Medicine of 
Wake Forest University, Meredith established a Physician Assistant Train- 
ing Program, which would require a student to major in health science at 
Meredith, with loi semester hours at the College and 1,000 hours of 
clinical experience, and to complete the program at Bowman Gray. And 
in collaboration with Duke, the College announced a new offering in 
medical technology. The 1984-85 catalogue described it as involving 
"three years at Meredith and one full calendar year at Duke University 
Medical Center. This program prepares students to enter the field as med- 
ical technologists with the Bachelor of Arts degree. . . ." In later years, the 
catalogue added a statement to the effect that "Career opportunities in 
hospitals, laboratories, research, public health facilities, and educational 
institutions are widely available." ^^ But if catalogue perusers thought a 
program in medical technology was too specialized, or even that it was 
new, they might have been surprised to find the following statement in the 
1899 -1900 bulletin of Baptist Female University: 

Young women who propose entering the profession of medicine, 
and who do not feel able to take a four years' course, should give, at 
least, a year or two to the study of those branches which form the 
basis of a medical education. To meet the needs of this class, a two 
years' Medical Preparatory Course is offered.'^ 

If Meredith was concerned about the whole person, as it claimed to 
be, then it promoted physical fitness. In 1984-85 the College added 
weightlifting to its training programs. To what degree weightlifting pre- 
pared the athletes of 1985 is unclear, but the volleyball team boasted of 
a 9-0 record, "even after playing Francis Marion, a division II school," 

morning's ENERGY: 1984-I985 I I39 

crowed the Twig. The newspaper took its bragging rights seriously: "As 
the Angels walked into the gym their hearts sank when they watched this 
IFrancis Marion] team, who looked like the U.S. Olympic team, warm 

While the College never made claim to fielding a team in the Olympics, 
it played its own Superbowl. A new intramural sports program stirred 
competitive spirits, and students organized twenty-six teams of flag foot- 
ball alone. The teams would compete in September and play for the Su- 
perbowl III championship on the 25th. Intramural soccer and volleyball 

A CURSORY GLANCE at Meredith from the inside out rightly reveals a col- 
lege, which, within the framework of its mission, shapes its academic pro- 
gram to the needs of women and their times. On the other hand, a picture 
of the College from the outside in never mirrors the soul of the institu- 
tion. From that vantage point, one sees a community very much like 
a small city — buildings, roads, parking lots, landscaping, population. In 
fact, in 1984, Vice President Taylor likened the everyday services offered 
by Meredith to those of a city: "utilities, security, housing, food," and re- 
tail. ^^ But the onlooker could not always discern the transformations tak- 
ing place within the "city limits." 

The freshman class in 1985 was the largest class to date. Its 405 mem- 
bers had been selected from 879 applicants from fifteen states and three 
foreign countries. They represented more than 150 high schools. Among 
the freshmen were four National Merit semifinalists, several National 
Merit commended students, and a National Achievement commended 
student. Fifteen scored high enough on advanced placement tests to qual- 
ify for sixty-seven hours of advanced standing. The profile of the class 
also revealed that five members received Meredith College Academic 
Scholarships, twelve won Julia Hamlet Harris Scholarships, and seven 
qualified for Music Scholarships. Twenty students were invited to partic- 
ipate in the honors program. 

As students changed the "city," the "city" also changed them. How 
they were to be changed led the institution periodically to revisit the vi- 
sion of its founders. This chapter has recorded some of the resources used 
for the academic transformations of undergraduate degree candidates, 
but graduate studies figured more and more prominently in the then- 


present and future plans. As the College scrutinized the graduate curricu- 
lum, it approved a second master's degree for the Department of Music: 
as of November 1984, a graduate student could earn a master's not only 
in performance and pedagogy but also in music education. In a graduate 
a program that required two years of course work, students in any one of 
the disciplines could take up to six calendar years to complete a degree. 
Approximately 180 graduate students had enrolled, and a 1985 profile 
showed that they represented "more than fifty companies, many schools 
and public school systems, and several churches in the Research Triangle 
area."^^ Twenty-four percent of them were Meredith graduates; 38 per- 
cent came from seventeen other North Carolina institutions; and another 
3 8 percent represented thirty-nine colleges and universities from outside 
North Carolina and one from a foreign country. ^^ 

Unlike the graduate program, continuing education's enrichment pro- 
gram had been around for a long time, constituting a body of students 
who were not, by definition, degree seekers. Of enrichment. Dr. Ironside 

[E]ducational value and service to the community are the primary 
criteria which direct our programming. . . . We believe it is impor- 
tant for Meredith to offer a quality comprehensive, non-credit pro- 
gram with content appropriate to the higher education setting. 
Thus, we see the Enrichment Program as a kind of "standing invi- 
tation" to the lifelong learners in our community, a "showcase," 
and a place where people may discover something about Meredith, 
and perhaps about themselves. ^^ 

Statistics for each spring semester from 1980-85 showed that the num- 
ber of enrichment seekers accepting Meredith's "standing invitation" had 
grown year by year, except for 1984 when the numbers dropped signifi- 
cantly but temporarily. In the spring of 1980, enrollment in the program 
was 525; in 1985, it was 1,651. 

Despite the rosy enrollment picture at every level, the facts remained 
that a buyers' market was expected greatly to influence the aspirations of 
Meredith and other colleges and universities over the next few years. 
President Weems reported to the trustees in February 1985 that many of 
the thirty-eight private colleges in North Carolina were losing students 
and that some might have to close because of their losses. On an opti- 

morning's ENERGY: 1984-1985 I I4I 

mistic note, he said that "Duke, Davidson and Wake Forest are strong in- 
stitutions and following them Meredith and Guilford represent the 
strongest of the rest."^^ 

Although cheered by enrollment numbers, the College nevertheless 
saw a gloomy forecast in the traditional-age student market and sought 
new venues for preaching the good news of Meredith. In fact, the admis- 
sions staff appointed Alumnae Admissions Representatives (AARs) in 
Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, South Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky as 
liaisons to young women prospects in their respective areas. 

Meanwhile, students remained comfortable in their college routines, 
even as they aspired to reshape their parts of the world. In an election 
year, one of their challenges was to make the changes they wanted by the 
votes they cast. Politicians courted Meredith students. In their bid for the 
same United States Senate seat, both former Democratic Governor James 
Hunt and incumbent Republican Senator Jesse Helms, held their 
statewide youth rallies at the College. Hunt infused a breath of fresh air 
into his teetering campaign, sending — at her own request — Bonnie 
Franklin, star of television's popular situation comedy One Day at a 
Time, to speak for the candidate in Jones Auditorium. Later, clad in a 
Meredith sweatshirt, she answered questions and signed autographs, per- 
haps overhearing some Helms supporters, who were quite vocal in 
protesting the occasion's political focus. 

Apparently gaining momentum from the energy of an election year, 
both student Democrats and Republicans made news in 1985. The Twig 
reported first on the Democrats: 

Since about 19 8 z the Meredith Democrats have been unseen or un- 
heard of . . . . Last year changed this. With a little help and enthusi- 
asm from Becky Auman [junior] and Dr. Allen Page [professor of 
religion] Meredith was back on the Democratic map. . . . Last 
March, in Winston-Salem, at the North Carolina College Demo- 
crats' Convention, Meredith was recognized for its hard work and 
became the first recipient of the Best Small Club Award.^° 

Two weeks later, the paper touted the Republicans: 

Just like the National Republican Party, Meredith's College Repub- 
lican Club is growing and we hope you will become a part of it. 


Last year at the National Convention Meredith won most out- 
standing College Repubhcan Club for a woman's college on a na- 
tional level.^^ 

While the Twig probably never reached federal and state lawmakers 
and, therefore, had little chance of significantly influencing them, its edi- 
tors expressed their sentiments anyway. For example, co-editor Beth 
Blankenship disliked having to "buckle up" in her car: "The seatbelt law 
has passed in North Carolina, and there's really nothing I can do about 
it. ... I feel that this law has taken away one of my fundamental freedoms 
of choice. . . ."^^ In 1985, the two editors took opposing stands on one of 
the "laws" of the campus. Soon after installation of the telephone system, 
switchboard operators were instructed to avoid giving students' private 
numbers to outsiders. Co-editor Cynthia Church was incredulous: "Oh, 
please, what next?" she wrote. "Now, the outside world can't get into us 
because they can't get our number."^^ In the same issue, co-editor Beth 
Blankenship expressed her relief : "Have your number put in the phone 
book if you want it to be public knowledge. As for me, I'll take my pri- 
vacy any day."^"^ 

From the use of telephones to the care of college property, the growing 
campus "city" sometimes found it necessary to mimic the bureaucracies 
of its "real world" counterparts. Beginning in the 1984-85 term, Mere- 
dith assessed a damage deposit fee of $50.00 from each resident student, 
all or part of which she would reclaim upon graduation or withdrawal, 
depending upon the condition of her room or whether a lost key had ne- 
cessitated new locks. 

But the academic community usually discussed topics infinitely farther 
reaching than whether to limit the distribution of telephone numbers or 
to refund a damage deposit. One who inspired more substantive discus- 
sion was Alex Haley, author of Roots, who attracted more than 800 peo- 
ple to a morning convocation during "the strongest and most well at- 
tended" Black Emphasis Week in three years.^^ Later in the spring, several 
African-American students attended in Atlanta a seminar on Black Stu- 
dents on White Campuses. Returning with enthusiasm and workable 
ideas, the students were able to influence some attitudes toward change. 

As students underwent various metamorphoses in their college experi- 
ences, they were able to move beyond their natural habitats toward 

morning's energy: 1984-1985 I 143 

changing someone else's world. In that context, the Meredith Christian 
Association excelled in leadership. In 1984, the campus minister, Sam 
Carothers, reported "an exciting year for Meredith in the area of student 
missions."^^ One student, he said, spent six months in Togo, West Africa, 
operating a Baptist Student Center on a university campus; another opted 
to become an intern at the Raleigh Food Bank; still others would, in the 
near future, be ministering in Germany and Argentina. 

For other types of work, twenty-one students chose co-ops, either the 
full-time alternating program (a semester in class and a semester at 
work), in which five were enrolled, or the parallel part-time program 
(part-time work, part-time school), which, with sixteen students partici- 
pating, constituted "the largest enrollment during a regular semester in 
the history of Meredith's program."^'' 

SOMETIMES, A YOUNG woman's private world changed almost too radi- 
cally for coping. Through the help of her friends, a resourceful student 
handled her own crisis and helped others struggle through theirs: 

After learning of my parents' separation last semester, my entire 
world rocked and tossed in utter disarray, leaving me feeling quite 
betrayed and alone. However, my friends, with their strong hearts 
and endless compassion, have helped me work through the situa- 
tion. Their support is proving invaluable to my dealing with the sit- 
uation and my coming through on top of things. As more and more 
students on this campus and other college campuses are directly af- 
fected by the epidemic of separation and divorce, this type of sup- 
port is needed.^^ 

Those statements in the March 18, 1985, Twig led to the formation of a 
support group for students in similar circumstances. By the time the April 
I issue went to press, six young women had joined. 

But most common bonds fostered happier circumstances than those 
created by broken relationships. The Meredith ring, for example, has 
been a "tie that binds" since 1954, according to Dru Morgan Hinsley, 
'52, who, at her retirement in 1996, had managed the Meredith Supply 
Store for almost as long as she had been an alumna. Carolyn Carter, '73, 
elaborated to members of the Class of 1997 just after they had received 
their rings in their junior year: "This ring which is a symbol of everything 


precious that Meredith stands for binds you in a tangible way to the Sis- 
terhood which now numbers over iz,ooo. My observation is that more 
people wear their Meredith rings than any other college or university that 
I am aware of."^^ And Annette Gregory, reporting on the ring tradition in 
the Twig, wrote, "Meredith was the first college to adopt the dinner ring 
style."^° The ring, with its oval onyx stone, into which is etched the 
slightly off-center college seal, is a creation primarily of Ann Lovell, '54. 
An oak leaf engraved on the band and flanking the stone further distin- 
guishes the ring as Meredith's. A ring on the finger of a student or an 
alumna possibly introduces more strangers than one can imagine. In 
1995, a student wrote. 

This summer I was approached in two unusual places because an 
alumna spotted my ring. 

One was on the shore of Emerald Isle, North Carolina and the 
other was in a store in Soho, New York. . . . 

All that matters is that we could relate to each other and feel the 
bond of sisterhood that this college creates.^^ 

In 1984, Emily Pool Aumiller, '50, also proved the point in her letter to 
the editor of Meredith, although her Southern accent initiated the con- 

Recently my husband and I stopped for an early Saturday supper at 
a trendy restaurant on Highway 1 7 in Ramsey, New Jersey, where 
attractive young college people serve potato skins and fried veggies 
and variations on a theme by Hamburger. When our waitress, a 
cheerful and beautiful brunette, brought our bill, she asked me, 
"Are you from the South?" 

"Yes, I'm from the Carolinas. . . ." 

"I went to college down South," she said. 

Naturally I asked where, and when she said Meredith, we 
were both incredulous. Then she added, "I should have noticed 
your ring. They don't let me wear mine here. It might fall in the 

Anyhow, the brief encounter between Karen Smith of Allendale, 
New Jersey, '83 biology major, and Emily Pool Aumiller, '50 En- 
glish major, warmed our hearts. ^^ 

morning's ENERGY: 1984-1985 I I45 

A primary tie that binds the campus "city" is the facuhy. Literature 
through all the ages has extolled educators. Amos Bronson Alcott wrote 
in 1840 from an interesting viewpoint: "The true teacher defends his 
pupils against his own personal influence. He inspires self-trust. He 
guides their eyes from himself to the spirit that quickens him. He will 
have no disciple."^^ The late Ralph McLain of Meredith's religion depart- 
ment expressed the same idea but from a student's viewpoint: "A good 
student never stays attached to the limitations of her teachers."^'* In 1988, 
when Meredith was ranked fifteenth among the nation's small compre- 
hensive colleges, President Weems credited the faculty: "I am pleased that 
they are being recognized for their hard work and high standards," he 
said.^^ Historian Mary Lynch Johnson quoted from President Bruce Heil- 
man's inaugural address: "[F] acuity members are at the heart of the aca- 
demic enterprise, and the end result depends on their quality." ^^ 

As a body, these scholars covet academic freedom as one of their "un- 
alienable rights [of] life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."^^ The fac- 
ulty often raises its collective voice in support of a cause that ultimately 
boils down to the cause of academic freedom, even if the vocal reaction 
causes strained relationships. Such was the case in 1985 when, by resolu- 
tion, the faculty supported its colleague Clyde Edgerton in his perceived 
struggle with academic freedom at Campbell University, a sister institu- 
tion of North Carolina Baptists. Mr. Edgerton's first novel, Raney, had 
satirized conservative Baptists but had been well received by critics and 
the general public. Its publication would have been less threatening had 
it not appeared when Campbell's president, Norman Wiggins, was also 
president of the Baptist State Convention.The Meredith faculty's resolu- 
tion voiced support for Mr. Edgerton; in reaction, the executive commit- 
tee of Meredith's trustees, also by resolution, expressed regret that Camp- 
bell might have been offended. As far as public records show, the matter 
ended there, and Clyde Edgerton has continued his writing — and his 
irony — through several novels since. 

IN 1984, A new building gave the chemistry department a rebirth of sorts, 
beginning with the announcement of a gift of approximately $100,000 
toward a chemistry research center. With the gift came the condition that 
the center be named in honor of Mary Yarbrough. Plans moved swiftly. 
Groundbreaking was on the Alumnae Day agenda for May 12, and the 


honoree herself turned a spade or two of dirt. On May 10, 1985, one year 
after the groundbreaking and six months after Dr. Yarbrough's death, the 
Mary E.Yarbrough Research Center, adjacent to Hunter Hall, was dedi- 
cated. Joe Baker said the facility represented "a significant step forward," 
adding, "For the first time in the history of Meredith College there is a fa- 
cility on campus totally dedicated to research. This building contains 
two labs, one climatically controlled, two offices, and a greenhouse [that] 
will add substantially to the science programs at Meredith. . . . This is 
truly a fitting monument to the progressive leadership of Dr. Mary Yar- 
brough,"^^ The legendary professor of chemistry and physics, 1928-72, 
died following a stroke on November 14, 1984, and a service in Jones 
Chapel honored her memory. A member of Meredith's Class of 1926, 
Yarbrough was the first woman to earn a graduate degree from North 
Carolina State University. The Raleigh Times paid tribute to her: "Her 
lamp stayed steady, lighting for younger women the path to career 
achievement. She held that lamp ahead of them, but never so far ahead 
that they would despair of following." ^^ 

Mary Yarbrough was an alumna extraordinaire — one of many. 
Meredith was and is fortunate in the high degree of loyalty of its former 
students. For their careers, their communities, and their college, many of 
them have held lamps, carried torches, lit pathways — each in her own 
fashion. Alumna Roxie Collie Laybourne, '32, started a career in taxi- 
dermy after earning a master's degree at George Washington University. 
But, according to an article in a 1982 Smithsonian magazine, she became 
an "ornithologist and research associate in the Smithsonian's Division of 
Birds . . . [and] a part-time zoologist with the Division of Law Enforce- 
ment of the FWS (Fish and Wildlife Service)." Mrs. Laybourne was so ac- 
complished in ornithology that two subspecies of birds were named in her 
honor. In fact, said writer Mike Lipske, she was "this country's absolute 
last word on the identification of feathers."'^° The distinction has led air- 
craft engineers and archaeologists alike to rely on her expertise. 

Laura Weatherspoon Harrill, '27, almost made a career of lending to 
Meredith her generous heart and her eye for beauty. In 1984, after her 
successful oak-planting campaign a decade earlier, she identified another 
spot on the campus that needed attention and wrote to certain alumnae 
asking for support: 

morning's ENERGY: 1984-I985 I I47 

When I found that at least as much — if not more — traffic passes 
through the east gate [as] the south entrance on Hillsborough 
Street, and that so many people traveling on Interstate 40 see the 
east campus, I thought, "What a commentary Meredith could make 
by replacing the existing entrance with a gate and a fence as attrac- 
tive as the other campus landmarks." So I made my decision to ask 
for permission to appeal to the alumnae for funds, knowing that I 
would underwrite any difference in amount raised and amount 

Harrill's idea became tangible over the summer, and, on September z8, a 
new gate was dedicated in honor of and named for the late Elva Wall 
Davis, '10. Mrs. Davis's daughter, Nan Davis Van Every, '43, was the 
major financial underwriter. The wrought-iron gate, centered with an 
oversized "M" for "Meredith," is affixed to lantern-topped stone columns, 
which are similar to those ushering in the long front drive at Hillsbor- 
ough Street. 

If visitors who attended the dedication rites toured the campus, they 
likely saw an interesting new sculpture on the Faw Garden side of Jones 
Auditorium. The commissioned work, A Joyful Noise, sculpted at the 
College by artist Dorothy Gillespie, was a collection of colorful alu- 
minum strips affixed to the outer wall of Jones. Sara Hodgkins, secretary 
of North Carolina's Department of Cultural Resources, commented, "It 
looks like she tossed ribbons up on the wall."'^^ At the dedication on Jan- 
uary 23, 1984, critics used words such as "excitement" and "energy" to 
describe the sculpture. According to Blue Greenberg, art instructor at 
Meredith and art critic for the Durham Morning Herald, Gillespie was "a 
major force in the women's art movement.""*^ The artist counted the 
Guggenheim Museum among the collectors of her work. 

The sculptor was one of the "extra dimensions" made possible by the 
Kenan grant, which had also brought other distinguished guests to the 
campus for varying lengths of time: Betty Adcock, poet; Ann Vorus, di- 
rector of the Raleigh School of Ballet; Edouard Morot Sir, professor 
emeritus of French at the University of North Carolina; Julian Stanley, 
professor of psychology at Johns Hopkins University; Peggy Kirk Bell, 
golf professional; Leon Megginson, research professor of management at 


the University of Alabama; George Watson, senior lecturer in English at 
the University of Aberdeen, Scotland; and Elizabeth Kennan, president of 
Mt. Holyoke College. 

Dorothy Gillespie's week on the campus was credited, at least in part, 
with rekindling interest in a new art building, and, in September, the 
trustees declared the need for such a facility. The big question was whether 
it should be a separate building or a wing added to Jones-Wainwright. Be- 
fore the problem was resolved, Fred Tolson was named architect, and, by 
February 1985, he unveiled his preliminary plan: The two-story art build- 
ing would stand alone between Gate Center and the Weatherspoon Gym- 
nasium. With a million-dollar price tag to work toward, the trustees de- 
clared that funds would be pledged or in hand before the foundation was 

Vice President Baker predicted the building's worth to both art and 
women artists: "It will make possible the establishment of a Center for 
Women in the Visual Arts. The fact that Meredith is committed to the ed- 
ucation, enrichment, and career development of women, plus the close 
proximity of the campus to the North Carolina Museum of Art, makes 
Meredith the ideal home for such a program.'"*"* Among the attributes of 
such a center, said Baker, would be the role it would play in providing a 
possible graduate program in art. 

Whether Meredith needed the art center was never a question. But dis- 
appointment permeated the trustees, the administration, and the art fac- 
ulty when builder Davidson and Jones estimated that construction costs 
would almost double the projected amount. And whether the architect 
would return to the drawing board depended upon the trustees' answers 
to some of the same questions they had posed a year earlier: Should they 
authorize construction of a smaller facility near Wainwright and Jones? 
Should they persist in their preference for the west-campus location but 
reduce the size of the building? Should they adhere to the plans for the 
larger center but build it in phases? Department head Craig Greene was 
adamant that all art programs be under one roof. As the year ended, an- 
other question arose as to whether contributors toward a building of a 
certain size and type would welcome significant changes. The Twig 
quoted an anonymous trustee as having speculated that Meredith "would 
have to give contributors the opportunity to revoke their donations.""*^ 
The struggles would continue through completion of the building. 

morning's ENERGY: 1984-1985 I I49 

Further enhancing the reputation of the art department — scattered 
across the campus as it was — Dr. Greene announced in February 1985 
that renowned artist Ben Long would soon be setting up his easel on third 
floor of Johnson Hall to paint the official portraits of former Governor 
James B. Hunt and of President Weems. In North Carolina, the name 
"Ben Long" evoked images of the artist's frescoes in the little mountain 
Episcopal churches of West Jefferson and Glendale Springs, North Car- 

While the art department claimed its share of the College's attention, 
the daily routine of academe never suffered from a dearth of guardian- 
ship — nor from a shortage of humor. On February 22, 1985, the same 
day that Dean Burris announced to the trustees that "approximately 50 
percent of the faculty is tenured,'"*^ Rhonda Zingraff recorded the min- 
utes of the faculty affairs committee's meeting on tenure recommenda- 
tions: "Following weeks of hard thinking, the committee members dis- 
tinguished themselves at this meeting with a refreshing blend of cerebral 
and kinetic accomplishments: heads were in gear and hands were in the 
air!"'^'' Another honest reaction is also on record for all time: Charles 
Davis, registrar and secretary of the Academic Council, was seldom given 
to hyperbole, but cancellation of the February 1983 meeting of the coun- 
cil somewhat altered his demeanor. The minutes read, "There was only 
one item of business that the proposer agreed could wait until the March 
meeting. There was heard around the campus a great rejoicing! '"^^ 

Dr. Davis, formerly a professor of mathematics, sought to keep the 
registrar's files "manageable" by facetiously prodding the admissions of- 
fice to enroll students with surnames of rarely seen initials, such as "I" or 
"U" or "Q." On February 4, 1985, Davis wrote the first memorandum of 
a facetious exchange: 

ADMISSIONS ALERT! Before you complete your admissions 
process for fall, 1985, I think you should know that we are gradu- 
ating three (3) out of our five (5) U's in May, 1985. I will do what I 
can from this end to find at least one of them lacking graduation re- 
quirements but should this be impossible, I think you should be pre- 
pared to step into the breach and do your duty. 

Sue Kearney, who succeeded Mary Bland Josey as director of admissions 
at Miss Josey's early retirement in 1984, responded to Davis on May 20: 


I wish you to be aware that we did not take hghtly your ADMIS- 
SIONS ALERT. . . . Your concern about our loss of U's in May 1985 
came a bit too late for us to do a special SEARCH for students 
whose last names begin in that letter. We have, however, been able 
to plug in one hole. We will have at least one freshman enrolling 
whose last name begins with U. I do hope, as you suggested, that 
you were able to hold back at least one of the three graduating se- 

As I know you are often concerned also about the thinness of 
your I and Q files, you will be happy to know that we have two en- 
rolling freshmen whose last names begin with I and one whose last 
name begins with Q. . . . I hope you will agree that we have stepped 
into the breach and done our duty! 

Other humorous incidents were probably not laughable at the time 
they occurred, but their memories doubtless bring a smile; for example, in 
all seriousness, the senior class spent time, effort, and money "in search 
of twelve of North Carolina State's finest men'"*^ for a 1984 calendar to 
depict a State student for each month of the year. "The nominations are 
in," announced the Twig in September 1983. "After the pictures are re- 
ceived, the entire Meredith student body will vote on which nominees 
they feel are calendar material. . . ."^° The calendars sold for $5.00 each, 
and profits went for class projects. 

The sight of men on the campus — whether in photograph or in per- 
son, whether North Carolina State's "finest" or those of other colleges 
and universities — was as commonplace as the students' push for open 
house in the residence halls. But in November 1985, a visitor of a differ- 
ent species made the local news: "A 200 pound black bear was captured 
by the Raleigh police and Wildlife officers Monday morning between 
7:30 and 8:30, but not before he took a tour of the Meredith campus and 
surrounding Raleigh area."^^ The Twig reported fully: 

"The bear was sighted near the stables between 11:00 and 12:00 
A.M. by Meredith security," according to Chief Dan Shattuck, head 
of security at Meredith. The bear was kept in the general area of the 
stables and the president's home. 

"It is not really known how the bear got to the campus," said Lt. 
A.D. Bachelor of the Raleigh Police Department. "He could have 

morning's energy: 1984-1985 I 151 

followed a river. We just don't know, but Wake County is not 
known for its bears. . . ." 

The bear was tranquilized and taken ... to a better suited envi- 

Certainly not intending to prophesy other-worldly visitations, a Raleigh 
Times editorial, published three months before the bear's appearance, 
commended Meredith for allowing "such extensive use of the campus by 
outside organizations and individuals."^^ The College set boundaries, 
however, as to the use of the campus, and perhaps the limitations grew 
more rigid as suggestions of permanence entered the conversations. Rem- 
iniscent of earlier discussions with the Baptist State Convention regarding 
a building site, the trustees again received an inquiry — this time from a 
representative of the School of Pastoral Care of the North Carolina Bap- 
tist Hospital, who asked about leasing enough land to erect a small build- 
ing for a regional Life Enrichment Center. Again, the request was denied. 
So despite thousands of visitors and unusual requests for the use of its 
land, the 225 acres remained intact. On at least two occasions during the 
year, clever displays of student ingenuity beckoned friends and strangers 
alike to the campus. The first rainbow of helium-filled balloons, under 
which new students and all other comers passed on the first day of fall 
orientation, was erected in 1983 and has since become the standard wel- 
come to a new academic term. The second occasion was a quiet, almost 
ethereal, Christmas display. In early December, the SGA sponsored the 
placing of luminaries along the front drive, all other campus streets, and 
in the courtyard. For each white bag containing a candle anchored in 
sand, students, faculty, or staff paid fifty cents, or bought five bags for 
$2.00. More than 5,000 luminaries glowed that night as hundreds of 
townspeople drove slowly through the campus. An impromptu concert 
emanated from around the Shaw Fountain, where about 300 students 
gathered spontaneously to sing Christmas carols. The Raleigh Times was 
so taken with the scene that it printed on the following day a photograph 
measuring the full width of page i.^'* And the luminaries, with Johnson 
Hall in the background, provided the cover for the Biblical Recorder of 
December 21.^^ From donations and luminaria sales, the Student Gov- 
ernment Association cleared $200, which it donated to the Raleigh Food 


A Student lights one of the j,ooo luminaria that beautify 
the campus at Christmas. 

The local media often awarded Meredith good press and positive tele- 
vision coverage. For example, in late 1985, newspapers around the state 
ran comments of the newly crowned Miss North Carolina, Joni Bennett 
Parker, '83. In a press conference, she had said that her decision to attend 
Meredith was "one of the most important in her life."^^ Unabashedly, the 
College acknowledged such stories as excellent public relations. But, in 
the desire to aim its message at specific audiences, Meredith also paid its 
share for radio and television spots, newspaper notices, and magazine 
ads. In 1985, however, it went beyond its customary practices by con- 
tracting with a local outdoor advertising firm for eight billboard locations 
to promote the graduate program. 

Students have always been the College's most effective representatives. 
However limited their territory, the young women studying abroad have 
spread the good news of their alma mater. In 1985, the Meredith Chorale 
added its talent and charm on its first concert tour in Europe, including 
travels to West Germany, France, Austria, and Switzerland. The thirty- 
one singers, directed by artist-in-residence James Powers, performed at 

morning's energy: 1984-1985 I 153 

public sites and several churches. "In Rothenburg," reported the Twig, 
"the chorale arrived at the St. Jakobskirche just as a wedding party 
emerged. The chorale assembled on the steps and sang 'A Blessing' to the 
. . . bride and groom." ^^ 

THIS CHAPTER HAS alluded to Meredith's having installed in 1984 its own 
telecommunications system, which included a telephone for each resi- 
dence hall room. A student would no longer pay an annual installation 
fee but only a $7.50 charge for the use of her phone plus her long distance 
calls. Vice President Taylor estimated a savings of more than $100,000 
per academic year in long-distance service discounts and in the elimina- 
tion of the per-phone seventy-dollar installation fee. The system was in- 
stalled by the Heins Telephone Company and partly underwritten by the 
Parents' Association. 

On the subject of technology. Dean Burris made a telling statement 
about Meredith's advanced standing in the field: "The proposal to require 
computer experience of every student was studied by the academic com- 
puting committee and deemed unnecessary. Use of the computer in so 
many disciplines, especially freshman English, made a requirement su- 
perfluous and burdensome."^^ As President Weems encouraged progress 
in technology, the year 1985 seemed to be an ideal time to create the po- 
sition of media specialist and employ John Kincheloe to fill it. Mr. Kinch- 
eloe joined the faculty and the Carlyle Campbell Library staff at the be- 
ginning of the fall term. 

in 1984-85, Meredith's files contained names and addresses of 10,245 
alumnae: Among the 6,467 in North Carolina were 1,903 in Wake 
County. The remainder lived in forty-eight states and twenty-seven for- 
eign countries. Forty-four percent of the alumnae contributed to the col- 
lege in 1983-84, giving Meredith a coveted place nationally in the per- 
centage of alumni/ae contributing to their alma maters. Financially, the 
College was strong and getting stronger. In August 1985, Dr. McGee an- 
nounced a gift of $400,000 toward the art center, a grant of $250,000 for 
honors scholarships, and a pledge of $500,000 to endow a professorial 
chair in the Department of Business and Economics. Because of the first 
gift, the new building would be named the Gaddy-Hamrick Art Center; 
the grant for scholarships came from the Jessie Ball Dupont Religious, 


Charitable and Educational Fund; and the endowment to establish a 
chair was pledged by the Board of Associates. 

As contributions increased, so did Meredith's ability to assist finan- 
cially its students. One of the College's aspirations was that no qualified 
student be turned away for economic reasons. In 1983-84, about 342 
young women, or 22 percent of the student body, received some financial 
assistance, usually in the forms of grants and scholarships, but some as 
loans and campus employment. And the North Carolina Legislative and 
Tuition Grants program, which began in 1975-76, had increased to 
$950 per in-state student. Even some students from middle-income fam- 
ilies received help if family size and other conditions warranted it. But 
John Hiott, director of scholarships and financial assistance, expressed 
concern for the future. How long, he pondered, would the College be 
able significantly to assist students in paying for their educations? He 
cited new directives from the federal government: 

Federal grants will be directed to the low income students. Larger 
grants, with no increase in the total amount of grant money, mean 
fewer students from middle income ($15,000 -$20,000) families 
will receive significant grants. Work study funds will be increased 
and loan funds will continue to be supported. This will force the 
student to assume a larger share of her educational expenses and 
commit herself to a long-time debt. The interest rate on Direct Stu- 
dent Loans is proposed to move from 5 to 8 percent.^^ 

Hiott regretted the lack of financial assistance for students in other pro- 
grams. "We do not have any college administered funds for graduate stu- 
dents," he said. "The re-entry students encounter a barrier at the point of 
establishing their 'budget,' which is the basis of our determination of 
their 'need.' We need larger resources for these categories as their num- 
bers continue to increase."^° 

EVEN "in the morning," Meredith knew about reaching — for more re- 
sources for its students, for academic excellence, and for financial secu- 
rity. It seemed also to reach for a renewed sense of self and of purpose. 
Not only did the mid-eighties predict difficult days to come, but they also 
seemed to prepare the College to face them. 



EVER SINCE 1909, when Baptist Female University became "Meredith," 
the College has treasured its identity as "a small, liberal arts, Baptist col- 
lege for women." Perhaps by 1986 it measured its smallness more by stu- 
dent-teacher relationships than by the size of its enrollment or the extent 
of its acreage. And, with a broad general education core, it held to its lib- 
eral arts definition while adding some specialized courses to the curricu- 
lum. But of the fact that Meredith was Baptist-related and a college for 
women, there was never any doubt — until events of the eighties called on 
the College ultimately to define itself in those traditional respects. 

ON AUGUST 8, 1994, the Raleigh News and Observer ran a front-page ar- 
ticle titled "A female minister's 30-year path of righteousness." The sub- 
ject was Addie Davis, Meredith Class of 1942. and "the first woman to be 
ordained a minister in the Southern Baptist Convention." ^ The story was 
not only about a woman minister but also about a changing denomina- 
tion: this incident would foreshadow almost two decades of division 
among Southern Baptists, and Meredith would sometimes find itself at 
the center of the controversy. 

Ironically, in 1964, the year of Addie Davis's ordination, the same de- 
nomination that established Baptist Female University so that women 
could receive an education equal to that of men, opposed "women taking 



on supreme clerical authority."^ In its autonomy as a local congregation, 
however, Watts Street Baptist Church in Durham ordained Davis anyway. 
She held pastorates in the American Baptist Convention because, said the 
News and Observer, of the churches in the Southern Baptist Convention, 
"none needed a pastor so much as to hire a woman."^ Conditions 
changed slightly over the years, however, and women — including other 
Meredith alumnae — have indeed held pastorates in North Carolina and 
in other southern states. In fact, said the newspaper, "In three decades . . . 
more than 1,000 women have followed Davis in becoming Southern Bap- 
tist ministers.'"^ The 1994 story sounded hopeful in many respects, but it 
also revealed that, in 1984 — twenty years after the precedent-setting 
event at Watts Street Church — Southern Baptists had passed a resolution 
opposing the ordination of women. Randall LoUey, president of South- 
eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, had spoken to the issue in a convo- 
cation address at the seminary: 

The resolution consists of 86 lines; it has 542 words. Four times, the 
resolution mentions "ordination." Four times it mentions "min- 
istry." Fifteen times it mentions "women." 

Thus, the real agenda in the resolution was neither ministry nor 
ordination, but WOMEN. Women themselves — all the women in 
all the churches of this Convention. 

And in that hotly controverted resolution, the most debated con- 
cept is in the loth WHEREAS — the woman was last in the creation 
and "first in the Edenic fall." 

Now that phrase makes plain the real issue before Southern Bap- 
tist churches today. It is not vocation. It is not ordination. It is 

Dr. Lolley cited scriptural references to women and their ministries; to 
historical facts regarding women in the church during and since biblical 
times; and to the resolution's language of "last in creation and first in the 
. . . fall," for which he substituted "last at the cross and first at the tomb." 
He said. 

So you are a woman. Congratulations! The issue is whether you are 
a Christian woman. If so, you are already a minister — inevitably, 
unavoidably. At Bethlehem and at Golgotha, in Joseph's Garden 


and in Pentecost's upper room, the Lord Christ Himself has given 
you your credentials for ministry.^ 

At English professor Betty Webb's suggestion, the Meredith faculty had 
requested that the president issue a statement of support for Lolley. 

Six months later, minutes of the executive committee of the Board of 
Trustees recorded George McCotter's express concern for the annual con- 
vention. McCotter had urged his trustee colleagues to seek the status of 
messenger from their various churches and to attend the meeting in Dal- 
las, Texas, the following June. "Important decisions which will shape the 
convention for years to come will be decided there," he had predicted.^ 

In November 1985, the executive committee had again discussed 
problems which seemed to be impinging upon Baptist institutions and 
agencies, and again, the minutes sounded an ominous tone: "Baptists 
must continue to be alert to special interest groups who would seek to 
control and dominate the convention."^ But even in their pessimism, the 
trustees believed somehow in an imminent lift in "the effectiveness and 
stability of the organization."^ Over the next several years, however, the 
number of scriptural literalists calling themselves "inerrantists" would in- 
crease, as would the trustees' pessimism, and Meredith would seek a new 
relationship with North Carolina Baptists. 

In September 1986, President Weems published a confidential message 
to the trustees, the faculty, and the staff. He titled the forty-six-page doc- 
ument A Matter of Importance. Early in the publication, he touched the 
heart of the problem for Meredith: 

Freedom at our college is dependent upon the members of our 
Board of Trustees. The Meredith trustees have always fostered a cli- 
mate of free inquiry on our campus. In order for our college to re- 
main free, it is essential that we continue to have board members 
committed to academic freedom and who reflect their own best 
judgment, not that of special interest groups.^*' 

Weems cited specifics: 

It is assumed that by 1988 all the boards and institutions of the 
Southern Baptist Convention, with the exception of Southern Sem- 
inary, Louisville, Kentucky, will have solid conservative majorities. 
It is evident that this special interest group has as its objective the 


control of all seminaries, boards, state Baptist newspapers, colleges, 
and as many local Baptist churches as possible. ^^ 

In the same document, the president pledged to make every effort to keep 
Meredith free, "regardless of the course of events in the convention." ^^ In 
light of the fact that trustees w^ere elected by the convention, a funda- 
mentalist takeover of boards of trustees was the crippling fear of Baptist 
institutions. When Meredith's trustees met in September, many voiced the 
opinion that the College should "plan her own strategy to prevent dam- 
aging actions against the school." ^^ Elizabeth Barnes, '60, associate pro- 
fessor of theology at Southeastern Seminary, moved that a committee be 
appointed to "study the critical issues" facing Meredith regarding the 
convention.^"* Chairman Seby Jones named Charles Barham to chair the 
committee and appointed Theo Pitt and Luther Brewer to serve with him. 
At that point, the power of the inerrantists was in the early stages of de- 
velopment, and several years would pass before Meredith and North Car- 
olina's Southern Baptists were sure of their relationship to each other. 

BUT WOMEN AND men alike understood the ultimate definition of a 
woman's college; nevertheless, when Elizabeth Tidball came to the cam- 
pus on October 21, 1985, to praise women's colleges, she turned Mere- 
dith upside down. Possibly the decade's foremost authority on female ed- 
ucation. Dr. Tidball initiated with President Weems a discussion of Title 
IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments Act, which prohibits sex dis- 
crimination. Recalling her experience as a trustee of Mount Holyoke and 
Wellesley, Tidball suspected that, by limiting its graduate programs to 
women, Meredith was not in compliance with Title IX. Weems immedi- 
ately launched an investigation. After informing his administration and 
consulting the college attorney, he asked Senator Jesse Helms for clarifi- 
cation, and he wrote to thirty women's colleges with graduate programs. 
To the presidents of well-known institutions like Bryn Mawr, Columbia, 
Converse, Goucher, Hood, Mills, Mundelein, and Queens, he asked the 
following questions: "Do you allow men to enroll in your graduate pro- 
grams as degree candidates?" "Is it your understanding that under the sex 
discrimination section of Title IX men must be admitted to graduate pro- 
grams?" "If you admit men . . . has it adversely affected your undergrad- 
uate program for women?" Of the twenty-eight presidents who re- 


sponded, all said they admitted men to their graduate programs, and all 
denied any adverse effects on their undergraduate schools. Eleven of the 
tv^enty-eight were sure that Title IX required the admission of men; four 
did not think so; and the rest did not care because they admitted men for 
philosophical rather than legal reasons. 

Meanwhile, Weems talked with Bernice Sandler, director of the Project 
on the Status and Education of Women with the Association of American 
Colleges. Dr. Sandler said, "Title IX exempts private, undergraduate ad- 
mission, but it does not exempt graduate admission. There are no excep- 
tions for graduate admission if the institution receives any financial aid. 
... So if men apply, it gets very hard to say no to them."^^ Renee Keever, 
associate director of college relations, elaborated on financial aid: "Al- 
though Meredith's federal funding is limited, the college does accept aid 
for student loans and receives interest subsidies through bond issues sold 
to the federal government for construction of several campus build- 
ings." i^ 

All the above action occurred between Tidball's speech in October and 
the end of the year. The minutes of the November meeting of the execu- 
tive committee of the board of trustees read, "The discussion pointed out 
that the law most likely does not exempt schools for their graduate pro- 
grams."^'' To examine the matter further, the chairman appointed a com- 
mittee headed by David Britt and staffed by Charles Barham, Hugh 
Ashcraft, Laura Weatherspoon Harrill, and Gordon Sinclair. In February, 
Judge Britt's ad hoc committee had concluded that Meredith must either 
admit men to the graduate program or do away with the program alto- 
gether. To the executive committee of the board Britt recommended "that 
qualified male applicants be admitted to the graduate program." ^^ The 
motion passed. But when the full board met eighteen days later, Britt 
called for further study to determine what was best for the College. 

Of the February 28 semi-annual meeting of the Board of Trustees, 
Keever wrote. 

Trustees arrived on campus for their regularly scheduled meeting 
with more than the usual attention. Before their afternoon session 
began, a determined group of alumnae, faculty, and students gath- 
ered in Bryan Rotunda in Johnson Hall and lined the stairway to 
urge trustees to oppose admitting men into the graduate program or 


to ask for more time in making their decision. Some wore buttons 
with slogans such as "Preserve the Purpose" and carried signs that 
read "Meredith College: where old traditions never die."^^ 

Adding color to the story, the Meredith Herald'^ reported that Kathleen 
Folger, a junior, took the minority position, as revealed by the poster she 
carried: "Meredith College grow or die."^° 

Once the trustees made their way through the demonstrators, up the 
stairs, and into the conference room, invited guests Mary Lily Duncan 
Gaddy, '42, president of the Alumnae Association, and Bridgette Parker, 
president of the Student Government Association, each voiced opposition 
to the admission of males. President Weems ultimately made several rec- 
ommendations: that every constituent group in the College discuss the 
matter and report its views to the executive committee of the board; that 
a questionnaire be mailed to every alumna; and, on the assumption that 
the College would retain the graduate school, that a separate administra- 
tive structure be formed for it. 

The faculty submitted several resolutions of its own, each one echoing 
the others: that the College retain the graduate school — with male stu- 
dents if necessary — provided the changes would not affect the under- 
graduate program. While the faculty acted as a body, Paige Leist of the 
Meredith Herald elicited individual comments from the heads of the three 
graduate departments: 

Ron Bird, business and economics: "Federal law is very explicit about 
making all graduate programs co-educational. Having a few men enroll 
in the program won't hurt anything. We'd be able to offer a unique ser- 

Mary Johnson, education: "I can't foresee any changes being made to 
accommodate males; however, I don't want to see anything jeopardize the 
single-sex tradition of the undergraduate program."" 

David Lynch, music: "I'd be very happy to have men in the graduate 
program." It would be a "happy situation" to have a SATB (soprano, 
also, tenor, bass) ensemble, he said.^^ 

Finally, in a session less intense than some, the executive committee 
heard a new slant on the controversy at its April 14 meeting. The presi- 

*Students changed the name of the Twig to the Meredith Herald in 1986. See Chap- 
ter 8. 


dent reported findings that private colleges like Meredith had "the right 
of self-definition. . . . [which] means that each such institution may decide 
how its student body will be constituted." -^"^ The minutes of that meeting 
also read that "Judge Britt shared a written opinion from Ms. Suzanne 
Reynolds, [Meredith alumna, Class of 'ji], an attorney and member of 
the Wake Forest Law School faculty." Reynolds's opinion was not 
recorded in the minutes; however, the prevailing knowledge — among 
alumnae who had elicited her legal research — was that she also found 
Meredith exempt. Reynolds was one alumna of many who responded to 
the situation. Those who returned the survey voted 1,786 to 969 for lim- 
iting graduate degree candidates to women only. 

The saga continued. In May, the executive committee of the board 
again, yet, and still discussed the idea of men in the graduate school. 
Judge Britt moved to recommend to the full Board of Trustees that 
Meredith continue "the current policy without change."^^ The vote by the 
committee was unanimous then and again by the full board in a called 
meeting on June 16. The happy ending — happy at least for the majority 
who had spoken — included Clara Bunn's appointment as dean of the 
graduate school and the program's full accreditation by the Southern As- 
sociation of Colleges and Schools. 

And, at least to the end of 1986, Meredith's identity as a Baptist col- 
lege for women remained intact. 





WORLDWIDE, THE MID- to latc-eightics were probably similar to most 
years in their ratio of good news to bad, but sometimes it was difficult to 
sift through the bad to find the good. The nation grieved when the space 
shuttle Challenger exploded on January 28, 1986, killing the seven peo- 
ple aboard, including astronaut Michael J. Smith from North Carolina 
and teacher Christa McCauliffe from New Hampshire. Three months 
later, the world was stunned by the tragic accident at the Chernobyl nu- 
clear facility in the Soviet Union. In April, basketball fans reeled at news 
of the drug-induced sudden death of the University of Maryland's star 
Len Bias. 

In 1987, a scandal erupted when the public learned that the govern- 
ment had allegedly sold arms to Iran in exchange for Iran's negotiating 
the release of American hostages in Lebanon, the profits supposedly aid- 
ing the Contras in Nicaragua. But Americans turned their attention in- 
ward when Wall Street experienced "its three biggest one-day point losses 

Presidential politics of 1988 produced possibly as divisive a campaign 
as most voters had ever witnessed; but when election day ended. Repub- 
lican George Bush and his running mate, Dan Quayle, had soundly 
defeated their Democratic counterparts, Michael Dukakis and Lloyd 
Bentsen, in the race for the presidency and vice presidency, respectively. 



In the same time period, the Higher Education Research Institute at 
UCLA pubhshed its findings from a survey of students at 550 colleges: 

Today's college freshmen are more likely to drink beer, but less 
likely to smoke cigarettes and cfing to liberal political ideas than 
their counterparts of zo years ago. They also made higher grades in 
school than their predecessors, but need more remedial help in col- 
lege. They are ... far more interested in being well-off financially.^ 

And the turmoil in Southern Baptist life continued, although it seemed 
that no particular cultural phenomena were at play, other than the shift 
of some of the populace to the religious far right, perhaps egged on by tel- 
evangelists and their guest celebrities and an obsessive hunger for power. 

But one would find it difficult to categorize any year's worth of Mere- 
dith news as bad; a historian of the era would more than likely say, with 
Dean Burris, "It was ... a vintage year."^ Or, in light of Meredith's nam- 
ing or renaming entities as diverse as the newspaper and the graduate 
school, the historian might also quote poet Thomas Moore: "Oh, call it 
by some better name. . . ."'^ 

DURING THOSE TIMES, One of the most recognized names among Southern 
Baptists was former president of the United States Jimmy Carter, who ac- 
cepted Meredith's invitation to deliver on September 11, 1986, the sec- 
ond Lillian Parker Wallace Lecture. The one-time president and the beau- 
tiful autumn evening attracted to the Elva Bryan Mclver Amphitheater an 
audience of about 3,000 people. The words they heard were indubitably 

We are the most powerful nation on earth — economically, militar- 
ily, politically — and with that power comes a great responsibility. 
We are so powerful we need not fear others . . . ; however, we are 
not all powerful. Our power and influence are limited . . . but there 
is no reason why we cannot live within the limits and still apply 
moral standards to our dealings with other nations. One of the 
most important ones, I think, is that search for peace. Peace is a part 
of agape love. Peace is also a part of justice. And for a nation as 
powerful as we, when faced with a potential dispute with another 
national directly, or with a region that is in dispute — like Central 



The Hon. Jimmy Carter, thirty-ninth president of the United States, 
delivers the Lillian Parker Wallace Lecture on September 11, 1986. 

America or the Middle East or the Persian Gulf Region — the whole 
world should know that the United States of America is a champion 
of peace and is working — not through military means, not through 
threats, not through the interjection of troops — but through diplo- 
macy and negotiation to bring disputing parties together. To me, 
this is a sign of greatness.^ 

In his lecture titled "America: A Champion of Peace?" Carter also said, 

I am a Christian, but I could not make a policy as a president or 
governor to sacrifice the well-being of the people who had elected 
me in order to award someone else in a foreign country. I couldn't 
have sacrificial love for others, so the highest standard that a nation 
can hope to achieve is justice.^ 

At a news conference earlier in the afternoon, he answered questions 
in Jones Auditorium to a full house comprising much of the Meredith 


community, as well as reporters and photographers from twenty-five 
news organizations. He spoke of peace in the Middle East, terrorism. So- 
cial Security, sanctions on South Africa, the Panama Canal Treaty, the 
hostages in Iran, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the grain em- 
bargo, among other topics. A newsman asked, "Since you were so in- 
strumental in getting the treaty signed to begin with between Israel and 
Egypt, are you ever called upon nowadays for your expertise in these 
matters?" Carter answered wryly, "No. I have not been called on by the 
Reagan administration for my expertise in any matters."^ 

Dr. Cochran of the religion department asked, "in light of the Baptists' 
contribution to religious liberty and to church-state neutrality, how do 
you, as a Baptist, respond to the recent demands of the religious right, 
some of whom are Baptists. . . ."?^ Carter was not reticent in expressing 
his opinion, which echoed some of Meredith's fears: 

I think there is a growing danger that the fundamentalists or right 
wing extremists — or whatever you want to call it — are closing 
their grasps on the institutions of the Southern Baptist Convention 
— on colleges, home missions, foreign missions, building programs, 
and that sort of thing. And this is a great concern to me. I think the 
trend is very strong . . . .^ 

Continuing his response, he seemed to equate the new denominational 
leaders with television evangelists in general and with Independent Bap- 
tist pastor Jerry Falwell in particular: 

Nothing that the Southern Baptist Convention can do — or the TV 
evangelists — could shake my faith in Christ or my commitment as a 
Christian to follow his precepts. And I don't let Jerry Falwell or 
anyone else define for me what is Christian. You know, there was a 
time when Falwell said that anybody who was for the Panama 
Canal Treaty is not a Christian; anybody who would support SALT 

I I was not a Christian; anybody who was for the department of ed- 
ucation is not a Christian. Now, in a very Christian way, as far as 
I'm concerned, he can go to hell.^° 

The hushed seconds that followed were interrupted, at first by the gasps 
of those who questioned their own hearing, and then by the cheers and 
applause of those who knew they heard correctly and liked what they 


heard. Renee Keever later wrote that Carter's "condemnation of the Rev. 
Jerry Falwell and the rehgious right . . . drew national attention to the 
former president's visit . . . prompting network television and radio cov- 
erage, as well as reports in the Washington Post, New York Times, Chi- 
cago Tribune, and smaller newspapers across the country." ^^ In fact, at 
least one newspaper in almost every state in the Union reported Carter's 
view of Falwell, as expressed at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Car- 
olina. Lewis Grizzard titled his syndicated column "Carter's the guy to 
disconnect Falwell's hotline to heaven." ^^ Some journalists took Carter to 
task; many sought Falwell's response (he would pray for the former pres- 
ident, Falwell said); but most news simply reported the facts. If "Mere- 
dith" had not been a household word before Carter's visit, it certainly 
carried a more familiar ring afterward. 

As the "holy war" roared on, Meredith students fought their own re- 
hgious skirmishes. Soon after Jones Chapel was completed in 1982, the 
Twig had campaigned for Sunday services there, publishing a flurry of let- 
ters, as well as editor Linda Sellers's opinion piece titled "But where are 
the people?"^^ In 1986, the paper again took up the cause, quoting the 
Reverend Sam Carothers on the difference between a chapel and a 
church: A church, Carothers said, is "made up of people committed to 
doing something, who then group to form a church." He added, "We ac- 
tually have a chapel, " not a church. Reporter Kim Allen sought to refute 
Carothers's logic, citing St. Mary's Episcopal services on Sunday and 
North Carolina State's weekly Catholic mass."^'* Cynthia Church's edito- 
rial in the same edition alluded to Meredith's argument that students 
should associate themselves with local congregations: "For a small-town 
girl, a big city church can be intimidating — so much that the student 
doesn't go at all. . . ."^^ Enthusiasm for Sunday worship in the chapel soon 
waned, however, and more than a decade later, Meredith still held its tra- 
ditional Wednesday services. 

Losing the battle for Sunday worship on campus did not deter stu- 
dents' efforts to effect change. One of their quests in the eighties was a 
better name (they said) for their newspaper, the Twig. But the Twig was 
more than just a name; it was a sixty-five-year-old tradition. For eight 
years, however, members of its staff had hinted at a name change, begin- 
ning, apparently, with the edition of February 2, 1978: 


What's in a Twig? Twig is used by the British as a slang term mean- 
ing to observe or understand; it is used by Americans to mean a 
small, fragile, often flimsy shoot of a tree. 

It is a consensus of opinion among the newspaper staff and vari- 
ous innocent bystanders that twig ... is not an appropriate name 
for a newspaper. After much deliberation and lobbying in the 
smoke-filled rooms of second floor Gate Center, we declare a 
revolution — we want a new name for our beloved, respectable 

Lest we be branded as "good-for-nothing-tradition-breakers," let 
us announce that we are.^^ 

In response, Maggie Odell, '77, immediate past editor, dashed off a letter 
from graduate school: 

I take issue with the adjective, "flimsy," to describe the American 
usage of the word "twig." After a long, long winter, the new twigs 
bearing fresh, bright leaves and colorful flowers may indeed be frag- 
ile, but they bear up well enough under strong Marsh winds. 

Take heart. Editor: at least you are not encumbered with the em- 
barrassment of being THE HERALD for the Angel Farm. I say 
along with Lewis Carroll, "With a name like yours, you might be 
any shape, almost." ^^ 

Readers, both for and against the name change, took the matter seriously; 
for example, trustee Marion Lark, pastor of First Baptist Church in Hen- 
derson, submitted the name Angel Dust. But somehow the campaign lost 
its fire and only flickered until 198 1, when an editorial by Sonya Am- 
mons reignited the issue: "To have a college newspaper, which should be 
an area of strength in any college community, represented by a name 
which suggests weakness and fragility seems inappropriate. ... A twig is 
that part of a tree which is easily broken and tossed away. Our paper 
should be a more important part of our lives at Meredith than the small 
twig at the end of a branch." ^^ 

Mary Beth Smith, '82, shot back with a letter to the editor: "Think 
twice before changing the name. We humans are easily broken, too, but I 
hope not insignificant."^^ 


Once again, in 1985, a different editor confronted the same issue in the 
same paper of the same name: 

For the last two issues, the Twig has run an ad concerning the fact 
that the editors and newspaper staff, in conjunction with the pubh- 
cations board* are considering changing the name of the Meredith 
College weekly newspaper. Included in the ad was a form asking 
readers to voice an opinion about whether or not this step should be 

To the prevailing objection to change — "It's been the Twig since its 
birth!" — co-editor Church responded, "Personally, this seems contradic- 
tory coming from a group of women who usually can't wait to change 
their traditionl name — the one they have had since birth — at marriage."^^ 
In the last issue under its old name, the Twig's co-editor Beth Blanken- 
ship urged readers to "Be a part of the new tradition!"^- The student life 
committee approved the change on January 21, 1986, and, on that date, 
the Meredith College student newspaper officially became the Meredith 
Herald. The literary magazine — the Acorn — and the yearbook — Oak 
Leaves — stayed with the symbolism and remained true to the traditional 
association with the "City of Oaks." 

THE NAME "gaddy-hamrick" soon became as recognizable on the cam- 
pus as "the Herald" or "Wainwright" or "Weatherspoon" or "Jones." 
The long-awaited art center took shape in 1986 under the name that 
grew out of Meredith's long and warm association with the Caddy and 
Hamrick families. The late Claude R Caddy was the first executive secre- 
tary of the Baptist State Convention's Council on Christian Higher Edu- 
cation. A Meredith trustee in the forties, Caddy was affectionately known 
in North Carolina as "Mr. Baptist." And the late Fuller B. Hamrick, a na- 
tive of Shelby and also a well-known Baptist layman, served as bursar of 
the College from 1929-43. Their families honored their memories and 
the College with a generous gift toward the art center. 

Groundbreaking ceremonies took place on June 16, 1986, at a loca- 
tion just west of the Carlyle Campbell Library and near the Weather- 

'^The publications board was formed in 1985 as an advocate and guide for student 


spoon Building. In August and September, the College continued wres- 
tling with the dilemma of needing — wanting — more building than the 
money on hand would finance. But after months of discussion, the 
trustees authorized the addition of a wing to house a gallery and an art 
history classroom/theater, deciding that the College should borrow the 
needed funds to "cover construction costs until other funds are avail- 
able."^^ Obviously, the art faculty was ecstatic. Gaddy-Hamrick "will be 
an important first step in establishing Meredith College as a center for 
women in art,"^"* said department head, Craig Greene. No other four-year 
art program could be found in the area. 

Although the art center was not quite complete as the spring semester 
got underway in 1987, the building opened anyway, and it was finally ded- 
icated on March 27, 1987, after the original February date was snowed 
out. Mrs. Gaddy, the former Mary Lily Duncan, '42; Charles Gaddy, Jean 
Gaddy Scholl, '49, and Lorena Gaddy Goodwin, son and daughters of the 
late Mr. Gaddy; and Olive Hamrick Miller, '40, and Martha Hamrick 
Howerton, '47, daughters of the late Mr. Hamrick, attended the ceremony. 

In April 1987, the center hosted its first student art show. The z8o 
works represented "every area of the Meredith art curriculum," reported 
the Meredith Herald r^ Dr. Greene thought the work to be "of superior 
quality," and, he said, "I think the abundance of energy is due partly to 
the centralization [in] the new building."^^ In November, the focus shifted 
briefly from Meredith to New York City when, by invitation, the entire 
faculty of the Department of Art exhibited their work in Lincoln Center's 
Avery Fisher Hall, attesting to the mounting respect accorded the artists. 
The date coincided with the annual department-sponsored tour of the 
city's museums and galleries. 

Meanwhile, the Gaddy-Hamrick Art Center stirred the hearts of local 
art lovers, one of whom was Mrs. Weems. A long-time advocate for the 
arts — and for Meredith — and president of the Raleigh Fine Arts Society 
in the mid-eighties, she had influenced the moving of the Annual Wake 
County Artists Exhibition to Johnson Hall. Again, the Meredith Herald 
told the story: 

This art exhibition made its home in the Raleigh downtown library 
and was later moved to the UNC campus. Two years ago, the ex- 
hibit relocated to the Meredith campus. . . . 


The Frankie Weems Gallery in Gaddy-Hamrick Art Center holds its 
first student art exhibit in April ipSy. 

Mrs. Weems . . . said that she thought the campus would greatly 
benefit by hosting the exhibition, the only kind of art show in Wake 
County that accepts and displays art in all kinds of mediums. 

After making changes and additions in lighting and hanging 
alternatives for the art, the Raleigh Fine Arts Society moved the 
show in.^^ 

Along with the College, the artists and their art appeared to benefit from 
the move to the new exhibit hall. It seemed only natural, then, to name 
the 1,500-square-foot gallery in the Gaddy-Hamrick Art Center in honor 
of Frankie G. Weems. At an appreciation dinner for her and President 
Weems, trustee chairman Seby Jones announced the surprise and unveiled 
a plaque for the gallery: 












SEPTEMBER 25, 1987 


Jones also seized the opportunity to tout the building: "Stephen Litt, art 
critic for the News and Observer, wrote of the 'small handsome gallery' 
and predicted it could become 'one of the most important spaces to view 
art in the Triangle area,' " he said.^^ And Meredith took its turn to exult. 
In the Fall 1987 issue, Renee Keever wrote about "A Center for Women 
in Art": 

Through the long, sunny windows of the painting studio. . . , Dr. 
Craig Greene, head of Meredith's department of art, pointed to an- 
other art building of note. The sharp, sleek angles of the North Car- 
olina Museum of Art rise above the treetops, but its shadow is not 
too long. 

"We like to think of the museuin as one of our laboratories," 
Greene said with a laugh. "It has a superb collection, and since we 
can get there in five minutes, we use it like another one of our class- 

As Greene and his staff rejoiced that the long wait was over and a 
common roof finally sheltered all their programs, the staffs of publica- 
tions, public relations, continuing education, the writing center, and in- 
formation services happily made plans to spread out over art's vacated 
territories in Jones Auditorium and Johnson Hall. The offices of public 
relations and publications, formerly the office of college relations, would 
share new space in Johnson Hall's east wing, third floor. The department 
had operated in the division of institutional advancement until the elec- 
tion of LaRose Spooner as vice president of administrative affairs, suc- 
cessor to Mr. Baker, who retired in 1987. At her new post, Dr. Spooner 
accepted the redefined responsibilities of promoting the College "with an 
eye toward a unified marketing approach." ^° She would direct the staff 
most responsible for publications, advertising, news, and other means of 
reaching the public, while her predecessor would temporarily sever his 
ties of more than two decades and serve a two-year assignment in Ger- 
many as general secretary-treasurer of the European Baptist Convention. 
Spooner had joined the mathematics faculty in 1967. In 1993, she spoke 
freely of how "Raising the Sights of Women" had raised the sights not 
only of students but also of faculty members: "Many of us . . . were en- 
couraged to go on and get our doctorates, maybe to look beyond what 
we were doing," she said.^^ She earned the Ed.D. in adult education, with 
a concentration in administration, at North Carolina State, later moving 


into Meredith's administration as director of financial aid and of institu- 
tional research. She had been assistant to the president since 1980 and 
was secretary of the corporation. Spooner held the bachelor's degree from 
Tift and the M.A.T. from Duke. 

Jerry McGee accepted a vice presidency at Furman University, his res- 
ignation creating an opportunity for part of his staff to reorganize under 
Dr. Spooner's supervision before his successor, Dennis Taylor, assumed 
the responsibilities of vice president on July i, 1987. A doctoral candi- 
date at North Carolina State University, Taylor came to Meredith from 
there, where he had been a development officer and executive assistant to 
the vice chancellor. His term at Meredith was short-lived, however; he 
came in July and left in November. In January, 1988, Murphy M. Os- 
borne, Jr., was introduced as the new vice president for institutional ad- 
vancement. He would be responsible for "comprehensive advancement 
planning and staffing, current fund, capital fund, and endowment sup- 
port."^- Dr. Osborne had been executive director of the Children's Home 
in Winston-Salem and had held vice presidencies at High Point and 
Catawba Colleges. His bachelor's degree is from High Point College, his 
master's from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his 
doctorate from the University of Tennessee. Meredith reported that Os- 
borne "likes the religious dimension at Meredith and the 'high standards 
of excellence' he finds in the Meredith people. . . ."^^ 

It was 1988 before the reorganized staff of public relations and publi- 
cations settled into new third-floor offices, with Jeannie Morelock and 
Carolyn Robinson, respectively, heading the two sections. The space in- 
cluded a graphics studio with enough sunlight beaming through the huge 
old Johnson Hall windows to stir creative juices. The offices were next to 
the expanded information services department, directed by Glenn 
Sanderson, who was responsible for the telephone system, much of the 
computer management, and other technological services. The writing 
center had opened September i, 1987, on the ground floor of Jones Au- 
ditorium, with Nan Miller, instructor of English, as director and with a 
staff of students providing "one-on-one tutoring to all levels of writers at 
any stage of the writing process." ^"^ 

The continuing education staff was as elated with its handsome new 
suite on the lower floor of Jones Auditorium as was the art department, 
with its "everything under one roof" miracle. And the chain reaction con- 


tinued: when continuing education moved from its cramped quarters on 
the northern edge of the campus, security and maintenance moved in. 

Because of the increasing numbers of aduh women, continuing educa- 
tion, in particular, needed expanded offices. For example, the sixty-three 
new re-entry students who, in the summer of 1987, had already preregis- 
tered for the fall term, represented a no percent increase over the num- 
ber of registrants in 1986. And the 1986 count had been up 50 percent 
from 1985. Other statistics were also impressive: Four of the thirty-eight 
re-entry women in the Class of 1986 graduated crnn laude; three magna 
cum laude; and one summa cum, laude, the latter being the only member 
of the class to graduate with highest honors. A year later, thirty-two of 
the 334 undergraduate degrees were awarded to women over twenty- 
three. Dr. Ironside believed the College had "positioned itself geographi- 
cally, historically, and in terms of its will and motivation to do wonderful 
things. . . . [W]ho would have dreamed that this piece of farmland would 
be on the edge of one of the prime areas in this whole country for busi- 
ness, for industry, for people needing the kinds of things that a college can 
give?" she asked. ^^ 

Some of the services the College offered through continuing education 
sprang from requests for classes or workshops for off-campus organiza- 
tions as diverse as the IBM Corporation and the Wake County Schools — 
in 1985 — to the Instrument Society of America — in 1987. The IBM Cor- 
poration had selected twenty-five women employees to move from "the 
production line to administrative work as secretaries."^^ And for a year, 
Meredith provided instruction in typing, office management, language 
arts, and business writing to the women, who not only moved up in their 
jobs but also earned transfer credit. The Wake County School System 
asked for and received a fifteen-week program to help improve the math 
skills of thirty-one elementary teachers as they developed teaching strate- 
gies for their young charges. Then the Instrument Society of America, a 
professional association of engineers, wanted an intense four-day leader- 
ship training period for its volunteers. The first year's training was so suc- 
cessful that the society asked continuing education to repeat the process 
in 1988, 1989, and 1990. While Meredith led the workshops on the east 
coast, Cal Tech held similar sessions in the west. 

In 1988, when the editor of Meredith interviewed newcomer Page Pot- 
ter, director of the legal assistants' program since October 1987, Duke 


Law School graduate, and member of both the Ilhnois and North Car- 
ohna Bar Associations, she made a statement that would startle readers 
unfamiliar with the College's philosophy of continuing education: "A per- 
son who goes through our paralegal program" she said, " knows more 
about the nuts and bolts ... of practice than someone graduating from [a 
major university] law school."^^ 

It was no wonder the dean remarked, at the end of the 1987-88 aca- 
demic year, "All in all, it was a good year, perhaps a vintage year."^^ It was 
also the year that Meredith was chosen as one of the two private colleges 
in the state to participate in the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Pro- 
gram, to begin in the fall of 1988. Of the thirteen colleges and universities 
entrusted with the state's prestigious program of attracting four hundred 
of the best high school students to the teaching field, Meredith and Elon 
were the only independent institutions. The state would award $5,000 
per year per Fellow, and Meredith would coordinate grants to make up 
the difference in tuition and fees. Recipients would repay their college 
loans by teaching for four years in North Carolina following graduation. 
In the first class, twenty-eight Teaching Fellows enrolled; of those, "one 
Ihad] already appeared at Carnegie Hall, another at Lincoln Center."^^ 

President Weems beheved Meredith's selection as a Teaching Fellows 
participant was "a clear indication of the regard professional educators 
throughout the state" held for the College. "^^ His words came home to ed- 
ucation department head Gwen Clay, who, returning from a meeting 
sponsored by the Wake County Public School System, reported, "The 
comments about the Meredith [education] program by people who are 
working with student teachers were so incredibly positive and so abun- 
dant, I almost felt a little embarrassed.""^^ 

Some of the Teaching Fellows were also Honors Scholars. In 1987, 
when the Class of 199 1 arrived as freshmen, twenty-two of them joined 
the twenty-four sophomores, twenty-seven juniors, and seventeen seniors 
to complete the first generation of honors students. The College had set a 
goal of $1,000,000 to endow the program, and minutes of the Board of 
Trustees for February 26, 1988, recorded the successful endeavor: "The 
College now has funds and commitments for honors scholarships totaling 

Of the honors program, Rhonda Zingraff, professor of sociology, said 
she believed it had influenced the entire campus. "I have been very 


pleased at the differences I can recognize because of [it]," she said. "I 
think that students . . . not in the honors program benefit by reahzing that 
their thinking can be taken seriously, too — that they are here to do more 
than just meet the requirements.'"^^ 

The honors students, the Teaching Fellows, and all other students ben- 
efited from vintage years. In the spring of 1987, the College developed a 
pilot capstone course to serve "as a culminating experience to the general 
education requirements, focusing on thinking processes, broad synthesis 
of content, and values in action.'"^^ Students would use the knowledge 
gained from both their general education courses and their major (s) in a 
"wholistic overview of scientific and cultural changes in society and action 
directed toward contemporary problems produced by these changes.'"^"* 
The first capstone course. Human Horizons, was team-taught by members 
of the art, chemistry, and psychology faculties. While the pilot program 
was "extraordinarily successful,'"*^ attracting about fifty students, it 
would undergo another trial year before becoming a permanent part of 
the curriculum. 

"Capstone courses" entered the academic vocabulary, which also 
came to include such phrases as "contract majors"; "interdisciplinary 
majors" or "interdisciplinary studies"; and "independent studies." Inter- 
disciplinary studies (IDS) were offered from time to time by several de- 
partments and were "designed to encourage synoptic thinking on themes 
that cut across several disciplines."'*^ One of the popular interdisciplinary 
studies appeared in the catalogue for the first time in 1988, although it 
had been offered a few years earlier: Women's Odyssey explored histori- 
cal, minority, and cross-cultural perspectives of women, A contract major 
was allowed when the student requesting it won the approval of the ap- 
propriate department heads and successfully petitioned the Academic 
Council for a specific course of study. Dean Burris personalized the pro- 
gram in his annual report for 1988: "A number of contract majors were 
approved. Of particular note was the one in Art History for Sarah Lem- 
mon. Professor Emeritus of History." So in 1991, Dr. Lemmon would re- 
ceive the A.B. degree from Meredith, becoming a bona fide alumna after 
having served on the faculty or the administrative staff since 1947. But 
fifteen years before she earned her Meredith degree, she was the first non- 
alumna invited to deliver the annual Alumnae Day address. 

Many new majors required no special vocabulary, though they sprang 


from new career opportunities for women: speech and theatre in 1987; 
dance; child development; clothing and fashion merchandising; foods and 
nutrition; and interior design in 1988. The latter four subjects had been of- 
fered as concentrations in the home economics department, but, by chang- 
ing them to majors, said the Academic Council, "the students will gain 
greater depth in their chosen field of study and earn degrees that have 
greater visibility and are more consistent with Departments of Home Eco- 
nomics elsewhere, or with accreditation (as with the A.D.A.).'"*^ Dean Bur- 
ris pointed to the nutrition program's success in 1988: Five of its students 
won scholarships "from various outside organizations. Of particular note 
was the first student in North or South Carolina to receive a North Car- 
olina Diet Center scholarship (one of ten given in the nation).'"*^ As home 
economics redefined its concentrations, sociology and politics jointly ad- 
ministered a new one in criminal justice. 

A peruser of the college catalogue needed only to read the course de- 
scriptions to be reminded that the eighties offered an unprecedented array 
of choices. But surrounded by sometimes-intimidating course descrip- 
tions, a simple, old-fashioned, one-hour course titled English 150 — 
Spelling — appeared in the 1988-89 and subsequent catalogues. Skeptics 
inferred that the computer's spell checker was to the ability to spell as the 
hand-held calculator was to the ability to recite the multiplication tables, 
but experts adamantly refuted the theory. In any case, some courses never 
reached obsolescence; others outlived their times and were relegated to 
history. For example. Spelling was voted in, and Typewriting was voted 
out. No longer useful in the Information Age, typing suffered the same 
fate in 1988 as that of its business partner, shorthand, in 1986. It was the 
end of an era. Typewriting and shorthand had been offered since the 
1899 -1900 catalogue of Baptist Female University's School of Business: 
These courses, read the old catalogue, "are usually taken together and are 
offered to those who wish to prepare themselves for office and general re- 
porting work.'"*^ 

In the lively Department of Business and Economics, now rid of its 
pre-technological-era curriculum, Donald Spanton, who had served for a 
brief time as acting head, agreed in 1986 to wear the title permanently. A 
native of Rochester, New York, Dr. Spanton received the B.S. degree in 
managerial engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the M.S. in 
engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Ph.D. in busi- 


ness management from American University. His career had already 
taken him to service in the army, to the Lockheed Corporation, to IBM, 
and to the Federal Government. A few years after joining the faculty, 
when corporations were "downsizing," forcing faithful and experienced 
employees to alter their lives, he dispelled any notion that his department 
at Meredith would encourage its student executives-to-be to "go and do 
likewise." For example, "our faculty talk about hiring and firing, sexual 
harrassment, ethics, and family values, along with marketing and busi- 
ness law," he said. "The women's movement, affirmative action, equal op- 
portunity — whatever label you want to put on it — has certainly had an 
impact on the materials with which we work," Spanton added. "Many of 
us use the Wall Street Journal, for example, as a supplement to textbooks, 
and the textbooks themselves carry articles on social science-like re- 
search, some of it quantitative, some of it qualitative, but it is there."^° In 
the past decade, the department's focus had significantly broadened be- 
cause of society's expectations of women — and women's expectations of 
themselves. Spanton gave an example of obsolescent thinking: "I get 
about one call a year from some irate gentleman from downtown Raleigh 
who wants to know when I am going to send him a decent secretary. I tell 
him we are not in that business anymore."^^ 

But Meredith was always in the business of change. That long-time 
colleagues filled vacated positions had never been uncommon, as was the 
case when Allen Page, who had taught in the Department of Religion and 
Philosophy for fourteen years, succeeded the retiring Roger Crook as de- 
partment head. Dr. Page had come to the College in 1973, unwittingly 
drawn to the alma mater of his wife, his mother, his sister, and seven of 
his aunts. A graduate of Mars Hill and Wake Forest, Page pursued grad- 
uate study at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary before complet- 
ing the M.Div. at Union Theological Seminary and the Ph.D. at Duke. In 
the four years that he headed the department, he witnessed a decline in 
the number of religion majors. "I think it had to do with the role of 
women in the Southern Baptist Church," he said. "While, in the broader 
spectrum, women were being encouraged to pursue ministry, in the Bap- 
tist context, they were being discouraged .... I think another significant 
issue has had to do with the broadening roles of women generally ... in 
the expansion of opportunities in business."^^ The year of Page's appoint- 
ment to the administration was a vintage year for him in more ways than 


one: also in 1987, his book, Life After Death, rolled off the press and out 
of the bindery. 

In the same year, Burgunde Winz became head of the Department of 
Foreign Languages, succeeding Anne Kurtz, who continued to teach. No 
newcomer to Meredith, Dr. Winz had been a member of the department 
since 1978 and had completed the Ph.D. at the University of North Car- 
olina at Chapel Hill after joining the faculty. She arrived in the United 
States from Europe in the late sixties and taught on the high school level — 
for a time at Broughton in Raleigh. She speaks fluent English, German, 
and French, having grown up in Ludwigsburg, West Germany. After hav- 
ing earned her bachelor's and master's degrees at ADI-Germersheim, she 
left Germany to become an interpreter in France. "I once even inter- 
preted for Mitterand before he became President," she told the Meredith 
Herald.^^ Winz said she wanted her department to be sensitive to stu- 
dents' needs. "I'm very thankful that Meredith has never dropped the 
language requirement in general education. ... In a year's time you can 
teach Istudents] very little, as far as speaking goes, but I think you can 
teach a lot of culture and civilization."^'* The department has added two 
semesters abroad — one in Madrid for Spanish students and one in 
Angers, near Paris, for French students. Because of possible financial and 
other restraints, study abroad has not been a requirement; however, 
about 99 percent of French or Spanish majors have taken advantage of 
the opportunity. 

The art department offered a semester in France, as well. Artist Ben 
Long, who had spent some time on the campus painting the portraits of 
Governor Hunt and President Weems, was named an adjunct professor of 
painting and, as such, instructed ten students in his Paris studio, begin- 
ning in the fall semester of 1987. 

In contrast to long-time colleagues wearing different titles were new 
acquaintances wearing familiar ones. In 1987, Virginia Knight assumed 
leadership of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, succeeding Ed 
Wheeler. Dr. Knight's background included impressive experience in 
computer technology. At North Carolina State University, she had been a 
research associate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engi- 
neering, and prior to coming south, she had served Western New England 
College as assistant dean in the School of Business and as chairman of the 
Department of Quantitative Methods and Computer Information Sys- 


terns. She holds the A.B. from DePauw University and the A.M. and 
Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. Of women's colleges, Knight said, 

I feel that women are very encouraged in women's colleges. Know- 
ing what I know now about them, I think I would have gone to 
one. . . . 

When I came to Meredith, the first class I walked into was an ad- 
vanced calculus class. It was a course that I'd taught many times be- 
fore, and it was usually a small class at other places. My first class at 
Meredith had thirteen students in it, which was about average for 
advanced calculus, and it was just so amazing to me that all these 
thirteen students were women. I just loved it, because I had cer- 
tainly not ever taught an advanced calculus class or been at a school 
where thirteen women took advanced calculus. Another thing I no- 
ticed was that our department had an average of between fifteen 
and twenty majors each year. Let alone the male/female issue, that's 
more math majors than most liberal arts colleges our size have."^^ 

Knight also told of finding at Meredith a mathematical sciences faculty of 
seven women: "I guess for my first two years there were all women faculty 
in this department. We never looked into it, but we wondered at the time 
if we were the largest all-women math department in the world. . . ."^^ 

Math students continued to excel, according to Dean Burris in 1987: 
"Of particular note was the success of our students in the prestigious 
William Lowell Putman mathematics competition. They were 71st in the 
nation, ranking above such schools as Duke and Wake Forest."^^ 

As earher chapters of this record suggest, the people who arrive and 
others who leave play into the dynamics of education. Ninteen eighty- 
seven was unusual, however, in that so many legendary members of the 
faculty and staff chose to retire, either then or in late 1986. The retirees' 
combined length of service totaled more than Z50 years: Betty Jean Yea- 
ger, '47, faculty secretary, 39 years; Roger Crook, professor of religion, 
3 8 years; Harry Simmons, supervisor of buildings maintenance, 3 8 years; 
Virginia Scarboro, secretary to the vice president for business and finance, 
26 years; Leonard White, professor of art, 23 years; Joe Baker, vice pres- 
ident for administrative affairs, 21 years; Kay Friedrich, instructor of 
home economics, 20 years; Dorothy Quick, circulation librarian, 17 
years; Marie Capel, director of career services and cooperative education. 


1 6 years, and Cleo Glover Perry, '45, director of alumnae affairs, 12 

In 1986, Doris Allen Litchfield, '54, succeeded Mrs. Perry as director 
of alumnae affairs. As an alumna, Mrs. Litchfield was no stranger to the 
Alumnae Association, but also, she had worked briefly with Mae Grim- 
mer from 1957-58. Conniesue Barfield Oldham, '73, came "home" to 
Meredith as dean of graduate studies and as faculty development officer, 
a recently established position. Raleighite Gordon Folger, who had for 
five years directed the activities of the local Women's Center, succeeded 
Marie Capel in career services. And Ruth Balla was introduced to the 
community as the first director of academic computing. 

Academic computing was a natural next step. As long ago as 1985, an 
IBM System 36 computer had replaced the old System 34, allowing the 
accounting office to use a payroll module to ease the pains and strains of 
pay day. Also, the registrar's office and the students eagerly awaited the 
fall term, which promised registration by computer. And the book store 
was putting in place a computerized system for ordering supplies and 
streamlining the inventory. By 1988, every department possessed a com- 
puter. President Weems, who warmly welcomed all advances in technol- 
ogy, said, "Meredith has embraced the cybernetic age with enthusiasm."^^ 
He displayed his own enthusiastic acceptance of the Information Age at 
opening convocation in August when, with the assistance of the media 
services staff, he presented to the community "all the multi-media oppor- 
tunities which exist at Meredith College," according to the Meredith Her- 
ald J^ From an audience whose reaction to convocation was often luke- 
warm at best, the accolades were generously bestowed. Cara Lynn 
Groom wrote, "This convocation broke the mold of traditional speeches 
. . . , creating an excitement about Meredith and future opportunities."^*^ 

Computer laboratories represented tangible progress, and endowed 
lectures brought intangible rewards. In 1988, the Department of Religion 
and Philosophy introduced the Mary Stowe Gullick Lectures in Christian 
Ethics and the Mary Frances Preston Lectures in Biblical Studies, while 
the Department of Business and Economics inaugurated its Business 
Executive Program, which also included a lecture series. Trustee Jonathan 
Gullick had established an endowment "to express a commitment to 
higher education, to perpetuate the memory of his mother, and to enhance 
the Christian influence on the Meredith campus."^' Charles Barham, also 


a trustee, endowed the Preston Lectures. Mary Frances Preston was well- 
known as a Christian educator and for family ties with Meredith. Her hus- 
band, E.S. Preston, was director of public relations, 1949-50; her daugh- 
ter, Jerrie Preston Oughton, graduated in the Class of 1963; and her 
daughter-in-law, Dorothy Knott Preston, '54, is a professor of mathemat- 
ics at the College. James McClendon of the Divinity School of the Pacific 
gave the first Gullick lecture, and John Lewis, senior minister at Raleigh's 
First Baptist Church, delivered the inaugural Preston Lecture. Also, Bill 
Carl, co-founder of the Golden Corral Corporation initiated the program 
designed "to bring outstanding business professionals to the campus for 
lectures and interaction with students, faculty, and the public." ^^ 

Also in 1988, the music department inaugurated its chorus for chil- 
dren in the community. After a time, however, it accepted girls only — 
and that by audition. Eventually, two choruses emerged: the Meredith 
Girls' Chorus for elementary school children and the Meredith Girls' 
Chorale for middle school girls, both directed by Frances M. Page, assis- 
tant professor in the department. Meanwhile, the traditional Meredith 
Chorale performed in New Orleans Mendelssohn's Elijah, with the New 
Orleans Symphony and a choir from the Baptist seminary there. 

Other students continued their travels as well. In 1987, one could 
choose the regular Meredith Abroad program in Zurich and London or 
a study group in Greece, France, Spain, Germany, or Mexico. For some 
students, of course, to attend Meredith was to study abroad. In 1988, 
thirty-eight young women — the largest number ever to enroll from other 
countries — boosted the international population. But that year, students 
learned of a rather radical departure from the usual meaning of foreign 
study: In addition to the choices of a semester with Ben Long in Paris or 
at the Catholic University in Angers, there was the possibility of study in 
China, sponsored by a consortium of six colleges, including Meredith and 
Wake Forest University. Dr. Winz of the foreign language department was 
probably not exaggerating when she said, "Dr. Webb Idirector of inter- 
national studies] and we work together very well and find the students 
any kind of program in the world where they would like to go."^^ 

At home, Cooperating Raleigh Colleges worked under a similar prin- 
cipal — finding a student any kind of course among the local colleges and 
universities she would like to take. The consortium observed its twentieth 
anniversary in 1988. At the time, Dr. Weems was in his second term as 


president of the organization, and Rosalie Gates, associate professor of 
history, was in her seventh year as director. 

twenty miles to the north, announced on October 22, 1987, that its pres- 
ident, Randall Lolley, and its dean, Morris Ashcraft, intended to resign. 
The press release stated that President Lolley and Dean Ashcraft have 
"made it abundantly clear that they will not implement the policies of po- 
litical fundamentalism now being enacted by a narrow majority of [the] 
board of trustees. . . ."^'^ 

On October 26, Reginald Shiflett, Meredith's faculty affairs committee 
chair, sent notice to the faculty and administration that "Due to the re- 
cent events at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, there will be a 
special faculty meeting at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 30. The attached 
resolution will be the only item of business." The resolution, as passed by 
the faculty, read. 

We, the Faculty of Meredith College, wish to exprss our distress 
about the actions recently taken by the Board of Trustees at South- 
eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

We respect the commitment to freedom and diversity exemplified 
by Southeastern Seminary throughout its history. We believe that re- 
cent actions by the Board of Trustees endanger academic freedom 
and blur crucial distinctions between education and indoctrination. 

We support the faculty of Southeastern Baptist Theological Sem- 
inary in their struggle to maintain academic freedom.^^ 

A 1986 message from President Weems to the college community had 
predicted Southeastern's fate. Throughout his ten-page document titled A 
Matter of Importance, Weems alluded to a "conservative special interest 

Their ultimate goal is to propagate their philosophy and beliefs. To 
accomplish this they must have control of the institutions. . . . Even 
a small number of vocal trustees can have a profound effect on the 
policies and direction of the institution. Should these people who 
represent this special interest group gain a majority of seats on the 
board, the nature of our institution will change. 


For almost ninety years Meredith has operated with freedom, in- 
tegrity, and in accordance with true Baptist principles. It seems in- 
credible that within a short period of time it is possible that our col- 
lege could be controlled by a special interest group determined to 
use the institution for its own purposes. 

While I have no assurance that these dire concerns will come to 
fruition, I am convinced that the wheels of change are turning inex- 
orably in that direction. ... It is my opinion that our faculty, staff, 
and trustees should make the discussion of these issues an item of 
high priority.^^ 

The "high priority" discussions regarding affairs at home often com- 
mingled with conversations about actions and events abroad. In that era, 
one of the topics of frequent discussion — and moral despair — was the 
practice of apartheid in South Africa. On February 6, 1987, the Depart- 
ment of Religion and Philosophy sent a memorandum to the faculty af- 
fairs committee: 

We wish to present to the faculty for deliberation and action the fol- 
lowing resolution: In order to participae in the struggle against 
apartheid — internationally recognized, according to Webster's 
Third New International Dictionary, as "a policy of segregation and 
political and economic discrimination against non-European groups 
in the Union of South Africa" — the Meredith College faculty calls 
upon the Board of Trustees to join Meredith with other educational 
institutions and organizations in fighting this evil with the weapons 
not only of education but also of divestiture. 

Therefore, we request the Board of Trustees of Meredith College 
to examine its endowment portfolio and to eliminate all investment 
instruments in those companies currently doing business in South 
Africa, and to inform the faculty of the nature of the action taken. 

On February 20, 1987, the faculty passed the resolution with an 
amended final sentence: 

Therefore, we request the Board of Trustees of Meredith College to 
examine its endowment portfolio and to eliminate all investment in- 
struments in those firms with direct investments in South Africa. . . .^^ 


When the full board met the following September, Charles Taylor re- 
ported to the finance committee that the administration "was prepared to 
instruct the College's investment managers who purchase securities di- 
rectly in the name of Meredith not to buy any securities for the College's 
account from firms which do business in South Africa unless such firms 
adhere to the Sullivan Principles in the treatment of their employees 
in South Africa. "^^ In the executive committee for November, trustee 
Charles Barham interpreted the Sullivan Principles as "a set of general 
statements in support of positive efforts to protect human rights."^^ 
Barham said the finance committee believed "that this should be the 
thrust of the College's position on its investments ."^° 

For many students, the issue of the day, every day, was the future. For 
example, at that time in history, a college degree no longer guaranteed a 
job; however, students were also concerned about their communities and 
the world at large. Meredith conducted a non-scientific survey, asking for 
thoughts from randomly selected young women. Some of the comments 

Cara Lynn Croom '89, an English major from Carrboro said, "The 
issue that concerns me most is the problem of the homeless in Raleigh 
and even in the small cities of North Carolina. Far too many people are 
living on the streets and must rely on food gathered from the trash cans 
and alleys of 'the richest country in the world.' "^^ 

Mary Leslie Joyner, '90, an international business and Spanish major 
from Farmville, said, "I am concerned about the widespread use of drugs 
in the nation's high schools, the spread of the AIDS virus in such an alarm- 
ing manner, and the condition of the job market for college graduates." ^^ 

Mary Dickson, '89, a social work major from Aurora, Ohio, said, 
"Homelessness and poverty. As a social work major . . . my classes in this 
area have heightened my awareness of these increasing problems. . . . We 
as a society must face up to this and do something about it."^^ 

Jennifer Corn explored such issues as date rape, diet pills, AIDS, and 
eating disorders in her Meredith Herald column, "A Woman's Room." 
But always at issue were campus living conditions. In 1986, the predica- 
ment of overcrowding prompted discussion of whether to construct an- 
other residence hall. Dean Sizemore alluded to the seriousness of the 
problem for residents, particularly for the fifty-one who were "housed in 
'auxiliary' spaces, including converted parlors, converted study rooms. 


converted maids' rooms, and 22 rooms in freshman housing which were 
converted from rooms for two to rooms for three." She said, "The effects 
of overcrowding rippled throughout the campus, affecting quiet hours, 
study habits, roommate tension, hall unity, student attitude, school spirit, 
parental satisfaction, and ultimately the quality of life and education at 

The overcrowding eased somewhat the following year, but other hous- 
ing problems did not. The large freshman and sophomore classes of 1986 
translated into the large sophomore and junior classes of 1987. There- 
fore, said Sizemore, "about 80 juniors had to be housed in traditionally 
sophomore housing, and 40 sophomores housed in traditionally fresh- 
man housing." There was "a significant surge of parental complaint," she 

In the fall of 1987, students who wished to do so could live on a fitness 
hall (no smoking) in junior and senior housing, or on a Spanish or French 
hall. In her 1988 assessment of student housing methods, Sizemore added 
a new twist: "Freshman roommate assignments are based on computer- 
selected personality/life-style similarities taken from personal data infor- 
mation cards submitted by the students. Results of the computer-based 
roommate selection have been amazingly positive." ^^ 

Occasionally, a student equated satisfactory living conditions with 
having her car on campus. In February 1986, only juniors and seniors 
were granted that privilege, except under unusual circumstances. The 
trustees, however, wanted to extend the offer to sophomores who earned 
a 2,. 5 grade average or higher. But once a car arrived, it had to be parked 
somewhere, and the College found it necessary to raise parking fees sim- 
ply to "alleviate the current crowded conditions. . . . "^^ To the chagrin of 
some of the neighbors on Faircloth Street, a mammoth expansion in 1987 
created 180 new spaces on the east campus, but the discreet landscaping 
in and around the huge lot allayed the fears of nearby homeowners. In 
1988, fifty additional parking places were marked off between the Mae 
Grimmer Alumnae House and Gate Genter. Automobile privileges were 
extended to sophomores in 1992-93 and to freshmen in 1995-96. 

Parking spaces were at a premium and therefore precious to students, 
faculty, and staff alike. But they simply represented convenience, or the 
lack thereof. The old Bee Hive, on the other hand, elicited nostalgia with 
every brush stroke as it became a giant canvas for seniors' art. Kim Allen 


titled 2L 19S6 Meredith Herald piece, " 'Bee Hive' becomes ode to senior 
class." ^^ In the tradition of painting the exterior of the old wooden struc- 
ture, members of the Class of 1986 spent $100 and part of April to cre- 
ate their masterpiece. They included their Cornhuskin' themes; a poem to 
their little sisters in the Class of 1988; poems to their Poteat Hall resi- 
dence director, Frances Thorne, and their director of student activities, 
Rhoda Sowers; and a poem by Robert Frost in memory of their deceased 
classmate, Jacquelyn Edwards. It was the last class of "artists" to exhibit 
a mural there; at least, no subsequent class saw its art preserved for an en- 
tire year. (In the nineties, seniors exhibited their artistry by painting mes- 
sages, slogans, and class numerals in the short tunnel — between the main 
campus and the grounds of the president's residence — supporting the 
I-440 overpass.) In his 1987 annual report. Vice President Taylor alluded 
to the demolition of "the last of the 'temporary' wood frame buildings 
which have served as classroom space over the years." (The Bee Hive was 
part of the old auditorium building, which had housed the music depart- 
ment from 1926-1949.) 

Other of the original campus buildings received attention when, after 
sixty years, the College air conditioned Brewer and Faircloth Residence 
Halls in 1987 and Vann and Stringfield in 1989. Lest some readers of this 
history know only an air-conditioned world, let the record be set straight: 
For most of the sixty years before air conditioning in the residence halls, the 
fall semester started in September when nature's cooling had already begun. 

IN 1987, THE College participated in the nationwide observance of the 
200th anniversary of the United States Constitution, with most of the 
commemorative rites taking place in September. A photograph published 
in Meredith told some of the story: Dean Burris was pictured in a period 
costume, including a three-cornered, plumed hat, with Vice President 
Thomas, also in costume, marching beside him to the beat of his drum 
and the trills of her fife. The backdrop for the photograph was the quad- 
rangle, where a festival kicked off the period of celebration with "a theme 
of life in the federal period of American history. Pageantry, costumes, 
food, games and music evoked the life and times of the people who wrote 
the Constitution by which we govern our lives today." ■'^ Among other 
programs commemorating the anniversary were special short courses and 


a rousing debate on the question of "What Does the Constitution Mean 
Today?" The debaters were an unHkely pair — George McGovern, United 
States Senator (D-South Dakota), 1962-80, and unsuccessful candidate 
for the presidency in 1972.; and Phyhis Schlafly, president of the conserv- 
ative Eagle Forum organization and the outspoken activist who was cred- 
ited with leading the battle to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment. The 
status of women, as represented in the Constitution, was only one of 
many questions raised in the debate. A student asked, "What, if anything, 
should the constitution say about women in American political and social 
life.''" Schlafly responded, 

It is a gross error that the Constitution is antagonistic towards 
women. This myth has been propagated by the feminist movement. 
. . . From the day the Constitution was written, a woman could 
have been president, vice president, senator, representative. 

There was absolutely no bar to women doing anything. . . . Now 
indeed there was a fact that women could not vote. But voting is not 
a Constitutional right. Voting was determined by the states. . . . All 
kinds of people . . . did not vote in 1787, of which women were 
only one of those types of people. ^° 

While gentle, McGovern's rejoinder was, nevertheless, firm: 

No American should be discriminated against on the grounds of sex. 
Not until passage of the 19th amendment and the ratification of that 
amendment . . . were all citizens treated alike pertaining to voting. 

We should all rejoice over the marvelous devices of government, 
protections, and freedoms the Constitution gives to everyone in the 
United States. One of the rights is the opportuity to bring that Con- 
stitution into line with the changing circumstances . . . and insights 
and wisdom of our society. 

Unfortunately, there remains ... a large body of federal laws, 
. . . thousands of statutes, . . . hundreds of state laws, regulations 
. . . which have the cumulative effect of setting up certain barriers to 
women. . . . The purpose of the ERA [was] to make it easier for 
women, and even men, to enjoy full political and social equality 
without regard to sexual discrimination or favoritism. ^^ 


The fall courses which focused on the Constitution were The Cultural 
Context, a study of the period which produced the Constitution; Current 
Controversies, based on the Public Broadcasting System's television series, 
"The Constitution: That Delicate Balance"; and Proposals for Change, a 
course that led students "to encounter proposals for Constitutional 
change as if they were delegates to a second Constitutional Convention." ^^ 

At the time of the federal festival, the college people were still a bit 
heady from the Triangle's having hosted the 1987 summertime Olympics 
Festival, which brought 3,000 athletes and more than 300,000 spectators 
to the area. While most of the Olympic games were held at the large uni- 
versities nearby, three events of the modern pentathlon took place on the 
Meredith campus. In addition, the College was the "Olympic Village" to 
300 athletes, including Greg Luganis, gold medalist in diving competi- 
tion. Meredith, Peace, and St. Mary's, the three women's institutions of 
Cooperating Raleigh Colleges, teamed up to air radio commercials 
throughout the festival, and Meredith featured its champion sprint cy- 
clist, junior Gretchen Holt. 

IN 1986, THE North Carolina Democratic Party selected Meredith for its 
winter seminar, the Meredith Herald reporting that attending dignitaries 
included Lt. Governor Bob Jordan, Attorney General Lacy Thornburg, 
Wade Smith, and Liston Ramsey, among others. But the campus as a tem- 
porary site for a statewide seminar bore little resemblance to the campus 
as the permanent home of student traditions. In the annual hunt for the 
shepherd's crook, juniors went sleuthing in the wrong direction, missing 
the hiding place on the third floor of Heilman Residence Hall, so the vic- 
torious seniors adorned the crook with a pretentious bow of green and 
white, their class colors, and their president carried the staff as she led her 
classmates through their little sisters' daisy chain on Class Day. (The 
1986 version was a far cry from the first crook hunt in 1906, when ju- 
niors found the crook, and seniors had to drape it in black. ^^) As the 
crook hunt ended, the senior picnic began. It seems to be a foregone con- 
clusion that the seniors will never remember the picnic food but will 
never forget the reading of the last wills and testaments nor the pro- 
nouncements of class prophecies. Sports made headlines in both the 
spring and fall semesters. In April, for example. Coach Cynthia Bross 
fielded Meredith's first fast-pitch softball team. 


In 1987, Stunt Night, reported the Herald, would no longer be "a 
smaller version of Comhuskin' " in that an overall theme would be pre- 
determined by the MRA (Meredith Recreation Association), and each 
class stunt would play on that theme. ^"^ At the suggestion of alumna Car- 
oline Vaught McCall, '64, the College created Meredith Writes Home, a 
quarterly newsletter for parents of students; Mrs. McCall was the first ed- 
itor of the publication. The North Carolina State Library selected the 
Carlyle Campbell Library as one of sixty test sites "for the North Car- 
olina electronic mail/bulletin board system," giving Meredith "access to 
a number of electronic bulletin boards and instant written communica- 
tion with the other test libraries. ^^ And, for four days in October, the 
Moving Wall, a half-size replica of the national Vietnam Memorial in 
Washington, D.C., brought about 18,000 visitors to the campus. The 
Business and Professional Women's Club chose Meredith as the club's 
Employer of the Year, the College having met the criteria of involvement 
in and promotion of "the betterment of women in the workplace."^^ 
(That 59 percent of the faculty members were women doubtless helped 
the cause.) Alumna Christie Barbee, '83, was named Tar Heel of the 
Week by the News and Observer for directing the Raleigh Urban Min- 
istries' soup kitchen. The feature article asserted, "Mrs. Barbee is a defi- 
nite product of Meredith, a Baptist school on Hillsborough Street noted 
for turning out spunky, determined women." ^^ An editorial comment in 
Meredith, the college magazine, read, "The 'spunky, determined' females 
may be significantly influenced by their college, but more than likely 
Meredith attracts those kinds of women in the first place." ^^ 

In 1988, junior Brenda Faye Anderson was vice chairman of North 
Carolina's College Republicans and attended the national Republican 
convention in New Orleans. In the tradition of the Jewish Chautauqua 
Society's funding a course at Meredith, Rabbi James Bleiberg taught 
"Resurrection in the Biblical Tradition" in the spring semester. On 
November 10, the College commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of 
Kristallnacht — night of shattered glass — "the first night of organized 
violence against Jews and the beginning of overt anti-Semitic acts by 
Hitler's Germany against German and Austrian Jews." ^^ Also in 1988, as 
in every year, more Meredith people than can be reported in this volume 
were in the news. One newsmaker inspired Carol Brooks, a Meredith 
Herald writer: 


The John E. Weems Graduate School commencement of 

August 1990 is reminiscent of the naming of the school in 1989 

in honor of Meredith's sixth president. 

Catching a glimpse of what has helped someone become successful 
is, for the student, like emerging from a fog of books and studies 
into the light of accomplishment. Treasuring those glimpses and 
learning from them becomes very important as each of us seeks suc- 
cess 'in our given field. One such example of success is Margaret 
Person Currin, ['72] a Meredith alumna. On March 11, Currin w^as 
sworn in as U.S. attorney for eastern North Carolina. ^° 

The U.S. News and World Report for October 10, 1988, ranked Mere- 
dith fifteenth among the nation's 167 small comprehensive colleges. The 
editors based their findings on the quality of the student body and faculty, 
financial resources, and the percentage of freshmen who eventually grad- 
uate. The magazine's survey divided colleges and universities into five cat- 
egories, Meredith's bracket being "small comprehensive college" — small 
because its enrollment was fewer than 2,500 students; comprehensive be- 
cause it "offer[ed] students the fruits of both academic worlds: The vast 
array of liberal-arts and professional programs found at larger institu- 


tions and personal settings traditional at schools specializing in the liberal 
arts."^^ In its introduction of "the best colleges," the article said, "Here 
are those schools . . . that have discovered a host of ways to set them- 
selves apart from the crowd." ^^ John Weems, the president of the fifteenth 
best small comprehensive college in the nation, credited the faculty — 
their "hard work and high standards" — for the recognition,^^ 

A month later, the trustees, at their November 21 executive committee 
meeting, unanimously accepted George McCotter's recommendation to 
name the graduate program the "John E. Weems Graduate School of 
Meredith College." Meredith, among other news vehicles, reported the 
"unprecedented move," saying it marked "the first time in the 98-year 
history of the college that a school or program has been named for an in- 
dividual." The magazine also noted, "In his i8th year as president. Dr. 
Weems is credited with playing a major role in the establishment in 1983 
of the graduate programs in business, education, and music." ^"^ And Pres- 
ident Weems said, "Nothing the trustees could have done would have 
pleased me more than this."^^ 

THE BEGINNING PAGES of this chapter introduce the years 1986-88 in the 
context of national or world events, while the ending paragraphs seem to 
tuck the years safely away in the narrower confines of Meredith. But 
"vintage years and better names" can never be tucked safely away. They 
are out for all to see as they make the history of the College. 




1989 -1990 

"the present is that exciting moment where past and future, the com- 
pleted and the incomplete, come together," reads the January 1989 report 
of the President's Task Force for the Pursuit of Excellence. "We feel that 
we stand at such a moment in the history of Meredith College," a mo- 
ment of "extraordinary opportunity for us to pursue an even more excel- 
lent way than we have observed in Meredith's past. . . . "^ For almost two 
years, the task force had met, researched, discussed, dreamed, believed, 
and, finally, reported, at the same time acknowledging other groups that 
had envisioned a future of excellence for the College: The Alumnae As- 
sociation's new visions committee, for example, had published in 1987 "a 
range of issues related to excellence and Meredith's mission for its second 
hundred years."^ The faculty affairs committee had developed ideas that 
excited its members to the point of presenting their thoughts to some of 
the administration. 

In January 1987, the faculty had asked President Weems to name a 
task force "to explore, develop and refine concepts of excellence and to 
find ways of implementing them."^ He appointed four trustees; four vice 
presidents; six faculty members (one of whom was Allen Page, task force 
chair); four alumnae; and two students to handle the assignment. Their 
work proceeded along the lines of their own questions: What would it 
mean for Meredith to achieve excellence in community spirit? In student 



population? In the academic program? In faculty and staff development? 
In physical facilities? In fiscal resources?"^ The report of the task force 
comprised sixteen recommendations, many of which have been, are 
being, or will be implemented. 

To arrive at its recommendations, the task force considered several as- 
sumptions put forth by the president in 1986-87. The assumptions ad- 
dressed the past, the present, and the future. On them, Weems had said, 
the College would find its direction and plan its future. The first assump- 
tion was almost a given: that Meredith would remain "a small, liberal 
arts, church-related, regional college for women." 

"Small" is a relative term. As Meredith grew, it saw the demise of 
customs intrinsic to a community in which employees knew one an- 
other and usually held each other in high regard. One such loss was the 
weekly lunchtime "coffee," for which individuals or groups volunteered 
— by signing a list on the kitchen door in Vann — to provide refresh- 
ments. For partakers, the choice between the coffee and refreshments in 
Vann Parlor and lunch in the cafeteria was usually a moot point. Tasty 
finger food notwithstanding, the beauty of the coffees was the cama- 
raderie between faculty and staff. While the practice has been discon- 
tinued and the work force has grown too large for each employee to 
know everybody else, the spirit still lives. Meredith, one might say, is a 
rather large small college. 

But the entire college community knew Frankie Weems. Her death on 
January 16, 1989, following a long battle against leukemia, cast a pall of 
sadness over the campus. Throughout her illness, which included a bone- 
marrow transplant, she had been optimistic and courageous; and 
throughout her years of good health, she had responded graciously to 
Meredith's affection: on Alumnae Day in 1972., for instance, when the 
Alumnae Association awarded her honorary membership, and on Sep- 
tember 25, 1987, when the College named the new art gallery in her 
honor. In the meantime, she had effectively served the larger community, 
particularly through the arts. On January 18 in Raleigh, her friends and 
family at a packed Hayes-Barton Baptist Church paid tribute: "To re- 
member Frankie Weems is to remember the legacy of her loyalty to rela- 
tionships, particularly to her family, the energetic vitality with which she 
gave herself to her community, and the quiet strength with which she 
fought her extended illness."^ Her immediate family comprised her hus- 


band, President John Weems; their daughter, Nancy, '83; and their sons 
John Mark and David. Her mother and a sister also survived her. 

At commencement in May, Meredith also paid tribute to the late 
Eleanor Layfield Davis, '32, when, for the first time, the already-festive 
occasion was embellished by Mr, Davis's gift of a ceremonial mace. Eg- 
bert L. Davis of Winston-Salem chose the work of art to honor the mem- 
ory of Mrs. Davis, a widely recognized impressionist painter. At Mere- 
dith, her name had always been associated with art. In fact, she was the 
first alumna invited to exhibit her work in a one-artist show on the cam- 
pus. And an art scholarship was established in her name shortly after her 
death in 1985. But she was also an alumna, a trustee, and a benefactor. 

A historic "symbol of authority and order in pageantry," the ceremo- 
nial mace "was used by Cambridge University as long ago as the 13th 
century. Traditionally, it is carried by the marshal who leads the academic 
procession."^ At commencement exercises in 1989, associate professor of 
psychology Rosemary Hornak was the faculty marshal and Meredith's 
first mace bearer. Schiffman's Jewelers of Greensoro designed and pro- 
duced the mace. Its natural oak staff and sterling silver acorns and oak 
leaves were "symbolic of Meredith's heritage and . . . century-long loca- 
tion in and association with Raleigh, historically known as the 'City of 
Oaks.' "'' Other elements of the mace included an iris, the college flower; 
a replica of the presidential medallion; and an ellipse, on which the orig- 
inal building of Baptist Female University and the present Livingston 
Johnson Administration Building were engraved. 

As the College remembered Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Weems, it welcomed 
others to new places of service: Sonya Walters succeeded Billie Jo 
Kennedy Cockman, '79, as director of corporate and foundation rela- 
tions; Rebecca Askew, '76, just a year away from having chaired the in- 
stitutional development committee of the Alumnae Association, followed 
Chandy Christian as director of annual giving; and Carson Brisson, for- 
mer registrar and assistant to the dean at Southeastern Baptist Theo- 
logical Seminary, succeeded Charles Davis as registrar. Dr. Brisson's 
three-year-old son explained his father's new job: "He counts people at 
Meredith Cottage."^ And, until September 28, 1990, when Margaret 
Weatherspoon Parker, '38, was elected to the position, the College 
needed only two fingers to count the number of women who had chaired 
the Board of Trustees. Although Mrs. Parker was the first woman so 


elected, circumstances had called both Elizabeth James Dotterer, '30, and 
Sarah Elizabeth Vernon Watts, '34, into service, each woman having pre- 
sided over one meeting. 

Mary Johnson left her post as head of the education department to 
become dean of the John E. Weems Graduate School. At the time of her 
appointment to the deanship, Dr. Johnson chaired the North Carolina 
Professional Practices Commission, w^as a member of the International 
Reading Association, and was an appointee of the State Board of Edu- 
cation's Evaluation Committee on Teacher Education. Gwendolyn Clay 
succeeded Johnson as education department head. Dr. Clay had been at 
Meredith for only two years when she won the 1987 Pauline Davis Perry 
Award for Excellence in Teaching, Both her B.S. degree in mathematics 
education and her Ph.D. degree in secondary mathematics education 
came from North Carolina State University. In the interim, she earned a 
master's degree in secondary mathematics at the University of North 
Carolina at Greensboro. Of her students heading for careers in teaching, 
she said, "One of the hardest things we have to do is to make sure [they] 
understand the realities of the workplace, help them build skills and 
abilities to cope with that reality, and, at the same time, help them hang 
on to that vision and idealism that made them want to do it in the first 
place." 9 

Louise Todd Taylor followed Betty Webb as head of the English de- 
partment, where a change at the top occurs every five years. Dr. Taylor 
holds the A.B. from Swarthmore, the M.A.T. from Duke, and the M.A. 
and Ph.D. from Florida State. She joined the faculty in 1978 after having 
taught at Campbell University. Teaching is not the only way a professor 
relates to her students, Taylor said. "We have to take our heads up out of 
the books and out of the library , . . and be aware that some young 
woman may have enormous personal problems. Today we just have more 
students who face health problems, family problems, problems with de- 
pression . . . and if we are so focused on the Odyssey that we don't see 
this young woman's problems, we are not serving her or her college pro- 

IF PEOPLE AT colleges like Meredith do indeed have a sense of kinship, as 
the opening paragraphs of this chapter suggest, then family disagree- 
ments occasionally arise. Such was the case on February 23, 1990, ac- 


cording to the Meredith Herald's report of a silent protest of about one- 
hundred students in Bryan Rotunda: 

The purpose was to show their support for their student govern- 
ment, for the Honor Code, and for the "fair and impartial treat- 
ment of all students" according to their banner which hung in John- 
son Hall [all] day. . . . 

At 8:10 A.M. President John Weems joined the students on the 
steps and did not leave until almost 3:00 p.m. when he was called 
into the Board of Trustees' meeting. ^^ 

The demonstration followed the president's veto of the Honor Council's 
decision to mete out to a student that, in his judgment, was too harsh a 
punishment for an Honor Code violation.* In the complicated case, sev- 
eral factors seemed to have been at work: Dr. Weems had never before 
overturned an Honor Council decision; the accused student and her par- 
ents were friends of the president; and the matter was prematurely dis- 
cussed throughout the campus when discretion should have prevailed. 

In Bryan Rotunda, silent students sat along the walls; some faculty, 
staff, and other curious onlookers stood at the edges of the crowd; and 
President Weems sat near the bottom of the red-carpeted stairs that de- 
scended from the second level. From time to time, supporters joined him. 
It was an uncommon occasion — reminiscent of the sit-ins of the sixties. 
Also unusual was the common ground of the opposing sides. To some, in- 
cluding most of the students, the president's action suggested favoritism; 
therefore, they said, they were there "to show their support for the 
Honor Code."^^ Nona Short, assistant professor of photography and for- 
eign languages, who sat with Weems for a time, was the faculty member 
most involved in the case and had appealed to the president to intervene 
because, she said, "she felt that the charges were not in line with the of- 
fense." Ms. Short added, "I am here in support of the Honor Code as it 
stands. I believe that the president worked within that. . . ."'^ Finally, 
President Weems declared that his hour-after-hour presence on the steps 

"■It was the president's right to veto the decision; however, this situation prompted 
an amendent to the SGA constitution, mandating that the president confer with a 
committee of the dean and the chairs of the faculty affairs and student hfe commit- 
tees for community advice in "all cases recommending suspension or expulsion," 
according to Dr. Jackson, vice president for student development. 


also was to show his support for the Honor Code. It appeared, therefore, 
that all participants demonstrated for the same purpose but from differ- 
ent perspectives. Dean Dorothy Sizemore, praised the student leaders for 
"their maturity and strength of leadership ."^"^ And Susan Gilbert, profes- 
sor of English, wrote to the Meredith Herald: 

Enormous disagreements exist in the current case, among students 
and faculty, as well as between students and administrators. The 
disagreement . . . did not begin with the President's action. ... It 
was there, apparently, from the first. Faculty closest to the students 
involved disagree over the nature of the offense. Truth does not fal- 
ter when two women disagree. I continue to trust them both; so, I 
believe, do you. . . . 

So long as we know the integrity of truth does not mean una- 
nimity of judgment, we can deal with each other in trust. '^ 

Crowded conditions sometimes strained relationships; however, in 
1990, when 1,239 students lived in residence hall space for 1,23 1, tension 
was nominal. But the statistics might have reinforced the idea of Mere- 
dith's attractiveness to prospective students or made the case that it was 
not so small a college, after all. Add to the enrollment figures the fact that 
the greatest competition for students came not from other "small" col- 
leges for women but from the state's largest universities,* and the data be- 
come even more surprising. But the president brought to earth those of 
the community whose expectations, he thought, were unrealistic, again 
reminding them that "the number of high school graduates peaked in 
1979" and would "continue to decline through 1995."^^ He also cited 
statistics bearing out the precipitous fall in the number of women's col- 
leges — from 285 in 1965 to 93 in 1990, and, of those 93, half were 
"vastly different from Meredith," he said.^'' 

But to make sure the student marketplace heard the message, the Col- 
lege unveiled a heretofore-untried procedure in getting the word out to 
prospective students. With the public relations and publications offices, 
the admissions staff developed a recruitment video and ways of ensuring 

*In 1989, Meredith's primary competitors for students were, first. North CaroUna 
State University; second, the University of North CaroHna at Chapel Hill; third, East 
Carolina University; and fourth, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. 


its effectiveness. Director of Admissions Sue Kearney explained, "In ad- 
dition to on-campus use with visitors, the video is available for viewing in 
over 1,350 high schools and is also distributed to students for in-home 
viewing. In the fall [of 1990], five hundred schools will have Meredith's 
video for school-to-home lendings."^^ From the video came a sixty- 
second television commercial that was seen by an estimated 1,000,000 
viewers during intermission at the North Carolina Symphony's 1989 
Labor Day pops concert on the campus. The commercial received an 
Award of Special Merit from District III of the Council for the Advance- 
ment and Support of Education (CASE), an organization for communi- 
cations and marketing professionals in higher education. District III, 
which included more than six hundred colleges and universities in nine 
southeastern states, also gave Meredith an Award of Excellence for the 
design and use of its new graphics identity package. 

Identity took on a whole new meaning when representatives of Walt 
Disney Studios looked at the campus as a possible site for a feature film. 
"While Meredith was not the final location selection," said Jeannie More- 
lock, director of public relations, the College "was honored to be consid- 
ered."^^ Mrs. Morelock, nevertheless, soon had other reasons to celebrate 
when Southern Bell agreed to feature the College on the cover of its 
500,000 Wake County telephone directories to be distributed in 1991, 
Meredith's charter centennial year. 

IN THE ASSUMPTION that "The College will continually move to improve 
and develop its faculty and staff," the task force recommended that some 
plan be devised to "attract from the outside or cause to rise from the in- 
side those distinguished faculty and staff who are going to make this a 
more excellent institution."^^ Compensation increases were high on the 
Hst of desirable ways to fulfill the recommendation, and, in 1989-90, 
evidence supported efforts in that direction. Salaries increased in amounts 
above the inflationary level and "topped the national average for higher 
education salaries."^^ Also, faculty and staff alike welcomed year-end 
bonuses for longevity. They liked, too, the possibility of tuition-free 
courses, even as they compensated for time missed from work; and the 
long-time practice of medical benefits, even if they paid for their own de- 
pendents' coverage. And, in 1990, John Saunders, assistant professor of 
religion, particularly liked receiving the first Sears-Roebuck prize for ex- 


cellence in teaching. The Sears-Roebuck Teaching Excellence and Cam- 
pus Leadership Award swelled the number of tangible accolades, such as 
the FAME awards in teaching, research, artistic achievement, and special 

The College rewarded itself by establishing its first two endowed pro- 
fessorial chairs: the Mary Lynch Johnson Chair of English and the Irving H. 
Wainwright Chair of Business and Economics. In a college-wide cere- 
mony that included the naming of alumna and professor of English lone 
Kemp Knight as the Mary Lynch Johnson Professor of English, depart- 
ment head Betty Webb said, 

In the classroom IDr. Knight] was awesome. . . . She would get so 
excited about the passage under examination that she'd leave the 
podium but continue to recite lines. When she would eventually 
come to the end of what she knew by heart, she would blink herself 
awake and dash back to the podium looking somewhat embar- 
rassed. We weren't exactly sure where she'd been but we loved her 
for going.^^ 

Lois Frazier, head of the Department of Business and Economics since 
1954 and later director of the MBA program, postponed her retirement 
for a year to serve as the first Irving H. Wainwright Professor of Business 
and Economics. An "outstanding teacher and administrator, planner, 
thinker, doer, and friend," ^^ Dr. Frazier was active in the Raleigh Business 
and Professional Women's Club, had been inducted into the Y.WC.A.'s 
Academy of Women, and had steered Meredith's business department 
into the Information Age. Her appointment came just months before Mr. 
Wainwright's death on August 26, 1990. The late Irving H. and Harriet 
Mardre Wainwright were long-time benefactors. Together they bequeathed 
to Meredith approximately $2 million, according to early estimates of 
Mr. Wainwright's estate. 

In that period, an ongoing topic of conversation was that of terminal 
degrees as they related to promotions and tenure. A condition of the as- 
sumption on faculty development was that the College would try to em- 
ploy faculty members with doctoral degrees or, otherwise, encourage 
teachers to return to school. But was one required to earn a doctorate if 
doctorates were rare in her or his field? What of the C.P.A. who taught 
accounting? What of the artist who taught studio art? What of the 


dancer? The interior designer? What of the computer expert? The uncer- 
tainty was put to rest by a proposal from the president and the dean and 
by a vote of the Board of Trustees: 

Teachers in the arts, interior design, accounting and computer sci- 
ence who hold an appropriate master's degree and/or professional 
certification in the absence of the doctorate, will be considered for 
promotion and tenure in accordance with established procedures 
and regulations.^'* 

No uncertainty clouded the purposes of the 1990 Jesse Ball DuPont 
Religious, Charitable, and Educational Fund grant of $151,200 for four 
years of training teachers of and implementing capstone courses. That 
fall, Rhonda Zingraff, sociology, and Garry Walton, English, prepared to 
teach Living Revolutions, the spring capstone course; and in the spring, 
Allen Page, religion, and Gwen Clay, education, would be planning the 
fall 199 1 offering. Rosemary Hornak, psychology, and Reginald Shiflett, 
chemistry, had taught Human Horizons: Past and Future for four years. 

TEACHER TRAINING AND course implementation — the dual purposes of 
the DuPont grant — provide for the reader a natural progression from the 
second assumption to the third: i.e, the inference that faculty develop- 
ment would intrinsically lead to a stronger instructional program. One of 
the conditions of strengthening instruction was the internationalizing of 
the curriculum. In 1989, Vice President Sandra Thomas; Blue Greenberg, 
art; and Carolyn Grubbs, history, accompanied students on a seventeen- 
day study tour of Egypt and Turkey — with emphasis on study. The 
students could apply for independent study credit in history, art, and 

While Meredith Abroad had been a mainstay of the instructional pro- 
gram for several years, it had focused primarily on Europe, until the Col- 
lege looked eastward in 1990. President Weems; Dean Burris; Betty 
Webb, director of international studies; and Donald Spanton, business 
and economics, flew to China to arrange a five-year faculty exchange pro- 
gram with the Dongbei University of Finance and Economics in Hei Shi 
Jiao, Dalian. At the same time, Bernard Cochran, religion and philoso- 
phy, taught at Yangtai University; and Vivian Kraines, mathematical sci- 
ences, conducted a computer software workshop for college professors at 


Shanghai Normal University during her extensive travels in China. Ben 
Judkins, visiting professor of sociology, taught at Obirin University in 
Japan. Weems said, 

We need to truly globalize our education and make eastern studies an 
integral part of a student's experience. . . . Should Meredith make a 
serious eastern commitment, it w^ould be positioning itself as one of 
the forerunners of the educational movement in the United States. ^^ 

IN THE TERM immediately preceding the expeditions to the Far East, the 
travelers and their colleagues on the campus had enjoyed two visiting 
Chinese scholars from Beijing. First to arrive was seventy-five-year-old 
Lugi Yao, an artist on her first venture outside China, w^hose stay was 
supported by a Kenan grant. She returned to Beijing one week before the 
infamous human rights eruption in Tiananmen Square; and the second 
scholar, Wang Yunkin, made his way out of China just after the uprising. 
Wang, a Fulbright scholar, lectured in Meredith's Department of History 
and Political Science as well as at North Carolina State. In Beijing, he was 
a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and secretary- 
general of the Chinese Political Science Association. 

Dean Burris said, "International education has taken a quantum leap 
and challenges us to encourage permeation of the whole curriculum with 
international concern."^^ Students who spent the summer of 1990 study- 
ing in Europe lived in both Zurich and London. And still other groups, 
including faculty members, traveled in Greece, Switzerland, and Mexico. 
In the fall, twelve students left for Paris to study art with Ben Long. 

Miles away — both literally and figuratively — the College acted on a 
strictly "at home" matter, deciding to discontinue the equitation pro- 
gram. Since 1944, when the first horse, belonging to a homesick student, 
had occupied the stables, equitation was offered as a course in physical 
education, its popularity peaking in the mid-sixties when about forty 
horses and two hundred students underscored the program's success. In 
the late eighties, however, few students and few animals attested to the 
obsolescence — at least for the Meredith campus — of horse, stable, and 
riding ring. But student equestrians who wished to continue riding classes 
for credit were happily welcomed at local stables. 

The department that had once beckoned students to horseback riding 


was, in 1990, emphasizing dance. Two stories in the same edition of the 
Meredith Herald attested to the popularity of the Dance Theatre. One 
touted the dance company's invitation "to perform in a gala ... to be pre- 
sented by the National Dance Association" in New Orleans in April.^^ 
The newspaper also promoted the Dance Theatre's annual spring concert 
of original work by students, faculty, and guest artist, Gary Masters.* 
Masters, a member of the Jose Limon Dance Company, would be per- 
forming "Voices of the Spirit," a commissioned work set to Bach's Bran- 
denburg Concerto No. 3. Alyson Colwell, assistant professor of dance, ti- 
tled her work "Triple Play," and Annie Elliott, also an assistant professor, 
selected the music of Elvis Presley to say "farewell to a bygone era"^^ in 
her "Requiem." Student works included those of Nancy Sills and Amy 
Salter, two of the first dance majors. 

The performing arts had made history in 1989 when Meredith and the 
A.J. Fletcher Foundation announced "the establishment of a series of 
seminars with world-renowned musicians, actors, directors, and other 
artists, to be offered through the Fletcher School of the Performing Arts 
[to be] based at the College."^^ The foundation saw the move as an edu- 
cational opportunity for singers in the National Opera Company, for 
Meredith students, and for the community; and David Lynch, head of the 
Department of Music and the Performing Arts, saw it also as a way of 
"bringing true cultural greatness within the reach of our community" and 
as "an exciting dimension to the arts in the Triangle area."^° Nico Castel, 
principal artist (tenor) with the Metropolitan Opera Company, was the 
first guest, teaching master classes and performing on the campus for four 
days in February. 

Many memorable visitors, and perhaps some who were not so memo- 
rable, entered the campus gates each year. A few were never heard from 
— or of — again. Others lingered, even after they left, because of some 
wisdom they introduced to a mind or some epiphany to a spirit. Jane 
Goodall was one of those lecturers who haunted the campus after her 
two-day visit on April 21 and 22, 1990. The expert on primate behavior 
was in the United States to celebrate her thirtieth anniversary with 
Gombe Stream Research Center, her base of operations in Tanzania, 

^Through the Kenan grant, the dance program was able annually to attract national 


Jane Goodall, world-renowned expert on primate behavior, 

enjoys a 1990 visit with President Weems on her visit to Meredith 

during a thirtieth anniversary respite from Gombe Stream Desert 

Research Center in Tanzania. 

where she was "still conducting what is recognized as the longest unbro- 
ken study of any animal species in the wild."^^ In an hour-long lecture in 
Jones Auditorium, Goodall carried her audience through exciting discov- 
eries about — and gentle acquaintances with — the chimpanzees in Tanza- 
nia. And she added an interesting observation about women: "I don't 
know that an ability to study animals is genetic — inherited. It can't be. 
But I think what may be inherited, particularly in women, is a certain de- 
gree of patience. . . ."^- 

Goodall's visit occured two years after Lyn Aubrecht, professor of 
psychology, had met her at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sci- 
ence. Meredith reported Dr. Aubrecht's having suggested, "it would be 
a fine thing if some day we could get you on campus because your life 
has in it a message for young women, regardless of what they want to 
be."^^ Thereafter, he corresponded with the proper people, including 
Goodall herself. Finally, he said, "a beautiful thing happened — she told 
her people [at] the Jane Goodall Institute in Tucson that the only thing 


she knew that she was going to do in 1990 was to come to Meredith 

Another speaker, whose work has inspired many a scientist, had few 
miles to travel to her September 17, 1990, engagement at Meredith: 
Gertrude B. Elion, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1988, 
drove only the distance from Burroughs-Wellcome in the Research Trian- 
gle Park, where she had worked since 1944; or from Duke, where she was 
research professor of pharmacology and medicine; or from the University 
of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where she was an adjunct professor of 

The history of the period points to further undergirding of the instruc- 
tional program and to indications of existing academic strength. Acts of 
strengthening the curriculum included the offering of new majors; exam- 
ples of existing strength were found in the 1989 establishment of Pi Ep- 
silon Mu, national mathematics honorary society, and installation of 
Alpha Lambda Delta, national honor society for freshmen. A further il- 
lustration of strength came with the American Bar Association's re- 
approval of the Legal Assistants Program. Dr. Ironside said, "Despite the 
recent emergence of at least two other paralegal programs, the Legal As- 
sistants Program at Meredith, as the only program in the state which is 
both post baccalaureate and ABA approved, retains its leadership role."^^ 

With less fanfare — except, perhaps, for the staffs of student publica- 
tions — the publications board announced the availability of academic 
credit through Individual Special Studies for work on the Meredith Her- 
ald, the Acorn, and Oak Leaves. "The Board feels that academic credit 
will make it easier to fill editorship positions as well as retain qualified 
staff members," read the Herald?^ 

IN CONSIDERING THE assumptiou "that Meredith will continue to assess 
the adequacy of its physical facilities," the assessors used such words as 
"beautification," renovation," "modernization," and "innovation." In 
1989, the College beautified the entrance to the Frankie G. Weems Art 
Gallery, planting a garden there and dedicating it on commencement 
weekend, 1989, to Cleo Glover Perry, '45. The college magazine reported, 
"Cleo Perry has a garden named in her honor. It's fitting. She's a garden 
lover, and she has earned the honor. . . ."^^ Mrs. Perry was president of 


the Alumnae Association, 1966-68, and the fourth director of alumnae 
affairs, 1976-86. In the latter position, she lifted the importance of 
alumnae giving to a new level. 

The Frankie G. Weems Memorial Garden, also on the grounds of Gaddy- 
Hamrick Art Center, was dedicated on May 9, 1990. A vine-covered 
archway is the invitation to enter the little garden nook, and a bench sur- 
rounded by and facing a profusion of blue periwinkle is the invitation to 
stay. The identifying plaque cites Mrs. Weems for "her love of nature." 

In the spring of 1989, the Board of Trustees resolved to consider a rec- 
ommendation of the task force to construct "a new building for special- 
ized classrooms and faculty offices."^^ Only a month later, at the April ex- 
ecutive committee meeting, President Weems announced that trustee 
Hubert Ledford had indicated his intention to give a significant sum to- 
ward the proposed building, which would probably house the Depart- 
ments of Education, Psychology, and Foreign Languages. The trustees im- 
mediately moved to name the building for the donor, and their vote was 
upheld by the full Board in September 1989. A trustee and former chair- 
man of the Board, Ledford, then retired, had been a co-chairman of the 
Board of Directors of Durham Life Insurance Company in Raleigh. The 
Ledford Building would become "the first of three academic buildings to 
be consructed inside the new loop road."^^ 

The loop road was more than simply a way of getting from one place 
to another. It connected the existing campus streets in such a way that the 
distance from the front drive, down past the lake, to the rear of the cam- 
pus, and around the loop road back to the front drive measured one mile. 
The route, well-lighted and secured with strategically placed emergency 
telephones, was soon known as the Meredith Mile by the joggers and 
walkers who sometimes outnumbered automobiles, and whose fitness 
goals were admirable. An eavesdropper heard a faculty member prophesy 
that if students were as obsessed with fitness of mind as of body, the word 
"college" would take on a whole new meaning. 

On the western side of the campus, at its intersection with the front 
drive, the new road yielded the right-of-way to a traffic circle at a six-by- 
eight-foot gatehouse, which was put into operation in September 1989, 
two months before the road was opened. A writer for Meredith seemed to 
grasp, at least to a point, the function of the gatehouse: 


Visitors who need directions to Carswell Concert Hall, who want to 
know where to park for Open Day, where to deliver flowers, or 
how to reach I-40 are making use of the new gatehouse. Opened 
last September and staffed by security personnel, the facility assures 
convenient access to the campus for visitors and guests. 

Additional security for students is also a factor. Dan Shattuck, 
chief of security, points out that the gatehouse provides the only ac- 
cess to the campus after the late-night closing of the gate at Fair- 
cloth Street.'^o 

The small building ceased to be controversial to students once they 
knew it would not detract from the almost-pastoral picture of the campus 
from Hillsborough Street. The structure also illustrated Meredith's smart 
use of technology. Dean Sizemore explained, "Students will enter the res- 
idence halls after hours by electronic release of the lock after proper iden- 
tification. Entry will be monitored by a security guard in the gatehouse by 
use of a closed-circuit camera.'"*^ 

In the process of constructing the road and the gatehouse, the College 
demolished the old farmhouse — the home economics department's haven 
for refinishing furniture — which had stood on the property even before 
Meredith claimed the vast expanse of land once known as the "Tucker 
Farm." News of the razing of the old house was simply included in a list 
of jobs completed; nevertheless, the wording was interesting: "Demol- 
ished the old farmhouse visible from the Beltline.'"*^ The hidden message 
in the statement was obviously about image, the beltline offering travelers 
a panoramic view of the campus to an extent not possible from any other 
vantage point. Perhaps the old house was at odds with age and place, but 
the parking lots that dotted the grounds were definitive signs of the times. 
A new paved lot at Gate Center accommodated the automobiles of sixty 
commuters. But long-range plans called for additional green space. After 
studying the grounds and layout of the buildings, a consulting architect 
recommended, for beauty and safety, the return to a pedestrian campus, 
with parking confined to the periphery. A cautious Charles Taylor, vice 
president for business and finance, emphasized the phrase "long-range": 
"What is envisioned by an architect in 1989 may not resemble the actual 
product in the year 2000 or beyond," he said.'*^ 

While the campus plan focused on the future, the need to renovate ex- 


isting buildings appeared always to be in the present — or, sometimes, in 
the past. In 1989, two separate entries — one in the August minutes of the 
board, and another in the annual report — were commentaries on moving 
full speed into the future while running to catch up with the past: The 
trustees learned that Vann and Stringfield Residence Halls were finally 
air-conditioned, after having stood for more than sixty years without that 
modern touch of comfort. And readers of the annual report were hustled 
into the future by the news that, in the following year, the central heating 
system would be connected to "the energy management microproces- 
sor."'^'* After salaries and benefits, the electric bill required the largest out- 
lay of funds. In fiscal 1989-90, the cost of electricity totaled $535,000, 
and, with the air-conditioning of the last of the major buildings, there was 
little hope for less energy usage. 

AS THEY CONSIDERED assumptious, members of the the task force often 
saw the word "continue," as in "Meredith will continue to improve the 
total environment for learning and personal development among its stu- 
dents." The total environment would include, but not be limited to, spiri- 
tual life, services and support, and activities. Spiritual life has long been a 
component of the "education of the whole person," to which tenet the Col- 
lege holds tenaciously. Examples punctuate the pages of this book. But, in 
the prevalent atmosphere of the Baptist life in 1989, trustees wanted "a 
concise report . . . , demonstrating how the operation of the College during 
the preceding school year has been in furtherance of its stated purposes and 
consistent with the mandate of its charter.""*^ The administration obliged 
and, through a sixteen-page document titled Christian Dimensions, made 
the case. The report included Wednesday worship and other services, such 
as the traditional Moravian Love Feast at Christmas and the annual alum- 
nae gathering at commencement; curriculum offerings in religion; the Free- 
man Religion Club; Religious Emphasis Week; the Staley, GuUick, and Pres- 
ton Lectures; community ministry; the CROP Walk for raising money for 
Church World Service; the MCA Outreach Team, which responds to 
churches in search of student-led programs; recruitment of Baptist students; 
and Branching Out, the MCA (Meredith Christian Association) newsletter. 
Components of the philosophy of "wholeness" also included physical 
and emotional support. One of the services not heretofore offered by the 
health center was a gynecological clinic, established in the fall of 1989 
and conducted by a nurse practitioner. And Meredith, like the culture at 


large, provided support groups, at first for students from dysfunctional 
families and for those with eating disorders. But in a span of five years, 
the young w^omen also sought counseling in gender issues, learning dis- 
abilities, and general therapy — and some as adult children of alcoholics. 
Beth Meier, w^ho succeeded Gina Roberts as counselor in 1993, reported 
that her attempt to start a "Wonder Women's Blues" group "didn't get off 
the ground. . . .""^^ 

Support groups of a different ilk w^ere undergoing change. Students 
who had been bound by interest in another language and culture and had 
lived together, either on a Spanish or a French Hall, would hereafter have 
a home of their own in the new "IHOM" (International House of Mere- 
dith) as Janie Mullis, international studies editor of the Herald, wrote. 
Mulhs failed to explain her play on "IHOP" (International House of Pan- 
cakes), which was a mile or so down Hillsborough Street, but she en- 
lightened her readers as to the change: "Meredith College no longer of- 
fers a foreign language hall or the Carroll Annex freshman residence hall. 
Instead, the College has combined the two to become our new Interna- 
tional House.'"^^ She said the twenty-two occupants included ten who 
were Spanish-speaking, six who were French-speaking, and six who sim- 
ply wanted to live there. 

Brenda Faye Anderson, Ellen Belk, Carol Brooks, Paige Gunter, Mary 
Moore, and Krista Holloman found their own support group among col- 
lege Republicans. On January 20, 1989, the six students attended the in- 
auguration of George Herbert Walker Bush as forty-first president of the 
United States. President Bush's oath of office and attendant ceremonies 
also marked the Bicentennial Inauguration of the United States, a slogan 
reading "1789 -19 89 — George to George" appearing on banners and 
buttons. The Meredith Herald reported that "All students were able to at- 
tend one of the two Young American's Balls Friday evening," at both of 
which the president and vice president appeared."*^ But the students' 
biggest thrill might have been their introduction to President and Mrs. 
Bush at the White House. 

From support groups, attention turned to sports groups when, again, 
WRAL-TV telecast the 5:30 sports news live from Superbowl VII, the in- 
tramural flag football finals in 1990. Sportscaster Bob HoUiday said, "We 
try to cover non-traditional sports, and women playing football is cer- 
tainly that.""*^ Before 250 fans, the seniors of second-floor Barefoot won 
24-12 over the juniors from first- and second-floor Poteat. Activities like 


intramural sports contributed to the environment of the college experi- 
ence, as did intercollegiate sports. In NCAA Division III, student athletes 
competed in basketball, softball, golf, tennis, and volleyball. "Meredith 
athletics took a leap forward "^° with the arrival of Coach Carl Hatchell, 
the first full-time basketball and softball coach. Under Coach Hatchell, 
1990 was a banner year for basketball, reported the Meredith Herald. 
As of December, the team's won-lost record was 12-4, and freshman 
players Jennifer Norris and Sylvia Newman contributed significantly to 
that success. ^^ 

Regardless of athletic prowess, the sports program probably could 
never vie for the passion for Cornhuskin'. The student newspaper implied 
that the competition became more intense each year. But in 1990, stu- 
dents took one small step toward pre-Cornhuskin' civility by replacing 
the courtyard toilet paper fights with can art contests, using aluminum 
drink cans to create murals. After the judging, the cans were sold for re- 
cycling, and the profits went to the winners' favorite charity. Many of the 
older and wiser heads, who had seen some yesterdays, surmised that 
Cornhuskin' could hardly be less competitive, given the conditions that 
prompted United States President George Bush to plead, in his 1987 
speech accepting his party's nomination, for a "kinder, gentler nation." 

Cornhuskin' notwithstanding, the fall academic term could hardly have 
had a better start than to have Money Magazine name Meredith as nine- 
teenth on the publication's list of the nation's best buys among private col- 
leges. The Money College Guide ranked the best buys by such measure- 
ments as the amount of money devoted to student instruction; the number 
of students who later earned Ph.D.'s; the graduation rate, SAT scores and 
class rank of incoming freshmen; the student-faculty ratio; the number of 
books in the library; and the College's management of financial aid. 

THAT THE COLLEGE was Considered a "best buy" by a national publica- 
tion undergirded the assumption that "Meredith will continue to be af- 
fordable to the constituency it has traditionally served," although much 
of the burden of increased tuition and fees "will fall to families and stu- 
dents," predicted President Weems.^^ The worry had already begun in 
March 1989 when Weems informed trustees of "a shortfall of North Car- 
olina Legislative Tuition Grant funds for students attending private insti- 
tutions."^^ By the time the executive committee of the board met in April, 


Weems had written to parents of in-state students and to trustees and as- 
sociates, urging contact with their representatives. Better news was on the 
agenda the following August, and the president thanked the trustees for 
their contributions to the overwhelming flood of letters to legislators: The 
General Assembly approved increases of $50 each for the tuition grant 
and the contractual program. The total grant, then, would be $1,150 per 
year for each full-time student from North Carolina. 

In an unusual twist of circumstances, the College sometimes asked not so 
much whether students could afford Meredith but whether Meredith could 
afford some of its students. In 1990, freshman applicants in general were 1 1 
percent fewer than in 1989; however. Teaching Fellows clamored for ad- 
mission. "For some unknown but remarkable reason," said the president, 
"Meredith became one of the more attractive schools in North Carolina for 
Teaching Fellows. . . ."^'^ The College's financial outlay for the first year of the 
highly desirable program was $30,000; one year and fifty-one Teaching Fel- 
lows later, it was $85,000. The state's obligation of $4,700 per Fellow was 
a fixed amount, but college expenses were not; so managing the widening fi- 
nancial gap perplexed decision-makers until, in September 1990, the trustees 
voted to retain the Teaching Fellows Program, to limit future classes to fif- 
teen Fellows, and to raise tuition enough to close the gap. 

Because freshman applications were fewer, Meredith could afford to en- 
roll more transfers than ever before in the history of the College. The Her- 
ald reported that the 1 1 1 new transfer students from eleven states repre- 
sented thirty-two colleges and universities. At the same time, an alarm 
sounded from John Hiott, director of scholarships and financial assistnce: 
For some time, he said, Meredith had met 100 percent of a resident student's 
financial need. But, he added, " 1990 -9 1 is likely to be the last time the Col- 
lege can say this with confidence. The increases in cost with no increases in 
grant resources [have] forced this office into making larger loans."^^ 

"change is unavoidable and desirable in higher education," stated 
an assumption that unmistakably applied to the past, present, and fu- 
ture. Change indeed came to Meredith in the last decade of the twen- 
tieth century — as it had in the first and all decades between, and as it 
always will. Technology alone challenged higher education to advance 
rapidly in knowledge, use, and equipment. After several years of work, 
the College and Cablevision of Raleigh negotiated an agreement 


whereby "all residence hall rooms, classrooms, and offices [would] be 
wired for campuswide communication."^^ The capabilities extended 
beyond students' rooms, classrooms, and offices to include assembly 
areas, as well. For example, an overflow crowd from Jones Auditorium 
could assemble in Gate Center's Kresge Auditorium to watch a live per- 
formance via cablevision. Media services, the staff of which were 
among the primary negotiators for the service, claimed that the co- 
axial cable link between Jones and Gate "effectively enlarged" Jones 
by 25 percent. ^^ Fortunately, the service was available for the Genten- 
nial celebration in 199 1. 

A reader of the president's annual message for 1990 — particularly if 
she or he knew of Weems's penchant for electronics — could sense excite- 
ment in the author's words and style: 

Television is now on the air at Meredith 24 hours a day. To allow 
for Meredith activities to be announced and viewed simply by turn- 
ing on a video receiver, three channels were reserved for the Col- 
lege's use. These three channels will carry live programming origi- 
nated by faculty and students. The channels are also available to 
broadcast filmed materials into each residence hall room. . . . 

The library's media services can originate programming for class- 
rooms on demand. Recitals, public performances, and plays can be 
delivered to each residence hall room and campus office. The use of 
these three channels is limited only by our imagination.^^ 

The three channels, 5,10, and 13, originating in the Garlyle Campbell Li- 
brary, were in the care of MCTV (Meredith Cable Television) and Cyn- 
thia Bowling, cable administrator. Channels 10 and 13 were for educa- 
tional purposes only; Channel 5 was the vehicle by which announcements 
reached the entire campus population; it was Meredith's "24-hour info- 
center" that was "fast, easy, and free!" said the Student Handbook/^ 
Central services boasted of a FAX machine; the library boasted of capa- 
bilities to offer "more systematic and sophisticated training in videogra- 
phy, editing and writing for video" ;^° and information services boasted of 
Cam-Tel, the telecommunications system. 

The Information Age advanced alongside a decades-old concern for 
ecology, dating from the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson's landmark 
expose of environmental pesticides, the best-selling Silent Spring. And on 
Meredith's campus, there arose among faculty and students alike a grow- 


ing desire to protect the planet. About 1990, the College began a recy- 
cling program, at first collecting paper only. A February 1990 edition of 
the Herald reported a collection of "18,000 pounds of paper since last 
December."^^ Members of the faculty criticized the unavailability of recy- 
cled paper in central services, where copy machines were at full speed al- 
most every day. While Vice President Taylor explained that moisture in 
recycled paper affected the machines, he promised to stock it anyway and 
took the opportunity to remind the faculty of the collection barrels that 
were strategically placed around the campus. 

FOR THE MOST part, the College was a good citizen in and for its envi- 
ronment, and the administration anticipated no change, according to the 
assumption that "Meredith will continue to serve the greater Raleigh 
community." One of the most effective ways of serving Raleigh and Wake 
County was through the continuing education program, which, said Dr. 
Ironside, was "struggling to keep up with its own success."^-^ In 1989 -90, 
a rush to enrichment and special programs attracted z,6oo students, 
making it necessary to limit to sixty the number of non-credit courses 
taught in a semester. In the summer, the program served children, youth, 
and public school teachers, and one of the incentives for teachers was the 
awarding of teacher renewal credits in addition to continuing education 
units. The re-entry program grew, as well, then totaling 20 percent of the 
undergraduate population. 

Miscellaneous archival records attest to the continuing good will of 
the community toward the College and vice versa. That Meredith gave 
the community a learning environment, a civic forum, a wedding and 
reception site, a sports arena, a playground, and, simply, a pretty place 
was more a rule than an exception. For example, in the category of 
civic forum, continuing education had coordinated the Great Decisions 
Lectures in Raleigh since 1979. In 1989, "participation surpass[ed] all 
previous records."^^ As a sports arena, Meredith hosted the 1989 State 
Games of North Carolina Amateur Sports, the Elva Bryan Mclver Am- 
phitheater's serving as the setting for opening ceremonies; the Weath- 
erspoon Gymnasium's supplying the basketball court for girls' state- 
wide competition; and the residence halls' furnishing beds and baths 
for coaches and athletes. As a playground, the campus was affirmed by 
the Spectator magazine's nominating it as Raleigh's best place to fly a 


THE ASSUMPTION ADDRESSING such important matters as financial secu- 
rity and Meredith's relationship to North Carolina Baptists stated, 
"Meredith will improve with the implementation of systematic planning 
techniques and the acceptance of constructive change." The planning 
process included a capital campaign to raise $io million. The goals of 
the Second Century Challenge, as the effort was called, comprised the 
$2,200,000 Ledford Building; one-hundred First Family scholarships of 
$25,000 each; an increase in unrestricted giving; and an emphasis on 
planned giving. Out of the latter objective emerged the Heritage Society, 
an organization of future givers who had named Meredith in their wills. 
The 156 charter members already represented 5 6 more than the goal set 
for the Charter Centennial in 199 1. But the major thrust of the Second 
Century Challenge was $6 million for scholarships. 

Financial prospects were promising; however, Meredith's Baptist State 
Convention-related status was uncertain. In 1990, President Weems titled 
a portion of his annual report, "A Clear and Imminent Danger," which fo- 
cused on that uncertainty: "It becomes important for those of us related 
to Meredith to consider all the options available and begin to position the 
institution for possible external attacks of a nature we have never before 
experienced," he warned.^"* One of the statements in that particular pub- 
lication must have opened some eyes to a reality not previously discussed, 
at least not in the obvious archival sources: In the event of a takeover by 
fundamentalist trustees, Weems said, Meredith would more than likely 
become coeducational because "Women have not been the first priority 
of the conservative movement! "^^ In an executive committee meeting in 
November, he reported to trustees the changing status of other Baptist in- 
stitutions (Furman, Stetson, Baylor) to their conventions (South Carolina, 
Florida, Texas) and potential changes for Meredith. While Baptist policy- 
makers struggled. Baptist college students went to their spring BSU (Bap- 
tist Student Union) conference and elected senior Amanda Carroll presi- 
dent of the state organization. 

IN THE FIRST assumption listed in this chapter, the president predicted 
that the College would always be church-related. And the last assumption 
also implied an "always": "Meredith will continue to stress academic ex- 
cellence as fundamental to its mission." In 1989, teams from six accred- 
iting agencies visited the College: the Southern Association of Colleges 


and Schools (SACS); the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher 
Education (NCATE); the North Carolina Department of Public Instruc- 
tion (SDPI); the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM); and 
the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Commission. To be examined for 
accreditation was to spend months of committee introspection and hard 
work prior to an accrediting team's site visit. Committees and individuals 
who gave their all for the cause were ecstatic when things went well. For 
example, a Meredith Herald reader could sense the exhilaration of Susan 
Gilbert, English, who directed preparation for the SACS visit in Novem- 
ber 1989: Dr. Gilbert said the visiting team was "glowing with praise" 
for Meredith. ^^ The more subdued minutes of the executive committee of 
the board for November recorded, "The members of the team were very 
complimentary of Meredith and her programs."^^ 

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education created 
its own excitement: In its first visit ever, NCATE recommended no changes. 
In the many years of the organization's existence, it had scrutinized only 
six other schools that passed the test without warranting a single recom- 
mendation, but Meredith wore the crown as the only college ever to 
achieve the distinction the first time around; all the others were reaffir- 
mations of the original accreditation. Mary Johnson coordinated Mere- 
dith's work in preparation for NCATE's site visit. 

THE FIRST PARAGRAPHS of this chapter imply that Meredith will remain a 
small college. However small it is, was, and will remain, the 1990 com- 
mencement exercises testified to rapid growth in the eighteen years of the 
current administration. At some point during the ceremony. Dr. Weems 
awarded a diploma to the student who defined the point at which 50 per- 
cent of all Meredith graduates had been handed diplomas by the sixth 
president. Furthermore, 80 percent of the living alumnae had graduated 
between 1972 and 1990. All the graduates who have been, and all those 
who will be, stand on common ground. The Task Force for the Pursuit of 
Excellence said as much: 

While we are unable to predict the future with certainty, we must 
prepare our graduates to live in it as responsible citizens who are 
prepared and capable of dealing with change. We wish to educate 
them as leaders, as people who make a difference, in directing the fu- 
ture. Most critical is that learning is a life-long, integrative process. ^^ 



"how do you say 'Happy looth Birthday' to a college like Meredith?" 
With an eye toward 199 1 and in quest of a centennial theme, the Cen- 
tennial Commission had put the question to the college family in 1989, 
promising the creator of the best slogan a prize of $100.00 and gifts com- 
memorating the one-hundredth anniversary of the chartering of Baptist 
Female University by the Legislature of North Carolina. At a college-wide 
theme picnic on April 13, 1989, Gay Elliott, secretary to the campus min- 
ister, was declared the winner. One of 350 entries from students, faculty, 
staff, alumnae, trustees, and parents, Mrs. Elliott's slogan had been 
preprinted in Meredith maroon on big white pins, which soon adorned 
shirts, sweaters, notebooks, and backpacks all over the campus. And 
from that day forward, until the Centennial celebration closed in 1992, 
all printed materials, including the college stationery, carried the theme, 
"Honoring Our Heritage . . . Expanding Our Vision." 

The College has indeed honored its century-long Baptist heritage, 
never ceasing to pay homage to those nineteenth-century visionaries who 
gave it life, those women and men who "planned, prayed, sacrificed lit] 
into existence."' But, amid all the honor and glory, some of its history 
also encompassed situations that fell somewhere between the extremes of 
life-giving celebration and life-threatening struggle. The college magazine 
alluded to Meredith's heritage: 



Independence — a mark of true Baptists everywhere — assumed its 
relentless and rightful stance in the life and times of the North Car- 
olina Baptist Convention from the organization's inception in 1830. 
Baptist churches have cherished their autonomy; Baptist people 
have preached — and practiced — the priesthood of the believers; 
Baptist organizations have bowed to no hierarchical assembly. 
While Baptist colleges may have experienced a lesser degree of in- 
dependence because of the convention's practice of electing the col- 
leges' governing bodies, the institutions have . . . remain[ed] aca- 
demically free, politically untainted, and — in the case of Meredith 
— adamantly separate.^ 

The article more specifically covered Meredith's early years: From its be- 
ginnings in the 1830s, "with the radical notion of some progressive Bap- 
tists to provide for women an education separate from but equal to that 
of men," 3 Meredith has been fought for and fought against; loved and 
merely tolerated; poor and relatively prosperous. North Carolina Baptists 
have always played a part in its life and death decisions. Three years after 
Baptist Female University was chartered, and four years before it opened 
its doors to students, some Baptists would have been happier for Wake 
Forest to accept women than to have proceeded with BFU. And in 19Z3, 
there was a movement afoot to merge Meredith and Wake Forest. An- 
other in 1939, according to the Biblical Recorder, "proposed the moving 
of Meredith to the Wake Forest campus as part of one great institution.'"* 
And, in 1942, when Wake Forest voted to allow women students, still an- 
other groundswell for merger loomed large. "To the Convention's ever- 
lasting credit," said the Meredith article, it pledged its continued cooper- 
ation and support of Meredith as a four-year college for women.^ The 
late Gerald Johnson, a prominent writer, editorialized in 1944 that, by its 
tenacity toward the status quo, Meredith was a "gone gosling."^ 

President Weems tells the story of generous Baptists, who, one year 
during the Depression, allocated to Meredith half the total contributions 
to the convention in order to keep the College "open and alive."^ He also 

In 1955 Meredith was offered the Reynolda Estate of 150 acres in 
Winston-Salem for its campus, plus $1,000,000 for campus con- 
struction. This offer was predicated on the condition that the Pres- 


byterians would buy our campus and locate the new school they 
were starting, here. The Presbyterians chose to build their new 
school, St. Andrews, in Laurinburg.^ 

But as the College approached its Charter Centennial, it faced one of 
the more ominous struggles of its existence. Trustee George McCotter 
had sounded an alarm as early as 1980, warning the board that funda- 
mentalists would gain control of the Southern Baptist Convention "state 
by state and college by college."^ McCotter's signal possibly rescued a 
dark reality from its prison of denial, but he would help to brighten the 
future for all of like mind and spirit by his efforts in founding Friends of 
Missions, an organization of moderate Baptists. And President Weems re- 
calls "that the Southern Baptist Alliance, a broader-based moderate con- 
stituency, 'was born in the conference room' of . . . Jones Chapel." ^° 

The convention's power to elect trustees, granted in 1927, stemmed 
from the creation of the Cooperative Program and its subsequent annual 
allocation of funds to Meredith and other Baptist institutions. And, so 
far, neither the convention nor the College had been seriously bruised by 
the intermittent crusades against Meredith's separatism and indepen- 
dence or, on the eve of its one-hundredth anniversary, against Meredith's 
freedom. Rather, such encounters had often served as healing agents. But, 
from the early eighties to 1991, the College wondered whether future 
clashes would lead to divorce of the two entities. Should radically con- 
servative Baptists dominate the board, said the then-current trustees, 
Meredith would lose its identity and its freedom, as had some of the sem- 
inaries. The only solution, it seemed, was to find a way for the College to 
elect its own trustees. In the executive commitee meeting on January 14, 
199 1, Margaret Parker, trustee chair, appointed a charter resolution com- 
mittee comprising Leon Smith, chair; David Britt, Norman Kellum, Theo 
Pitt, Charles Barham, and Barbara Allen, with President Weems ex offi- 
cio. In February, Parker added Eugene Boyce, college counsel, to the com- 

In the meantime, the convention wanted a "blue ribbon" study com- 
mittee to consider all sides, all potential problems, of all Baptist insti- 
tutions and then make its own recommendations. Gene L. Watterson, 
president of the Baptist State Convention, and Roy Smith, executive 
director-treasurer, along with some other convention leaders, thought 


Meredith was moving too hastily and that the trustees should give the 
convention committee, only then being formed, an opportunity to func- 
tion. Both Watterson and Smith wrote to the trustees on February 21, 
199 1, pleading that they take no action at the the next day's meeting. The 
following is a summary of Watterson's reasoning: 

1. A fear that any unilateral move to alter the relationship might 
cause an emotional upheaval, which would express itself in po- 
litical polarization and a catalyzing of anti-higher education ele- 
ments within our convention. 

2. There is no pressing or imminent danger of an influx of trustees 
who hold philosophies of education or theologies that are 
counter to the present circumstance. 

3 . Meredith, as well as other institutions within the Baptist family, 
now enjoy virtual autonomy in the selection of trustees. . . . 

4. A special committee to study and recommend changes with re- 
gards to trustee selection is in the process of formation. [Among] 
some suggestions of . . . that committee . . . [is] the idea of al- 
lowing the institution to have complete autonomy in the selec- 
tion of whatever percentage of trustees that it desires, with the 
understanding that the North Carolina Baptist State Convention 
funding to the institutions would be reduced by that percent- 

But the suggestions went unheeded. Unanimous action by the trustees 
came on February 22, 1991, when the Board voted to amend the charter, 
basing the legality of its vote on the state law that requires them "to act in 
the best interest of the organization for which they have been elected 
trustees." ^^ The board had concluded that "some ultimate takeover of the 
College by a non-sympathetic group was not in the best interest of 
Meredith."" In the resolution to amend, however, the trustees reaffirmed 
Meredith's Baptist heritage: 

Resolved, that the Board of Trustees affirms its deep and profound 
appreciation for the century of unselfish support and oversight 
given to Meredith College by the Baptist family. The Board of 
Trustees further affirms its intention that Meredith College remain a 
North Carolina Baptist College of Christian higher education, its 


intention to elect trustees who are North Carohna Baptists, and its 
intention to further the purposes of the institution as they are stated 
in its charter. The amending of the charter ... in no way indicates 
a new direction for the institution. Rather, it reflects the ongoing de- 
sire of the Board of Trustees to be good stewards of Meredith's Bap- 
tist heritage, to protect academic freedom, to safeguard the financial 
security of the institution, and to comply with the public policies of 
the State of North Carolina. ^^^ 

Most constituents of the College happily received the news. The faculty 
had left no doubt as to its position on the matter when, on February 15, 
it passed its own resolution urging the trustees to "rescind the previous 
action of the Board . . . and to create a self-perpetuating Board of 
Trustees comprised of North Carolina Baptists which will ensure the 
preservation of academic freedom while preserving the historic mission of 
the college as a Baptist institution."^^ 

Responding to Meredith's turn toward further independence, the con- 
vention placed in escrow the Cooperative Program's annual allocation of 
approximately $1 million to the College. ^^ Dr. Weems said, "I've never 
dealt with anything of this magnitude. We're speaking of eternal conse- 
quences here."^^ The overwhelming number of letters of appreciation and 
support somewhat lightened the load. For example. 

As an alumna, I appreciate this move being made to safeguard 
Meredith's future and to protect her heritage. You certainly have my 
strong support! 
— Carolyn Carter, '73, Raleigh^ ^ 

Congratulations. It is a great step for the College. 
— WiUiam C. Friday, Chapel HilP^ 

I applaud your courage and foresight. Meredith College should not 
become a victim of the circumstances creating turmoil among 
Southern Baptists today. 
— Rebecca O. House, '74, Burlington-"^ 

Believe me, I understand something of the dimensions of your strug- 
gle personally and professionally, along with the Meredith trustees. 
Count me in your corner. 
— W. Randall LoUey, Greensboro^' 


On February 26, The News and Observer ran an editorial titled 
"Meredith, out of the fray," suggesting that "if the conflict escalates be- 
tween conservatives and moderates in the State Baptist Convention, 
Meredith College will not be one of the 'spoils of war.' "^^ The editorial 
complimented the College, the faculty, and, finally, the trustees, who "did 
the only thing they could do in distancing themselves from the grasp of 
those in the convention who would close doors."^^ 

By memorandum on March 20, 199 1, President Weems gave the fac- 
ulty a state-of-the-relationship report: 

I have heard from more than one hundred people from outside the 
immediate Meredith community expressing enthusiasm for this 
move. . . . 

I also think it is important for you to know that as of today I 
have not heard from a single fundamentalist criticizing our action. 
Further, there have been no "letters to the Editors" that I know of 
critical of this action. . . . 

We are not without our problems, however. The officials at the 
Baptist State Convention headquarters are having difficulty with 
our recent action, and I anticipate that most of our future problems 
will come from those Baptists at the Convention we thought we 
were closest to. 

After many meetings, uncertain funding, and the threat of a lawsuit, 
Meredith, via a trustee committee chaired by Norman Kellum, proposed 
to officers of the convention and its General Board that "All mention of the 
election of trustees be moved from the charter of the institution and placed 
in the by-laws."^"* And, to comply with the convention's constitution, the 
Meredith delegation also agreed to submit to the convention's nominating 
committee a list of potential trustees, from which the convention, then, 
would elect a slate to serve the College. Meredith's governing body would 
follow suit, electing the same trustees, thereby adhering to the provisions 
of the amended charter. With the agreements understood by all sides, 
eventually Campbell, Chowan, Gardner- Webb, Mars Hill, and Wingate — 
the other five convention-supported colleges and universities — also moved 
wording regarding trustees from their charters to their by-laws.* 

"Wake Forest University had redefined its relationship with the Baptist State Con- 
vention five years earlier. 


In 199 1, if the question again arose as to how to say "Happy looth 
Birthday" to a college like Meredith," the answer could well have been, 
"Keep it academically free." 

IN 1988, PRESIDENT WceiTis had named Jean Jackson, '75, assistant pro- 
fessor of English, to head the Centennial Commission and had appointed 
seven others who, with Dr. Jackson, formed the executive committee: 
Anne Clark Dahle, '54, director of re-entry programs; Janet Freeman, li- 
brarian; Bluma Greenberg, instructor of art; Carolyn Harrington Grubbs, 
'60, associate professor of history; Brent Pitts, assistant professor of for- 
eign languages; Carolyn Covington Robinson, '50, college editor and di- 
rector of publications; and Betty Webb, '67, professor of English. Jackson 
continued some of her teaching duties but also opened a centennial office 
in Johnson Hall. With the executive committee, fifteen additional com- 
mittees and innumerable subcommittees planned a year "filled with op- 
portunities for intellectual and spiritual growth. . . ." and "[wjith re- 
newed commitment to honor our heritage best by expanding our vision 
of what is possible, right, and good for the life of the College as it enters 
a second century of educating women."^^ 

On February 26, 199 1, a coterie of Meredith people visited the Legis- 
lature of North Carolina to witness the House and Senate's passing of res- 
olutions honoring the life and work of Thomas Meredith and his leader- 
ship in founding Baptist Female University. Senator Betsy Cochrane, '58, 
and Representative Judy Hunt, '71, sponsored the resolutions. 

February 27, 199 1, Charter Centennial Day, was one of the more 
memorable Founders' Days in the life of the College. It was crammed 
with events, people, and heritage. Ruth Schmidt, featured speaker at the 
morning convocation, was president of Agnes Scott College, also a col- 
lege for women; her title was "Women's Sphere in the 21st Century." Dr. 
Schmidt admonished women's colleges to "take seriously our history as 
pioneers in a new social order, our resources of people — students being 
primary — and devote ourselves to preparing women to lead us into new 
ways of thinking and doing, toward a whole and just society in the sphere 
which is the globe."^^ Dr. Jackson, Dr. Lynch, the Meredith Chorale, Pres- 
ident Weems, and T. Robert MuUinax, executive director of the Council 
on Christian Higher Education, were program participants. The tradi- 
tional wreath-laying rites at the Thomas Meredith memorial site followed 


convocation. Arranged by the Granddaughters' Club — an organization 
of daughters and granddaughters of alumnae — the moving ceremony in- 
cluded an antiphonal naming of some of the women and men — "a cloud 
of witnesses" — who had influenced the school and its students through 
the years. And, then, to the music of flutes, strings, and singers, party- 
goers came and went to the mammoth birthday celebration on all three 
levels of Bryan Rotunda. 

In the afternoon, Jones Auditorium filled with witnesses to Parable of 
the Morning Star, a centennial play by Carolyn Covington Robinson, di- 
rected by John Creagh, and performed by members of the faculty and stu- 
dent body, as well as the young son of a faculty member. A fictional story 
based on historical fact, the play introduced Jennifer Jordan, a college- 
age young woman of the 1890s, who, in a conversation with her father's 
friend O.L. Stringfield was inspired to enroll in Baptist Female University. 
Her struggle to enter the university and her determination to stay there 
were probably not unlike the efforts of many young women of her day, 
and later. In Images: A Centennial Journey, Suzanne Britt, who narrated 
the drama and played Jennifer as an adult, wrote of her character, "Her 
passion for learning and her commitment to risk and challenge are char- 
acteristic of all Meredith women who have overcome obstacles to arrive 
at their own commencements."^^ Elizabeth Eisele played young Jennifer; 
Garry Walton was O.L. Stringfield; Jean Jackson was Lily B. Pearson; 
Owen Zingraff was William; and Jack Huber and Christa Phillips played 
Will and Mamie Jordan. 

A late-afternoon centennial vespers service replicated the first chapel 
service of Baptist Female University in 1899. The printed program 
showed the order of both services: 

Scripture: 1899, Albert Meredith Simms, Trustee; 199 1, Mary Vir- 
ginia Warren Poe, '48, Trustee 

Prayer: 1899, J.W Carter, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Raleigh; 
199 1, R. Wayne Stacey, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Raleigh 
Introductions: 1899, President James C. Blasingame by John E. 
White, Secretary, Baptist State Convention; 199 1, Vice President 
and Dean Allen Burris by Roy J. Smith, Executive Director, Baptist 
State Convention 
History of the College: 1899, Dr. Thomas E. Skinner, Chairman, 


Board of Trustees; 199 1, Margaret Weatherspoon Parker, '38, Chair, 
Board of Trustees 

Remarks, N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction: 1899, C.H. 
Mebane; 199 1, Bob Etheridge 

Remarks, Superintendent, Raleigh Public Schools: 1899, E.P. 
Moses; 199 1, Robert E. Wentz 

Remarks, Representative of Shaw University: 1899, Charles F. 
Meserve, President; 1991, Ernest L. Pickens, Executive Vice Presi- 

Other Denominations: 1899, represented by Joseph E. Brown, Pres- 
ident, Citizens National Bank: 199 1, representatives introduced by 
the Rev. Sam Carothers, Campus Minister 

Raleigh Churches: 1889, represented by Joseph D. Boushall and 
Needham B. Broughton, Trustees; 1991, representatives introduced 
by Mr. Carothers 

Benediction Hymn: 1889 and 199 1, "Praise God from Whom All 
Blessings Flow" 

WHEN SANDRA DAY O'Conuor, Associate Justice of the United States 
Supreme Court, accepted the Centennial Commission's invitation to 
speak, she became the third Lillian Parker Wallace Lecturer, having been 
preceded by Sir Harold Wilson, former prime minister of Great Britain, 
in 1978, and Jimmy Carter, former president of the United States, in 
1986. The first woman to sit on the Supreme Court, Justice O'Connor 
took the oath of office on September 25, 19 81, after having been con- 
firmed on September 21 by a vote of 99-0 in the United States Senate. 
Her lecture on March 11, 1991, was titled "Women and the Constitu- 
tion." She said. 

Happily, the last half of this century has witnessed a revolution in 
women's legal and political status. My chambers window in Wash- 
ington, D.C., commands a view of a small brick house, the head- 
quarters of the National Women's Party and the home of suffragist 
Alice Paul. It serves as a daily reminder to me that less than seventy- 
five years ago women had yet to obtain that most basic civil right, 
the right to vote. It also serves as a reminder that single-minded de- 


Sandra Day O'Connor, Associate Justice of 
the United States Supreme Court, delivers the third 
Lillian Parker Wallace Lecture on March ii, 199 1. 

termination and effort can bring about fundamental changes in 
even a well-entrenched system of discrimination. 

O'Connor concluded her lecture with a personal word to, and about, 
young people: 

I enjoy speaking to young women and reminding them of the all- 
too-recent history of women and the law. Young people tend to be- 
lieve that conditions in the world in which they find themselves 
have always existed. In fact, there have been dramatic changes in 
conditions for women in the United States, and those changes have 
occurred for the most part, in my lifetime. It is important to re- 
member that everyone in this room is part of the process of making 


real the promise of equal justice under the law. And each one of us 
has a role to play in completing that task. 

Anne Bryan, '71, president of the class that estabhshed the Lillian 
Parker Wallace Endowment, moderated an afternoon symposium on 
"Women, the Law, and Justice O'Connor." U.S. Attorney Margaret Per- 
son Currin, '72; legal services attorney Martha Dicus, '71; North Car- 
ohna Representative Judy Hunt, '71; and Wake Forest University law 
professor Suzanne Reynolds, '71, formed the panel. 

FRIENDS OF THE Carlylc Campbell Library made one of its contributions 
to the Centennial at the annual spring dinner on April 9, when Rebecca 
Murray, '58, professor of education, reviewed her new publication. This 
Essential Part: The First 1000 Books of the Library of Baptist Female 
University. For $100, one could buy Dr. Murray's book and, with it, a 
brick — an identifying brass plate affixed — from old Faircloth Hall, 
which had recently been razed and removed from the parking lot that 
then occupied the site of the original campus downtown. This Essential 
Part was the first publication of the new Meredith College Press, estab- 
lished in the centennial year. 

On April 24, the Rev. F. Sue Fitzgerald, '52, director of Christian edu- 
cation ministries at Mars Hill College, preached her second baccalaureate 
sermon to a Meredith congregation, the first having been at commence- 
ment in 1975. Her centennial year message was titled "They Hung Their 
Harps on the Willows." 

Jean Jackson's centennial notes record commencement speaker Erma 
Bombeck as "Syndicated columnist, author, broadcaster, one of Amer- 
ica's favorite humorists."^^ Jackson quoted the opening sentences of Bom- 
beck's commencement address: 

Although we have never met, there are some things I already know 
about you. I know you are frightened about what the future holds. 
I know you are apprehensive about being on your own for the first 
time. I know you are asking yourselves, "What do I do now?" After 
a dramatic pause she added, "But I'm not here to address you par- 
ents. I'm here to talk to your children."^^ 

The speaker identified herself as a "card-carrying feminist" who had 
worked "to bring about equality under the law for women. We have 


brains and we were meant to use them." But, she said, her marriage and 
children were more important than anything else. "My two careers don't 
control my life. I control my life ."3*^ Finally, Bombeck admonished the 
graduates, "Don't confuse fame with success. One is Madonna;"" the 
other is Helen Keller." ^^ 

Of the 391 members of the Centennial Class, sixty-five were re-entry 
women and twenty-one were Honors Scholars, representing the largest 
number of graduates, to date, in both categories. And one was Sarah M. 
Lemmon, professor emeritus of history, who received her fourth degree, a 
Bachelor of Arts in art history. Of her previous degrees, the Bachelor of 
Science, the Master of Arts, and the Doctor of Philosophy, none was 
earned at the College, but Dr. Lemmon, who had taught there for almost 
her entire career, had become a bona fide Meredith alumna. At the com- 
mencement ceremonies. Flora Ann Lee Bynum, '46, and Jean Batten 
Cooper, '54, each received an Alumna Award for their service to Mere- 
dith and to their community. (Both recipients were from Winston-Salem.) 
And Christie Bishop Barbee, '83, received the Recent Graduate Award. 
Also recognized were winners of the FAME Awards: Deborah Smith, as- 
sociate professor of biology, for teaching; Mary Thomas, associate pro- 
fessor of foreign languages, for research and publication; Rhonda Zin- 
graff, professor of sociology, and Clyde Frazier, associate professor of 
politics, both for their contributions to the College and its programs; and 
the Sears-Roebuck Teaching Award: Nan Miller, instructor of English. 

In the company of 700 women who returned for reunions, classes, 
meetings, and other types of College events. Alumnae College made its 
debut on the weekend following graduation. May 17-19, replacing Alum- 
nae Weekend at commencement.*"" Mimi Holt, "6-/, president of the 
Alumnae Association, said, "One of our biggest challenges is developing 
programs to meet the needs of this incredibly diverse group of women."^^ 
And of the women, she said, "Right now we're feeling kind of schizo- 
phrenic because we're so often accused of living in the past. Well, indulge 
us in the centennial year. We're also very focused on the future."^^ 

"^In the event that readers of this history outlive the memories of Madonna, they 
should know that she was a controversial but sometimes celebrated singer and actor 
of the period. 

** Alumnae College reverted to Alumnae Weekend in 1996 but was thenceforward 
held on a weekend following commencement. 


IN THE FALL term, the Centennial celebration continued. Banners waved 
along the front drive, and an interest center of photographs and memo- 
rabilia attracted people to Bryan Rotunda. Craig Greene, head of the art 
department, displayed five centennial etchings, which he had produced 
on a press "exactly like the one Rembrandt once used to produce his own 
prints." ^^ The etchings, including one scene from the old campus, and 
four from the "new," were on sale for $200 -$300 each. Meanwhile, 
Suzanne Britt, prolific writer and instructor of English, watched the 
progress toward publication of Images: A Centennial Journey, a literary 
and pictorial history of the College, comprising intriguing essays by Britt 
and colorful photographs by Chip Henderson, Steve Wilson, and other 
photographers. Most academic departments created their own Centen- 
nial projects: for example, Roger H. Crook, author of several books and 
former head of the Department of Religion and Philosophy, wrote Sym- 
metry, a history of the department, which was pubhshed in 1992. The de- 
partment of home economics sponsored a program on Historic Fashion 
Silhouettes, with Vickie Berger, curator of the historic costume collection 
at the North Carolina Museum of History, as speaker. 

The first major centennial event of the fall term was the Honors Con- 
vocation on August 26. It might have been helpful if every member of 
the audience had been an Honors Scholar as biopsychologist Jerre Levy, 
a professor in the department of psychology at the University of 
Chicago, lectured on the topic, "Getting Your Head Together: The Two 
Sides of the Human Brain." Dr. Levy's speech exploded a popular myth 
or two: 

Do some people think mainly with the left half of the brain and oth- 
ers with the right? Does the right perceive the sizes and forms of ob- 
jects in pictures according to literal measurements in the two- 
dimensional plane and the left according to meaningful inferences 
about the three-dimensional world that the picture represents? 
When meaning and the inferential possibility are removed by turn- 
ing pictures upside down, does this activate the right hemisphere 
and inhibit the left? Is the left active and the right idle and witless in 
some domains of human behavior and vice- versa for others? Such 
assertions have been repeatedly made in the popular literature, but 
none has even the slightest grain of truth. 


After spending twenty years "trying to pull the two hemispheres [of 
the brain] apart," in search of the differences between the left hemisphere 
and the right, she said, she was now "trying to put them back together — 
as I think all human beings are trying to do."^^ 

PHYLLIS TRIBLE, '54, Baldwin Professor of Sacred Literature at Union 
Theological Seminary, "came home" to Meredith on September 30, 
199 1, to deliver the Staley Distinguished Lecture on Women in Religion 
in the 21st Century. She titled her lecture "A Striving After Wind," Of the 
speaker. Dr. Jackson said, 

Recognizing the Bible as a patriarchal document has led some fem- 
inists to denounce it as "hopelessly misogynist." Other feminists 
sometimes "reprehensively use documents to support anti-Semitic 
sentiments." Others "read the Bible as a historical document, de- 
void of any continuing authority, and hence, worthy of dismissal." 
Still others "insist that text and interpretation provide more excel- 
lent ways." The last, she claims as "my niche." It gives her a chance 
to explore the "pilgrim character of the Bible. . . ." 

She said, "As you prepare here at Meredith College to enter the 
twenty-first century, I am sure you will not go empty-handed. Our 
complicated and complex world almost requires that you enter with 
a lot of baggage. . . . may I suggest you take that ancient and per- 
durable book, the Bible, but do not take all the partriarchal baggage 
that attends it. 

"Insist that the text and its interpreters provide more excellent 
ways. . . ." 3^ 

While Dr. Trible was on the campus from September 30 -October 2, 
she, in her own excellent way, conducted classroom discussions and led a 
symposium with other women in ministry: Kelley Milstead, '86, a hospi- 
tal chaplain; Maggie O'dell, '77, assistant professor of religion at Con- 
verse College; Deborah Steely, executive director of Planned Parenthood 
Public Affairs of North Carolina; and Anne Burke, '87, executive director 
of Raleigh's Urban Ministries Center. 

Also at the end of September and beginning of October, a play com- 
missioned for the Centennial premiered in the Studio Theater. Tom Cope 
was playwright and Nan L. Stephenson was director of Journey Proud, 


an introduction to Judith Wilde, a ninety-six-year-old woman, who "ex- 
amines the high points of her life" and "reveals her personal view of the 
accomplishments of Southern women."^-^ 

IN APRIL, THE College had launched the $10,600,000 Second Century 
Challenge capital campaign, with Raleighites Barbara K. Allen and Philip 
Kirk, Jr., as co-chairs. Soon thereafter — and even before, for that mat- 
ter — Vice President Murphy Osborne continually announced news of 
gifts and grants, to which the Winter 1992 edition of Meredith attested: 
the late Irving H. Wainwright had bequeathed $1,473,940 to the College, 
$800,000 of which would estabHsh a scholarship in the donor's name; the 
Jessie Ball DuPont Foundation had awarded a grant of $183,600 to sup- 
port ten Teaching Fellows; and the A.J. Fletcher Foundation's gift had to- 
taled $250,000. Dr. Osborne also said that trustee William W. Lawrence 
and Mrs. Lawrence of Sanford and alumna Dorothy Loftin Goodwin, 
'47, and Mr. Goodwin of Apex had estabhshed unitrusts ranging in 
amounts from almost $200,000 to $300,000, the Goodwins' trust to be 
divided between Meredith and the Baptist Children's Homes. 

Additional good news came by way of the Heritage Society, an orga- 
nization of supporters who had named Meredith the beneficiary of insur- 
ance policies, wills, trusts, and other types of planned gifts. The society's 
goal was one hundred charter members through 1991. A year earlier, as 
reported in the previous chapter of this history, the goal had already been 
exceeded by fifty-six. At the society's October 199 1 meeting, with three 
months still to go in the Centennial year, the number had climbed to 250 
charter members. Mabel Claire Hoggard Maddrey, '28, served as presi- 
dent of the society. Speaker for the centennial-year meeting was C.C. 
Hope, who, as a Ronald Reagen appointee, had directed the Federal De- 
posit Insurance Corporation. 

THE CENTENNIAL DANCED into the Raleigh Civic Center on November 15, 
as the Meredith Entertainment Association hosted the White Iris Ball for 
"festive Meredith students and their handsome dates" — so said the 
Meredith Herald?^ The White Iris Ball blossomed into a tradition that 
night, a dance by the same name having been held every year since 1991. 
Dance was on many minds at Meredith about that time of the year. Liz 
Lerman and the Dance Exchange, widely recognized for an unusual ap- 


proach to programs of their art, were in residence from November 
10-23. Lerman choreographed a centennial work, which was performed 
by students and alumnae. Jean Jackson, director of the Centennial Com- 
mission, was one of the dancers. In fact, she told Meredith that "the fun- 
niest moment" of the Centennial was "When I found myself in a re- 
hearsal room preparing to dance in public — and people were going to 
pay to see me."^^ The magazine reported that the Liz Lerman dance per- 
formances "brought to startling awareness both the possibilities of inter- 
generational and experimental dance theatre as well as the tensions and 
triumphs of women.'"*" 

THE FINAL OFFICIAL Centennial activity of 199 1 was a book tea in Bryan 
Rotunda, honoring Suzanne Britt, author of Images: A Centennial Jour- 
ney, and Chip Henderson, primary photographer for the pictorial history. 
Britt and Henderson signed books for two hours on the afternoon of De- 
cember 4, while Bill Wade, controller, and Donald Spanton, head of the 
Department of Business and Economics, played background music on the 
piano. The year of the Centennial had captured the essence of Meredith's 
special ambiance, as quoted from Images: "Meredith College is a world 
of light and meaning — not the world its women were born into by 
chance but, rather, a world searched for, singled out, chosen when the 
time has come for such choices.""*^ 

THE YEAR-LONG CELEBRATION Spilled ovcr iuto 1992, lasting through 
Founders' Day. On February 6, the cast of Alice in Wonderland gave their 
all to the Centennial performance, and on February lo, the executive 
committee of the Board of Trustees passed a resolution of appreciation 
for Jean Jackson's "leadership in the directing of the celebration of 
Meredith's centennial.'"*^ A framed copy of the resolution was presented 
to Dr. Jackson on Founders' Day. 

Following a community breakfast in Belk Hall on February 24, Patri- 
cia Schroeder, member of the United States House of Representatives (D- 
Colorado) delivered the Founders' Day address titled "Women in Lead- 
ership." Jackson said, "From her opening remarks, Rep. Schroeder urged 
participation in government. She told the senior class, robed for 
Founders' Day, 'you look great in basic black, and I hope you're all on the 
way to the Supreme Court.' "'^^ 


She urged women to go to Washington to see Sewall House, "where 
women stayed during the entire campaign to get women the right to 
vote." Purchased with funds provided by North CaroUna's Sewall 
family and filled with North Carolina furniture, the house provided 
a residence for suffragists because "proper ladies at that time could 
not come to Washington and stay in hotels." Citing those "proper" 
ladies, Schroeder marvelled at the "amazing commitment that 
women made at the turn of the century to get us the right to vote — 
the century we are living in. It had to be gutsy," she said."^"* 

On February 26, the college community gathered to worship and to 
focus on the future of the College, and, immediately afterward, to plant 
a symbolic oak tree just outside of Jones Chapel. Since the Centennial's 
official beginning, the grounds had grown greener and shadier by the ad- 
dition of seventy-five trees. A grove of oaks — one tree for the Centennial 
director and one for each member of the executive committee — was 
planted between Joyner Hall and the Mae Grimmer Alumnae House, and 
new crape myrtles, in honor of committee chairs and other dedicated 
movers and shakers, were set out in carefully chosen sites around the 
campus. Thus, the observance of Meredith's Charter Centennial came to 
a close. 

Words of the editor of the Biblical Recorder in the late 1800s span the 

If it required a century to complete the Baptist Female University, it 
would be worthy of our labors and prayers every moment of the 
time. Let us not bother our minds about time: God rules, and we 
have but to do our duty, and look to Him. No one need fear that 
what he shall do for this institution will be lost. It will last as long as 
the world shall last."^^ 


"a cloud of witnesses" 


The graduation of the first class from Baptist Female University 
occurred on Wednesday, May 21, 1902, at eleven o'clock. The ex- 
ercises began with a prayer offered by Dr. Thomas E. Skinner, pas- 
tor emeritus, First Baptist Church of Raleigh, which invoked 
"Heaven's blessings on the 'Immortal Ten,' that they might add the 
glory of true Christian lives to the honors of intellectual attain- 

THE TEN YOUNG womcu of the first graduating class of Baptist Female 
University apparently left untarnished the shining epithet given them by 
Dr. Skinner in his prayer, although in their student days, before they be- 
came "immortal," two classmates were severely chastised for using "un- 
becoming language."^ As a centennial commemoration and labor of love, 
education professor Rebecca Murray* delved into the past to bring to 
memory those first ten graduates — all from North Carolina: Mary Estelle 
Johnson, was honored by her daughter, Martha Salisbury Smoot, '33, 
and other family members and friends, by making possible the Estelle 
Johnson Salisbury Memorial Organ, dedicated April 10, 1983, in Mere- 

*On June 6, 1992, Rebecca Murray, '58, professor of education and head of the 
department, 1977-82, died at her Raleigh home. The Class of 1993 estabhshed a 
scholarship in her memory. 



dith's Jones Chapel. Sophie Lanneau became a "pioneer missionary" in 
Soochow, China, where she founded and was principal of the Wei Ling 
Girls' School. Elizabeth Parker continued her studies in art — primarily in 
New York, but also in Europe — and became a professor of art. Rosa 
Catherine Paschal did graduate work at both the University of Chicago 
and at Yale. BFU called her back as an assistant in mathematics and, later, 
lady principal. When the institution changed its name to "Meredith Col- 
lege," she requested that her title be changed to "dean of women." Mary 
Perry taught "all grades" and recalled "such great disparity in my classes 
that some were learning to read while others were translating Latin." ^ She 
married one of her students, and they influenced three of their five daugh- 
ters to attend Meredith, Margaret Whitmore Shields's early forays into 
the "real world" took her to Baptist churches over the state to speak on 
behalf of the University. In her subsequent studies at Harvard's Radcliffe 
College, she attended classes with Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan. As a 
Meredith trustee, she was on the committee that chose the present site for 
the campus. Minnie Wilma Sutton was president of the class. The scant 
information about her leads only to the facts that she married, had a 
daughter, and died prematurely in Richmond, Virginia. Elizabeth Gladys 
Tull returned to her hometown, where she was a homemaker, a church 
woman, and "an astute business woman," having kept "her own set of 
books for the family business." Eliza Rebecca Wooten was remembered 
by her daughter as "a real intellectual" and by her fellow students as the 
Gibson Girl of her class. She was a librarian and a church school teacher. 
Marjorie Kesler was the "first of three students to receive the M.A." 
Later, she also studied at Columbia University. After teaching in Texas 
and living in the Midwest, she returned to her birthplace to live "amid the 
dearness of things long remembered and the charm of the ever new.""* Five 
of the young women pursued graduate work; four graduated with hon- 
ors; three reared daughters who became alumnae; two were on the pay- 
roll of Baptist Female University, and one was a Meredith trustee. Their 
diversity. Christian witness, intellectual rigor, and commitment to educa- 
tion for women contributed to the forming of Meredith's direction. 

The Granddaughters' Club has also effectively honored the memory of 
some who have gone before. In a relatively new Founders' Day tradition 
at the Thomas Meredith Memorial, members of the club (students whose 
mothers and/or grandmothers are/were alumnae), usually read antiphonally 

A CLOUD OF WITNESSES : 1991-1993 I 235 

the names of founders, trustees, alumnae, faculty, administrators, and 
benefactors who have joined Meredith's metaphorical "so great a cloud 
of witnesses," as set forth by the writer of the Book of Hebrews: 

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud 
of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so 
easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before 
us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; for the joy 
that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and 
is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.^ 

Dummelow's One Volume Bible Commentary, recommended to stu- 
dents by Ralph McLain (one of the "witnesses"), instructs that the word 

passes easily over to the further sense of 'spectator'. . . .The writer 
conceives these heroes as surrounding in a cloud . . . , the arena in 
which the present generation of God's people are running their race. 
Once they were themselves runners; now they are promoted to the 
rank of spectators. Their presence and example ought to be a stim- 
ulus to those running now.^ 

"Those running now" are not yet the "spectators" alluded to in the Book 
of Hebrews; nevertheless, as participants, they also witness and witness 
to all the ramifications of higher education for women in the latter years 
of the twentieth century. The longer they run, the more their longevity 
gives Meredith "a stability that any college in the nation would envy," 
wrote President Weems in 1992.^ In 199 1, for his twenty years of "lead- 
ership and contributions" to the school, the trustees rewarded the presi- 
dent with a trip around the world. ^ He and the five vice presidents had 
served a combined total of ninety years, with Dr. Spooner's tenure of 
twenty-five years outdistancing the others and Dean Burris's twenty-three 
years capturing a close second place. The full-time teaching faculty, num- 
bering about one-hundred, averaged approximately ten years each, but 
Phyllis Garriss, music, claimed forty-one years, and Jay Massey, health, 
physical education and dance, who was retiring, had amassed thirty-five. 
Of the staff of almost 200 people, nineteen had served fifteen years or 
more, but Dru Morgan Hinsley, '52, manager of the college store, held 
the record at thirty-nine years. 


Students — as students — have a limited longevity, but they are alum- 
nae forever and, therefore, stay in the "race." The long list of exceptional 
alumnae in Meredith's history includes Mabel Claire Hoggard Maddrey, 
'28, in whose honor the parlor in the Mae Grimmer Alumnae House was 
named in 1992. It also includes Mary Howard, who, in 1991, wore her 
commencement robe as a mantle of determination. Of her, Meredith, the 
college magazine, reported, 

Mary Howard, '91, was yj years old when she earned her bache- 
lor's degree in art. . . . She could have told commencement speaker 
Erma Bombeck a thing or two about the "trials and fibrillations" of 
women who are determined to have it all. 

Mary's vita reads like an only slightly condensed version of a 
C.I.A. file. In addition to pursuing her primary interest in art, Mary 
has been to secretarial school, taken real estate courses, written 
short stories, invented a collapsible easel, and operated a restaurant. 
She has also won several ribbons for her art. Now she can add "col- 
lege graduate" to her list of credits.^ 

TO SOME DEGREE, reorganization occurred regularly among the runners 
in the administration, faculty, and staff. In 1991, Allen Page left his fac- 
ulty niche for the administrative post of dean of undergraduate instruc- 
tion and registrar, and Bernard Cochran succeeded Dr. Page as head of 
the Department of Religion and Philosophy. Dr. Cochran came to Mered- 
ith in i960. He had earned the bachelor's degree at Stetson University; 
both the bachelor and master of divinity degrees at Southeastern Baptist 
Theological Seminary; and the Ph.D. at Duke. He said he was uncon- 
cerned that fewer numbers of students sought majors in religion than 
those subjects leading to more lucrative careers. And he encouraged even 
those planning vocational careers in ministry "not to load up on all reli- 
gion courses but to supplement them with literature and abnormal psy- 
chology. Goodness knows," he said, "we need a few abnormal persons in 
the profession." Cochran continued, "Our ideal, as I express it, is to en- 
courage [students] in intelligent faith and — with their moves into areas of 
math and science and business or in liberal arts courses — facilitate for 
them a better understanding of religion as they sort out their own per- 
sonal beliefs and an understanding of their religious experiences and tra- 
ditions." ^^ 

A CLOUD OF WITNESSES : 1991-1993 I Z37 

Also in 199 1, Donald Spanton, head of the Department of Business 
and Economics, occupied the Wainwright Chair of Business, succeeding 
the retiring Lois Frazier; Harold West, Jr., followed retiree Wortham C. 
(Buddy) Lyon, Jr., as director of planned giving; and Madalyn Gaito suc- 
ceeded Cynthia Edwards as director of student activities, when Dr. Ed- 
wards accepted an assistant professorship in psychology. 

By 1992, the offices of public relations and publications had merged 
into one — the office of college communications, with Jeannie Morelock 
the director and Steve Mosley the publications manager. And in 1993, Dr. 
Spooner, the vice president over that division, also took under her ad- 
ministrative "wing" the office of admissions and the office of scholarships 
and financial assistance, both of which had previously functioned in the 
division of student development. 

At the retirement of Ellen Ironside in 1992, Mary Johnson, dean of the 
John E. "Weems Graduate School and director of the Teaching Fellows 
Program, added to her responsibilties the deanship of continuing educa- 
tion. Dr. Johnson had headed the education department from 1985-90. 
And when Jay Massey retired as head of the Department of Health, Phys- 
ical Education and Dance, Marie Chamblee, a fifteen-year veteran of the 
department, succeeded her. A graduate of East Carolina University, Dr. 
Chamblee earned the M.A.T. and Ph.D. at the University of North Car- 
olina in Chapel Hill. She was hired, she said, "to teach health classes, to 
coach basketball, and also to teach the physical activity classes. [But] that 
first year I taught fitness classes, badminton, and volleyball and all kinds 
of different things," efficiently adapting to the varied duties because she 
was a generalist, "which is good at a small college where you have to do 
everything ."^1 Since joining the faculty in 1977, Chamblee has seen 
Meredith become "much more competitive [in athletics] than it ever was 
before." '^^ After all, women have become better athletes, and the College 
systematically recruits players, even though it offers no athletic scholar- 
ships. Of dance, Chamblee said, "When I first came here we had one 
dance instructor. Now we have three full-time and two or three part-time. 
, . . We have grown from being a general service program of three or four 
dance offerings a semester to where now we have twenty, as well as a 
major and a K-12 teaching certification program." ^^ 

Also in 1992, Najla Nave Carlton, '79, became only the sixth director 
of alumnae relations for the ninety-year-old Alumnae Association, Al- 


though the organization is as old as the first graduating class, it was not 
served by a full-time director until Mae Frances Grimmer, '14, accepted 
the post in 19Z8. She remained at Meredith for thirty-six years, retiring in 
1964 and living nearby until her accidental death in 1983. But one year 
before her retirement, Miss Grimmer saw the growing Alumnae Associa- 
tion's financial affairs win their rightful place in the college budget, elim- 
inating the need for alumnae dues. In 1993, at fiscal year's end, 36 per- 
cent of the alumnae had contributed $267,898.00 to the general college 
fund. And in 199Z, three alumnae had been responsible for a grant from 
the Palin Foundation of $100,000 toward establishing a faculty chair in 
the English Department in honor of alumna and English professor 
Norma Rose, '36. The foundation awarded the grant at the suggestion of 
Margaret Bullard Pruitt, '37, and her daughters Margaret "Peggy" P. 
Benson, '64, and Shannon "Shan" P. Rock, '68. 

On May 21, 1902, Sophie Lanneau, one of the "Immortal Ten," was 
elected first president of the Alumnae Association, and on May 26, 1993, 
Mary Jon Gerald Roach, '56, was elected forty-eighth president. Lan- 
neau, Roach, and the forty-six women in between served terms varying in 
length from one to six years; however, in 1990, the term of office offi- 
cially became one year, with each candidate's having gained experience 
through a term as president-elect. The other presidents in the period of 
this chapter were Mimi Holt, '67, 1990-91; Nancy Young Noel, '57, 
1991-92; and Lois Edinger, '45, 1992-93. Between March 1990 and 
June 1991, four of the Alumnae Association's past presidents died, an un- 
usually high number for so short a span of time: Lula Ditmore Sandlin, 
'12, president 1922-23; Kate Johnson Parham, '14, 1929-31; Sarah 
Elizabeth Vernon Watts, '34, 1956-1958; and Lois Morgan Overby, '35, 

In 1993, Elizabeth Vann McDuffie joined the staff as director of schol- 
arships and financial assistance following the retirement of John Hiott, 
who had also served both as registrar and director of planned giving. And 
visiting professor Nana Khizanishvili, a native of the Republic of Geor- 
gia in the former Soviet Union, charmed the campus. She had taught En- 
glish in Tblisi, Georgia's capital city, but, at Meredith, "Dr. Nana," was a 
part-time visiting professor of Russian studies, a first for the College. She 
and her Georgian family lived in the Lemmon Guest House across Fair- 
cloth Street from the campus. Her husband, Iraklie, was an established 

"a cloud of witnesses": 1991-1993 I 239 

star of Russian films, and their daughters Ticko, 13, and Ann, 8, were en- 
rolled in local schools. Dr. Khizanishvili said to Meredith, "Everyone here 
[in the United States] is so happy, so rejoicing . . . thinking that the Soviet 
Union no longer exists. I don't want you to become relaxed and think 
that everything is so well and nice. . . . You cannot kill a monster. The 
Communist system is just like a dragon in a fairy tale. You chop off one 
head and another emerges. . . ."^'^ Through special arrangements, includ- 
ing a Kenan appointment, Khizanishvili was able to remain on the faculty 
for a second academic year. 

The college family cheered as its student members excelled. In 199 1, 
the Herald congratulated five musicians who made headlines when, in the 
seventh annual Student Concerto Auditions, they won opportunities to 
perform with the Raleigh Symphony. The chosen few were vocalists 
Susan Wall, '92, and Heidi Sue Williams, '91; and pianists Alice Nell Jor- 
genson, '92, Michele Daughtry, '93, and Heidi Ann Williams, '93.^^ And 
the community applauded the findings that, in 199 1, "close to 25% of 
Meredith graduates are engaged in some form of continued education 
(frequently part-time) six months after graduation." ^^ 

"Cheering on" is a literal interpretation of support for Meredith's 
1990-91 basketball team. With a won-lost record of 18-3, the players 
proved that a winning team could generate a rapid heartbeat — or at least 
a generous outpouring of mild enthusiasm — in even the most staid of 
scholars. Dean Burris's report to the trustees on February 22, 199 1, is a 
case in point. The minutes read, 

Dr. Burris commented on faculty promotions and tenure appoint- 
ments made for the coming year, changes in the art major and art 
curriculum, the upgrading of the curriculum in the Interior Design 
program to meet national standards, the on-going assessment of in- 
stitutional effectiveness, capstone studies, the effect of current 
world events on international study and travel, and the winning 
Meredith basketball team. 

And President Weems proudly announced that the team had "the best 
[women's basketball] win-loss percentage of any college or university in 
North Carolina." ^^ Enthusiasm for basketball escalated as statistics im- 
proved. In 1993, point guard Lesley Cox remembered her elation at see- 
ing an extra row of bleachers installed in the gym to accommodate the 


crowds. That year, the enviable record was 23-1, Meredith having lost 
64-61 to Methodist College in early February. Of women's teams in Di- 
vision III of the NCAA, the Angels ranked first in field-goal percentage 
(51.5%); second in victory margin (83.6 to 54.8); fourth in field-goal de- 
fense (31.1%); seventh in scoring offense, and ninth in free-throw shoot- 
ing (72.3%).^^ "Seniors Sylvia Newman and Jennifer Norris, with shoot- 
ing percentages of 63.4 and 57.2, respectively, were listed among the top 
national scorers. . . . Lesley Cox also ended the season nationally ranked 
in assists at 6.8 per game.''^^ In 1988, the first team to play under Coach 
Carl "Sammy" Hatchell, had recorded a 7-14 season; since then. Hatch- 
ell has recruited good student athletes — a challenging occupation when 
"[s]everal of the current players were offered athletic scholarships at 
other schools, but turned them down to come to Meredith."-^ 

Also in 1993, a team of nine members of the Meredith Christian Asso- 
ciation headed for the Florida beaches at spring break, as did thousands of 
other students from all directions. But this team, with their "coach" — 
campus minister, Sam Carothers — spent much of each day helping to 
build a Habitat for Humanity home in St. Petersburg. The roof and the 
siding were MCA members' contributions to the future home of a single 
mother and her three children. The popular project in St. Petersburg began 
for the MCA in 1989 and was still on the spring-break schedule in 1998. 

While MCA students contributed time and energy to a cause, trustees, 
administrators, faculty and staff, alumnae, and other benefactors found 
cause to contribute materially to Meredith through the $10,600,000 Sec- 
ond Century Challenge. Early in 1992, for example, Betty Webb, English, 
challenged the faculty to endorse a five-year goal of $100,000 and 100 
percent participation. At mid-year. Vice President Murphy Osborne re- 
ported that Meredith "has recently completed its best fundraising year in 
the loi-year history of the CoUege."^^ The record-breaking 5,776 gifts to 
the College in 1991-92 totaled approximately $4.4 million, including 
$1,345 million in unrestricted funds. In March 1993, less than a year 
later, Osborne announced that not only had the faculty met its goal of 
$100,000 but also that the capital campaign had been "successfully com- 
pleted with 1 1.8 million dollars raised."-^ 

POLITICS DOMINATED THE national news in 1992, as members of both 
major political parties thrust their ideologies on the voters. William Jef- 

"a cloud of witnesses": 1991-1993 I 241 

ferson Clinton, the first Democrat to be elected president since Jimmy 
Carter won in 1966, had challenged Republican incumbent George Bush 
in a bid for the White House. Closer to home, in the most expensive cam- 
paign for governor in North Carolina's history. Republican hopeful Jim 
Gardner lost to Democrat incumbent James B. Hunt. In a story titled 
"Political Climate Forecast: Warm and Partly Women," the college mag- 
azine featured three politically astute elected officials, who happened to 
be Meredith women: Sarah Parker, Associate Justice of the Supreme 
Court of North Carolina, the only woman to be elected to a statewide of- 
fice that year; Betsy Lane Cochrane, '58, State Senator and minority 
whip; and Judy Hunt, '7I5 ^ member of the North Carolina House of 
Representatives . 

In the story of Justice Parker, the magazine read, "The imposing dom- 
inance of heavy law books lining the walls of her Justice Building office is 
in stark contrast to the computer parked on her desk, whose screen lights 
up with the words 'Go Heels!'^^ "Following her sophomore year at 
Meredith, Sarah Parker transferred to the University of North Carolina, 
where she earned the A.B. as well as — in 1969 — the J.D. "While she is 
the third woman to sit on the State's highest court, she is the first to reach 
that pinnacle initially by election."-^ She is a Democrat, the story contin- 
ued, "so how come the newspapers labeled her conservative? She 
laughed. ... 'I don't think you can categorize me as liberal or conserva- 
tive. I am a moderate. I don't approach cases with an agenda. It depends 
on what cases I get and where the law is in the development of those 
cases. . . . All cases are significant to the litigants.' "^^ 

Betsy Cochrane, the first woman to preside over the State Senate, did 
not aspire to a political career, she said; she was recruited. In her third 
term in the Senate after having already served four in the House, she com- 
mented to the magazine, " 'Being a Republican woman in a Democratic 
male domain,' is an obstacle. '[0]ur success does not come as automati- 
cally as that of the majority party. I guess I've been fairly successful, but 
I chose my battles.' "-^ 

Democrat Judy Hunt was in her fourth term in the State House of 
Representatives, despite the fact that her five-county district in the moun- 
tains of North Carolina is traditionally Republican. Of her first race, she 
said, "Nobody thought I had a chance to win, but my encouragement 
came from those who thought it was okay to run even if I didn't. . . ."^^ 


And of women in political office, she said, "We are nowhere near pro- 
portionately represented, but there are men here who are more sensitive 
to women's issues and women's problems than some of the women."^^ 

Also featured in the article was politico Carol Lancaster Miiano, ''j')^ 
who had immersed herself in the political process, even though she held 
no elective office. When Ms. Lancaster was a student, she was possibly 
the busiest Young Republican on the campus, and her passion for politics 
then set her course for the future. Meredith reported, "She climbed 
quickly but through many steps from the menial tasks of a campaign vol- 
unteer [for Ronald Reagan] in her hometown of Atlanta to the awesome 
responsibilities as director of public liaison at the State Department, 
where she was special assistant to Secretary of State James Baker."^^ She 
will remember the experiences of the latter role for her lifetime, she said. 
For example, she preceded the American delegates to the 199 1 Middle 
Eastern Peace Conference in Madrid "to work with the king's staff and 
the protocol staff 'to get it all set up.' "^° With less enthusiasm, she re- 
membered that she and Secretary Baker — then secretary of the trea- 
sury — were traveling in Europe in 1987 when the stock market crashed, 
and they stopped in Stockholm "to recuperate from the blow."^^ 

Same magazine, different story: Vice President Thomas wrote of the 
primary role of Bridget McMinn, '78, in President Clinton's inaugural 
ceremonies. McMinn and some friends discovered at dinner one night 
that they could fashion a presidential inauguration to rival that of the 
best of brainstormers. They created a "full-blown proposal complete 
with music, themes, and inaugural activity," ^^ delivered it to the De- 
mocratic National Committee and, finally to Harry Thomason, inau- 
gural producer. In keeping with their proposed theme, "Let Freedom 
Ring," one of the suggested activities was the simultaneous ringing of 
bells throughout the country, as well as from the space shuttle, "as a 
participatory symbol of unity, diversity and hope for a new President 
and for America."^^ While McMinn and company's theme was changed 
to "An American Reunion," the bells indeed rang, but the alumna 
barely had time to hear them in her frantic pace as deputy director of 
the 1993 inaugural balls and dinners. "'It was a life-changing mo- 
ment,' she said. . . . "^^ 

At Meredith, the History and Politics Club, the SGA, the Residence 
Hall Board, College Republicans and Democrats, and the Watkins Com- 

"a cloud of witnesses": 1991-1993 I Z43 

munication Club had designated a day in September 1992 as Political 
Awareness Day. While the state and local politicians on hand perhaps 
seized the day to garner votes, students took advantage of the opportu- 
nity to discuss issues and ask questions. 

The Meredith Herald ran an interesting Point/Counterpoint feature 
one month before the 1992 elections. Kelly Phillips wrote on behalf of 
presidential hopeful Bill Clinton: 

It is not surprising that more viewers tuned in last week to watch 
the presidential debates than the World Series. Never before have 
the American people had so much at stake in an election. Unem- 
ployment is up, real incomes are down, health care costs are up, and 
consumer confidence is down. America is desperate for a change.^^ 

Beth Lowry supported incumbent George Bush: 

Change for change's sake is not the answer. Governor Clinton says 
that because of the current administration, America is falling apart 
at the seams. We are the world's superpower. ... If Bill Clinton has 
little or no faith in America, why should we have faith in him as 

In September 1992, during the heat of the campaign, Hillary Rodham 
Clinton, wife of the Democratic challenger, spoke at North Carolina 
State to college newspaper editors, as Traci Latta and Tracy Rawls re- 
ported in the Meredith Herald: "If she becomes first lady, Clinton wants 
to break away from the traditional role . . . ," saying she pictured a time 
"when the role [of spouse of the president] is NOT gender-specific."^^ 

IN THE TEN years since the Equal Rights Amendment had failed, "falling 
three states short of ratification,"^^ gender-specific roles remained prob- 
lematic in American culture, as did myriad other ingrained societal 
habits. The all-male Senate Judiciary Committee's televised hearings on 
law professor Anita Hill's sexual harrassment charges against Clarence 
Thomas, President Bush's nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Jus- 
tice Thurgood Marshall, seemed further to divide the sexes. But whether 
by design or coincidence, Meredith offered programs for women and men 
that might have alleviated — or at least helped assuage, however subtly — 
some of the residual effects of obsolete gender-based traditions. A 1990 


edition of Angels Aware, newsletter of the Alumnae Association, had in- 
sinuated as much in its promotion of the first annual Alumnae College: 
"We look to Alumnae College as a chance to reunite with friends, to re- 
fresh our minds and spirits, and to restore our perspective on what being 
a Meredith woman means." ^^ And an unidentified alumna was overheard 
vowing that the weekend restored her perspective on "what being a 
woman means. Period." 

Leadership institutes were popular — and some were not gender- 
specific. For example, in May 1993, continuing education brought Stephen 
Covey, a management expert and best-selling author, to the Sheraton 
Imperial in Morrisville for an annual "Lesson in Leadership" seminar. 
Covey's best-selling book, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, "em- 
brace[d] the concept of ethics in business."'^° Limited to 1,000 partici- 
pants, the seminar attracted eight to thirty managers each from IBM, SAS 
Institute, Capital Associates, Research Triangle Park Institute, and Kerr 
Drugs.'*^ A month later, the John E. Weems Graduate School sponsored 
the Challenge of Leadership Institute — for women only. The conference, 
funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, invited women managers 
to spend a week on the campus "exploring concepts associated with lead- 
ership .""^^ T'he president reported that the event was "such a success that 
participants requested an on-going institute. . . ."'*^ 

In February 1993, the North Carolina chapter of the Association of 
Women in Mathematics sponsored Sonya Kovalesky Day at Meredith, at 
which time fifty selected high school juniors and seniors came to the cam- 
pus to learn how women "use math and computers in their careers, see 
computer demonstrations, and gather information in mathematics and 
computer science. . . . "'^'^ Virginia Knight, head of the Department of 
Mathematics and Computer Science, talked about Sonya Kovalesky after 
the second annual event in 1994, at which some middle school students 
were also invited, more than doubling the number of participants: Dr. 
Knight, who was named national director of the Association of Women 
in Mathematics in 1993, described Kovalesky as a nineteenth-century 
Russian mathematician who specialized in differential equations and 
whose "work and research are well used now." Kovalesky was able to 
"bring together her career in mathematics and her life as a mother and a 
society woman,""*^ leading one to imagine that she was a nineteenth- 
century embodiment of the late twentieth-century's "super woman." 

A CLOUD OF WITNESSES : 1991-1993 | 245 

The Founders' Day wreath ceremony at 

the Thomas Meredith Memorial reminds participants of 

"the great cloud of witnesses" gone before. 

IN 1992, MEREDITH was One of eight colleges in the state and one of iii 
in the nation on the John Templeton Foundation Honor Roll for Charac- 
ter Building Colleges. The Honor Roll, explained the foundation, "is to 
supply students, parents and philanthropists with a valid means of dis- 
cerning which educational institutions promote high principles, values 
and traditions." "^^ Also, the College was included in the 1992 Barron's 
Best Buys in College Education. Each of the 300 schools listed, said the 
publication, "consistently received high marks in terms of faculty atten- 
tion to students, inspiring and useful programs, and opportunities for 
personal and professional development.'"''^ 

But despite its successes, Meredith saw its enrollment statistics slip 
slightly in 1992-93, the first such downward turn "in more than twenty 
years.'"'^ Forty-nine fewer students than predicted resulted in a budget 
shortfall, and the trustees recommended in November 1992 "that the 
President become personally involved in student recruitment to help re- 
verse the enrollment trend and to help with the projection of more accu- 
rate numbers for budgetary planning.'"'^ Vice President Taylor reportedly 


prepared a "three-case budget: . . . "best case, worst case, and most likely 
case."^'^ The trend was not a serious matter, thought the administration; 
in fact, a decline had long been predicted, but the College disallowed the 
employment of any new personnel and, in 1993-94, froze salaries for 
faculty and staff. But by the February 1993 executive committee meeting 
of the trustees, President Weems worried that he "had not emphasized 
sufficiently the value of a raise" and that an increase of just $50 over the 
$400 already added to students' tuition bills would "yield a raise of 
about $200 per faculty and staff member.''^^ George McCotter made the 
motion, the trustees voted, and the personnel actually realized a raise of 
about $250 each. In other action, the College moved swiftly to invite Sta- 
mats Communications, Inc., a consulting firm with a national reputation 
in marketing research, "to help us more effectively and efficiently meet 
our recruiting and enrollment goals."^^ In assessing the state of the Col- 
lege, Stamats responded, "It is important to note at the outset that Mere- 
dith has a long, proud history and over the past 100 years the College has 
enjoyed many successes. Furthermore, the College has evidenced great 
foresight and stewardship in responding to the changing market. Meredith 
is not facing a crisis. It is, however, facing some challenges. . . J^ For the 
most part, insisted the consultants, Meredith's strategies were working 
well, as enrollment statistics and financial history bore out; however, they 
said, "the time to act is now, rather than later. Each day that slips by 
means that competing institutions have more of a foothold in your mar- 
ket and in the hearts and minds of your prospective students."^'* 

New direct marketing strategies will be visited in Chapter 13. It is in- 
teresting to note, however, that some of the old indirect marketing strate- 
gies were simply programs and traditions which had been integrated into 
the academic and social life of the community simply because they were 
the right things to do at specific times in history. Meredith Study Abroad, 
on-campus cultural events, continuing education, the honors program, 
and Teaching Fellows are good examples. 

Meredith Study Abroad had enjoyed almost two decades of study in 
foreign cultures; however, in 199 1, the College elected to cancel all sum- 
mer programs abroad because of the serious conflict in the Middle East. 
Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 reached all the way to the United 
States, when President Bush dispatched armed forces to defend Saudi 
Arabia, another wealthy neighbor in the line of march. Operation Desert 

"a cloud of witnesses": 1991-1993 I Z47 

Shield affected the Meredith family in the same ways it touched other 
communities. The Meredith Herald was aware: "Daily doses of tragic 
headlines and confusing news stories generate a very real need for infor- 
mation and emotional support for the campus community," it read.^^ The 
division of student development as well as some academic departments 
tried to address in an organized fashion the needs of that student genera- 
tion, which knew little of wartime. And the Meredith Christian Associa- 
tion sponsored a special service, fashioning a worship center of a glass 
bowl filled with desert-like sand, into which participants buried their 
written prayers and concerns. 

Cultural exchanges were possible despite the unrest. In February 199 1, 
ten visitors from Moscow State Institute of Inernational Relations 
swapped thoughts with Meredith students and faculty on such topics as 
the war in the Middle East, the Russian people's perception of life in the 
United States, and their own lifestyles in the USSR. Less than a year later, 
the world took note of the break-up of Soviet Russia. 

In 1992, four representatives from Dongbei University, Meredith's 
"sister university"in Dahan, China, toured the campus and signed "the 
second stage of a formal faculty exchange agreement."^^ Li Kejian, Zuo 
Xiuyin, Liu Jianmin, and Zhou Yue came to Meredith, following up the 
1990 visit to Dongbei by President Weems, Dean Burris, and Professors 
Spanton and Webb. Immediately preceding the Chinese delegation's ar- 
rival, Susan Gilbert, English, and Burgunde Winz, foreign languages, had 
taught for a summer at Dongbei. Also, Dongbei's Professor He had 
taught Chinese history and culture at Meredith in the 1991-92 term. 

In addition to cultural exchanges between nations, the College had of- 
fered opportunities for cultural events throughout the years; in 1992, 
however, the division for student development designed a Fall Semester 
Area Cultural Events Subscription Series: for a season's ticket, one could 
enjoy a Latin American Festival and a production of Driving Miss Daisy 
in September; the Little Foxes and the North Carolina Symphony in Oc- 
tober; a fall tour of Chapel liill, Duke University, and Old Salem, as well 
as the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in November. Except for local flavor, 
the cultural benefits of the horseback riding session and the pig pickin' 
scheduled for November 1 5 remain debatable. 

Meredith provided its share of culture, such as theatre — "among the 
Triangle's and state's highest quality educational theatre programs "^^ — 


dance, music, and guest lecturers. While each Centennial speaker left her 
own signature, other guests of the same period also brought celebrity and 
substance to appreciative audiences. For example, Helen Vendler, well- 
known poetry critic, lectured in successive years, speaking in 199 1 on 
Yeats and in 1992 on Gerard Manley Hopkins. Sponsored by the Mary 
Lynch Johnson Chair of English, Vendler was professor of English and 
American literature at Harvard; poetry critic and author for the New 
Yorker, and reviewer for the New York Review of Books and the New 

James A. Forbes, Jr., senior minister of New York's Riverside Church, 
inaugurated the Jo Welch Hull Lectureship Series in March 1992, with 
his lecture, "A Deeply Moving Religious Experience." Announcing James 
Hull's establishment of the lectureship in honor of his wife, a Meredith 
news release reported that Jo Welch Hull, '53, had "devoted most of her 
adult life to the process of education."^^ Mrs. Hull was an educational 
consultant in Greensboro, North Carolina, and had been a classroom 
teacher as well as a director of Christian education in churches of several 
denominations. At the time of the announcement. Dr. and Mrs. Hull 
were coordinators of the Piedmont Interfaith Council (PIC), of which or- 
ganization Mrs. Hull was a co-founder. 

David Steele, curator of European art at the North Carolina Museum 
of Art, delivered the first Mercer-Kesler Lecture Series on Art and Reli- 
gion, established in 1993. The endowment had been funded by Annie 
Mercer Kesler, '18, and Carolyn Mercer, '22, to honor their father, Isaac 
Morton Mercer, associate professor of religion, 1928-39; and John M. 
Kesler, their husband and brother-in-law, respectively, an architect and a 
former trustee. The Kesler-Mercer Endowment specified the purchase of 
library resources in the fields of visual arts and theology and the spon- 
sorship of lectures in the areas of visual arts, archtecture, and religion. 

Audiences reacted gratefully to educational experiences like the Hull 
and Mercer-Kesler Lectures and others in the several series offered by the 
College. While the lectureships were not under the aegis of continuing ed- 
ucation, their benefits fell into the category of "lifelong learning." But 
continuing education regularly sponsored its own educational programs. 
And the division never forgot children. In the summer of 1993, it pro- 
vided two events that attracted youngsters of differing interests: One pro- 
gram was a performing arts camp, in which children from five to fifteen 
years of age learned some of the basic skills of acting, the use of music 

"a cloud of witnesses": 1991-1993 I 249 

and dance in dramatic productions, and theater technology. And they 
pooled their knowledge to produce a musical as the grand finale of their 
three weeks at Meredith. The second "special" was a computer camp for 
children as young as nine and as old as fourteen, whose instruction in- 
cluded word processing, graphics, and programming "in a learning envi- 
ronment that was fun, creative, and educational."^^ The only apparent 
disadvantage to the computer camp was that some of the youth who ap- 
plied had to be left on the waiting list. 

Waiting lists were not unusual. Had Meredith not been forced to limit 
the number of new Teaching Fellows in 199 1, it possibly could have en- 
rolled sixty freshmen in the program. But the 1990 "bumper crop" of 
forty-one freshmen had "forced the College to look at all aspects of the 
Program in terms of growth and longevity"^° and had resulted in the 
Teaching Fellows committee's recommending restriction of acceptances, 
at least for that year. The College, therefore, enrolled only nineteen, mak- 
ing the total number in all classes 112. Minutes of the faculty meeting for 
August 13, 199 1, state that "Meredith has the lowest transfer rate of all 
13 participating institutions," despite the demanding academic require- 
ments. From the beginning, the College had stipulated that the 40 percent 
of the young teachers-to-be who were not already honors students would 
be required to take fifteen hours in Honors and to write an honors thesis. 
Although they were necessarily limited in number, the Teaching Fellows 
did not "limit their talents to campus. Project HALO (Help and Learning 
Outreach) was initiated by one of Ithe Fellows] as a means of providing 
assistance to at-risk students in the Wake County Public School system." ^^ 

The program received a significant boost in 199 1, when the DuPont 
Foundation awarded a grant of $183,600 to finance ten Teaching Fellows 
for four years. And, in 1992, such major corporations as ABB, Burroughs- 
Wellcome, First Citizens and First Union Banks, and GE Capital Mort- 
gage Company pledged a total of $192,580 in support. 

Although the Teaching Fellows program was new, it had already be- 
come a tradition worthy of bold print display in the recruiting materials 
of the colleges and universities that administered it. But non-academic 
traditions also attracted prospective students' attention. A string of win- 
ning seasons in football or basketball, for example, might reach more 
prospective students for a major university than the best admissions 
counselor ever could. At Meredith, however, the traditions categorized as 
"good times" and "class competition" were better known for pleasing 


current students than for attracting new ones. And memories of them Un- 
gered in the hearts of students and alumnae ahke. For example, in No- 
vember 1995, when Carolyn Carter, '73, spoke to the juniors — Class of 
1 997 — at a dinner celebrating the wearing of their new Meredith rings, 
she remembered Cornhuskin': 

My husband, Lennie, and I were married on a beautiful June day 
five years after I graduated from Meredith. We were in the Bahamas 
the next day, in the water, incredibly blue water, glorious sky and 
sun. We were looking at each other adoringly, and Lennie said to 
me, "Carolyn, yesterday was the most wonderful day of my life." 

And I said, without thinking, "Yesterday was the most wonder- 
ful day of my life too, except for the day that my class won Corn- 
huskin'." And the miracle is, we're still married. . . . 

As previous chapters in this Meredith story verify, Cornhuskin' was the 
premier tradition for class competition. In 199 1, the instruction committee 
suggested that the Academic Council "consider ways of reducing the con- 
flict between Cornhusking [sic] and the learning process." ^^ By way of the 
democratic process, the council requested "that the Student Life Commit- 
tee re-evaluate the time of week and semester for Cornhusking out of con- 
cern that Cornhusking succeed."^^ Almost a year later, but before the 1992 
version of the big event, a decision was reached, according to the Meredith 
Herald: "After much deliberation, the . . . Academic Council voted in favor 
of cancelling classes after 5:30 p.m. on Cornhuskin' night."^"* But 1992 was 
a year of Cornhuskin' reform. The Meredith Recreation Association 
(MRA) sponsored the annual bonfire on Sunday night, with band music 
by Virtual Reality, with toasted marshmallows, and with "big sis/little sis 
bonding." ^^ Monday night was entertainment night, when the class co- 
chairs "revealed their classes' themes in a skit. . . . After the skit, the tradi- 
tions co-chairs, Ellen Powers and Amy Willard, announced the rules for 
the scavenger hunt which followed." ^^ 

In a Herald editorial following the main attraction on Thursday night, 
Amity Brown, editor-in-chief, wrote. 

At this time last year, everyone on campus was licking their wounds, 
trying to recover from a particularly vicious Cornhuskin'. I'm glad 
to say that this year was not the same. . . . 

"a cloud of witnesses": 1991-1993 I 251 

I will have to admit some of the attempts at being positive were 
a bit strained. ... To be honest, and I think a lot of juniors and se- 
niors will agree, some of the positive efforts were a tad insincere to 
begin with, but reached near-sincerity by the end of the week.^^ 

And in both the "thrill of victory" and the "agony of defeat," students 
turned to food — breakfast food — served from 11:00 p.m. until midnight 
by faculty and staff volunteers. 

Stunt — another long-standing tradition — had already seen reform in 
1990. The Herald reported the 199 1 contests: 

For the second year in a row. Stunt was similar to a field event. Stu- 
dents participated in a three-legged race, egg toss, flour power, halo 
chase, and sponge toss to try to win points for their class. . . . Three 
lucky students from each class got the opportunity to throw wet 
sponges at President John Weems, Dr. Carson Brisson [registrar], 
Sam Carothers [campus minister], and Janice McClendon [director 
of residence life]. . . ."^^ 

A lip sync contest — new in 1991 — also made the grade, the 1993 Oak- 
leaves having described a photograph: "Seniors Jodi McCann and Jill 
Barlow perform in the senior stunt lip-synch [sic] to the song ['So Long, 
Farewell'] from Sound of Music. There were quite a few teary eyes at the 
end of this song."^^ The same yearbook recorded a Fall Fest in September; 
a Halloween mixer. Parents' Weekend, and the White Iris Ball in October; 
and Little Friends Weekend in March. 

Pasttimes were almost as standard as traditions. Janie MuUis, writing 
in the Meredith Herald, alluded to ongoing problems — real or perceived 
— between students and college food services, but her article showed a 
forgiving spirit. And well it should have: 

Complaining about dining hall food is a classic college pasttime. By 
participating in the Interfaith Food Shuttle, ARA Food Services may 
have redeemed itself in the eyes of many. The shuttle is a program 
organized by several local volunteers who pick up leftover food 
from Meredith, St. Mary's, and Peace College [s] five days a week. 
ARA provides meal services to the three schools.The food is trans- 
ported to the Salvation Army and to Agape Place. ^'^ 


The food donated by Meredith in comphance with North Carohna's 
"Good Samaritan Law," amounted to "ten to twenty servings of five or 
six different menu items." ^^ 

IN 199 1, FOR the first time in forty years, Meredith trustees elected their 
own successors. In the Board meeting of November 18, Charles Barham 
moved to elect to four-year terms Jane S. Byrd, Rogers H. Clark, Jean B. 
Cooper, George V. McCotter, Ruby C. McSwain, Ernestine Newman, 
J. Earl Pope, the Rev. Mack Thompson, and Claude Williams. The first 
class under the amended charter took office January i, 1992. 

WHILE MEREDITH WAS redefining its relationship with the Baptist State 
Convention of North Carolina, it was also claiming a place "out front" in 
the Information Age. A new computer program, first used in 199 1, had 
simplified the process of registration as well as provided a comprehensive 
academic file on every student. But that program endured a low profile 
compared to the three television channels available to every residence hall 
room, classroom, office, and pubfic area, as reported in Chapter 9. Imme- 
diately, the channels had been put to use as the faculty requested 208 of the 
305 programs broadcast in the spring of 199 1. And focusing on opportu- 
nities at hand, the Meredith Herald announced that January 10 "marked 
the kick-off for the new . . . Video Club" and its eight- week introduction to 
the equipment and its use.^^ As to the future, Weems predicted. 

The new liberal arts will be heavily seasoned [with new educational 
delivery systems that] will astound the intellect. . . . 

Our students will be able to go to the library, secure a disc, and 
visualize living history as part of their out-of-classroom assign- 
ments. Science laboratory demonstrations will be created in full 
color and rotated 360 degrees in any magnification that suits the 
teacher. . . . Renowned Shakespearean actors can come to life in the 

Technology came to life in the classrooms, the offices, the laboratories, 
the residence halls, and even the theater wing with its new computerized 
box office. The offices of public relations and publications disposed of 
their old typesetter and stashed away obsolete art boards, hot wax ma- 
chines, and type galleys in favor of desktop publishing; the office of schol- 

"a cloud of witnesses": 1991-1993 I 253 

arships and financial assistance had already amassed five years of experi- 
ence with software that managed the processing of its work; and career 
services was the first office to test the FAX system under development for 
campuswide use. Voice mail was a phenomenon of 1992., as was the ad- 
dition of four new computer science courses to the nine already listed in 
the catalogue. Life was made easier by technology — except, of course, 
for those times when an electronic wonder caused a deadline racer seem- 
ingly to lose two laps for every one gained. For example, the Herald for 
September 16, 1993, ran an apology for a missed publishing date, and the 
staff knew where to place the blame: "To err is human, but it takes a 
computer to really screw things up."^'* 

MEREDITH "DIPT INTO the futurc, far as human eye could see," as did the 
young speaker in Tennyson's "Locksley Flall,"^^ but, in some areas, such 
as architecture, the College clung to a past that had served it well. When 
architects F. Carter Williams and Associates designed the new Hubert 
Ledford Classroom Building, they "signaled a return to the more tradi- 
tional modified Georgian design of the original campus buildings."^^ 
Whatever style the design represented, members of the psychology and 
education departments were eager to move out of crowded Joyner Hall 
into the new quarters. On February 28, 1992, at the semi-annual meeting 
of the Board of Trustees, Bob Bryan, development committee chair, had 
expressed "great pleasure" in moving that the "College proceed with the 
construction." But all the steps — the authorization, groundbreaking, 
construction, and dedication — made for a long process. Groundbreaking 
in April and excavation in July signaled that Ledford Hall, one of three 
academic buildings of the future, was underway, with Peden Construc- 
tion Company as the general contractor. 

In 1991-92, Meredith converted the Ellen Brewer House from a prac- 
tice house for home economics students in home management to an in- 
fant and toddler lab home for child development majors practicing child 
care. The program would provide internships for approximately ten stu- 
dents per semester. But as much for the benefit of babies and their parents 
as for students, the new Ellen Brewer Infant and Toddler Lab Home first 
made available ten slots — six full-time and four part-time — for babies as 
young as three months and as old as three years, many of whom were 
children of Meredith employees. The home economics department had. 


since i960, made good use of the building as it was originally intended, 
but times had changed, as borne out by an interesting — if not surpris- 
ing — 1987 report of the committee on child care for the Meredith Col- 
lege campus: "Information gained from recent articles on child care re- 
ported that eight million women in the labor force have children under 
six years of age. In addition, two-thirds of women working outside the 
home have school-age childen. Many of those who are responsible for the 
children are single parents."^^ The staff for the new lab home comprised 
a caregiving director, a caregiver, a faculty coordinator, and approxi- 
mately ten students per semester. Renee Prillaman, assistant professor of 
home economics, coordinated the project. Even in its change in emphasis, 
the department was firm in its belief that it continued "the Brewers' com- 
mitment to provide quality field experiences for Meredith students."^^ 
Ellen Brewer was department head in home economics from 1922-66, 
and the house named for her was funded largely by her cousin Talcott 

Renovations in Belk Dining Hall in the summer of 1992 transformed 
the refectory, which had been fondly likened to an airplane hangar, into 
an attractive area with a fresh look and a quieter, more amiable ambi- 
ence. Architect Mark Dickey said, "We wanted to give the interior of the 
dining hall more of the character of some of the other traditional build- 
ings. . . . The new ceiling and division of the space into two separate din- 
ing rooms will help."^^ A food court separated the two dining areas. And 
downstairs in the same building, the old President's Dining room gave 
way in 1993 to the new Wainwright Conference Suite, comprising five 
rooms designed for meeting and dining. According to President Weems, 
"The decor is as uplifiting as the current dining space on the upper 
floor," ^° and the attractive outside entrance elicited almost as many com- 
pliments as the refurbished interior. The suite proved as beneficial to off- 
campus guests as to Meredith gatherings, frequently calling on ARA food 
service to cater meals for several groups at the time. 

VARIOUS NEWS ITEMS gave witness to "the running of the race." For ex- 
ample, in 1992, 

Dr. Osborne described the success of the first Scholarship Appre- 
ciation Dinner where donors were paired with recipients. One- 
hundred seventy-five donors and students attended.^' 

"a cloud of witnesses": 1991-1993 I Z55 

And Mary Thomas 

introduced a new concept to Meredith Coursework, a program en- 
couraging Meredith faculty to be Hfelong learners. Currently, fac- 
ulty are offered tuition remission for courses taken; next semester 
$50 per semester hour completed will be an added incentive. ^^ 

In 1993, 

The Student Government Association (SGA) is sponsoring Faculty 
Appreciation Day, Friday, according to Jennifer Hartig, SGA presi- 

Also in 1993, 

According to a report by the city's planning department, Raleigh ex- 
perienced the fastest growth since 1990 as 7,963 people became res- 
idents during the city's last fiscal year. Raleigh's population now 
stands at 230,418.^"^ 

AN ASTRONAUT PEERS through spacc that separates her from the planet 
she knows, and, through the clouds, she witnesses the earth as one entity, 
with no divisions by race, wealth, religion, or political ideology or by 
continents, countries, counties, cities, or colleges. Like the astronaut, the 
cloud of witnesses sees Meredith poised for the twenty-first century, and 
the lines of demarcation have dimmed. In the nineties, the view from the 
College was wider, more urban, and more diverse than it was in the early 
seventies. And the view of the College was also broader, in part because 
women had been assimilated into the culture and, therefore, were speak- 
ing in louder voices than, say, the Immortal Ten, who had contributed ef- 
fectively but were rarely heard by their society. Infant-toddler day care; 
the comparative wealth of alumnae; cultural exchanges; highly creden- 
tialed faculty; computers; sophistication of academic offerings; attention 
from national magazines; state-of-the-art equipment; and insistence on 
academic freedom and, therefore, a clearer independence, were among 
the strengths of a college sending and receiving messages to and from a 
different world. In 1993, only eighty-five of three-hundred women's col- 
leges had survived the previous two decades. 





"the MEREDITH COMMUNITY Celebrated the arrival of ALIS last Wednes- 
day at an official 'tea party' in Carlyle Campbell Library," wrote Jennifer 
Munden in the October 10, 1993, issue of the Meredith Herald. "Faculty 
actors from . . . 'Alice in Wonderland' were . . . surprise guests. . . ." 

ALIS (pronounced "Alice") was an acronym for Automated Library 
Information System, and its installation in the library was cause for cele- 
bration. In the same jovial spirit of the Meredith family's vicarious joining 
of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the faculty's every-college-generation 
production of Alice in Wonderland, these party-goers raised their teacups 
to ALIS, another electronic wonder on the campus. The user had only to 
key in her/his needs — by title or subject or author — to start ALIS's 
search of the main or the music library, or even the computer catalogs of 
North Carolina State, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 
and Duke to bring up on the screen available information. In other 
words, said Janet Freeman, college librarian and guardian of the new sys- 
tem, "The year 1993-94 may well be called the 'year of bringing up 
ALIS.'"^ In an article for Meredith, Freeman said she "envisions future 
'libraries without walls.' The library, she predicted, 'will be able to pro- 
vide the users with information they need whether we own it or we 
don't — we have the means to find it and bring a copy to the user. It's 
about access, not ownership."^ 



The few discouragers present that day in October were grieving at the 
demise of the card catalog, which, via the seekers' manual search, had 
been faithfully supplying information by title, author, subject, and Dewey 
Decimal System for decades. "You could browse through the catalog," 
one mourner was heard to say. 

A reader browsing through the Fall 1993 issue of Meredith would see 
Anne Pugh's lengthy treatise on computers and the various uses of the 
technology in several departments. From her own office, Pugh, '8z, noted 
that Charles Taylor "detaches the Notebook (portable computer) and 
carries it with him as he makes his rounds. Notes made on site can be 
printed out when he's back in the office and appropriate action taken." ^ 
The sophisticated Internet had become a valuable tool. Ruth Balla, direc- 
tor of academic computing, named its primary functions: "E-mail, Telnet, 
and FTP [File Transfer Protocol].""* Ted Waller, technical services hbrar- 
ian, frequently used e-mail. "It's just as easy to send a message to Aus- 
tralia as Apex," he said.^ Waller's colleague Judy Schuster, a reference li- 
brarian, found that the Internet expanded her "access to materials here 
enormously."^ And Jeannie Morelock, director of college communica- 
tions, accessed ProfNet, "a free news service that allows journalists and 
authors to scan over 230 U.S. and international campuses for faculty ex- 
perts' input."^ But to President Weems, "one of the most significant addi- 
tions to the modern office" was the FAX machine.^ Weems noted that 
"today's students are outcome oriented," and that "[o]ne of the most im- 
portant outcome-related skills our students need to compete in today's 
markets relates to computers."^ 

An information systems council, formed in 1993, saw the "big pic- 
ture" of a campus- wide data base and network and coordinated those in- 
stallations. Simply put, uses of technology continued to multiply. For ex- 
ample, the Center for Communications at the Microelectronics Center of 
North Carolina (MCNC) linked Meredith "with a global communica- 
tions network called 'superhighways of information.' " The College was 
one of eight select North Carolina institutions of higher education to be 
able to avail itself of this "electronic pathway to the world." ^° 

And beginning in the fall of 1993, a student's electronically read Cam- 
Card was her pathway to a cashless society. The CamCard was issued to 
each student and served as both her credit and identification card almost 
everywhere on campus, including the dining hall, vending and copy ma- 


chines, voter registration desks, the bookstore, and the hbrary. It would 
also allow her entry to locked classrooms and laboratories. Tales of lost 
or forgotten cards are not among public records; however, the Meredith 
Herald once published the "Top Ten Excuses For Not Having Your Cam- 
Card" — a parody of a regular feature on the Late Show with David Let- 

lo. I left it on my cafeteria tray, and it went through the garbage 

tray line. 
9. I let a girl who looks kinda like me use it so she could eat 

lunch — she forgot her card, too. 
8. I left it in the left pocket of my dark blue jeans, or was it the 

back pocket of my slim fit jeans [?] 
7. It got ruined during the down pour [sic] of rain on Cornhuskin' 

6. A bouncer took it away from me when I tried to use it to get 

into a bar on Tuesday night. 
5 . I got locked out of my suite yesterday, so I used it to break into 

my room. Too bad it cracked in half. 
4. The cashier at Ann Taylor thought it was my credit card — she 

cut it in half. 
3 . Some how [sic] Vogue magazine got it. They liked it so much, 

my picture is going to the cover next month. 
2. I thought it was my bank card, but when I put it in the teller 

machine, it ate my CamCard. 
I. Look, I just don't have it O.K.? I have better things to do than 

keep track of my CamCard.^^ 

The college magazine prophesied that, with the CamCard, "Meredith stu- 
dents will get a crash course in personal finance for the 21st century."'^ But 
for campus citizens who still had an affinity with the use of cash, Wachovia 
Bank installed an ATM (Automated Teller Machine) in Cate Center. 

IN 1994, THE City of Raleigh became a "wonderland" in itself, when 
Money magazine rated it the best place to live in the United States. And 
once again, the college occupying 225 prime acres of Raleigh's western 
edge, was ranked by U.S. News and World Report in the "top tier of 
Southern colleges and universities," the magazine citing Meredith's award- 


ing a "full range of bachelor's degrees, the majority in occupational and 
professional fields, and ... at least 20 master's degrees yearly.' "^^ Also in 
1994, and for the second consecutive year, Meredith was included in Bar- 
ron's Best Buys in College Education, a guide for prospective students 
seeking "the most for their education dollars."^'* 

What part Meredith played in Raleigh's No.i ranking would be im- 
possible to pinpoint, but, at the very least, it contributed positively to the 
cumulative fortune of the City of Oaks. Through the years, the College 
consistently enriched the intellectual climate of the region. To introduce 
by name all musicians, novelists, poets, theologians, humanitarians, and 
other scholars — and, yes, entertainers — who have appeared as guests on 
the campus, would be to create a tome of lists; but to include a random 
sample of the visitors in the time period of this chapter may well serve 
history: In April 1993, George McGovern, former United States senator 
and the Democratic Party's presidential nominee in 1972, lectured on 
"Achieving Peace: Recommendations for U.S. -Arab-Israeli Policy." Win- 
ner of seven Emmy Awards and a Tony, singer Ben Vereen came — not so 
much to sing, although he sang; not so much to dance, although he 
danced; not so much to act, although he acted — primarily to speak to his 
audience on "overcoming adversity." ^^ Vereen was at Meredith on Febru- 
ary 28, 1994, by invitation of the Association of Black Awareness and the 
convocation committee. Poet Dana Gioia, author of Daily Horoscope 
and The Gods of Winter, spoke on "What Are Poets For?" at an Honors 
Convocation on October 4, 1994. Joanne Greenburg, fiction writer and 
anthropologist, discussed a writer's life in convocation on October 24. 
One of Dr. Greenburg's well-known novels is / Never Promised You a 
Rose Garden. 

MEREDITH WAS COMMITTED to developing the leadership potential of all 
its students of all ages. In 1994, the College was able to strengthen its re- 
solve considerably when the Broyhill Family Foundation established the 
Broyhill Leadership Institute — "the first program of its kind in North 
Carolina" — with a view toward developing "a lifelong-leadership pro- 
gram." ^^ Mary Johnson, dean of the John E. Weems Graduate School and 
of continuing education, would coordinate the institute's agenda. John- 
son said it would incorporate existing leadership programs, such as the 
semester-long Emerging Leaders Seminar for freshmen and sophomores, 


inaugurated in 1990-91, and would comprise "a Leadership-in-Resi- 
dence Program; the Broyhill Lecture Series; and Servanthood," giving stu- 
dents "opportunities to develop leadership in the areas of teamw^ork, de- 
cision making and mentoring,"^'' 

An article on mentoring by Alumna Del Hunt Johnson, MBA, '91, in- 
troduced readers to a three-year-old program of ^""wo-mentors" con- 
ceived by Rebecca Oatsvall, business and economics, and by Donna For- 
rest, '9 1 . Members of Tomorrow's Business Women, a national club with 
a chapter at Meredith, teamed up with women who could expose stu- 
dents to the business world through the experiences of conversation, of- 
fice visits, and professional meetings. In 1994, each of twelve women, 
four of whom were alumnae, was mentor to a student. Gina Ledbetter 
Harwood, '93, a pharmaceutical sales representative, was one of the 
alumnae: "This seems like an extension of Meredith's big sister program. 
I really feel that kind of bond," she said.^^ 

Perhaps recognizing Meredith's leadership in and advocacy for the 
public schools, the Department of Public Instruction selected the College 
as one of ten institutions of higher education in the state to host an an- 
nual North Carolina Teaching Academy, a new General Assembly- 
approved program of in-service training for public school teachers. The 
academy's method of "teachers training other teachers" would bring ap- 
proximately one hundred teachers to the campus for each of three one- 
week summer sessions. 

But long before such sophisticated programs for leadership develop- 
ment were in place, and prior to society's ready acceptance of women as 
leaders — except in areas known as "women's work" — Meredith, as was 
the case in every good college, enhanced its students' innate capacities to 
think, to act intelligently on those thoughts, and to lead. One need only 
to refer to Chapter 1 1 and the brief biographies of Baptist Female Uni- 
versity's first ten graduates to recognize those qualities in alumnae of the 
earliest generations. And from the Class of 1927, Laura Weatherspoon 
Harrill emerged as one among many visionaries to commit to strong lead- 
ership on behalf of the College. As earlier chapters attest, Mrs. Harrill in- 
fluenced and supported countless efforts to improve the campus and its 
tools for learning. Also, she was president of the Alumnae Association in 
1942-44 and recipient of an Alumna Award in 1969. She had served as a 
trustee and had chaired the Board of Associates. After years of honoring 


Meredith through her leadership, particularly in the area of philanthropy, 
Mrs. Harrill was on the receiving end of the honors in 1994 when the 
College presented to her the first Outstanding Alumna Philanthropist 
Award. She met the award's criteria of a "significant level of giving"; "vi- 
sionary leadership"; involvement with the college; "commitment to 
Meredith's mission"; and encouragement of "philanthropy of others." ^^ 
And before the award was announced, her son and daughter-in-law, 
James and Donna Harrill, established the $100,000 Laura Weatherspoon 
Harrill Scholarship Fund "to honor his mother . . . and to perpetuate her 
interest in providing love, friendship, and support for Meredith Col- 
lege."^° In an interview with Meredith, the philanthropist turned philo- 
sophical, saying, "I think the right kind of education is the only thing 
that's going to save us. . . . Tell lalumnae] just to keep loving Meredith."^^ 
If their participation in the Second Century Challenge campaign mea- 
sured their esteem, alumnae had already heeded Harrill's admonition. Of 
the 5,000 donors to the fund-raising effort, 4,000 were alumnae.^^ 

In 1994, a criterion of one of FAME's Harrill Presidential Awards was 
"excellence in student advising," and Garry Walton, English, was the first 
recipient of the award under that category. In 1993, Harry Eberly, a 
member of the Board of Associates, and Mrs. Eberly established the 
Harry and Marion Eberly Faculty Development Awards "to recognize ac- 
complishment and to encourage on-going development of faculty."^^ The 
very first presentations went to Larry Grimes, biology; and Carl Hatchell, 
health, physical education and dance. 

At a special convocation on September 23, 1994, Murphy Osborne, 
vice president for institutional advancement, announced completion of 
the Second Century Challenge, the three-year effort that had raised $11.8 
million, surpassing its $10.6 million goal. To an audience of celebrants 
wearing "Meredith Pride" pins, Governor James B. Hunt, keynote speaker, 

The students here are inspired by great women and men. They are 
empowered. They feel it and their lives show it. . . . In the next cen- 
tury, we need to dedicate ourselves to making North Carolina and 
the United States all they can and ought to be. Do it the way Mere- 
dith has done it all of these years and put a spark into everyone of 
the United States to fan and flame up. 


Dedicated on February zj, 1994, Ledford Hall, with its 

"archways and Palladian window treatments " is said to be one 

of the handsomest buildings on the campus. 

Reporting on the fundraising effort for Meredith, Del Hunt Johnson 
wrote of the "unusual twist" that allowed donors to see the tangible evi- 
dence of their contributions before the campaign ended.-"* For example, 
the new classroom building for education and psychology was high on 
the list of priorities, and, following a substantial gift from Hubert F. Led- 
ford, in whose honor the building was named, contributions and pledges 
came quickly. Construction began in July 1992, and, before the campaign 
ended, donors witnessed the completion of Ledford Hall and its domina- 
tion of the landscape to the southwest. But prior to the final stages of con- 
struction, the College found merit in expanding the use of the building by 
finishing the attic for the Department of Sociology and Social Work. So 
the three departments moved into a new home during the 1993 Christ- 
mas break, and all were ready to begin spring semester classes there.* 
Ledford Hall, a 25,000 square-foot building costing $2,675 million, 

*The three-department exodus from Joyner Hall provided space undreamed of for 
the Departments of English, Foreign Languages, History and Politics, and Religion 
and Philosophy. A major renovation of Joyner took place in the summer. 


was dedicated on February 25, 1994, in the company of a crowd of 
Meredith advocates who expressed appreciation to Mr. Ledford and to 
others who had contributed financially and otherwise. With its "arch- 
ways and Palladian window treatments incorporated in the three-story 
facility's brick and stone exterior,"^^ Ledford was considered to be one of 
the handsomest structures built since the original campus was completed 
in 1926. News and Observer critic Chuck Twardy, however, reviewed the 
architecture of the new building in a way that flouted his bias: 

In the first step of plans to expand Meredith College, tradition once 
again takes the day and modernism takes a hike. 

Hubert F. Ledford Hall, a worthy successor to the new- 
Colonial structures that define the campus, is neatly detailed, and 
the brick-faced building has a strong presence suited to its current 
isolation. ... 

Sometimes a traditional touch is appropriate. But it is unfortu- 
nate that we've come to regard modernist buildings as hallmarks of 
low-rent "practicality" rather than high-end expression. It is partic- 
ularly sad that modernism has come to such a pass in a town that 
used to be its hotbed.^^ 

Twardy was also critical of the fact that the building faced away from 
Hillsborough Street. And, alluding to the contemplated companion struc- 
tures, as yet visible only on the master plan, he added, "It is worth not- 
ing that the planned U-formation of buildings potentially turns building 
backs to both Hillsborough Street and the Beltline, which would be an 
unseemly development."^'' 

Just before the designated departments occupied Ledford, trustees con- 
sidered another renovation/addition. Minutes of the Board for September 
24, 1993, read, "Due to the increased interest and enrollment in the areas 
of physical education, health, and dance, an addition to the Weather- 
spoon Physical Education-Dance Building was proposed." Of course, the 
students and faculty in the dance program would most appreciate the ex- 
panded dance studio, and all the faculty in the department would be 
happy with additional offices and storage space, but the new ell at the 
rear of Weatherspoon would perhaps serve the greatest good to the great- 
est number of students and faculty and staff through its proposed fitness 
center. F. Carter Williams Architects, designers of the original Weather- 


spoon Building, would also plan the addition. Citing the Weatherspoon 
addition, the Joyner Hall renovation, the Wainwright Conference Center 
(see Chapter 11), and the Ledford Building, President Weems said, "No 
one is happier than I to announce that all four of these major construc- 
tion projects are already paid for and Meredith remains debt free."^^ 

The Elva Bryan Mclver Amphitheater and its island stage had paid the 
price of age. More than a quarter century old, the area was not problem 
free. For instance, the lake reproduced algae in large supply, and water- 
damaged pilings surrounded the island. In the amphitheater, loosened 
bricks caused hazardous seating areas, and sidewalks crumbled from age 
and erosion. In addition to repairs to the theater, the College drained the 
lake and filled in the moat that had separated the audience from the stage. 
Jean Jackson, English, quipped, "So now we have the Meredith Isthmus." 
But the "isthmus" created a heretofore-missing ambiance of intimacy be- 
tween audience and performers and allowed easy access from one area to 
the other. 

Some renovations in the original residence halls might have gone un- 
noticed as historically insignificant — replacement of windows and elec- 
trical wiring, for example — had they not included removal of the radia- 
tors from students' rooms. But perhaps nostalgia would rise only in 
earlier generations of students who, as a nightly ritual, had hung their 
hand-washed socks to dry on the hissing, clanging, moaning heat mon- 
sters of Vann, Stringfield, Faircloth, and Brewer. 

Usually the refurbishing of residence halls and classroom buildings 
elicited positive reactions, but sometimes renovations were necessitated by 
fear and sorrow of the unforeseen and the unwanted. While a smoldering 
mattress in a Heilman Residence Hall storage room attracted much atten- 
tion in the fall of 1993, little more than clean-up was required to return to 
normalcy. But a year later, Jeannie Morelock reported a much larger fire — 
this time in a classroom building — to members of the Meredith commu- 
nity, many of whom were on Christmas break at the time: 

Some time in the early morning hours of Saturday, January 8, a fire 
occurred in the Shearon Harris Classroom Building. It appears that 
the fire was started by a faulty appliance in the kitchen adjacent to 
the first floor lounge, but the exact cause is still under investigation 
by the fire department. . . . No one was in the building. 


The kitchen was badly damaged by heat and fire. Fortunately, 
the heat caused an overhead copper water line to become loose. The 
water from the broken line extinguished the flame, preventing its 
spread. Unfortunately, however, large amounts of smoke spread 
throughout the . . . building through the air handling system. . . . 
[S]oot covered almost everything on both floors.^^ 

Investigators found the culprit to be faulty wiring in a refrigerator. While 
the amount of the insurance claims soared to $400,000, perhaps the most 
shocking news was that all the ninety computers in Harris were rendered 
useless. As sometimes happens, however, the loss became an opportunity, 
and the College added money from the equipment budget to the insur- 
ance reimbursement, outfitting the damaged building with a later gener- 
ation of computers to replace the older machines. 

While the institution had little or no control over the accidental burn- 
ing of buildings and equipment, it had very much to say about the use of 
its own land, except, of course, when it learned in 1993 that the State of 
North Carolina required 6,500 square feet of campus property to widen 
the beltline (Highway I-440). The College and the government agreed 
upon a settlement of $7,500.^° But dealing with government and negoti- 
ating with private entities were different matters. As previous chapters 
have noted, an organization or institution occasionally broached the sub- 
ject of buying or leasing some of the prime campus real estate for its own 
use. Minutes of the Board of Trustees for April 11, 1994, indicate that a 
lease agreement with Raleigh School on Ridge Road came closer to real- 
ity, apparently, than had negotiations with the Baptist State Convention 
in 1980 and the Life Enrichment Center in 1984, and certainly closer 
than a proposal from Kroger food chain in 1993. But Meredith and 
Raleigh Preschool were long-time neighbors and, in a sense, colleagues at 
work. In the first place, more than 2,000 Meredith students had partici- 
pated in the "rich, 30-year history of mutually beneficial program- 
ming."^^ For example, child development, education, and psychology stu- 
dents had recognized the benefits of Raleigh Preschool as a laboratory, 
and the school, in turn, had welcomed the resourcefulness and helpful- 
ness of students. The agreement spelled out the conditions: Meredith 
would lease three and one-half to five acres of land for one dollar per 
year; the lessee would finance, build, and operate a preschool and ele- 


mentary facility approved by the College; and, after ninety-nine years, 
"the building and fixtures would revert to Meredith ."^^ The decision not 
to lease came down to two issues, said Robert Lewis, chair of an ad hoc 
committee to study the proposal: "governance and non-Meredith entities 
building on the . . . campus."^^ 

A different sort of land use was credited to the rising popularity of soc- 
cer. When Meredith added the game to its lineup of competitive sports, a 
new playing field altered the landscape a bit, and Coach Jose Cornejo 
joined the adjunct faculty at about the time the field took shape across the 
loop road and west of the Weatherspoon Building. 

AS CHAPTER 6 imphes, the campus was a city — in 1993-94, a bustling 
city within the nation's best bustling city — attempting to plan wisely for 
the future and to keep in good condition both the academic and the phys- 
ical aspects of past achievements. The soccer field and Ledford Hall rep- 
resented physical facilities of the future; repairs to the lake and Joyner 
Hall represented concern for keeping useful the old. Commitment to an 
evening program and the awarding of another accreditation represented 
new academic achievements. Eighty-five percent of the fulltime faculty's 
having earned terminal degrees and the American Bar Association's reap- 
proval of the Legal Assistants Program represented the importance of up- 
dating the familiar. The additional accreditation was awarded by FIDER 
(Foundation for Interior Design Education Research); the degree statistics 
portrayed the highest percentage of faculty-earned terminal degrees in the 
College's history; and the Legal Assistants Program was initially ABA- 
approved in 1983 and reapproved in 1989 and 1994. Only the evening 
program requires elaboration: Minutes of the Academic Council for No- 
vember I, 1994, recorded a motion "that the Instruction Committee 
re-affirm Meredith's commitment to providing an evening schedule in 
which a student may complete her general requirements within five years 
in the evening program and charge the Director of the Re-Entry program 
and Registrar to work out, in conjunction with department heads, a pro- 
gram of study which will meet these needs." President Weems offered the 

Wake County and the Triangle area are two of the fastest growing 
markets in the south for college degree evening programs. North 


Carolina Wesleyan College and Campbell University already have 
well-established satellite degree programs in Wake County. Averett 
College, located in Danville, Virginia, is opening a satellite campus 
in the Raleigh area ... as is Warren Wilson College located in 
Swannanoa, North Carolina. Most satellite campuses are located in 
high schools, shopping centers, and classroom facilities rented from 
other sources. Meredith, with its excellent location and wonderful 
campus, is in the position to offer evening programs with full col- 
lege support facilities.^'* 

Only months before the Academic Council charged the registrar and 
the re-entry programs director to propose a course of study for Meredith 
After 5, the evening program, Sandra Close succeeded Anne Dahle as di- 
rector of re-entry. Close, a former re-entry student herself, had served as 
the assistant director since she graduated, magna cum laude, in 1986. 

Also tapped to shoulder new and different responsibilities, Carolyn 
Barrington Grubbs, '60, assumed headship of the Department of History 
and Politics and Rebecca Bailey of the Department of Art. Dr. Grubbs 
succeeded her husband, Frank Grubbs, who continued to teach, and Dr. 
Bailey had completed a year as acting head of her department, replacing 
Craig Greene, the new deputy director of the Department of the Deaf and 
Hard of Hearing for the State of North Carolina. Carolyn Grubbs, '60, 
joined the faculty of her alma mater in 1963 after completing the M.A.T. 
at Duke; she later earned the Ph.D. at North Carolina State. The popular 
professor received an Outstanding Teacher Award in 1978 and, in 1980, 
a Delta Kappa Gamma scholarship toward her doctorate. The prestigious 
scholarship was "the only award made in North Carolina and one of 
nineteen given in the United States and twelve other nations by the inter- 
national society of women educators."^^ Grubbs directed the honors pro- 
gram from 1991-94 and continued actively to lead students and faculty 
members in study opportunities abroad. 

Dr. Bailey was a ten-year veteran of the art department, having started 
there as "very part-time," she said, but she kept adding courses to her 
schedule until she taught on a full-time basis. Answering the challenge to 
compare Meredith's art facilities with other schools, she said, "I think 
they are as good or better than facilities elsewhere, and Fm not going to 
say just at schools this size. I think if you compare what we're able to 


offer on a square-foot basis, our students are going to come out better. 
. , . We really try to get to know [them] and . . . help them to become the 
artists that they are."^^ 

Garry Walton, English, inherited the honors program from Carolyn 
Grubbs. And Louise Taylor extended for one year her headship of the En- 
glish department when Jean Jackson, '75, who had already been named 
successor to Taylor, was asked to join the administration as vice president 
for student development, following Sandra Thomas's resignation. 

While Dr. Thomas was on sabbatical leave for the 1993-94 academic 
term, she was elected seventh president of Converse College, also a four- 
year institution for women, in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In her 
twenty-year tenure, Meredith's first female vice president had skillfully in- 
tegrated the student development division into the administrative struc- 
ture. Before she left, Thomas talked with alumna Lou Stephenson Liver- 
man, '88: "[M]y work at Meredith, my work in higher education, my 
educational preparation and my life experience have all led me to this 
moment and will serve me well. ... I don't think you say good-bye after 
20 years; I think you say, 'Thank you for the journey.' "^-^ 

A month or so before the deadline for accepting applications for 
Thomas's replacement, the Meredith Herald reported the search commit- 
tee's having received "40-50 [applications] from all over the country."^^ 
But as sometimes happens, the one who seemed most qualified for the po- 
sition had not applied at all. Records do not pinpoint the moment of rev- 
elation to those charged with finding the right person for the job — and 
for the right time — but they do disclose the fact that, effective July i, 
1994, Jean Jackson became the new vice president for student develop- 
ment. Dr. Jackson graduated magna cum laude from Meredith in 1975 
before earning her master's and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Illinois, 
where she taught in the English department from 1976-82. She returned 
to Meredith in 1983. In addition to her classroom teaching, she directed 
internships and professional communications as well as the Looking To- 
ward College summer program for high school students. And having 
completed her stint as chair of the Centennial Commission, during which 
time Meredith named her "The Centennial's Essential Quintessential 
Woman," Jackson had been promoted to professor of English and elected 
to head the department when she accepted the vice presidency. "Dr. Jack- 
son brings to this position experience, strength, warmth, creativity, and a 


large dose of humanity," said President Weems. "I think she will offer the 
kind of effective leadership our students deserve."^^ Her leadership would 
express itself through the campus minister's office; the personal growth 
and counseling center; the dean of students' office; student activities and 
leadership development; residence life; and career services. Soon after her 
appointment, Jackson told Christina Peoples of the Meredith Herald, 
"The school mattered absolutely to me as a student. . . . Meredith is the 
kind of place that invites investment of self.'"^*^ In addition to academic 
and personal credentials, the vice president brought to her office testa- 
ments to her talents: the Pauline Perry FAME Award for excellence in 
teaching (1988); the Alumnae Association's recent graduate award 
(1988); and the Laura Harrill Presidential Award (1992). In 1996, she 
would receive an Alumna Award for outstanding service to Meredith and 
the community. 

When she moved into her office on the first floor of Johnson Hall, 
she found on her desk student-related issues ranging from the Ameri- 
cans With Disabilities Act to proposals for expanded open house in the 
residence halls. As to the first issue, a generic reference book calls the 
Act "the most sweeping anti-discrimination legislation since the Civil 
Rights Act of 1964.'"^^ Meredith's responsibilities to students enrolled 
under the law are printed in the college catalogue, but Dr. Jackson shed 
light on the realities of compliance: "This semester a profoundly deaf 
student has enrolled as a freshman. The College is working to provide 
the necessary services needed for her to function well, and at the same 

time evaluating the financial implications that providing these services 

Open house in the residence halls was not a new concern. In a Mere- 
dith Herald editorial in 199 1, Jessica Cook had referred to an "impres- 
sive," "intelligent, thorough and solid" proposal which was dismissed by 
the trustees in 1987.^^^ The first open house finally came, coinciding with 
Fall Fest 1993. But in their semi-annual meeting on February 23, 1994, 
the trustees heard a proposal for an expanded number of open houses. 
Alumna Jean Batten Cooper, '54, chair of the trustees' student develop- 
ment committee, moved acceptance of the proposal, and members of the 
board approved; however, one of the male trustees requested "regular 
feedback," a duty which was assigned to the dean of students.'*'* The new 
policy was restated in the 1994-95 Student Handbook: 


A maximum of three Open Houses per semester occur on desig- 
nated Saturdays or Sundays during specified afternoon hours. All 
open houses are coordinated with other major campus activities 
listed in the Student Activities Calendar. 

While the above events occurred before Dr. Jackson assumed the vice 
presidency, she was nevertheless much involved in helping the policy suc- 
ceed and in overseeing the Student Govenment Association's carrying the 
process through to still further expansion in 1996. 

The route of proposals and resolutions led ultimately to the trustees' 
agenda. On August 25, 1994, President Weems wrote to members of the 
board a letter that began, "At a special faculty meeting on April 29, 1994, 
two resolutions were endorsed by the faculty.'"*^ And the correspondence 
ended with his stance on the matter: "I personally do not agree with the 
majority . . . and therefore cannot support these resolutions. . . .'"'^ The 
body of the letter quoted the action of the faculty: 

We, the members of the faculty, believe that diversity of experience 
and respect for persons are desirable of an institution of higher learn- 
ing, and beheving that sexual orientation ([or] marital status) does 
not affect faculty members' ability to fulfill their professional duties 
successfully, to interact productively with other members of the Col- 
lege community, and to make a positive contribution to the life of the 
College, we therefore recommend and request, first that in adminis- 
tering employment policies, including the appointment, tenure, and 
promotion of faculty members, Meredith College does not discrimi- 
nate on the basis of gender, race, national and ethnic origin or sexual 
orientation ([or] marital status) and, second that a member of the 
Faculty Affairs Committee be involved in revising section 3.2.16 (Dis- 
crimination) of the Faculty Handbook accordingly. 

Fifty-five of the faculty had voted in favor of the sexual orientation reso- 
lution, with 32 against it; and 58 had voted in favor of the marital status 
issue, with 29 in opposition. Records of the February 12 meeting of the 
executive committee indicate that the trustees discussed the matter and 

that Meredith College affirms its current employment policies, and 
that Meredith College makes no revision in the administration of its 


employment policies as suggested in the two resolutions presented 
to the Executive Committee by the faculty of Meredith College on 
April 29, 1994. 

In retrospect, some Meredith people theorize that the trustees' reaction to 
the faculty resolutions and the faculty's counter-reaction were the geneses 
of unaccustomed tension between the two bodies, as implied in later 

THE WINDS OF relationships and rights swirled around the wonderland of 
society in 1993-94. The number of youth participating in violence and 
crime was among those "ill winds." Senior Elizabeth Rihani, copy editor 
of the Meredith Herald, was disturbed by her world: 

Ever since I worked in Washington, D.C. this past summer, I have 
tried to avoid television news altogether. It just got too much to 
hear an impassive newscaster tell me night after night who had 
died, which small country had been blown off the map, and what 
precautions I should take when I ventured out of my home. . . . 

I guess we could blame inattentive parents, broken homes, vio- 
lence on television, or evil messages in rock music, but I don't think 
any of those [is] the culprit. In fact, I have no idea how society has 
gotten so out of hand even in the ten years or so since I was little. 
. . . Well, I don't have any answers, but I do wish our society wasn't 
so desensitized towards all the horrible, horrible things going on 
these days. . . . I'm just glad I'm not a newscaster — I'd be crying 
through the report every night."*^ 

And in her magazine story, "From Classroom to Boardroom," Del Hunt 
Johnson hinted that young adults in general and Meredith young women 
in particular might prepare to shield themselves against the storms of the 

Beyond Meredith's comforting gates lies a mean world. Seniors 
without job prospects face the reality of living in an underemployed 
purgatory, or worse, at home with parents, joining the "boome- 
rang" generation. And while good grades look nice on paper, they 
don't guarantee success. An "A" in quantitative statistics doesn't 
mean you'll pass "office politics" where career stakes are higher. 


Textbooks and classroom lectures can't cover the finer points of 
how to lead a committee meeting, ask for a raise or confront a dif- 
ficult co-worker. That only comes with experience."^^ 

But many crosscurrents of the culture stirred much ado about corpo- 
rate greed and politics, some about gender and racial bias, some about 
violence, some about abortion on demand, and some about marital status 
and sexual preference — and, again, much about terrorism, following the 
bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City that killed six peo- 
ple, injured hundreds, and left a jittery public to ponder the workings of 
international politics and religious fanaticism. 

President Clinton might have overcome any semblance of gender bias 
by nominating Janet Reno as the first female attorney general of the 
United States, who, in her inaugural year, might have overcome any sem- 
blance of partisanship by appointing an independent counsel to investi- 
gate President and Mrs. Clinton's roles in a questionable real estate ven- 
ture in Arkansas. In Congress, Republicans issued their Contract with 
America, promising, among other things, less government intervention 
than that initiated by the long-time controUing "tax-and-spend" Demo- 
crats. Voters liked what they saw and heard and, on election day, 1994, 
gave the Republican Party majorities in both the Senate and the House of 
Representatives for the first time in forty years. 

While political tension reached a high point, so did racial unrest. Ver- 
dicts of innocence in the trials in California of the white police officers 
who allegedly beat Rodney King, a black motorist, and of O.J. Simpson, 
a black football hero charged with killing his former wife and a friend — 
both white — were jeered and cheered, often along racial lines. 

FUTURE STUDENTS OF the Cultural influences of 1993-94 might appreci- 
ate the statement printed in the 192.4 program for the faculty's first pre- 
sentation of Alice in 'Wonderland: 

In this country of contraries you will see and hear many strange 
things. . . . Come to Wonderland with Alice. 



IN 1904, BAPTIST Female University, "A High Grade College for Women," 
advertised that six men and nineteen women composed its faculty and ad- 
ministration. But most of the ad copy told prospective students what they 
needed to know about curriculum, living conditions, and costs: 

DIPLOMAS given in the Arts, Science, and Philosophy; in Music, 
Art, and Expression % School of the Bible under graduate of New- 
ton Theological Seminary f Thorough Business Course f Excep- 
tional advantages in Music % Excellent equipment for teaching Sci- 
ence f Club system adopted by two-fifths of the boarding pupils, at 
a saving of $50.00 per session | Students cared for by lady princi- 
pal, lady physician, matron, and nurse f Another dormitory in 
course of erection to accommodate 90 girls % Board, Literary tu- 
ition, heat, light, baths (hot or cold), fees for physician, nurse and li- 
brary, $107.30 per session — in clubs, $40.00 to $50.00 less.^ 

So five years after the university accepted its first students in 1899, it 
sought visibility in the marketplace. But Meredith College, BFU's well- 
established successor, learned more about marketing strategies in the last 
two decades of the twentieth century than it had previously needed to 
know. In a 1983 pubHcation titled Marketing Higher Education, authors 
Robert Topor and M. Frederic Volkmann wrote, "Only a few years ago, 



it was certain political suicide in higher education to utter the words 
'marketing' or 'market research' at a faculty meeting or a gathering of the 
president's cabinet. . . . Now, we regularly hear deans and professors talk- 
ing about targeting, market share, positioning, and feedback with the 
same excitement that scientists talk about discovery."^ The change came, 
speculated Meredith in 1992, as colleges vied for students because "that 
segment of society's population is well into its predicted decline and . . . 
costs of private higher education escalate more rapidly and more visibly 
than tuition and fees of state-supported schools."^ The magazine also 
suggested that the College competed in the marketplace not only for the 
enrollment of students but also for the retention of those already en- 
rolled; for donors; for the best faculty for the money; for accreditation; 
for a favorable image; for the legislator's ear; for the alumna's loyalty; 
and so on."^ 

In intervening years, hundreds of Meredith advertisements reached 
their targeted audiences through almost every available medium — 
radio, video, television, print, billboards, the Internet. The messages were 
largely informational but with some imaginative — if reserved — propa- 

But in the spring of 1996, clever ads in bold print would catch the 
collective eye of readers of the News and Observer and other publica- 
tions. For students of all classifications, a message teased, "We attract the 
brightest, most ambitious students. (Naturally, we're a women's college.)" 
And in another edition, the same style would attract prospective re-entry 
women: "You've hemmed a skirt using only office supplies, trained your 
own boss and argued down a mechanic's bill. Going back for your degree 
will seem easy." A third in the series beckoned women with M.B.A. am- 
bitions: "Sit around discussing economic theories, corporate strategies 
and the latest in quantitative analysis. You know, typical girl stuff." Ad- 
vertising was expensive, but, in college and university development of- 
fices across the land, the often-quoted adage of uncertain origin was "To 
make money, you have to spend money." 

The 17th century proverb — "Money talks" — was never more prover- 
bial than in the nineties. As the economy fared, so fared the country. 
Americans seemed to be obsessed with "the bottom line" — originally a 
euphemism for "financial outcome" — the lifeline to everything material. 
The profit motive helped to define the marketplace as a territory, with or 


without physical boundaries, where goods and services were bought and 
sold in agreed-upon amounts for the current medium of exchange. But 
perhaps the metaphorical marketplace — a gathering place where the 
media of exchange are ideas and opinions — was rarely considered in 
those days. Meredith functioned in both forums. 

ALTHOUGH THE EVENING of February 9, 1995, might better have been de- 
scribed as a drama than as the civil discourse usually associated with the 
word "forum," countless ideas and opinions were exchanged — dramati- 
cally. The marketplace was Belk Dining Hall turned theater, and the plot 
was about change at Meredith, Lead players were President Weems and 
Claude Williams, chair of the Board of Trustees. Others in the company 
were trustees, faculty, staff, and a few alumnae and students. Some of the 
cast performed cameo roles, which were alternately applauded and 
scoffed at, while many held only bit parts with no dialogue, except for 
whispered asides. And there was no audience; the hundreds in attendance 
were participants swept up in the emotion of the evening, wondering how 
the denouement would affect their own lives. In his invitation to the 
event. President Weems had touted the occasion as "the most important 
meeting we have had at Meredith College in the twenty-four years I have 
been here."^ 

He had preceded his summons with correspondence to the faculty in 
general, and, with slightly edited wording, to department heads. In letters 
dated January 3 1, he applied to Meredith a series of "reality checks" — an 
expression coined in the nineties — such as a shortfall in revenue because 
of an enrollment drop and an unsatisfactory student retention rate; fierce 
competition for the traditional-aged freshman; a burgeoning adult popu- 
lation in colleges and universities across the nation; a buyers' market; in- 
efficiency in cost containment; a false sense that Triangle residents knew 
Meredith while, in reality, the thousands of newcomers to the area had 
had no contact at all with the College; a five-year decrease in numbers of 
full-time North Carolina students at private colleges, with 118 of the 
1,733 lost students having been lost by Meredith; and the fact that "[a]ny 
continued loss in Meredith's market share is going to be very difficult to 

Weems admonished that "Meredith must act and act quickly" through 
a "small window of opportunity to solidify our presence in the commu- 


nity and firmly stake our claim."^ Again on February 3, he expounded on 
the theme in a six-page catalogue of necessities for change, insisting to 
academic department heads that "Meredith has more opportunities than 
any other college in North Carolina."^ Some of the necessities Weems 
cited for Meredith were "fiscal vitality"; leadership at every level of the 
administration; innovation and creativity; a broader clientele; an effective 
evening program; a growing graduate program; morning, afternoon, and 
evening classes on a "student-friendly" campus, where offices and ser- 
vices are available during off-hours and on weekends; reductions in time 
of committee meetings and in costs of education delivery; and a "tight- 
knit, cohesive administrative team," adding, "From this point on, it must 
be my team. . . "^ The perceived declaration of unilateral decision-making 
appeared to be the recurring conflict in the drama. 

The Biblical Recorder ran a review, which borrowed extensively from 
coverage of the event by the News and Observer: 

John Weems, president of Meredith College in Raleigh, did a roll- 
call of financial pressures and called for some major changes during 
a special meeting of administrators, faculty and trustees on Febru- 
ary 9. 

Weems said the women's college is facing the possibility of finan- 
cial disaster in the next 10 years unless it becomes "more consumer- 
oriented" by opening its doors to non-traditional students with 
evening and weekend classes and accelerated programs. . . . 

Meredith . . . faces constant competition from other educational 
institutions in the city which offer regular campus programs in the 
Raleigh area, plus satellite programs in Wake County from schools 
which are outside the area. . . . 

According to a study in the Raleigh News and Observer, Weems 
said "the problems are many and the solutions are few. In a labor- 
intensive business, the only way to make major cost reductions is in 

That statement prompted fire from faculty present in the session 
and from students who watched the proceedings ... on closed- 
circuit television. The students "could be heard hooting and holler- 
ing in support of faculty members, who themselves gave only tepid 
applause to Weems' remarks," the N&O reported. 


In contrast, faculty gave enthusiastic applause to the critical 
comments of Bernard H. Cochran, professor of philosophy and re- 
ligion, the newspaper article stated. 

Cochran charged the school was about to "sell its soul" in the in- 
terest of increasing enrollment, the [News and Observer] article by 
Thomas Hackett said. 

The professor also objected to what he called the "in-your-face" 
memos from the president to the faculty in recent days. Cochran 
also said the faculty was shocked and dismayed that there had been 
so little collegiality to the discussion of major changes, the article 

Trustees praised Weems, who has been president of the largest 
all-women's college in the Southeast since 1972, for addressing hard 
financial realities.^ 

Before all reviews were in — resolutions by segments of the school, in- 
cluding the Student Government Association; letters to the editor of the 
Meredith Herald and to Raleigh's News and Observer; phone calls from 
parents; recommendations from the Alumnae Association; some rather 
formal forums, such as a series of Open Conversations, for the faculty — 
President Weems wrote to academic department heads: 

Since last Thursday, I have had the opportunity to talk with many 
trustees, faculty, administrators, alumnae, and students. These con- 
versations have been very good for me. Almost to a person those I 
talked with were of the opinion that Meredith could evolve, make 
the right moves, and continue to progress without the misplaced 
zeal I have exhibited in the last few weeks. 

After reflecting on their comments, I am convinced they are right, 
and I went about pressing for immediate change in the wrong way. 
. . . Many of you have shared with me great ideas for change that 
will help us solve the problems we are bound to face within a very 
few years. 

I am now convinced that we can move through our normal chan- 
nels, without emergency meetings and without trustee oversight to 
accomplish all we need to do to keep Meredith at the very top in 
women's education. We have highly intelligent faculty and staff who 


can face our problems and satisfy our needs without my creating 
the crisis atmosphere that I invoked last week. . . .^^ 

On the same day, which happened to be St. Valentine's Day 1995, Weems 
also wrote to students: 

It has come to my attention that some of you think Meredith has 
made a decision to become a community college or a technical in- 
stitute. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our mission and 
purpose is to educate women in a liberal arts tradition. While 
Meredith has evolved over the last twenty-five years, it is a much 
stronger college today and is considered one of the premier institu- 
tions of higher education in the state. Meredith has always main- 
tained a strong commitment to its historical core of traditional aged 
students. Whatever strategies we embark upon in the future will be 
designed to assure that this commitment can be maintained. Cer- 
tainly a successful college such as Meredith would have no desire to 
lessen in any way the very heart of the institution.^^ 

Among the reams of correspondence circulated during the period was a 
letter to the News and Observer from Nina I. McClellan, a member of 
the junior class: 

I am proud to be a Meredith junior. Classes here are demanding and 
challenging. I attend a college that is filled with self-sufficient, cre- 
ative, strong and intelligent women. A popular misconception held 
by many outside of this school, and apparently by some members of 
our board of trustees, is that Meredith exists merely to prepare its 
students to become better wives and mothers. Although these roles 
are truly noble, they do not represent the only desires of the women 
at Meredith College. I know that some of us, upon graduating, will 
be fantastic mothers and wives. At the same time, however, we will 
also be fantastic scientists, teachers, politicians, artists, musicians, 
businesswomen, and doctors. 

I hope that before [President] Weems makes any changes, he re- 
views very carefully the things that are right at this school.'^ 

Cynthia Griffith McEnery, '70, president of the Alumnae Association, 
wrote to the Meredith Herald: 


During the February 9 meeting, I expressed my support for the con- 
cept of re-engineering the college. I also expressed my concern that 
re-engineering must be done against an agreed-upon vision. I indi- 
cated my willingness on behalf of the Alumnae Association to par- 
ticipate in a process to define both the vision and necessary changes 
for Meredith. . . .^^ 

Under McEnery's leadership, the executive committee of the Alumnae As- 
sociation proposed to the trustees the appointment of a task force, whose 
recommendations, if underwritten by the board, "would position Mere- 
dith College for the 21st century."^"* The trustees accepted the proposal 
and, in a called meeting of the executive committee on March 13, 1995, 
also approved the composition of the organization, members of which 
were elected by their own groups: students Kelly Formy-Duval, SGA pres- 
ident, June Holland, president of the executive committee of SGA, and 
Alyce Turner, president of Silver Shield; faculty representatives Drs. Clay, 
professor of education. Knight, professor of mathematics, and Webb, pro- 
fessor of English; administrative staff members Drs. Jackson, vice presi- 
dent for student development, Johnson, dean of the John E. Weems Grad- 
uate School and continuing education, and Page, dean of undergraduate 
instruction and registrar; and alumnae Carolyn Carter, '73, Anne Clark 
Dahle, '54, and task force chair, Cindy Griffith McEnery, '70. Trustees on 
the executive committee were adamant that the task force report only to 
them and that Dr. Weems "proceed with his vision for the institution."^^ 
In staunch support of the president, the executive committee, on Au- 
gust 21, unanimously passed trustee George McCotter's motion to "offer 
Dr. John E. Weems a seven-year contract extending through the year 
2002." 1^ An experienced president would bring stability to the College in 
periods of rapid change, they declared — particularly in light of the ques- 
tionable relationship with the Baptist State Convention. In executive ses- 
sion at a called meeting on September 22, the trustees resolved "that the 
Board ... by and with the concurrence of President John E. Weems, com- 
mit themselves individually and as fiduciaries of the institution to con- 
tinue together in the promotion, strengthening and preparation of 
Meredith College to fulfill its missions, purposes and journey into and be- 
yond the Twenty-First Century." ^^ In his annual message, published about 
the same time, Weems said. 


The trustees have a new role to play. . . . They have always been the 
legal policy-making body for Meredith. Without their wisdom and 
guidance Meredith would not have become the institution it is 
today. There is more to do, however. This body of men and women 
literally own the college. . . . The vision of greatness for Meredith 
must start with the trustees. ... It will be their expectations that 
continually make Meredith evolve into greatness. They must have a 
vision that requires us to be more than we are.^^ 

While the president and the trustees seemed to strengthen their bonds 
and, between them, redefine trustees' roles, the faculty sensed an es- 
trangement between themselves and the governing body, as represented 
by faculty affairs committee co-chairs Deborah Smith, biology, and Jerod 
Kratzer, education. To a September 19 memorandum to the faculty. 
Smith and Kratzer attached a copy of the committee's report to the 
trustees for consideration at the board's semi-annual meeting on Septem- 
ber 22. In part, the report read. 

During the past year, the Meredith community has struggled with 
issues wrought with emotion and often delineated by blurred 
boundaries. It seems to us that the events of the last year have 
widened a chasm between the faculty and Trustees, leaving us to 
call loudly across the void with the hope of being heard. ^^ 

In regular session in October, the faculty accepted the resignations 
from the task force of Drs. Clay, Knight, and Webb and made no effort 
to elect new representatives.^^ The work of the task force declined from 
that point. Inasmuch as records do not report its dissolution by the body 
that appointed it, the task force presumably died a natural death. Mean- 
while, Norman Kellum, an attorney from Greensboro, who was elected 
to chair the Board of Trustees, effective January i, 1996, achieved high 
visibility as he met with individuals and constituent groups, narrowing 
some of the rifts. 

THE ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT team continued into its second year. 
Having been appointed by the president in 1994, the team was chaired by 
Dr. Spooner, who, by amendment to the bylaws, had been assigned the 
responsibility of enrollment. Others on the team were Gordon Folger, di- 


rector of career services; Melinda Henderson, assistant director of alum- 
nae affairs; Mary Johnson, dean of the graduate school and dean of con- 
tinuing education; Sue Kearney, director of admissions and enrollment 
management research; Elizabeth McDuffie, director of scholarships and 
financial assistance; Jeannie Morelock, director of college communica- 
tions; Allen Page, dean of undergraduate instruction and registrar; Regi- 
nald Shiflett, chemistry department head; and Dorothy Sizemore, dean of 
students. From the beginning, the team's goals included a "user-friendly" 
campus and improvement in the retention rate.^^ 

As fans were often called the tw^elfth member of a football team, so 
Meredith alumnae could have been designated the eleventh member of 
the enrollment management team: Forty women in fifteen states and nine 
delegates from alumnae chapters in North Carolina agreed to represent 
the College for the admissions office. Kearney cited other volunteer ef- 
forts by the 12,000-member body of alumnae: "calling accepted appli- 
cants, hosting socials for prospects, and representing the admissions of- 
fice at some college day events."^^ 

By the first faculty meeting of the fall semester, members of the team 
were ecstatic. Kearney reported, "This year's 420 anticipated freshmen* 
will be the largest class ever; there will be 86 transfer students, 6 re- 
admits, 4 international visitors."^^ 

A headline on Page i of the July 19 News and Observer had already 
announced the good news: "Enrollment jump delights Meredith." The ar- 
ticle reported, "A record number of high school seniors have signed up to 
attend Meredith this fall. . . . Total enrollment is expected to be about 
2,400 — 50 more women than last year." N&O writer Debbi Sykes said, 
"Something seems to be working for women's colleges even as universi- 
ties have to cope with some of the smaller high school graduating classes 
in decades."-"^ Sykes had conferred with Jadwiga Sebrechts, executive di- 
rector of the Women's College Coalition in Washington: 

[F]or the fourth consecutive year, applications and enrollments have 
increased at more than three-quarters of U.S. women's colleges. 

Sebrechts attributed the trend to several factors. 

One, she said, is the debate over gender sparked by Anita Hill's 

* Later statistics show that 416 freshmen actually enrolled. 


allegations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas during 
his confirmation as a Supreme Court justice. Another is the 1992 
Association of University Women report that said girls were getting 
shortchanged in the classroom.^^ 

President Weems also exuded optimism: In his annual message, he wrote, 

From the incoming freshman class, 34 students are expected to par- 
ticipate in the Honors Program — the most freshmen ever to accept 
our invitation. The six recipients of the Meredith College Academic 
Scholarships have average SAT scores of 1328 and rank in the top 
one to two percent of their class. The Harris Scholarships were 
keenly contested, and the 1 2 winners bring superior academic and 
leadership qualities. We are also expecting 32 Teaching Fellows to 
enroll this fall. . . ?^ 

Unclear was the ratio of a record-breaking freshman class to the experi- 
ment of allowing "all resident students . . . the opportunity to park on 
campus."^^ In fact, freshmen would be able to drive their own cars back 
to Raleigh after spring break in March. Vice President Taylor said of 
the enrollment management team's recommendation: "We at Meredith 
don't hold with the philosophy that having a car means doing poorly in 
school. . . ."^^ 

The evening program, so vigorously promoted by President Weems, 
would be tested in the 1995 fall semester, although a similar plan had 
been recorded in the minutes of Academic Council as early as March 
1983: "Dean Burris reminded the group of the College's commitment to 
an evening program and to the idea that students could satisfy the general 
education requirements for degrees by attending classes in the evenings 
for a period of three to five years."^^ But the 1995 version offered a more 
comprehensive agenda. While it started rather tentatively with twelve 
women, it gained momentum and, by the fall of 1996, had enrolled forty- 
seven new students. Specifically for working women, the program pro- 
vided "an academically excellent four-year degree through flexible sched- 
uling and sensitivity to women's needs in accordance with the overall 
mission of the College."^" The idea for Meredith After5 arose, in part, 
from statistics showing that more than half the adult female population 
worked full-time. While the program faced competition from similar of- 


ferings of other local and of satellite campuses, it believed in the advan- 
tages of its all-female status. Classes in the first curriculum of Meredith 
After 5 — majors in social work; business administration management 
concentration; American civilization; and a communications concentra- 
tion in the English department — would also be available to re-entry 
women and traditional-age students. Madra Britt, who had directed the 
enrichment program, was named to direct Meredith After 5. Raleighites 
— especially those frequenting the Fayetteville Street Mall Thursday 
evenings for Alive After Five — related to the name of the program. "Alive 
After Five" was a corporate- and Raleigh Convention Center-sponsored 
event for the commingling of bands, fast food, and droves of people — es- 
pecially young adults — for music and camaraderie. Whether on purpose 
or accidentally, Carol Swink used a good marketing strategy in the 
Meredith Herald by subtly connecting the college program to the weekly 
downtown activity with her story title, "After Five Comes Alive ."^^ 

The academic pulse of Meredith before 5:00 also beat strongly and 
regularly as lively new treatments were prescribed. For instance, the psy- 
chology department branched out beyond its own students to reach au- 
tistic children, when it inaugurated its "in-lab and in-home behavioral 
training for the children . . . ."^' The program served five pre-schoolers in 
developing their "play skills, receptive and expressive language, social 
skills, self-help skills and pre-academics," and it also served about eigh- 
teen Meredith students in training the young women to work with autis- 
tic children and their parents. ^^ A man from Raleigh approached Presi- 
dent Weems at a Christmas party in 1995, introduced himself, and said, 
"Let me tell you something fascinating." The man told of his grandson's 
having been diagnosed with autism while the boy and his parents lived in 
Switzerland. Dr. Weems retold the man's story: 

In consultation with their Swiss doctor [my son] and his wife tried 
to determine the best course to follow for treatment for their son. 
Their doctor contacted a specialist in Germany for advice. The Ger- 
man doctor then contacted a doctor in New York City. . . . The doc- 
tor in New York City contacted a doctor in California .... The 
doctor in California, a specialist in autistic children, said that 
Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., had a special program for autis- 
tic children that he thought would be very appropriate for their 


child. My son resigned from his job in Switzerland, and he and his 
family are moving back to Raleigh to enroll his child in the Mere- 
dith program.^"* 

Doreen Fairbank, Ed.D., assistant professor of psychology, was named 
director of the program. 

Other injections of vitality included a $37,500 grant from the North 
Carolina Biotechnology Center to Elizabeth Wolfinger, assistant profes- 
sor of biology and health sciences, for her proposal, "Integrating Biotech- 
nology into the Meredith College Science Curriculum."^^ Use of the grant 
would include funding of a new course on Introduction to Biotechnology, 
said Dr. Wolfinger. The same department also offered a new concen- 
tration — environmental science — for students pursuing a B.S. degree in 

The Department of Foreign Languages acquired a state-of-the-art lan- 
guage laboratory in its home territory of Joyner Hall, replacing the lab in 
Carlyle Campbell Library. Meredith reported that the used equipment 
"was donated to a Native American group . . . for their ancestral lan- 
guage project in North Carolina."^^ And foreign language students with 
a 3.0 average, who had earned "an A in at least two consecutive semes- 
ters of study in the same foreign language," were eligible for induction 
into Alpha Mu Gamma, Meredith's chapter of the National Foreign Lan- 
guage Honor Society, chartered in April.^^ 

The Department of Sociology and Social Work introduced a new 
minor in women's studies. And when Meredith added a licensure pro- 
gram for theatre majors preparing to teach theatrical arts in the public 
schools, the College became one of only two in the state granting licen- 
sure in the four areas of art, dance, music, and theatre arts. 

Beginning August 21 on the cable channel of Cooperating Raleigh 
Colleges, Carolyn Grubbs, history department head, and Michael Novak, 
associate professor, offered a telecourse on the Western Tradition. De- 
signed for Meredith After5 students, the course would "survey western 
history from its origins in the Ancient Near East to the beginnings of 
Modern European society in about the sixteenth century," explained Dr. 
Novak. "In this respect," he added, "it will correspond roughly to His- 
tory 1 01."^^ Students in the course would participate in an orientation 
session to cover their responsibilities of watching the lectures and reading 


their assignments; and their teacher -student communication by E-mail 
or "telephone office hours" would suffice until Saturdays, when they 
would come to the classroom for "review and discussion."^^ During the 
summer, the media services staff photographed and edited the material 
for fifty-two television classes. 

While the new department head in English held no classes on cablevi- 
sion, he earned at least a modicum of celebrity as the first male in the his- 
tory of the College to head his department: W. Garrett (Garry) Walton, 
Jr., holds the A.B., A.M., and the Ph.D.from the University of Virginia. At 
the time of his appointment, he had taught at Meredith for twelve years 
and had directed the honors program. He was well-versed in his depart- 
ment's history: "While Meredith's Department of English no longer fea- 
tures 'the big three' (Professors Johnson, Rose and Knight)," he said, 
"their dedication and commitment to excellence continue to characterize 
the department." He cited "exciting . . . developments of the last decade — 
off-campus internships, the professional communications concentration, 
[and] new course offerings in African- American and world liter ature."'*° 

Although the message of Dr. Walton's appointment spread far and 
wide, it never quite made the New York Times, but news of three of his 
colleagues did: Dr. Knight, one of the "big three" mentioned in Walton's 
comments; Dr. Jackson, vice president for student development and pro- 
fessor of English; and Lou Rosser of the adjunct English faculty were 
quoted extensively by Times writer Sara Rimer, who interviewed the 
Meredith scholars at a Keats conference at Harvard. Ms. Rimer wrote in 
her "Cambridge Journal" for September ii, "At the opening dinner . . . , 
the three professors from North Carolina pointed reverently to the next 
table, where sat Walter Jackson Bate, the Harvard professor who wrote a 
biography of Keats that won a Pulitzer Prize."'^^ The writer added, 
" 'Everyone who's anyone in the Keats world is here,' . . . said Professor 
Knight, brushing off her own knowledge of the poet whom she has been 
teaching for nearly 40 years."'*^ The article, titled "At Harvard, Lovers of 
Beauty Sing a Collective Ode to Keats," also quoted Mrs. Rosser, who 
said she "required her students to memorize poetry. 'The more you say it, 
the more you understand it,' she said. 'And if you have to get an MRI or 
get stuck in an elevator, how much better to recite Keats than Snoop 
Doggy Dogg.' "'^^ The five-column, half-page feature ended with Knight's 
words: " 'We have eaten, we have lived, we have breathed Keats. . . . It's 


like eating steak and ice cream for three days.' She could not wait, she 
said, to go home and read Keats.""*"* 

Simultaneously, Professor Rebecca Oatsvall, holder of the Wainwright 
Chair of Business, was eating, living, and breathing "the challenges and 
excitement of leading the Department of Business and Economics into the 
2 1 St century.""*^ At the announcement of her appointment as head of de- 
partment, she said, " [We have] the honor of being involved in many new 
and growing programs at the CoUege."'^^ The new programs included a 
major in accounting, which would lead to a B.S. degree. And, with that 
degree in hand, the accounting major could then complete one year in the 
John E. Weems Graduate School for the M.B.A. On the faculty since 
1984, Dr. Oatsvall holds the B.S., M.Acc, and Ph.D. degrees from the 
University of South Carolina. 

As Dr. Oatsvall alluded to growing programs in the Department of 
Business and Economics, she could also have been describing the Depart- 
ment of Home Economics. But just as a young woman of the nineties — 
perhaps the daughter of baby-boomers — might think twice before choos- 
ing a college with the Victorian name of "Baptist Female University," she 
might also wonder at a progressive department's retaining a "home eco- 
nomics" identity. So, to reflect more accurately its directions in child de- 
velopment; clothing and fashion merchandising; foods and nutrition; 
interior design; and family and consumer sciences,* it changed its name 
to "human environmental sciences." And to head the Department of 
Human Environmental Sciences rose Deborah Tippett, holder of the B.S., 
M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of North Carolina at 
Greensboro and a member of the Meredith faculty since 1987. Dr. Tip- 
pett said she saw the past as a challenge for the future: "I am excited 
about the growth of [our] five innovative majors . . . and at the same time 
I am challenged by the many contributions made by the last two depart- 
ment heads . . . , who gave close to 75 years of combined service to the 
College — Marilyn Stuber's 30 years and Ellen Brewer's 44 years."'*'' In the 
year of the change and for the first time, Meredith put in place a nine- 
month post-baccalaureate dietetic internship beyond the B.S. degree in 
nutrition, leading to a student's becoming a registered dietitian. The pro- 

*The family and consumer sciences major replaced the home economics major in 


gram was administered by the John E. Weems Graduate School; directed 
by Wilham Landis, assistant professor of human environmental sciences; 
and accredited by the American Dietetic Association. 

With a nineties name, "First Year Experience" was a new course for 
easing freshmen through the transition from high school to college, from 
home to campus, by offering strategies "for academic success and campus 
resources" as well as discussions "on self-esteem, diversity, values, stress 
management and women's issues.""*^ A printed flier proclaimed, "The 
class is designed to aid you in becoming a master student from the very 
beginning of your college career! . . . Just take it!" And a handout pro- 
moting MAPS (Meredith Alumnae Preparing Students) advertised Career 
Networking Day for students of all classes. Leaders for the "sessions in 
business, communications and public relations, health sciences, paralegal 
and MBA programs, and in those hard-to-find jobs for liberal arts degree 
graduates," would be alumnae from the corporate world, state govern- 
ment, law firms, publications, and health organizations. 

With the office of career services, the networking committee of the 
Alumnae Association and the office of alumnae relations sponsored MAPS, 
one of the early events that introduced Mary Kate Keith, the new — and 
seventh — director of alumnae relations. A 1982 graduate of Stonehill 
College in North Eaton, Massachusetts, Mrs. Keith was the first non- 
alumna appointed to that office. Her selection from more than seventy 
applicants attested to her qualifications, and her experience alone was im- 
pressive: After having directed the alumae program at Georgian Court, a 
woman's college in New Jersey, she was named director of alumni affairs 
at Utica College of Syracuse University, where she served for more than 
four years. In a Meredith article titled "The New Voice of Experience," 
writer Del Hunt Johnson quoted the most recent occupant of the alum- 
nae office: " 'The alumnae are the one thing that's a constant at any col- 
lege,' said Keith. 'The students change, the faculty and administration 
change, but the alumnae are always there. Their involvement in college is- 
sues is crucial, otherwise the college will lose its character.' "'^^ 

Other new directors in 1995 were Sidney L. Cruze, corporate and 
foundation relations; Elizabeth McDuffie, who transferred from the of- 
fice of scholarships and financial assistance to continuing education's en- 
richment program; Phillip D. Roof who replaced McDuffie in financial 
aid; and Jufiellen Simpson-Vos, the Brewer House Infant Care Labora- 


tory. Three months after Keith occupied the Mae Grimmer Alumnae 
House, Sharon Cannon, as new dean of students, moved into the miheu 
of Dean Dorothy Sizemore, who, in semi-retirement, became the first di- 
rector of commuter hfe. 

The leadership demonstrated by the faculty and administrative staff 
was a dynamic force in every facet of the institution. While the statement 
seems so obvious as to be unnecessary, it may find authenticity as a re- 
minder of this chapter's earlier assertion that the marketplace is often a 
meeting place where the media of exchange are ideas and opinions; that, 
even in its growth, the College remains a closely knit family bred of civil- 
ity and cooperation, but not without disagreements; and that students are 
taught by bona fide professionals, as compared to some mammoth insti- 
tutions, where graduate students as surrogates release professors from 
classroom duties for other scholarly pursuits. 

As the previous chapter indicated, the College was committed to lead- 
ership skills for its students and to providing training opportunities for 
both its immediate and extended communities. In 1994-95, the Broyhill 
Leadership Institute brought to Raleigh and environs such renowned 
leaders as Stephen Covey — again; Denis Waitley, author of Empires of 
the Mind; Tom Peters; and Pat Heim. The institute also inaugurated its 
"Dinner With a Winner" series with guest speaker — or guest winner — 
Charlie Gaddy, the regional counterpart of the nationally revered Wal- 
ter Cronkite, formerly of CBS News. Recently retired at the time, Gaddy 
was the long-time news anchor for WRAL-TV, the city's major television 

Another winner was Meredith's selection by the State Department of 
Public Instruction as one of four ideal institutions — with North Carolina 
Central, Fayetteville State, and Shaw Universities — to form the state's 
new STAR (United Star Distance Learning Consortium) program. De- 
signed to "assist successful integration of technology into elementary and 
middle school curricula," ^° STAR would have use of the two new satellite 
dishes on the flat roof of Carlyle Campbell Library and would attract, 
said President Weems, "[tjeachers from all over the Triangle ... to par- 
ticipate in interactive Satellite broadcasts which we will deliver over our 
campus cable system." ^^ Media specialist John Kincheloe boasted of 
Meredith's technological opportunities: 


Media services is receiving signals from space — from 25 satellites to 
be precise. Using our two new^ satellite dishes, we are able to receive 
an incredible range of educational programming. ... In September, 
our new equipment enabled the entire campus to participate, along 
with 600 other colleges and universities, in a nationwide teleconfer- 
ence. We received the satellite transmission and delivered the live 
program over our cable system to more than 700 possible viewing 
sites on campus."^^ 

Words and phrases such as "satellite dishes," "optical fiber network," 
"gopher," "Internet," and "World Wide Web home page" entered the lan- 
guage, not only of technology experts but also of English majors, social 
workers, athletes, musicians, and all others who aspired to the virtual re- 
alities of Cyberspace. At Meredith, the optical fiber network stretched 
across the campus and through appropriate buildings, including residence 
halls, giving students access to the Internet and to E-mail capabilities. 
Through the gopher, "a search and research tool" that "can navigate the 
INTERNET worldwide, . . . [t]he resources of 60,000 main frame com- 
puters will be available to our students instantly." ^^ Already on the Internet 
and with a web page on line, Meredith advertised its new addresses in the 
idiom of the Information Age: For example, via the World Wide Web, one 
could reach the College at 

AT ITS MORE Conventional address, 3800 Hillsborough Street, the college 
effectively marketed itself through location and appearance. In 1994, one 
of the previously nondescript structures had undergone a facelift. With 
the option to buy, the College had leased the small modular building in 
1983 in a desperate move to solve the problem of crowded housing, and, 
because it had been placed across the street from Carroll Health Center 
(then Carroll Infirmary), it was known as Carroll Annex. As the shortage 
of living space continued, the College had exercised its option to buy, as- 
signing the small building to "students wishing to speak a foreign lan- 
guage exclusively,"^"* a concept that evolved to include "both Inter- 
national and American students interested in cross-cultural issues.^^ 
Marguerite Warren Noel, '34, had given generously of her means toward 
the renovation of the building that ultimately became the Noel Interna- 


tional House. And, on Meredith's nomination in 1993, Mrs. Noel re- 
ceived the first Philanthropist of the Year Award from the North Carolina 
Baptist Development Officers' Association. The organization made a wise 
selection: Because of the alumna's generosity, there is a Noel Hall for vi- 
sually impaired students, as well as a scholarship, at Gardner- Webb Uni- 
versity; an endowed performing arts series at Wingate University; a schol- 
arship at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; another scholarship 
at Wake Forest University; the Noel Home "for girls who cannot function 
successfully at home or in foster care" in Caldwell County; the Noel En- 
richment Series at First Baptist Church, Kannapolis, North Carolina; 
and, in addition to the international house, a Noel First Family Scholar- 
ship Fund at Meredith, ^^ Noel International House was dedicated on 
April 10, 1995, three months after Mrs. Noel's death on January 25. 

Students saw housing as a major attraction to or distraction from aca- 
demic life. In its desire to improve retention rates, Meredith re-examined 
its policies and expanded its options. As a result, seniors and juniors 
could elect off-campus living, and several of them did, leaving single 
rooms as a popular choice for those remaining in the residence halls. 

By late fall, the "house" of physical education -dance increased in 
value in every way: Its new 5,000-square-foot dance studio and fitness 
center was completed. From the start, the fitness center bulged with mem- 
bers of a health-conscious society, the price of admission being simply the 
show of a CamCard. So students and faculty and staff members alike 
could — and did — avail themselves of the center's state-of-the-art exercise 
equipment — including treadmills and muscle-toning machines — and 
weight-training area. The center would be open to women seven days a 
week, said Cindy Bross, professor of health and physical education, but 
Dr. Bross and her department insisted upon orientation sessions for users 
of the equipment. In a serious, yet trendy, passion for physical fitness, 
four of the eight students questioned by the Herald regarding their New 
Year's Resolutions for 1994 had alluded to the issue: Sharon Duffy, '95, 
replied, "I made several [resolutions]. I promised to exercise, better my 
eating habits, and get better organized. I am going to stop drinking caf- 
feinated drinks." Anissa Jones, '94, said, "I promised to take better care 
of myself." Kristen Elliott, '97, resolved "to tone up." And Betsy Powell, 
'95, responded, "I'm going to cut down on the number of naps I take 
each day."^^ 


In September, the trustees made a new academic year's resolution to 
renovate and add to Gate Center, the funding to come from a three-year 
mini campaign to raise $1,200,000 in projected costs. Architects Pierce, 
Brinkley, Cease, and Lee would design the structure. 

In the same meeting, President Weems reported that endowment and 
reserves totaled more than $42,000,000, and that Meredith was again 
ranked in U.S. News and World Report's "Best College Buys" in regional 
colleges and universities in the South. ^^ Optimism brightened the finan- 
cial picture. The Teaching Fellows Commission contributed to the sunny 
mood by approving Meredith and Elon's joint proposal to "limit the es- 
calating costs" of the program. Both colleges were relieved by the com- 
mission's decision to obligate the colleges to only $5,000 per Fellow, the 
same amount granted by the state. ^^ President Weems spoke of the action 
as "an incredible breakthrough" that would "allow the College to com- 
mit to the Teaching Fellows program ad mfinitum."^^ 

At the same time, 184 named scholarships swelled the coffers. Schol- 
arships, work-study programs, and loans were primary components of 
the financial assistance packages earmarked for worthy students. Ac- 
cording to the Biblical Recorder, "[ajpproximately one-third of Meredith 
students receive[d] loan assistance," but the good news was that "[n]one 
of the 162 Meredith students whose loan repayment obligations began in 
1992 defaulted on their loans."^^ In the 147 schools surveyed statewide, 
reported the Recorder, the default rate was 14 percent, the average rang- 
ing from zero to 41.6 percent.^^ 

NEITHER DID THE College default on its selection of lecturers in 1995. For 
instance, renowned social activist Arun Gandhi, director of the Arun 
Gandhi Institute for the Study of Non-Violence, and grandson of India's 
late Mohandas K. Gandhi, spoke in Jones Auditorium on March 29 on 
"Non-Violence or Non-Existence: Options for the 21st Century." Dr. 
Gandhi founded the M.K. Gandhi Institute for the Study of Non-violence 
at Christian Brothers University in Memphis. He said he "was inspired by 
his experiences with his grandfather in India in the 1940s, and by the 
time he spent in South Africa subject to the government's strict policy of 
apartheid."^^ His adage, "Non-violence is to violence what light is to 
dark," was widely quoted for a time following his lecture. Also memo- 
rable were Gandhi's "seven blunders of the world," as given to him by his 


Sponsored by the Hull Lecture Series, Arun Gandhi, 

grandson of India's late Mohandas K. Gandhi and director of the 

Arun Gandhi Institute for the Study of Non-Violence, visits the campus 

and meets with Mabel Claire Hoggard Maddrey, '28, Meredith's 

quintessential alumna. 

grandfather: "wealth without work; pleasure without conscience; knowl- 
edge without character; commerce without morality; science without hu- 
manity; worship without sacrifice; and politics without principles." The 
eighth blunder — his own, he said — was "rights without responsibili- 
ties."^"^ Gandhi's address was sponsored by the Hull Lecture Series. 

A paradisiacal state of non-violence was hardly imaginable in the 
global society of 1995. Shortly after United Nations peacekeeping forces 
withdrew from Somalia, President Clinton asked for support in sending 
military personnel to civil war-ravaged Bosnia, where they and troops of 
other NATO countries were to keep the peace following a shaky agree- 
ment between the Serbs and Croats. On the other side of the world, the 
assassination of Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin threatened the 
long-sought peace between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organi- 
zation. Rabin's death was a reminder to Meredith of former Vice Presi- 
dent Thomas's return from a "women's interreligious study dialogue for 


peace" in Israel in 1976, and her comment: "The prospects for peace are 
not very apparent." ^^ The Twig had reported Dr. Thomas's meeting with 
Israeh women at Rabin's home, where the women had expressed their be- 
hef in their "important role in peace-keeping" but also in the dim hope 
that Arab and Israeli women would talk to each other. ^^ 

In the United States, the unthinkable occurred on that infamous day in 
April, when a bomb planted by an American who was angered by his 
government killed more than 160 people — many of them children — in 
the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. In the same 
month, a man in California was killed by a package bomb. Because of the 
growing frequency of occurrences such as the latter, the campus postal 
service was alerted to characteristics of packages containing bombs, and 
Meredith's facilities services department took seriously the warnings, is- 
suing a terse memorandum: "Due to recent package bomb incidents, any 
packages that are not clearly marked with a name and/or department on 
the outside will be returned." ^^ 

When turbulence shook the political arena, it was usually in the form 
of verbal assault, such as in the budget impasse between Clinton and 
the Congress that led to a six-day partial shutdown of the government. 
In November, and particularly after popular Gulf War hero General 
Colin Powell announced his intention not to seek the presidency of the 
United States, the myriad Republican presidential hopefuls played one- 
upmanship for their party's nomination in 1996, while President Clinton 
ran unopposed. Powell's decision not to run for president seemed to 
evoke reaction from almost every corner of the world. To the Meredith 
Herald's "Question of the Week" — "What do you think of Colin Pow- 
ell's decision?" — Hannah Shelp, a sophomore, responded "If he had 
run, he would have made a great stride in breaking the legacy of all 
white presidents."^^ 

Former member of Raleigh's City Council and alumna Mary Watson 
Nooe, '69, came to the campus in September to promote her bid to be- 
come mayor of Raleigh. The Herald reported, "She hopes to create a 
strong, diverse city where citizens know there is room for all who are 
here. Nooe spoke about putting Raleigh back on track to being a world 
class city with educated people and quality services. . . ."^^ But in the po- 
litical climate of 1995, voters elected her opponent, the more conserva- 
tive Tom Fetzer. 


For every reminder that lack of communication fostered violence, it 
seemed that a new Internet devotee went on line. It would remain to 
be seen whether the Information Age would curtail violence. 
Meredith took steps toward communicating with other cultures 
through its Meredith Abroad and diverse travel opportunities, but 
traveling to another country to do manual labor was a new activity. 
In 1995, a team "of willing and determined volunteers" set out for 
two weeks of hard work in Prague in the Czech Republic.''^ "The 
Meredith Connection," as the team came to be known, comprised 
April Newlin, Jessica Drew, Megan Carney, and Jan Yow, all stu- 
dents; David Lynch, head of the music department, and his son, 
Dave; Johnny Evans, a retired educator; and their leaders, Sam 
Car others and Donna Fowler-Merchant, campus minister and asso- 
ciate campus minister, respectively. Their task was to help trans- 
form the "new" 200-year-old International Baptist Theological 
Seminary campus in Prague from a state of disrepair to a livable 
campus. The seminary had been relocated from its long-time site in 
Ruschlikon, Switzerland. On the return of "The Meredith Connec- 
tion," Fowler-Merchant spoke for the group: 

Isaiah 42 and 65 speak of God laboring to give birth to a new 
ceation in innovative or unfamiliar ways. All of us were mid wives in 
that "birth" process as we gave of our time and talents to bring 
forth something new in Central Europe. And who would have ever 
guessed that the darkness would be turned to light and the rough 
places made smooth by a group of American women working with 
a group of men from the former Soviet Union? I pray that we never 
forget our experiences in Prague. I feel certain that we never will.^^ 

If women effectively helped bring light out of darkness and smooth 
over rough places in the world, then alumna and trustee Jean Batten 
Cooper, '54, offered a practicable suggestion to the executive committee 
of the board, as recorded in the minutes of the November meeting: 

In keeping with the developments of other all-female institutions 
and in conjunction with other emphases the Meredith trustees are 
planning for the turn of the century, Jean Cooper challenged the 
board to set a goal of 50 percent male and 50 percent female board 
members by the year 2000. Her justification for this plan was that 


all alumnae of the college are female, the school depends heavily on 
alumnae contributions and the churches from which the trustees are 
chosen are all more than 50 percent female. This plan was given for 
the consideration of the administration and the nominations com- 

The minutes of the meeting recorded no action. 

Alumnae were diligent in underscoring the importance of Meredith to 
women and women to society. Through monetary gifts, several gradu- 
ates subscribed for the College a one-year membership in the Women's 
College Coalition (WCC), believing that "the association with other 
women's colleges of similar academic standards would be beneficial. . . ." ''^ 
The national organization's roster of seventy-four women's colleges in- 
cluded Salem and Bennett Colleges in North Carolina, as well as familiar 
schools in other states: Brenau, Converse, Randolph-Macon, Wellesley, 
and Radcliffe. The coalition "is a lobbying entity for single-sex edu- 
cation and a research-funding entity for grants related to how women 
learn," ^^ explained Dr. Webb at a faculty meeting. Meredith held a one- 
year membership in WCC in 1988-89 but retains its more recent affili- 

Single-sex education was a topic of spirited debate in 1995. It was the 
year that Shannon Faulkner became the first female cadet at the Citadel, 
an all-male bastion since 1842. Faulkner's legal battle for admission to 
the military college of South Carolina had been raging for many months, 
following the Citadel's withdrawal of her previous acceptance on the 
school's becoming aware of her gender. All in their August 22, 1994, is- 
sues, three widely circulated news magazines published stories about the 
case. Time reported that a federal appeals court had decided against 
her;^"* Newsweek pondered the possibility of the cadet's shaved head, 
should she gain admission;^^' and U.S. News and World Report said her 
zealous efforts compared with the struggles of the first female cadets ad- 
mitted to the United States Military Academy at West Point.^^ Faulkner 
was eventually admitted, but the victory was short-lived. She withdrew 
because of "psychological stress" during hell week.^^ 

Unlike the Citadel, Meredith was not supported by public money 
when the College argued for single-sex status in the graduate school in 
1986, nor in earlier years. But the case of Faulkner versus the Citadel 


brought reactions pro and con among Meredith students. For example, 
Traci Latta's editorial in the Meredith Herald sided with the Citadel: 

There are just some things that shouldn't be tampered with — the 
safety seal on aspirin, radioactive materials and traditional institu- 
tions like the Citadel — and Meredith ."^^ 

And Wendy Kelly took the alternative view: 

I bet all of you out there that believe [Faulkner] shouldn't have been 
at the Citadel in the first place are having a ball with the recent turn 
of events. I can even hear "I told you so" being muttered across 
campus. . . . 

But you know what? Shannon Faulkner . . . did accomplish 
something by setting precedent and breaking tradition. 

Another woman will rise to the occasion. 

She will attend and graduate from the Citadel. . . . Who's laugh- 
ing now?^^ 

WITH WORLD NEWS as available as the nearest campus access to the News 
and Observer; as the turn of a radio or television dial; or as the click of 
a mouse on the Internet, the Herald had little incentive to publish head- 
line news except as it applied to the College. Rather, page one carried ar- 
ticles of local importance — the slate of candidates for student elections 
in the March i issue; the use of computer technology at the College or a 
recent leadership conference at North Carolina State, in the October 25 
issue; and Cornhuskin' 1995 in the November 8 issue. And in the Feb- 
ruary I edition, a front-page headhne read, "Meredith's Cat Team's cat 
trap is missing." The story led with "We have all seen the many cats cir- 
cling around Johnson Hall. . . ."^° The strays had multiplied for several 
years until Anne Pugh, administrative secretary to Vice President Taylor, 
and Frank Berry of the general services staff "invested a lot of time into 
curing Meredith of this cat problem," including setting a trap, which, de- 
clared reporter Kimberly Zucker, was harmless to the cats.^^ Her story 

However, the cat trap is missing. Pugh and Berry fear that someone 
may have stolen the trap because they feared the cats were being 


given to the Humane Society. The "Cat Team" wants to be sure the 
students know that each cat is given a home. 

Pugh has taken several of the cats to her own home. Since she 
cannot fill her entire house full of cats, she takes the rest to [her vet, 
who] gives each cat all the necessary shots and finds the cat a 

Berry has been nicknamed "The Catman." He often takes the 
cats home to tame them and then sends them to the Second Chance 
Adoption Agency. ^^ 

The cat tale ended with a plea for the return of the Have-a-Heart trap, 
and, according to Patricia Blackwell of facilities services, the trap was, in- 
deed, returned; however, as late as the summer of 1998, two cat families 
remained — one in the boiler room and one near Johnson Hall. 

ALMOST EVERY FACET of life at Meredith made a statement in and to the 
marketplace; however, if page one of the Herald made marketing state- 
ments, they were subtle ones at best. The handsome viewbook, on the 
other hand, was clearly a tool for targeting prospective students. Positive 
statements of then-current students graced almost every double-page 
spread. For example. Teaching Fellow and Honors Scholar Heather Blake 
wrote for the book's section on academic quality. Her essay said, in part, 

One of the most memorable events of my freshman year was my 
first art class. I had originally planned to major in biology. But be- 
cause of the liberal arts curriculum, I was able to study art, an in- 
terest that has now turned into a possible future occupation! When 
I walked into the art studio that first day, I felt so excited — a whole 
new world was opened to me. I learned to appreciate my talent and 
enjoyed the class so much that I almost decided to major in art. 
Even though I'm still a biology major, I have not ruled out art. 
Who knows . . . maybe I'll be a medical or botanical illustrator one 

The curriculum here is not easy, and I have to study hard to do 
well. But I would not have it any other way, because I'm not here 
just to get a degree; I'm here to learn and grow. There's so much I 


want to do with my life, and my education at Meredith is the per- 
fect beginning. ^^ 

Essayist Heather Blake graduated in the rain on May 14, with 207 
other new Bachelors of Science, 197 Bachelors of Arts, 12 Bachelors of 
Music, 44 Masters of Business Administration, 5 Masters of Educa- 
tion, and 4 Masters of Music. She heard North Carolina Senator Betsy 
Lane Cochrane, '58, address her class on the topic of "The Circle of 
Spirituality and Intellectual Discovery." Senator Cochrane said, "You 
leave Meredith today with skills that will help you live a worthwhile 
story, prepared to pursue your hopes and ambitions to the farthest 
star." 84 

Cynthia Affronti headed the alphabetical lineup to receive her diploma 
on December 16 at the first mid-year commencement ceremony since 
1967. She graduated with 46 other Bachelors of Arts; i Bachelor of 
Music; 46 Bachelors of Science; 26 Masters of Business Administration i 
Master of Education; and 3 Masters of Music. As larger numbers of 
women completed their work after the summer session or at the end of 
first semester, they welcomed an optional date for graduation. At the De- 
cember ceremony, reported Meredith, "The 600-seat Jones Auditorium 
was full beyond capacity with spectators. . . ." And the same newsletter 
quoted Dean Burris: " 'Judging from the magnitude of success of this cer- 
emony, I'd say we're on track for continuing to have a fall semester com- 
mencement.' "8^ The graduates, with the overflow crowd of families and 
friends, heard one of their teachers, Suzanne Britt, address their places in 
the "real world" through an Emily Dickinson poem: "I'm Nobody! Who 
Are You?" Britt said, "Despite all the optimistic chatter surrounding this 
important day, where you are going and what you will do when you get 
there will bear a striking resemblance to all other journeys. . . . Life is Ufe, 
and you are in it, like it or not. What really matters is not where you are 
going but what you take with you." 8^, 

IN Meredith's journey over the years, advertising styles have evolved; 
however, the wording of a middle-of-the-road ad from 1991 — which 
might have reached more parents than their college-seeking daughters 
— then told of and still implies an ageless bond of College with student: 


Meredith's students are its raison d'etre 
and its most effective advertisement. 

The relationship between you and your college goes on forever. 

You learn, grow, reach, enjoy, lead, decide, stretch . . . you search, discover. 

Your college teaches, nourishes, challenges, encourages, allows, believes 

... it searches, discovers. 

You change. It changes. You make a place in its history. It makes a 

difference in your life. 

At least that's the way it is at Meredith, 

the largest private college for women in the southeastern United States. 

It's the way it should be — an experience for a lifetime. 


1996 -1998 

Women to replace embroidery hoops with text books? 

To substitute the pohte arts with the Hberal arts? 

Women to crowd thoughts of home and heart with 

philosophies of great issues of their society? 

FICTITIOUS QUESTIONS FROM the literature of the Visions Program, 
Meredith's successful capital campaign of the eighties, alluded to the very 
real "half century of debate and struggle" that was "prelude to Baptist 
Female University." The booklet cited Thomas Meredith, a progressive 
Baptist preacher and the founding editor of the Biblical Recorder, as hav- 
ing "linked years of progress and temporary defeats to the school's real- 
ity." But Meredith, the man, did not champion the cause of Meredith, the 
college, for his own glorification. (Who would have dared, given the dif- 
ficulty of the task?) "Greatness of self was far from his mind or from the 
thoughts of [that] handful of mid-nineteenth century Baptists who advo- 
cated education for women. The greatness was in their vision." 

For as long as freshman English students have recited Chaucer or 
Homer, the College has periodically revisited the vision of its founders, as 
implied throughout this document, but rarely has the scrutiny been more 
intense than in the last years of the twentieth century. The re-examination 
of purpose and process has evolved into an extended period of strategic 



planning for Meredith's entry into the new millennium — and beyond. 
The sequence, called "Initiative 2000," and its slogans, "Defining Higher 
Education for Women" or "Teaching Women to Excel," are integral parts 
of the conversations as this chapter takes form. Revised budgets, com- 
mittee and departmental planning sessions, printed documents, barrages 
of e-mail, and even T-shirts bearing slogans attest to the renaissance au 

Mary Lynch Johnson's A History of Meredith College unearthed the 
founders' early vision — beginning v^ith a seed of an idea for a school, 
planted in the early 1800's — but the first catalogue of Baptist Female 
University (announcements for 1899 -1900) also accounted for the 
"v^hys and v^herefores" of the college for young women. Throughout this 
final chapter of The Vision Revisited, quotations from the 1899 -1900 
catalogue's "Introductory" are printed in italics. 

"The desire for this institution was for many years expressed in this 
form — 'We ought to do in higher education for our young women what 
we have done in Wake Forest College for our young men.' When we say 
that in the Baptist Female University this desire is being literally fulfilled 
we tell the whole truth; though we do not mean to say that the work is 
identical, since this can scarcely be desired. The standard is fully as high, 
the culture is quite as complete, and the ideals are identical; — so that the 
comparison with our college for young men will convey to those who are 
acquainted with that institution a better idea of the work and aims of the 
school of our denomination for our young women than may be conveyed 
in any other wayT 

THE NORTH CAROLINA Baptists who foundcd Meredith also established 
and pointed with pride to the college for "our" young men, which had 
opened its doors in 1834 as Wake Forest Institute, becoming Wake Forest 
College in 1838.^ Some readers might find points to ponder in that, at 
Baptist Female University's chartering in 1891, Wake Forest was its "big 
brother" college. Was the broader college education more desirable for 
men than for women? Was a university of twelve schools more appropri- 
ate for women than for men? In any case, the status of each institution 
was reversed in the 1900s, BFU becoming Meredith College in 1909 and 
Wake Forest a university in 1944. 


Although "our"" young women in the first student body were mostly 
North Carolina Baptists, the possessive pronoun did not then nor has it 
ever served as mandate for exclusion as to denomination or region. Of 
course, in darker days, the College excluded according to society and, 
sometimes, because of narrow minds in the denomination. Chapter i in- 
cludes news of the first African-American graduate. Over the ensuing 
years, minority students have remained in the minority to a greater extent 
than Meredith might have liked, although efforts toward diversity by 
race, age, nationality, religious affiliation, and by programs designed to 
meet the needs of that diversity have been ongoing. In 1997, for example, 
the Association for Black Awareness decided to broaden its vision, chang- 
ing its name to the "Association for Cultural Awareness" and, to reflect 
its new name, revisiting its purpose "to promote cultural awareness and 
increase knowledge of diverse women, to provide a channel through 
which cultural concerns may be recognized, and to unify all women at 
Meredith College." 

For a time, Meredith sought to extend its base beyond the region; 
however, in the late eighties and all the nineties, it found and pronounced 
its strength as a regional college. But while it has expended most of its re- 
sources, both human and financial, in the region, it has welcomed quah- 
fied women from all over the United States — indeed, from around the 
world. In 1996, "our" young women represented twenty-three states and 
twenty-four foreign countries, and the 627 Southern Baptists composed 
35 percent of a student body comprising 26 other denominations and re- 
ligions. A clue to the diversity of the faculty emerges in the 1996 listing 
of the professorial staff and their scholarly credentials: the 119 full-time 
members earned graduate degees from 71 institutions, 61 of which were 
in states outside North Carolina and in foreign countries. 

"In the prolonged period in which the University was being built, the ad- 
vocates of the institution argued that the North Carolina Baptists believe 
in the higher education for women; that they believe in the power of 
women in the realm of the home and the church to serve God and His 
kingdom; that every argument for the education of young men is but the 
more cogent with respect to young women; and, therefore, that the oblig- 
ation to offer our young women the opportunity of the very best educa- 
tional advantages at the lowest possible expense, and the wisdom of es- 

THE VISION REVISITED: 1996-1998 I 303 

tablishing an institution under the control of our denomination, were 
commended to us on the highest of grounds." 

THE HERALD BEGAN in 1996 to ruii on its banner a line borrowed from a 
Meredith advertisement: "We attract bright, talented, ambitious students. 
Naturally we're a women's college." And, in 1997, almost a century after 
the early founders established Meredith, the News and Observer pub- 
lished a front-page article about women's colleges and their "new degree 
of equality." Reporter Cynthia Barnett had discovered that the projected 
fall enrollment of freshmen in North Carolina's four women's colleges — 
Peace, Meredith, Salem, and Bennett — jumped from 795 to 1,043. (The 
freshman enrollment at Meredith alone increased from 377 in '96 to 416 
in ^97.) Barnett wrote, "The growth follows two rocky decades in which 
women's colleges fought the perception that they were either too elite or 
not up to par with co-ed schools. Many lost the battle: of 298 women's 
colleges in the United States in i960, only 8z remain today. ... In the past 
decade, however, women's colleges nationwide have boosted their enroll- 
ment 20 percent. . . ."- 

The reporter quoted Julianne Still Thrift, president of Salem College in 
Winston-Salem, who said that "statistics debunk the idea that graduates 
of women's colleges aren't prepared for the real world." ^ In March 1998, 
when Dr. Thrift spoke at Meredith in observance of Women's History 
Month, she offered some of the same "real world" statistics published in 
the article: 

Women's college graduates are twice as likely as their coed-campus 
counterparts to earn a doctorate. They are three times as likely to 
go to graduate school in math or science. While less than four per- 
cent of college-educated women have degrees from women's col- 
leges, 24 percent of women members of Congress and a third of 
women board members of Fortune 500 companies graduated from 
women's colleges."^ 

And an undated publication of the Women's College Coalition asserts, 
"Virtually all women of science from the Nineteenth and early Twentieth 
Centuries received their training in women's colleges." 

Organizations hke the Women's College Coalition and women's col- 
leges like Meredith long ago revisited early founders' sentiments about 


"the power of women in the realm of the home and the church." Indeed, 
inferences drawn from the BFU curriculum would credit the writer(s) of 
the first catalogue with the understanding that women's knowledge, in- 
terests, and influence reached beyond those limitations. Largely through 
their own determination have women and women's colleges not only 
placed women in home and church but also in all other areas of society — 
the arts, the sciences, the workplace, civic responsibilities, finances, poli- 
tics. . . . The list continues. 

In its role of pioneer, as discussed in Chapter 2, Meredith's continuing 
education program has learned much about women's leadership potential 
and has taught what it learned. In 1966, the division instituted a program 
through which women twenty-five or older could earn in one year leader- 
ship certification under the Broyhill Leadership Institute umbrella. The 
1997-98 brochure for Meredith College Women's Leadership Program 
enticed and enlightened: The program's mission is "to develop competent, 
high-profile leaders who make a positive difference in the community." 
The two levels of the program would move participants toward the goal 
by way of "new approaches to leadership in today's rapidly changing or- 
ganizational environments." Leadership symposia in 1993 and 1994 en- 
couraged the concept. Another symposium — this one in May 1996 — in- 
spired representatives from twenty-two women's colleges, including six of 
the largest in the nation, throughout a day of Excellence in Continuing Ed- 
ucation for Women. Guest speakers were Jadwiga Sebrechts, executive di- 
rector of the Women's College Coalition, and Sandra Thomas, president of 
Converse College and a former vice president at Meredith. 

And for the home college population, the office of student activities 
and leadership development in 1997 introduced the Sophie Lanneau 
Leadership Program. The example of Sophie Lanneau, '02, one of the 
"Immortal Ten" and a lifelong leader herself, inspired the name of the 
program for encouraging students to be "effective leaders and active par- 
ticipants in their communities." 

The College escalated its own image of leadership with the 1996 found- 
ing of the Meredith Center for Women in the Arts. And, on April 2, 1997, 
an inaugural festival at the Gaddy-Hamrick Art Center celebrated every 
art form offered on the campus: visual arts, music, drama, and dance. 

No intention of hyperbole hides in the high-sounding purpose of the 
center that 

THE VISION REVISITED: 1996-1998 I 305 

unites faculty and students, campus and community for learning, 
teaching, research, creation and performance of the arts. Long rec- 
ognized for its excellence in the performing and visual arts, Mere- 
dith has renewed its commitment to significant investment in arts 
support and funding with the creation of the Center. . . . 

With the participation and the support of faculty and students 
across the traditional boundaries of discipline, the Center brings to- 
gether art, dance, music and theatre for planning, production, per- 
formance, proposal writing and promotion. . . .^ 

Although Meredith had worked for a decade toward establishing the 
Center for Women in the Arts, Initiative 2000 gave it life. Its time had 
come, suggested Jean Jackson, vice president for student development, 
who oversaw its creation. "The arts are imbedded deeply in our culture 
— a means of preserving and celebrating our civilization." She added, "At 
a time when the arts are under such scrutiny, ... it is vital to ensure access 
to all the arts."^* 

Access to the campus was an impetus for artist-in-residence Robert 
Mihaly, who had begun sculpting an angel — "a very large angel," de- 
clared Meredith — during his tenure with the National Cathedral in 
Washington, D.C. The cathedral grounds were not conducive to a work 
of that magnitude, and Mihaly welcomed the grassy open spaces near 
Gaddy-Hamrick Art Center as a temporary home for his twelve-ton mar- 
ble "work-in-progress." His graceful angel would remain in full view — 
except in bad weather when a blue tarp covered it — until it was com- 
pleted and claimed by the local family who commissioned it. 

Angelic choruses for children added a dimension to the arts through 
the music program that, historically, has served the Raleigh community as 
well as Meredith's full-time students. The younger singers — from Wake, 
Durham, Johnston, and Orange Counties — were members of the Mere- 
dith Girls' Chorus and the Meredith Girls' Chorale (for eight- to sixteen- 
year-olds), directed by professor of music Fran M. Page. The groups' "de- 
manding" schedules have taken them to the Capitol in Washington, D.C; 

*In the nineties, the conservative bent of elected officials led legislative bodies to 
decrease dramatically municipal and federal funding for the arts. The voice of United 
States Senator Jesse Helms from North Carolina was one of the loudest heard 
against the National Endowment for the Arts. 


the White House; the National Cathedral; the North Carolina Museum 
of Art; the Governor's Mansion; the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South 
Carolina; and back home again to perform in the National Opera Com- 
pany's Hansel and Gretel and La Boheme. But, added Dr. Page, "These 
girls come out w^ith an appreciation of music that will last the rest of their 
lives."^ An announcement in a 1997 faculty meeting was also an invita- 
tion to hear the two choral groups join the singers called "Encore!" for a 
presentation in Jones Chapel. Encore! was first listed in the 1997-98 cat- 
alogue, although its description was the same as that for MUS 434 — 
"Vocal Ensemble" in earlier announcements: "A group of about 12 
singers who perform literature covering material from all musical periods 
and styles, both on campus and off. Admission by audition only." 

And it was encore! for Beth Leavel, '77, who returned to inspire the 
theatre wing of the College. After all, according to Meredith, "Leavel has 
made it big on Broadway (see Chapter 3), performing in such hits as 
Crazy for You and ShowboatT^ In 1997, at the invitation of her college 
contemporary, assistant professor of theatre Catherine Rodgers, '76, 
Leavel returned to the campus to choreograph the Meredith Performs 
production of Irene and to hold workshops in musical theatre. While 
Leavel choreographed the Meredith play. Sherry Shapiro, associate pro- 
fessor of dance and "a pioneer in the field of choreography as critical ped- 
agogy,"^ left on sabbatical for the Givat Haviva Institute of Education in 
Israel "to teach and to study the relationship between dance, the arts and 
education for social understanding." ^° 

The "odd couple" of academe — the arts and the sciences — are mutu- 
ally inclusive. While Meredith commemorated the arts, it also celebrated 
Women in Science Day on March 24, 1997. As prelude to the observance, 
scientists from the Raleigh Astronomy Club set up telescopes on the cam- 
pus for the viewing of a triple treat: the Hale-Bopp Comet, Mars, and a 
lunar eclipse. And as integral parts of the main celebration, chemistry 
professor Reginald Shiflett — or Merlin the Magician for a day — per- 
formed chemistry magic; Robert Reid, biology, demonstrated and dis- 
cussed plant (and animal) cloning; and Janice Swab, biology, led a cam- 
pus tree tour. The featured convocation speaker was Gertrude Elion, a 
scientist so accomplished in her field as to have been awarded in 1988 the 
Nobel Prize in physiology of medicine. (See Chapter 9.) In her address 
titled "Challenges and Rewards of Pharmaceutical Research," she ex- 


plained, "We started out with . . . the idea that we could interfere with 
DNA."^^ Elion told her audience of her "pilgrim's progress" as a scientist. 
Meredith told her more personal story: 

No one wanted to offer young biochemist Gertrude Elion a job 
after her graduation summa cum laude from Hunter College. In the 
early 40s, potential employers were convinced she would just get 
married and leave. Their attitude was that, as a woman, Gertrude 
Ehon would be a distracting influence in the laboratory. . . . 

"I wasn't sure what I was meant to do about that," she told the 
convocation audience .... But what she did was go to graduate 
school at NYU and get her MS in chemistry, , . . 

The sad thing is, it took [World War II] to make employers real- 
ize that women might be useful in the laboratory," she said. Finally, 
in 1944 a small pharmaceutical laboratory in the little town of 
Tuckahoe, just north of New York City, took a chance on Gertrude 
Elion. She was hired by George Hitchings,* then head of the bio- 
chemistry department at Burroughs Wellcome. . . . ^^ 

Because of her gender, Gertrude Elion was shortchanged in the early 
years of her career, and, according to studies by the American Association 
of University Women, students who happened to be girls were still being 
shortchanged — more noticeably so in math and science than in some other 
disciplines. Although similar findings were later questioned, AAUW's 1996 
report offered "dramatic evidence" as to the validity of theirs. ^^ Taking 
steps toward solving the problem, Meredith; local members of the na- 
tional organization. Women and Mathematics; Wake County Middle 
Schools; and area businesses teamed up to provide mentors — "women 
who use mathematics in their professions" — for middle- and high-school 
girls "who might be interested in similar career paths. ^'* 

For women in the nineties, career paths sometimes led to business 
ownership. In 1997, the College established "the only Small Business 
Center for Women in the Triangle" for women of all ages. In addition to 
formal teaching, workshops, and seminars, the center offered myriad re- 
sources, including a quarterly newsletter for statewide circulation and 

*Hitchings and James Black are Glaxo Wellcome scientists who, with Elion, were 
awarded the Nobel Prize. 


mentoring and consulting opportunities. Mentoring (a nineties word) and 
other forms of leadersliip sometimes transcended the worlcpiace, merging 
with civic responsibihty, as in the example of those professional women's 
gifts of time and knowledge of mathematics to young girls who needed 
role models. As alluded to in earlier passages, Meredith and its students 
have assumed civic responsibilities in many forms. In this chapter's time 
period, the culture sometimes called for extra-extra-curricular activities 
to take stands for the good of humankind. For example, in 1996, stu- 
dents Katie Robinson, Mary Sharpe, and Danielle Mir founded Angels 
for the Environment, a club "to promote awareness in the Meredith com- 
munity of environmental concerns by working on and beyond the cam- 
pus in an attempt to better the environment. "Their efforts have ranged 
from recycling to post-Hurricane Fran cleanup, from "creating a nature 
trail" to "implementing Earth Day events," and their territory has ranged 
from the campus through the extended community. ^^ 

To make statements about issues, Meredith women have sometimes 
collaborated with students from other area colleges, as they did on Hal- 
loween night, 1997, for a Take Back the Night rally and candlelight vigil, 
where students from both schools protested the atrocities of rape and 
other acts of violence often targeted toward victims in the darkness of 

In both June 1997 and 1998, Meredith hosted, and students, faculty, 
staff, and alumnae participated in the North Carolina Triangle Race for 
the Cure®, a national fund-raising event "to benefit breast cancer educa- 
tion and research efforts." ^^ Both races were staged on the campus. 

The women in the race showed their true colors — as people will do — 
by staunchly supporting a cause in which they intensely believed. Fortu- 
nately, literally thousands of family members and friends have intensely 
believed in the College. While alumnae have financially supported it, usu- 
ally at several percentage points above the national average, the nation's 
economy was always a barometer for charitable giving. In the years of 
Baptist Female University, legends of women and their giving trends usu- 
ally referred to "egg money" or "holding back some from the food bud- 
get." In the nineties, women bought eggs (or egg substitutes) at the super- 
market; they followed the stock market as investors and investment 
brokers; and they gave to charitable institutions. One had only to turn 
to the 1996-97 Honor Roll of Donors for the Meredith facts: In the 


James Carter Blasingame, President, 1899-1900 

Thomas Meredith Society alone, membership of which comprised con- 
tributors of hfetime gifts of $100,000 -$1,000,000 or more, thirty-nine 
of the sixty-six individual members were women.* In 1996-97, alumnae 
contributed $600,472 to the College, and those who contributed $5,000 
or more over a successive five-year period held membership in the Iris So- 
ciety, a new giving club established in 1997. 

Annually, since 1994, an alumna has been named Philanthropist of the 
Year. Chapter 1 2 introduced the award, its criteria, and Laura Weather- 
spoon Harrill, '27, its first recipient. The 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1998 
honors went to Dorothy Loftin Goodwin, '47; Margaret Weatherspoon 
Parker, '38; Jo Ellen WiUiams Ammons, '57; and Frances Tatum Council, 
'38, respectively. 

From the generous nature of friends and family to the competitive na- 
ture of politics is not an easy transition. But in 1996, a presidential elec- 
tion year, politics permeated all of society. And that the nineteenth 
Amendment to the Constitution, allowing women finally to vote, was not 

*Twenty of the women listed gave jointly with their husbands. 


ratified until 1920 should have reminded women of the urgency of their 
seeking office, to say nothing of their voting responsibilities. Previous 
chapters introduced some alumnae — but not all — who chose politics as 
a way of life, and a few students — but not all — who actively participated 
in the process. In 1966, a national survey reported, "Most students (over 
80%) said they intended to vote in the . . . elections." ^^ But results can 
never be measured in intentions. The Department of History and Politics 
at Meredith quoted statistics that indicated "30% -40% of all 18 to 24 
year old citizens . . . typically register." ^^ That year, the number of regis- 
trants at Meredith came close to the percentage of students who intended 
to vote and far above the typical college-age voter registration. Clyde Fra- 
zier and Michael Novak, professors of politics and history, respectively, 
had challenged Meredith students "to lead the nation in voting" ^^ by reg- 
istering ^6% of Meredith students and getting <^6% of those to vote. The 
slogan became "96% in '96." But the final tally was 78% in '96. After the 
November elections. Dr. Frazier said, "Although I'm disappointed that 
we didn't reach 96%, I'm happy and grateful that so many people helped. 
. . . We ended up processing about 400 registration forms, close to 300 
absentee ballot requests, and we drove almost 75 people to the polls." ^'^ 
He identified three hardships that had a significant impact on the project: 
the boring election. Hurricane Fran, and a fire in Heilman Residence 
Hall.^^ But the very good news was that 100% of "the eligible full-time 
faculty . . . registered to vote."^^ 

In the fall months preceding election day, a veritable chorus of idealo- 
gies resonated at Meredith from a choir of political partisans: David Price, 
political science professor at Duke and Democrat running for re-election 
to the United States House of Representatives from North Carolina's 
fourth district — which includes Raleigh; Harvey Gantt, former mayor of 
Charlotte and Democratic candidate for the United States Senate; Kay 
Bailey Hutchison, Republican, the first woman to represent Texas in the 
Senate; Robin Dole, daughter of Robert Dole, Republican Presidential 
candidate; and not-so-partisan Ferrel Guillory, coordinator of polls for the 
News and Observer and the Ford Foundation's writer-in-residence. Ap- 
parently, no presidential preference polls were taken at Meredith, but the 
previously quoted nationwide survey of college students, who intended to 
vote, "favored CHnton over Dole by a margin of 47.7% to 33.9%. Perot 
was favored by 8% of the students."-^ The Clinton re-election victory 


notwithstanding, tlie favored candidate for the Club of the Year Award of 
the North CaroHna Federation of College Republicans was Meredith's 
College Republicans — for the second consecutive year. 

"The institution was founded by the Baptist State Convention of North 
Carolina; it has been built and is now owned and controlled by this body, 
represented by a Board of Trustees. It is one of the few institutions in the 
South founded, built and conducted by the Baptist denomination. " 

BY AUGUST 1993, Meredith and the Baptist State Convention had negoti- 
ated an agreement that superseded the Meredith trustees' vote in 199 1 re- 
garding the election of trustees. The compromise was reflected in the Col- 
lege's bylaws, Article III, Section 1 1 : 

The Trustees Nominating Committee . . . shall work with the Pres- 
ident of the College to develop a list of trustee nominees to be pro- 
vided to the Nominating Committee of the Baptist State Conven- 
tion. Persons from this list will be elected trustees of Meredith by 
the Convention. . . . 

But when the trustees convened in February 1997, they voted again to 

The Trustees Nominating Committee . . . shall work with the Pres- 
ident of the College to develop a list of trustee nominees to be acted 
upon by the full Board. The Board of Trustees, by majority vote, 
shall elect trustees from the nominees submitted by the Trustees 
Nominating Committee. Any member of the trustees may submit a 
nomination to the Trustees Nominating Committee. . . .* 

In an interview with President Weems, Jeannie Morelock, director of 
marketing and communications, asked pertinent questions, such as 
"Does this action alter Meredith's mission?" And the president answered, 

Absolutely not. The decision by the trustees to establish a self- 
perpetuating board actually strengthens our ability to fulfill our 

*The faculty voted to ask the chairs of the Faculty Affairs Committee to write a per- 
sonal letter to each member of the Board of Trustees, "expressing the appreciation of 
the faculty for the action taken by the board at this time." (Minutes, faculty meeting, 
February 21, 1997) 


mission by insuring our independence and identity. Meredith was 
founded on, and remains committed to, the principle of preparing 
women to lead in, and contribute to, society. This position regard- 
ing the role of women as leaders is becoming increasingly incom- 
patible with that of some groups within the Convention.^"* 

Mrs. Morelock also asked whether Meredith would continue as a Baptist 
institution, and the president answered emphatically that it would — "in 
the same way we have been for more than a century." ^^ In his President's 
Message for 1997, Weems wrote, 

When the Trustees changed our bylaws and moved to a self-perpet- 
uating board, they made it clear to me that their highest priority 
was to protect the integrity of the institution. But they also were 
firm in their desire to maintain the strongest possible relationship 
with the Baptists of the state. With this in mind, the new bylaws 
stipulate that the majority of our trustees be from North Carolina, 
and the majority of our trustees be Baptist. 

In its August 21, 1997, issue, the Biblical Recorder reported agreement 
between Meredith and the convention: 

Meredith would establish an endowed scholarship program for 
Baptist students and an Office of Church Relations. Scholarship 
funds for North Carolina Baptist students would continue at the 
current level, approximately $62,000 annually.^^ 

But the strain of opposing viewpoints brought emotional stress to the ne- 
gotiating table: 

BSC leaders felt that Meredith's action was unwarranted and that 
trustees acted unilaterally without proper process and discussion. 
Tensions have been running high, and strong protest statements 
have been made by Convention leaders about the manner in which 
Meredith handled the situation.^^ 

The matter was settled once and for all when the convention, in its No- 
vember 1997 annual session, voted to amend its own constitution to re- 
flect, in the same way that Wake Forest is affiliated with the convention, 
the changed relationship between Meredith and North Carolina Baptists: 

THE VISION REVISITED: 1996-1998 I 313 

Richard Tilman Vann, President, 1900-191 j 

Article XIV. 
Relationship with Meredith College 
The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and Meredith Col- 
lege shall have a fraternal, voluntary relationship under which 
Meredith College is autonomous in governance. In order to facili- 
tate that relationship, the College will have associate, non-voting 
membership on the Council of Christian Higher Education, and 
will be represented by the same officers as schools which are mem- 
bers of the Council. The Board of Trustees of Meredith College 
shall be elected by that Board in accordance with such procedures 
as that Board may prescribe. Meredith College shall not share in the 
distrubution of Cooperative Program Funds.^^ 

Although tensions eased significantly, the change in relationship had 
taken its toll on Meredith; however, the sacrifice might eventually have 
been greater had no action been taken, said supporters of the move. One 
of the prices the College paid was, literally, a price paid. When the con- 
vention's executive committee voted in August 1977 to approve the new 


affiliation, it released the $275,000 in escrowed funds that would have 
been due Meredith from April i-June 30, but as of July i, the College 
would receive no Cooperative Program support. After the November 
convention, however, "to pay tribute to its rich Baptist history and to rec- 
ognize outstanding students who are North Carolina Baptists," Meredith 
established, from funds previously given, the Thomas Meredith Baptist 
Heritage Scholarship Fund.^^ Each year — and without regard to financial 
need — three freshmen meeting the criteria of "academic excellence, out- 
standing service to church and/or community, leadership ability and the 
recommendation of a church official" would be awarded renewable 
scholarships of $1,000 each. One of the goals set by Harold West, new 
director of church relations, would be to increase the scholarship endow- 
ment. But mainly, he said, "we want to continue to build relations with 
Baptist churches and the convention." West's new responsibilities were in 
addition to those in his role as director of planned giving, a post he had 
held since 199 1. 

"How well this estimate of the convictions of our people was taken, let 
the notable opening . . . in September, 1899, bear its own evidence. From 
one end of the State to the other the students came; the large new building 
was filled to overflowing, and a commodious residence, admirably 
adapted to the necessities of the situation, adjoining the grounds already 
occupied by the University, was purchased and immediately filled with 
students. The fact of a new institution being compelled to enlarge its pro- 
visions in the very hour of its opening, is a remarkable one in educational 
history anywhere, and is worthy of record as a testimony not only to the 
Baptist people, but for the inspiration of all who uphold education. " 

THE 180 STUDENTS who enrolled on opening day of Baptist Female Uni- 
versity exceeded the fondest hopes of the administration.* And so did 
Meredith's record enrollment in 1995. But a cautious Sue Kearney, direc- 
tor of admissions, counseled, "Given the demographic trends, that rosy 
picture was not a foregone conclusion. The nation, the southern region, 
and the state of North Carolina are still in the years of the lowest num- 
bers of high school graduates." Kearney pointed to future challenges: 

'•'The hoped-for number was 125, but, before the first year ended, the enrollment 
had reached zzo. (Johnson, p. 57) 


The increase in the number of high school graduates will be grad- 
ual — taking until 2004 or later to reach where we were in 1979, the 
peak year. As the numbers increase, so will the diversity factors. A 
higher percentage will be from single-parent households, from mi- 
nority populations, and from economically-deprived backgrounds. 
There will be more students [from families] who have not always 
attended college and who have not been drawn in large numbers to 
Meredith. Among other factors that present challenges is the reality 
that only about 20% of students attend private institutions and that 
less than 5 % will even seriously consider a women's college.^" 

But 1996-97 statistics gave no reasons to lower expectations. The 
College reported a record number of students in the fall — 2,574; another 
record number for the spring semester — 2,504; and still another record 
number in the first session of summer school — 702.^^ In the same year, 
2,882 people — both genders and all ages — took part in the community 
programs of the continuing education division. President Weems said, 
"The question legitimately might be asked, 'If you have a record enroll- 
ment each year, why is it important to trumpet it so loudly?' The answer: 
the attention to and celebration of . . . enrollment is generally indicative 
of the health of the institution."^- Dr. Spooner's prognosis for 1997-98 
was continued good health: "As of May 9, we have experienced the 
largest number ever of freshman deposits. We are also experiencing more 
room deposits for returning students than we had this time last year. This 
number includes many students who are returning to the dormitory after 
exercising the off-campus option."^^ Actual enrollment for 1997-98 to- 
taled twenty-two fewer students than the year before; however, the good 
news of the highest freshman SAT scores since 1989-90 gave reason to 

Aggressive recruitment practices included telemarketing — a telephone- 
to-telephone approach of the eighties and nineties that apparently found 
no household exempt, overshadowing the door-to-door or pen-to-paper 
communications of earlier years. In January 1997, paid student telemar- 
keters spent 250 hours calling 2,573 prospective students and continued 
phoning as the focus switched from prospects to accepted applicants. 
Alumnae volunteers also turned to recruiting by way of their presence at 
high school programs, calling, writing, and entertaining prospects and 


applicants. On November i, 1996, the alumnae and admissions offices 
joined forces to host the first Alumnae Legacy Day, to which alumnae ac- 
companied potential students to the campus for a glimpse into their own 
possible futures as young Meredith women. 

When prospective students visited between 1898 -1926, they prob- 
ably rode a trolley or a city bus — depending on the years — to the 
block flanked by Blount, Edenton, Person, and Jones Streets, next to 
the Governor's Mansion, where sat the "commodious" buildings — the 
early catalogue's description — of Main, Adams, and Faircloth. But 
when the College moved to West Raleigh in 1926, the word "com- 
modious" took on new meaning. The rolling acres of meadowland ac- 
commodated six permanent and four temporary buildings — before the 
student population boom. Then, in the 1990s, strangers — and some 
alumnae — relied on campus maps to identify the thirty-five functional 
and interesting places on the 225 acres of land between the outer belt- 
line (T440); Hillsborough and Faircloth Streets; and Wade Avenue. For 
that matter, by 1998, some of the campus residents probably found 
themselves in the wrong hallway as they oriented themselves in new 
and renovated buildings. 

On February 14, 1997, the Margaret Weatherspoon Parker Fitness 
Center, with its state-of-the-art exercise equipment, its dance studio, and 
its faculty offices, as described in previous chapters, was dedicated to and 
named for Mrs. Parker, "highly loyal" alumna, long-time trustee and the 
first woman elected to chair the board, and major financial contributor.^"* 

That same day, the Park Center was, as Meredith writer Del Hunt 
Johnson expressed it, another "Center of Attention." From the Park 
Foundation in Ithaca, New York, had come a grant for $600,000; and 
Meredith gratefully honored the Parks — and itself — by naming and ded- 
icating the Park Center, "especially because Dorothy [Dent] Park is a 
1936 graduate," said Vice President Murphy Osborne. ^^ But before the 
trustees named and the contractors built the building, they — and every- 
body else — knew it familiarly as part of the new student services center. 
It would abut Cate Center, they said; in fact. Park and Cate would be 
"under one roof and joined by hallways." Vice President Taylor said it 
would be more than a building; it would also be a change "in the way we 
serve students."-'^ 


A mini-campaign for $i.z million in building funds (later increased by 
$170,000 when 1,000 square feet were added to the plans) had been 
launched in 1996 for the new 13,000 square-foot facility and the renova- 
tion of Gate Center. By way of campaign literature, President Weems led 
potential donors on an imaginary tour of Park Center, though "the foun- 
dation is not yet excavated nor is the first brick laid, but the building is 
real and is part of our commitment to women's education." On the first 
floor, he directed, one would find the continuing education and graduate 
school offices and, upstairs, some of the offices in the division of student 
development, including the career center. And in the entrance to Park 
Center, an oil and acrylic mural — gift of the Class of 1997 — would 
"honor and celebrate" the lives of 100 outstanding alumnae. ^^ Linda 
FitzSimons, associate professor of art, and her assistants would research 
the names, and art and graphic design students would create, with names, 
footprints, and campus scenes, the history-by-mural. 

Meanwhile, the aging Cate Center earned its due: 

Other than checking their mailboxes and buying textbooks and 
supplies there, students for many years preferred to socialize in 
dorm rooms and parlors, not in their new student center. . . . 

Nearly 25 years later, with a flourishing commuter student pop- 
ulation — nearly 50 percent of the College's enrollment — the path 
to the Cate Center is well-worn. Nearby Harris, Ledford and 
Gaddy-Hamrick buildings constructed since 1972 serve hundreds 
of day students and graduate students, so many, in fact, that a new 
parking lot was completed earlier this year across from Cate Center 
to accommodate the overflow. ^^ 

A new and larger bookstore, managed by Follett, a private company in 
the business of college bookstores; recreational facifities; and a food 
court — again to be called the "Bee Hive" — would "restore Gate Center 
to its original purpose," promised the campaign literature. The lounge 
renovations gave hands-on experience to interior design students and 
opened a world of choices to seniors in search of a project, the Class of 
1996 deciding on patio furniture for "the garden-style outdoor dining 
space ."^^ 

The new student services complex offered creative funding opportuni- 


ties for everybody. For example, one's name could linger in Meredith's 
history for $ioo — the cost of a brick inscribed with the name of the 
donor — and class year, if applicable — or of someone to be honored by 
the donor. The collection of inscribed bricks would then become part of 
the Gate Center plaza. 

Adjacent to Gate Genter and in honor of the 105 charter members of 
the Iris Society, an iris garden — one flower per charter member — grew. 
The iris had long been the college flower; historian Mary Lynch Johnson 
wrote of a Meredith Iris, especially developed and registered in 1968 by 
Loleta Kenan Powell, '41, renowned iris and day lily grower, who de- 
scribed the blossom's "standards of creamy white and falls of maroon 
neatly edged with white."'^° The Summer 1997 issue of Meredith brought 
the iris story up-to-date: 

The variety "Meredith Hues" iris was created specifically for the 
Gollege by Loleta Kenan Powell, '41, of Princeton, N.G. Powell, an 
avid gardener since the age of five, was honored in a ceremony be- 
fore Meredith's spring Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 
II [1997]. At the same time the "Meredith Hues" was recognized 
as the official flower of Meredith Gollege."*^ 

Just yards away from the iris garden, the Norma Rose Garden re- 
minded passers-by of the much-loved professor of English, 1937-86. 
The idea of a rose garden sprang from the mind of Robin Bailey Golby, 
'81, assistant professor of English and Dr. Rose's former student, who 
thought the garden a fitting expression of regard for Meredith's own 
"Red" Rose — as the honoree was known by her college contemporaries. 
Dr. Golby selected a site along the path of Dr. Rose's daily travels: be- 
tween Joyner Hall — home of the English department — and the Garlyle 
Campbell Library. On May 23, 1998, during Alumnae Weekend, dedi- 
cation ceremonies moved to a Joyner classroom while Mother Nature 
generously watered the garden — and all of Raleigh. In her dedicatory re- 
marks, Jean Jackson, vice president for student development and profes- 
sor of English, remembered Norma Rose: 

[M]any of us owe our ability to read with understanding and to 
read aloud with passion and insight to Norma Rose. The increasing 
ability to read closely enabled us, as we struggled through Milton's 


Charles Edward Brewer, President, 191^-19^9 

Paradise Lost, to understand Milton's concept of Paradise, of Eden, 
when lie wrote in Book IV about "Flowers of all hue, and without 
thorn the rose" (I.26). And to compare that idyllic rose with 
Wordsworth's description in Ode: Intimations of Immortality from. 
Recollections of Early Childhood, "The Rainbow comes and goes, 
/ And lovely is the Rose" (st.z). 

I keep trying to imagine what Dr. Rose herself would say about 
today. I think she would be glad this area is called the Norma 
Rose Garden — avoiding the redundancy of the Norma Rose Rose 
Garden. . . . 

It was a redundancy of sorts that the library had outgrown its space. 
The first self-contained library on the campus, the Carlyle Campbell Li- 
brary was constructed in 1968 for 125,000 volumes; in 1998, it held 
"over 135,000 volumes plus 42,600 additional items in non-print for- 
mats. ... In the last decade the addition of a computerized online library 
system and expanded media services and library instruction programs. 


services and staff have stretched the use of space to the fullest.'"*^ While 
no additions to the hbrary were anticipated for the immediate future, ren- 
ovations in 1998 effectively reorganized the space. In the summer of con- 
struction, workers occupied the thirty-year-old building while basic li- 
brary services moved to the first floor of Stringfield Residence Hall. Ted 
Waller, technical services librarian, offered an opportunity for Meredith 
people to buy a bit of history — and nostalgia, perhaps — by way of a 
silent auction for the sale of the card catalog cabinets. 

Another piece of history, the Fannie E.S. Heck Fountain, standing tall 
where walkways merge in the center of the courtyard, would be restored 
to its original beauty and function with financing from the Parent and 
Family Association.* To honor its first president, the North Carohna 
Baptist Woman's Missionary Union had given the fountain in 1928, when 
the new campus was, indeed, new. 

And new by history's standards, the grounds of Jones Chapel had 
some dressing up to do. Because of a generous gift of $250,000, plans 
could get underway for the Spangler Arboretum, to be named in honor of 
Mr. and Mrs. Earl W. Spangler of Shelby, North Carolina. 

Building and renovating, renovating and building were continual. But 
now and then, both the forces of nature and the errors of humankind 
wreaked havoc, as in the month of September 1996. Unusual for inland 
territories. Hurricane Fran hit the Triangle with a vengeance in the early 
morning of Friday, the 6th. Meredith's lost electrical power was restored 
that same afternoon, though many Raleigh residents were without elec- 
tricity for more than a week. A month later, reported the employees' 
newsletter, facilities manager Clarke Suttle could not yet apply a dollar 
figure to campus damage "during what some are calling the 'Hurricane of 
the Century'": 

Most of the damage was quickly repaired, like the missing pieces 
of roof on Heilman residence hall and the skylights which were 
torn out of Stringfield and Vann residence halls. The ground 
floors of Ledford Hall, Poteat residence hall, and the Waiwright 
Suites, below Belk Dining Hall, all sustained damage from flood- 

^Formerly the Parents' Association, this organization changed its name in 1990 to 
reflect the changing student constituency of the College. 

THE VISION REVISITED: 1996-1998 I 321 

What cannot be repaired or replaced are the 100-1x5 large trees 
downed around campus. . . .'^^"' 

Although clean-up efforts continued into the next spring and summer, 
"the replanting of 23 new trees and the replacement of some shrubs Ihad] 
begun the long trip back to normalcy.'"^'* 

The second September catastrophe struck on the 17th, when students 
in Heilman residence hall awoke to what many thought was a 5 a.m. fire 
drill. "It was not. Room 201 was on fire."'*^ According to a September 20 
news release by the College, 

Roommates Jodi Abbate and Susan Fortunes awoke when their 
battery-operated smoke detector activated. According to reports, 
they ran from the room to the first floor and pulled the manual fire 
alarm, which failed to operate. . . . 

The Assistant Chief Earl Fowler said, "The situation with the 
first-floor alarm is a pure fluke — it's the first time I've ever seen 
something like this. . . . Apparently, this alarm has been used for 
many years in drills and in testing. Over the years, the activating de- 
vice was worn down by the switch and it wore a groove in it." But, 
according to Chief Fowler, the alarm was tested in August and had 
been certified as operational. 

Various reports offered reassurance. From the Meredith Herald for Sep- 
tember 18: 

At 5:01 A.M. campus security received a call from two young 
women who awoke to find their room in flames. When the fire de- 
partment arrived on the scene by 5:07 a.m., the approximately 135 
residents in Heilman had been completely evacuated, according to 
Chuck Taylor, Vice President for Business and Finance. . . . 

From the News and Observer, September 18: 

Two students were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, but 
there were no other injuries. The fire was contained to one room 

* "Janice Swab, biology professor, explained that many oaks fell during Hurricane 
Fran because they had been damaged by Hurricane Hazel years ago" (Meredith, 
Summer 1997, i). 


and was put out within 15 minutes, but adjacent rooms were dam- 
aged by smoke and water. . . . 

Stanford [fire department battalion chief] said an investigation 
found that the fire was caused by "piggy-backing," when too many 
plugs are inserted in one electrical outlet. . . . 

The residents of the second floor of Heilman were relocated to 
other campus rooms that had extra beds. 

A September 17 letter from President Weems to parents: 

Please know that the welfare of our students is of primary concern. 
We will keep your daughters informed . . . , and we welcome your 
questions about procedures and follow-up to this frightening morn- 
ing. We are very grateful that the fire was contained, that our fire 
training procedures served us well, and most particularly, that all of 
our students are safe. 

And from the minutes of the Board of Trustees' meeting, September 27: 

A resolution was unanimously passed by the trustees conveying to 
Dr. Qean] Jackson and all members of the Meredith family the 
heartfelt and sincere thanks, appreciation, and commendation for 
the manner in which these emergencies were handled. 

At the same board meeting, the trustees approved planning for the 
construction of a new science building and renovation of Jones Audito- 
rium, the latter to occur in the summer of 1998. 

"This year's work has been no less satisfactory. The trustees fixed their 
purpose to select the best faculty available. They were impressed with the 
conviction that they had no ordinary task and that, whatever the hazard, 
they were bound to establish the university's high standard. This they 
did — employing a numerous faculty of scholarly men and women, and 
providing every facility for the instruction, training and keeping of the 
young ladies entrusted to them. At the end of the first year they have been 
so justified that where many felt that entrenchment would be the order, 
the word is clear to go foward. " 

THE FIRST TEACHING faculty of Baptist Female University comprised thir- 
teen women and five men, including President Blasingame, who also 


Carlyle Campbell, President, 19^9-1966 

taught psychology and pedagogy. Blasingame and Deha Dixon, the resi- 
dent physician and physiology teacher, held doctorates, and three of the 
women and one man held master's degrees. In addition to the University's 
professorial staff, the first catalogue listed a principal of the academy and 
a matron. 

Twenty-five trustees composed the governing body in 1898; in 1966- 
67, the number had grown to twenty-eight, including lifetime member, 
W. Herbert Weatherspoon; and, in 1997, the board increased from thirty- 
six to forty members. At the November 18, 1996, executive committee 
meeting, Margaret Weatherspoon Parker proposed that an emeritus sta- 
tus be instituted, and chairman, Norman Kellum, appointed a three- 
member committee headed by Charles Barham to consider the matter. At 
a special meeting on April 21, 1997, Barham made the following motion: 

Any active or former member of the Board of Trustees who has 
served in such capacity a minimum of 8 years may be elected a 
Trustee Emeritus of the College. Such election may be made by the 
full Board of Trustees upon nomination of the Trustees' Nominat- 


ing Committee. This election shall be for life unless revoked by the 
Board of Trustees and the Trustee Emeritus shall have the right to 
speak but shall have no vote in the proceedings of the Board. A 
Trustee Emeritus shall not be counted against the limitation on 
membership of the Board of Trustees and may not be used to estab- 
lish a quorum necessary for meetings. 

The motion v^as tabled until the semi-annual meeting on September 26, 
1997, at which time it was passed. 

In 1898, the trustees outnumbered the faculty. In 1997-98, when 106 
full-time and 141 adjunct faculty members composed the teaching force 
of the College, the situation was clearly reversed. While the previous 
chapter alludes to a somewhat rocky path between the two bodies, this 
entry suggests a road to recovery. At the September 27, 1996, board 
meeting, faculty affairs committee representatives Susan Wessels, busi- 
ness and economics, and Virginia Knight, mathematics and computer sci- 
ence, issued a statement on behalf of the faculty: 

We appreciate the more open relationship that the Board of 
Trustees has created with the faculty. We welcome the informal 
lunchroom conversations with Mr. Kellum and other Board mem- 
bers. The Meredith faculty is totally committed to creating a pow- 
erful future for the College. We offer our talents and energies to this 
endeavor. We look forward to being partners with the Board and 
the administration as we all work to design Meredith College for 
the twenty-first century. 

One of the committed, Michael Novak, became head of the Depart- 
ment of History and Politics in 1996. He earned his B.A. from Denison 
University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard. Dr. Novak said his 
"primary intention is to follow the principle of Hippocrates: 'First, do no 
harm.' " The department was in the process of developing an undergrad- 
uate major in public history "that will take our graduates directly to jobs 
in museums, historic sites, public archives and similar activities in applied 
history.'"*^ Novak had taught at the College for nine years when he moved 
into his new position. 

Brent Pitts came to Meredith in 19 81 and accepted headship of the De- 
partment of Foreign Languages in 1997. He holds the A.B., A.M., and 

THE VISION REVISITED: 1996-1998 I 325 

Ph.D. degrees — all from Indiana University — and has done postdoctoral 
work at Princeton and at Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Lyon. Dr. 
Pitts is a firm believer in the ability to communicate "in a language other 
than English. ... At Meredith College," he said, " we take great pride in 
producing specialists of the spoken word. Our majors know how to com- 
municate orally in their language, and this skill alone gives them a 
brighter future.""*^ 

Also in 1997, Jerod Kratzer, an eleven-year veteran of the education de- 
partment, became its head. Dr. Kratzer holds the B.S. from St. Joseph's 
University, the A.M. from the University of Delaware, and the Ed.D. from 
North Carolina State University. As he praised his department for its em- 
phasis on "team work and collaborative decision-making,'"^^ he was also 
highly complimentary of his predecessor, Gwendolyn Clay, and her lead- 
ership. Dr. Clay, a mathematician, was beginning a year's leave at the time 
of Kratzer's appointment — an absence that took her on a sabbatical jour- 
ney down east into Jones County — one of North Carolina's poorest — to 
assist Superintendent Norma Sermon-Boyd in Teaching Math for Learn- 
ing, a National Science Foundation-funded K-12 project. As Clay re- 
ported "extremely positive" results just months into the program, she also 
related an extremely positive story of how she came to help with it. Dr. 
Sermon-Boyd's initial contact with Jean Joyner of the Department of Pub- 
lic Instruction led to Miss Joyner's then inviting Dr. Clay and Lee Stiff of 
North Carolina State University to join her in hearing the dreams of the 
superintendent from Jones County. Among Sermon-Boyd's first words 
were, "I know that all of you are going to help. I've prayed about it, and 
the Lord has told me that you are." Dr. Stiff's ready reply was "If the Lord 
said so, we'd better get on with the planning.""*^ And they did. 

The time varied as to each Raleigh educator's presence at the Jones 
County project, but Dr. Clay was the only one of the three on sabbatical 
leave. In 1990, the number of sabbaticals awarded had increased from two 
to five. And, in 1997, 28 faculty members had received summer grants. 

"The ideals of the University have been hinted at. Its first intention is to 
provide . . . instruction of the noblest and most thorough sort. ..." 

REFLECTING ON AND holding teuaciously to the vision of the early 
founders, the contemporary ones might construe this quotation as an un- 


necessary intrusion in Chapter 14. They might be right. Because this vol- 
ume of Meredith's history describes in some detail the constant assess- 
ment of a curriculum taught by a highly credentialed and dedicated fac- 
ulty, this chapter will not elaborate, except to report revisions, additions, 
and noteworthy accomplishments. 

For many years, faculty members have advised students in their jour- 
neys through college; however, because of a growing adult population, an 
advising support center was created in 1997, but Item 9 in the 1997-98 
operating budget, titled "New Initiative Proposals," did not relieve the 
faculty of their advising responsibilities: The center, directed by Ann 
Gleason, "will not be a substitute to the present system, but will allow 
students access to advisement when their advisors may be unavailable 
and will provide a resource for faculty seeking help in their role as pri- 
mary advisors." 

To what extent advising played a part in three accounting majors' hav- 
ing passed the state exam "on the first round" in 1996 is not known, but 
Rebecca Oatsvall, head of the Department of Business and Economics, 
declared the success "a very rare thing indeed."^° In the same year, Dr. 
Oatsvall announced the new concentration of human resources manage- 
ment, available with the Bachelor of Science degree in business adminis- 

In 1997, several academic "firsts" made news: the mathematics and 
computer science department sponsored a math camp for high school 
freshmen and sophomores; the English department offered a summer 
workshop on Writing for Women; and the Mary Lynch Johnson Chair of 
English, heretofore held by one professor at a time, was awarded to the 
department's three writers: Betty Adcock, Suzanne Britt, and Suzanne 
Newton. The Templeton Foundation funded "Issues in Science and Reli- 
gion," a program directed by Bernard H. Cochran, religion, and Janice 
Swab, biology. Through the program, the theologian and the scientist led 
Meredith in hosting a South Regional Conference workshop. The Caroli- 
nas Chapter American Society of Interior Designers (CCASID) announced 
the winners of the Otto Zenke student competition among Western Car- 
olina University and Meredith and Converse Colleges, in which the com- 
petitors designed "a floor plan, elevations, samples, perspective, reflective 
ceiling plan, and design concept" of a fictitious hotel. First place/school: 
Meredith; first place/student: Pat Polumbo, Meredith; third place/ stu- 

THE VISION REVISITED: 1996-1998 I 327 

dent: Laura Boone, Meredith; Honorable Mention: Amy Craig and Jenny 
Duncan, Meredith. Lori Brown, sociology and social work; Ann Burlein, 
religion and philosophy; Walda Powell, chemistry and physical sciences; 
and Paul Wiriterhoff, human environmental sciences, winners in the 
broader area of Capstone courses, received grants to develop new courses 
for 1998-99. Capstone courses, said professor of psychology Rosemary 
Hornak, who directed the program, "share a common goal: helping stu- 
dents apply their education at Meredith to society." ^^ The Departments of 
History and Politics; of Health, Physical Education and Dance; and of 
Mathematics and Computer Science announced new majors: Public his- 
tory would prepare a student "for employment in a variety of historical 
agencies, nonprofit museums and historic sites," and, as far as anyone 
knew, the major was "the only known program in the Nation that pre- 
pares undergraduates in public history." ^^ The second new major, exercise 
and sports science, would offer students the option of focusing on fitness 
and sports management or of concentrating on teacher licensure in phys- 
ical education. And, according to the 1997-98 catalogue, the major in 
computer information systems would give the student "facility with com- 
puter theory, abstraction, and design." 

The realities of technology jump off the page in the mathematics and 
computer science section of the college catalogue: "Because of the veloc- 
ity at which change in technology is occurring, students will learn to 
manage change and will acquire the ability to learn new technology, new 
'languages,' and new techniques." 

Writers of the first catalogue had no foreknowledge of the Information 
Age. Had they glimpsed the future, they might have applauded much of 
Meredith's use of technology. For example, in November 1996, students, 
faculty, and staff gathered in Ledford Hall to interact "with panelists and 
10,000 students from 300 other colleges on tough diversity issues such as 
race, gender, class, sexual orientation, disability and religion" through a 
video teleconference.^^ And at the February 21, 1997, faculty meeting, 
Vice President Osborne alluded to a warmly welcomed grant from the 
Jesse Ball duPont Foundation for a "two year program of faculty and cur- 
riculum development," which, said Dean Burris, would focus on "get[ting] 
technology into the classroom." And dean of students, Sharon Cannon, 
wrote of classroom computers which would provide "tactile teaching de- 
vice [s]" by transforming computer-scanned images into Braille text.^'^ 


Inasmuch as the culture immediately preceding the twenty-first century 
was so thoroughly grounded in technology, it behooved progressive col- 
leges to provide not only understanding, skills, and equipment but also 
logical applications to areas outside classrooms or corporate suites. 
Meredith's Intranet system — accessible only through the College's own 
network — gave a new dimension to information-gathering. The employ- 
ees' newsletter admonished, "Click onto the 21st century at Meredith 
College! Meredith's new Intranet is all you need to stay up-to-date with 
what is happening on campus" by access "to such things as a sports cal- 
endar, vaccination schedules, travel opportunities, hours for the Bee Hive 
and Fitness Center, speakers for chapel and classified ads."^^ The In- 
tranet's academic section would even provide a student's assignments and 
departmental news. 

For the dual purposes of educating and entertaining, a Meredith Col- 
lege Television (MCTV)-produced talk show, Wake Up Meredith, made 
its debut in January 1997. In an article for the Herald, student Dina Di- 
Maio's lead sentence was "Move over Good Morning America; it's time 
for Wake Up Meredith. . . ."^^ Two weeks later, the Meredith Herald 
again publicized the show through a review by Addie Tschamler: 

When I watched on February 13, . . . the show began with 
professional-looking clips from Star Wars, which had been the most 
popular movie over the past two weeks. Host, sophomore Heidi 
Gruber, made mention of the movie throughout the show. 

Gruber began by announcing what the day's show would in- 
clude: various clips of candidates for campus elections and an inter- 
view of students about the cam.pus' latest eatery the Bee Hive. 
Throughout the show, there are comical interruptions by Jennifer 
Franklin, who plays Barbara. . . .^^ 

Cynthia Bowling, cable administor, suggested the show and sophomore 
Courtney Duncil produced it. 

Neither television nor virtual globetrotting on the Internet had yet 
sated the explorer's hunger for seeing and touching the world. Without 
travel in the eighties and nineties, "Instruction of the noblest and most 
thorough sort" would have gone lacking. Through a North Carolina 
Teaching Fellows Junior Enrichment Program, Maria Pellizzari, '98, went 
to Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand for two weeks. Several academic 


departments have offered special summer studies in France, Mexico, 
Spain, Greece, Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Russia, New Zealand, and the United 
Kingdom. And the regular Meredith Abroad program moved from 
Switzerland in 1994 because of the relocation of its base — the Baptist 
Seminary — from Rushlikon to Prague, and, since that time, the agendas 
have included Italy, the Czech Republic, and England. 

Blue Greenberg, retired member of the art faculty, had planned study 
trips for students for a decade before she agreed to direct travel adven- 
tures, "especially tailored to Meredith people."^^ Through the division of 
institutional advancement, she arranged educational tours to places as 
close as Williamsburg or New York and others as far away as London and 
Cornwall, as recreational as cruise ship excursions or golf at Sunset Beach 
and as educational as discovering the eastern cultures of Egypt and 
Turkey. An alarm signaled an abrupt change in plans for the summer of 
1998: "In light of recent acts of terrorism in Egypt, the American govern- 
ment has strongly advised independent tour groups to rethink their plans 
to visit [there] ."^^ In response, Meredith travelers headed for Italy instead. 

The continuing education division had practiced constant assessment 
of curriculum in all its quarter century of service. And in 1997, it remea- 
sured and altered accordingly its re-entry and After5 programs, the fin- 
ished product becoming a well-fitting combination of the two called Un- 
dergraduate Degree Programs for Women Age 23 + — or 23+, for short. 
The fall 1997 issue of Continuing Education at Meredith offered the 

With an increasing number of students working full or part-time, it 
was apparent that women needed more options for course schedul- 
ing and greater flexibility in the times when courses were available. 
By combining the programs, students can now take classes during 
the traditional 16 week semester during the day or night, and also 
enroll in accelerated evening classes that meet only 8 weeks [with] 
longer class periods. 

Of 23+, Sandra Close, director of the new program, and Madra Britt, 
former director of After5 and new director of community programs, said, 
"In 23+, a student can set her schedule to accommodate the demands of 
her family, career, or other responsibilities and it can be customized every 
semester! "^° 


The practice of customizing was also no stranger to the John E. Weems 
Graduate School. "In response to the growing need in the Triangle area 
for teachers of English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL), Meredith College 
now offers ESL licensure under two . . . options: as a Master of Education 
with an ESL Specialty or as an add-on licensure-only program." ^^ Stag- 
gering statistics underscored the acute need for the program in North 
Carolina: "The number of limited English proficient students requiring 
ESL services has grown from a reported 3,000 in 1988-89 to an esti- 
mated 25,000+ for the 1997-98 academic year. Although more than 170 
different home language groups have been identified, about half of these 
students are native Spanish speakers. . . ."^^ Meredith's ESL licensure pro- 
gram was the first in the Triangle. And only one of the few schools in 
North Carolina to offer the Master of Health Administration, Meredith's 
new MHA program was launched in January 1998. 

The preceding examples of academic progress reflect the early and on- 
going intent of Baptist Female University in 1898 and Meredith College 
in 1998 to provide "instruction of the noblest and most thorough sort"-, 
however, the school's first catalogue had preceded the phrase with "not 
simply" and followed it with "but": 

". . . but instruction made perfect in the religion of Jesus Christ. But for 
this desire that the higher education of our women shall be Christian, 
shall be surely, definitely, positively Christian, the University would never 
have been reared. ..." 

PREPARING FOR A planning retreat of academic administrators in 1996, 
Dean Allen Burris included an assumption in a January 25 memorandum 
to the participants: "Meredith will retain and strengthen its commitment 
to being a 'servant institution' — solidly grounded in the Christian tradi- 
tion and related to North Carolina Baptists. Student needs will be the 
guiding principle for academic decision-making. The spiritual and ethical 
dimensions of education will be at the heart of all we do here." 

And "the heart of all we do here" is also stated in the historic purpose 
of the College, which is found in the charter and in every issue of the col- 
lege catalogue: 

The purpose of this corporation is to provide for the higher educa- 
tion of women under Christian auspices and within a Christian con- 


text, fostering in all its activities and relationships the ideals of per- 
sonal integrity, intellectual freedom, and academic excellence; and 
to that end, to provide operation, and development of a college at 
Raleigh, North Carolina, under the name of Meredith College. This 
institution, a liberal arts college, shall emphasize and develop its 
academic program in terms of scholastic standards and service, and 
shall maintain procedures implicit in an educational institution of 
high quahty; and, as a Christian college, shall be primarily con- 
cerned to deepen and broaden the Christian experience of its stu- 
dents and to prepare them for maximum service in the Christian en- 

Beginning in 1997, David Heining-Boynton, psychology, chaired a fac- 
ulty committee to revisit, "with extensive faculty input," the statement of 
purpose: "^^ The faculty recommended no changes in the purpose; in- 
stead, it developed a separate and more objective Statement of Mission, 
"which is faithful to the historic purpose, but interprets it in a contem- 
porary setting."^"* The trustees approved the following Statement of Mis- 
sion on September 26, 1997: 

In educating women to excel, Meredith College fosters in students 
integrity, independence, scholarship, and personal growth. 
Grounded in the liberal arts, the College values freedom and 
openness in the pursuit of truth and, in keeping with its Christian 
heritage, seeks to nurture justice and compassion. Meredith en- 
deavors to create a supportive and diverse community in which 
students learn from the past, prepare for the future, and grow in 
their understanding of self, others, and community. To these ends, 
Meredith strives to develop in students the knowledge, skills, val- 
ues, and global awareness necessary to pursue careers, to assume 
leadership roles, to enter graduate and professional studies, and to 
lead responsible lives of work, citizenship, leisure, learning, and 

"Although it is the purpose of the Trustees to maintain a high standard, 
appreciating the conditions in North Carolina, they have arranged 
preparatory courses, whereby young ladies may he fitted for the higher 
work. ..." 


IN THE MEREDITH Herald for February 19, 1997, Emily Fulghum asked, 
"What do you get when you combine reading, writing and arithmetics 
[sic] here at Meredith?" And she answered, "an exciting new endeavor in 
collaborative learning from the same people who brought you the Writ- 
ing Center in 1987."^^ When services of the writing center expanded from 
assistance with writing and grammar also to include tutoring in math, 
French, and Spanish, it became "the learning center," staffed by "superb 
Meredith students who have been recommended by faculty and trained to 
work one-on-one with their peers ."^^ The center's director and assistant 
professor of English Nan Miller said, "Academic support for students is 
and always has been a priority at Meredith. . . " but insisted that the cen- 
ter was not strictly for remedial purposes: "While frequenters are typi- 
cally students who worry about 'weak backgrounds' in English or math, 
others come simply for confirmation that they have understood an as- 
signment or worked a problem correctly. . . ." She added, " 'I'm clueless,' 
is the complaint du jour of the bewildered student."^'' 

"A subsidiary aim is that the advantages of the institution may be offered 
at cost. There are no profits, no dividends. The student is required to pay 
a sum sufficient to maintain her and obtain the services of her teachers. 
The cost is already decidedly less than that of institutions of lower 
grade. " 

TRUSTEES HELPED STUDENTS ''obtain the serviccs of their teachers" by 
voting in 1997 to increase, for the third consecutive year, rewards for fac- 
ulty longevity. The year-end bonuses would range from $zoo for a part- 
time faculty or staff member with 3-5 years of service to $1,200 for a 
full-time person with more than twenty years. 

In the academic year 1996-9-7, only six of the thirty-seven indepen- 
dent colleges in North Carolina charged less than Meredith's tuition and 
fees of $10,990 for resident students and $7,420 for commuters. ^^ For 
1997-98, however, the cost spiraled upward to $12,240, an increase of 
$1,2 50. Vice President Taylor explained: "The changed relationship with 
North Carolina Baptists and the funding for new initiatives resulted in 
the largest increase in the College's history for 1997-98. In fact, the per- 
centage of tuition increase ranked in the top ten among the nation's col- 
leges."^^ But Taylor had already admonished, "We need to keep in mind 
that, even with the larger than normal tuition increase, the cost of a 

THE VISION REVISITED: 1996-1998 I 333 

Meredith education will continue to be less than any other Baptist college 
in North Carolina."''*^ In his prediction of less drastic increases in the 
future, he prophesied correctly: The 4 percent increase for 1998-99 
amounted to only $500.00, for a total of $12,740. 

While regretting the necessity of rising costs, Meredith had no regrets 
about its listing in Baron's Best Buys for 1996 and in U.S. News and 
World Report — again for 1996 and 1997. 

"In the course of time an endowment will be acquired. Already a loan 
fund is being accumulated. And besides, a club-plan was last year effected 
whereby young ladies who were desirous of helping themselves were 
saved considerable expense. " 

AS DISTANT AS the possibilities seemed in 1899, an endowment was in- 
deed acquired. In the first twenty-five years of President Weems's admin- 
istration, endowment and reserves grew from $887,000 to $45,000,000. 
Solid financial management, a diversified endowment investment portfo- 
lio, and increasing numbers of contributions combined to generate the 
positive numbers. A national economic boom did no harm. In 1995, the 
Dow Jones reached 4,000 for the first time; in 1997, 7,000; and, in 1998, 
9,000. Meredith's good economic news in 1996 included a 26.5% 
growth in endowment investments; in 1997, an increase in numbers of 
gifts and amounts over the previous year — 4,407 donors giving $2.8 mil- 
lion in 1996 and 5,232 giving $3,438,270 the next year; and in 1998, 
four one-million-dollar deferred gifts in eight months' time — "the largest 
demonstration of giving that Meredith has had in history," said Vice Pres- 
ident Osborne.^* The gifts were received as three charitable remainder 
trusts and a bequest. Sidney Martin, the long-time college physician, ini- 
tiated the Martin Family Scholarship Fund with a gift of $1 miUion in 
honor of "the long relationship between the Martin family and Meredith 
CoUege."^^ Mrs. Martin, the former Sue Jarvis, is a member of the Class 
of 1949, and daughters Donna and Debbie are also alumnae. And Dr. 
Martin's father, Leroy Martin, was a trustee. The two additional trusts 
were established by anonymous donors; and the $1.1 million bequest 
came from the estate of Ella Adams Ogburn, '30. 

In 1996-97, the ''considerable expense" of attending college was re- 
lieved somewhat by the North Carolina Tuition Grant increase from 
$1,250 to $1,300 and the awarding of $10,851,172 in financial aid to 


1,471 Students, compared to $400,000 awarded in 1972, the first full 
year covered in this volume. Although the later figures appeared mag- 
nanimous, they met only 80 percent of the need, as opposed to 100 per- 
cent in the recent past. The previous chapter reported the good new^s of a 
zero default rate on repayment of student loans carried by Meredith 
women, beginning in 1992. Though not perfect, the 1994 default rate of 
1.4% was, nevertheless, excellent, considering the national average of 
9%. Philip Roof, director of financial assistance said low default rates 
meant debts were manageable and "the job market is providing sufficient 
entry-level positions and salaries to permit [graduates] to repay their 
loans." ^^ In fact news reports in May and June of 1998 assured new grad- 
uates of a flourishing job market of promising salaries — even, in the era 
of technology, for holders of liberal arts degreees. 

"The University is admirably located. It is near by the Capitol of the 
State, within easy reach of the State Library. Within three blocks to the 
west or the southeast are the First Baptist Church and the Raleigh Baptist 
Tabernacle. The City of Raleigh itself is notable for its genuine culture, its 
quiet, orderly life and its beautiful natural environment " 

IN 1996-98, ''ADMiRABVi located" still, Meredith remained "near by the 
Capitol of the State," three miles measuring a very short distance in 
North Carolina's bustling capital with ready transportation — so ready, in 
fact, that traffic snarls on Hillsborough Street might have discouraged 
frequent trips downtown. Students seeking a Baptist church no longer 
had only two choices, the 125 churches in the Raleigh Baptist Association 
being well within reach, as were numerous other temples of worship for a 
diverse student body in a cosmopolitan city. 

Raleigh's '''genuine culture" and '' beautiful natural environment" con- 
tinued as hallmarks of the region; however, a ''quiet, orderly life" might 
have been questioned by the hundreds of daily commuters to the campus, 
to say nothing of the drivers headed for Research Triangle Park. The pop- 
ulation more than doubling since 1970 — 123,793 then; 266,035 in 1997 
— the city was an education in itself. 

"No small part of a young lady's education is derived from the people 
with whom she comes in contact. Of course, proper restrictions are put 

THE VISION REVISITED: 1996-1998 I 335 

E. Bruce Heilman, President, 1966-19J1 

upon the student body, and contact with the general life of the City is so 
guarded that it may occur only under the most desirable conditions. " 

MEREDITH GRADUALLY LIFTED social restrictions over the years, discon- 
tinuing its in loco parentis position in the seventies; however, the stu- 
dents' struggle for the privilege of open house in the residence halls re- 
mained a major social issue of the nineties. The policy since 1993 — the 
first year of male visitation in the dormitories — allowed, at most, three 
open houses per semester, always during specified hours on a designated 
Saturday or Sunday and scheduled to coincide with another major activ- 
ity. But students fashioned a more liberal proposal for the trustees' con- 
sideration in 1996: 

The SGA proposes that the current Open House policy be extended 
to ten (10) hours on every Saturday and seven (7) hours every Sun- 
day; that the extension apply only to one experimental senior resi- 
dence hall; that only seniors be allowed to live in the experimental 
residence hall; that the number of floors designated as experimental 


floors be based on the amount of senior interest; and that the cur- 
rent Open House poHcy be extended to seven (7) hours on two des- 
ignated Saturdays or Sundays per month for all students not living 
in the experimental residence hall7'* 

With an amendment mandating that the board "be brought up-to-date 
on any substantive problems that develop for the administration because 
of this policy," the trustees adopted the proposal/^ The students were 
thorough in their preliminary research and planning, the proposal having 
been based on an SGA referendum in 1995, in which 92% of the voting 
students favored the extension. And they were clever — and logical — in 
the wording of their rationale: "The goal of this extension is to provide a 
more relaxed and trusting environment for visitors and students. Benefits 
could include increased retention of students and more campus centered 
activity on weekends. "^^ Jean Jackson, vice president for student develop- 
ment, supported their logic: "Resident students are young adults who, 
like other adults, like to have the choice to invite friends to their place of 
residence. Part of a student's developmental process is to be able to have 
relationships with men included, and have them on her own turf. We 
don't want them to always be in the position of having to go off-campus 
to sociahze." She added, "This organized effort was an example of stu- 
dent government at its best. ... To have an issue on the forefront through 
an entire generation of students is quite a statement in itself." ^^ Paula 
O'Briant, director of residence life, reported 1,676 open house guests 
during the 1996 fall semester. 

Long before open house was considered, Meredith encouraged the in- 
teraction of students with the "general life of the city"; i.e., local church 
attendance; cultural events; sports; Cooperating Raleigh Colleges; social 
mixers; politics; capital city learning opportunities. . . . For example, on 
January 10, 1997, the eve of Governor James B. Hunt's second-term in- 
auguration, Erica Balmer, 1997-98 president of the SGA, met with Hunt 
and seventy other student government leaders from around the state to 
discuss issues in higher education and "a variety of social, political, and 
educational concerns."^^ 

But if "no small part of a young lady's education is derived from the 
people with whom she comes in contact," the young woman of BFU 
learned much about living — as well as subject matter — from the social 


beings around her, limited though she was by the "'proper restrictions" 
imposed upon her. The same characteristics of learning have continued 
despite the reinterpretations through the years of "proper restrictions." 
In 1996, Virginia Knight (mathematics), Michael Novak (history), and 
the astronomy class issued a compelling invitation for students to learn 
something of astronomy while also seeing the informal side of their 
teachers. A March 28, 1996, memorandum to the college community 

Lord willing and the skies don't fall, this Wednesday, April 3rd, 
should be a big night. Beginning just before 6:30 pm, the moon will 
rise already in total eclipse. It will pass from totality between then 
and about 7:45 pm. Shortly thereafter. Comet Hyakutake should be 
visible, although ambient light and its position in the sky will not 
afford the best possible view. 

We plan to be stationed on the soccer field or thereabouts with 
some telescopes, binoculars and volunteers who will help to explain 
what is going on and help you to see the sights. . . . 

Come if you'd like, bring friends and family, hope for the best 
and dress for mud." 

Sometimes, students taught themselves, as in the case of Collyn Evans, 
a freshman in 1993, who brought her own idea to fruition. Evans pro- 
posed "that Meredith . . . sponsor a student art exhibition and invite 
other women's colleges in the Southeast to participate."''^ Three years, 
much hard work, and a-decision-to-major-in-art-history later, Evans wit- 
nessed the opening of the first Annual Women's Colleges of the Southeast 
Art Exhibition in Bryan Rotunda Art Gallery on January 21, 1996, the 
show running for three weeks. The list of participating colleges was im- 
pressive: Agnes Scott, Brenau, Columbia, Converse, Hollins, Meredith, 
Randolph-Macon, Salem, and Sweet Briar. Speaker for the opening, Ter- 
rie Sultan, curator of contemporary art at the Corcoran Gallery in Wash- 
ington, D.C., drew a standing-room-only crowd of eager listeners. Regina 
Reid, a studio art major, collaborated with Collyn Evans in planning and 
producing the exhibition. The two earned academic credit for their work 
under the classification of Independent Study. 

Oftentimes, teachers learned from their students, as did English pro- 
fessor Louise Taylor. One of her American literature students asked, "Is 


the Hugh Meredith in Ben FrankHn's Autobiography related to the 
Thomas Meredith the college is named for?" Dr. Taylor was so curious 
that she buried herself in researching the genealogies of both Thomas and 
Hugh Meredith, the latter a business partner of Benjamin Franklin. Her 
thorough and interesting research caught the attention of the Convo- 
cation Committee, and she was invited to translate it into the 1998 
Founders' Day address. Under the title, "Searching for Hugh: The Mere- 
dith Connection," Taylor took her audience through promising discover- 
ies that turned to false hopes before she reached the conclusion that "it 
appears that the Hugh Meredith mentioned in Franklin's Autobigraphy is 
the great-great uncle of Thomas Meredith." So the speaker learned from 
the student, and the audience learned from the speaker: "If you listened 
closely," Taylor said, "you noticed that the subtext is one of debt and re- 
payment. And one purpose of Founders' Day is to remember our debts to 
those who have worked to make Meredith an institution where it is a 
privilege to study and a pleasure to teach." ^° 

A notable visiting lecturer in early 1996 was Mark Plotkin, "one of the 
world's leading ethnobotanists," whose laboratory is the rain forest and 
who bemoans the fact that "rain forest cultures are disappearing ... as 
western influence intrudes on ancient tribal knowledge of medicinal 
plants. . . ." Plotkin is the founder of Shaman Pharmaceuticals and author 
of Tales of Shaman's Apprentice. He told his audience, "I am a firm be- 
liever that a liberal arts education is your ticket to romance, adventure 
and making the world a better place." ^^ 

And in the fall of 1997, ethnobotanist, biologist, and anthropologist 
Wade Davis delivered the Honors Convocation address. His lecture, 
"One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest," 
was based on his book One River. "^ He lived in the rain forests to dis- 
cover "the origins of many of their sacred plants."^- 

A week prior to Dr. Davis's Honors Convocation address, Doug 
Adams delivered the Mercer-Kesler lecture on art and religion. Professor 
of Christianity and the Arts at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, 
California, Dr. Adams spoke on "Discerning Biblical Themes in Contem- 
porary Art and Film." The Meredith Herald reported, "Adams examined 
several pieces of contemporary art by George Segal, Stephen De Staebler, 

*Davis is also the author of the best seller The Serpent and the Rainbow. 

THE VISION REVISITED: 1996-1998 I 339 

Jasper Johns, and Christo, and brought the audience's attention to the 
[artists'] use of reHgious symbohsm."^^ 

The lessons students taught one another and, for that matter, the com- 
munity, were endless. Sharing a small room with another student has 
stirred various emotions that the world would never see were it not for 
students like Tory Hoke, writer and cartoonist for the Herald, who in- 
troduced the cartoon characters of Meredith and Luna and their nerve- 
racking co-existence in a dormitory. But the College was sensitive to the 
problems — and joys — occurring in the period of home-to-institution ad- 
justments, as illustrated in the title of the 1996 opening convocation: 
"Meredith's Little Instruction Book." Convocation committee chair, Cyn- 
thia Edwards, promoted the event in an undated memorandum to the 
faculty and staff, in which she solicited "short words of wisdom, advice, 
or lessons that would benefit anyone trying to achieve her goals at 
Meredith." And prior to the first annual Freshman Frolic in 1996, a ban- 
ner reading "It's a freshman thing — you wouldn't understand" hung 
above the front entrance to Johnson Hall. 

A segment of the community that everybody understood was the in- 
creasingly impressive collection of athletic teams and the coterie of stu- 
dent athletes that brought recognition to intercollegiate sports at Mere- 
dith. In 1996, Melinda Campbell coached the tennis team to a Division 
III national ranking. The coach pointed to "freshman sensation" Ann 
Mebane, who was named the region's rookie of the year, and who was 
ranked 34th. "Mebane and Dorothy Livesay received a regional ranking 
of ninth as a doubles team and sophomore Sarah Huffman received a re- 
gional singles ranking of eighteenth." ^"^ The 1997-98 team was 25th in 
the nation — the best ever year-end ranking, according to department 
head Marie Chamblee. Ann Mebane moved up to 30th. President Weems 
was proud of all the teams: 

After just three seasons the newly formed soccer team [Jose 
Cornejo, coach] burst into the winning ranks this fall. The team fin- 
ished the season with a 10-7 record, after just five wins during its 
first two seasons. The volleyball team [Kathy Mayberry, coach] fin- 
ished its strongest home stand with an impressive 9-1 home record, 
and the basketball team [Carl Hatchell, coach] is full-steam ahead 
with a 7-2 start to the season."^^ 


In 1997, for the first time, the tennis team competed outside the United 
States. At the Spring Break Sports Program in Bermuda, Meredith played 
the University of Rochester and Pace University, both located in New 
York, and Case Western Reserve in Ohio, winning over Case but losing to 
Rochester and Pace. In 1998, the basketball team captured a big headline 
in the sports section of the News and Observer for January 11, 1998: 
"Meredith has 32 assists in 90-30 victory." The article under the head- 
line on page 16C read, "Meredith shot 53 percent from the floor and 
handed off 32 assists as it crushed Mary Baldwin 90-30 at home. . . ." 
The team accomplished its second-best record with twenty-one wins and 
two losses. At the North Carolina-Georgia Women's College Basketball 
Tournament in Greensboro in February, sophomore Beth Goodale was 
crowned "Tournament Most Valuable," and Aedrin Murray was named 
to "All Tournament." In baseball news, Andrea Carver pitched her first 
no-hitter in a 17-0 victory over Bennet in March. 

The College welcomed individual and team accomplishments in 
sports, as did all of society, as exemplified in the exceptions made for a 
college athlete's academic requirements as well as the financial compen- 
sation paid to professional players. But Meredith unabashedly admitted 
that its playing field was not level with the schools whose monetary sup- 
port dwindled in a losing season or whose athletes were more widely cel- 
ebrated than the scholars. In 1996, one of Meredith's scholars, junior 
Regina Mack, was selected as one of only twenty-five students nation- 
wide to participate in the Society of Biblical Literature's Recruitment 
Conference in New York City, October 11-13. Calling the selection "a 
rare and special opportunity" for Mack, assistant professor of religion 
Cheryl Kirk-Duggan identified the Society of Biblical Literature as "the 
major professional organization for scholars of biblical studies." ^^ 

Student researchers from all disciplines found their places in the sun at 
the first annual Meredith College Undergraduate Research Conference on 
April 25, 1998. Through the Creative Ideas Fund,''" the College invited 
students to submit their research papers for possible presentation at the 
conference, the authors of the best three papers to win cash prizes. Guest 

*Part of Initiative 2000, the Creative Ideas Fund awarded grants of up to $5,000 for 
selected projects "from all parts of the community — students, staff, faculty, adminis- 
tration. . . ." (Jean Jackson, memorandum to faculty, staff and student organization 
presidents, December z, 1996). 


John Edgar Weems, President, i^jz-i^^^ 

speaker was Mary Shariff, professor of art at the University of North 
Carohna in Chapel Hill. 

Freshman Christy Sanderson taught a valuable lesson in compassion, 
not only to her peers but also to viewers of local television and readers of 
Meredith, the News and Observer, People magazine, and the Chicago 
Tribune. Her widespread esteem came from the founding of her Opera- 
tion Toy Box, a nonprofit agency that "collects and distributes used toys 
for children who are disaster victims." 

Sanderson's operation evolved from her concern for children whose 
Virgin Islands homes were demolished by Hurricane Marilyn in 1995. 
Since that time, she and her helpers have provided toys for literally hun- 
dreds of children. The collaborators in her efforts included the American 
Red Cross, schools, churches, day-care centers, U.S. Air, Food Lion, and 
"volunteers who provide storage space, leadership, packing toys, and 
heart and soul."^^ But Sanderson's most constant helper was her mother, 
Carol Sanderson, associate director of financial assistance at Meredith, 
The compassionate student with a major in business administration on 
her mind evokes the choice words of Allen Burris in a 1997 interview 


with Meredith. Reflecting on earlier struggles attached to educating 
women and the still faint echoes of criticism toward today's curriculum 
designed "for work and life," Burris acknowledged the primary impor- 
tance of technology to the educated woman of the nineties, at the same 
time articulating a necessary balance: " 'I've learned,' he says, 'that Mere- 
dith must be both high tech and high touch.' "^^ 

The entire community learned a lesson in high touch from the reaction 
of Meredith's technology services department to the illness of a colleague. 
The learners included readers of Nicole Brodeur in the News and Ob- 
server, who told the story of department head, Ruth Balla, and staff 
members Doug Aim, Josh Tate, and Tim Bartlett's having shaved their 
heads in support of co-worker Ginny Kemp, who had lost her hair through 
chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin's disease. 

"It was such a great thing to do," Kemp said. "Especially for Ruth, 
who had long blonde hair. I mean, that was, like, two years of her 
life! ... I have always been glad I was part of this department, but 
especially now." 

"... I hope so!" said Balla. ^^ 

Camaraderie in any workplace rates an "A." Over an occasional lunch 
together, administrative assistants Sharon Woodlief and Martha Harrell, 
office of the president; Anne Pickard, office of the dean; Mary Ann Beam, 
office of student development; and Joyce Hinson, office of institutional 
advancement, found one another's company as pleasant away from work 
as in Johnson Hall — so enjoyable, in fact, that they took a cruise to- 
gether. And another. The group has been on excursion by automobile, 
train, ship, or plane numerous times since 1996 or thereabouts, and the 
fact that they are still friends after all those miles is, in itself, insight as to 
who these women are. In the first half of 1998, they took a spring jaunt to 
Puerto Rico and a summer weekend trip to New York City. They call 
themselves the "Cruising Ladies" — a.k.a. "The Power Group." 

The lure of travel brought a visitor to the campus and sent a colleague 
to the far-flung regions of Australia. In July 1996, Edward "Ted" Waller, 
technical services librarian, sent a message via the internet to librarians 
everywhere: "I would like to exchange jobs with someone outside the 
continental United States." ^° Almost a year and one-hundred e-mail re- 
sponses later. Waller flew to Canberra, Australia, to work for four 
months at the library of Australian National University, while partner in 

THE VISION REVISITED: 1996-I998 1 343 

exchange, Sherine Joacquim, signed on at the Carlyle Campbell Library. 
Not only did Waller and Joacquim exchange jobs but also houses, pets, 
and cars. Joacquim adjusted readily; however, her Meredith co-workers 
were a bit concerned that she commuted daily from Waller's home in 
Durham, driving "on the wrong side of the road." 

In August, 1997, Janet Freeman, librarian since 1984, was promoted 
to dean of library information services. " 'There have been major changes 
in libraries over the past several years and this title change reflects the 
shift from keeper of books to provider of information,' Freeman said. 
'But our basic purpose remains the same: helping the Meredith commu- 
nity find the information they need.' "^^ And Sue Ennis Kearney, '64, di- 
rector of admissions since 1984 was promoted to dean of enrollment 
planning and institutional research. Kearney's new responsibilities in- 
cluded enrollment planning, in which she would use "work groups to ad- 
dress enrollment issues," explained Vice President Spooner in the em- 
ployees' newsletter for September 1997. In addition, she would lead the 
College in defining and meeting enrollment goals. Her new role would be 
independent of the office of admissions, and Carol Kercheval, associate 
director of admissions, was promoted to fill Kearney's former position. 

Sue Ridge Todd, '59, a thirty-year veteran of the registrar's office, was 
promoted from associate registrar to registrar. She followed Allen Page, 
registrar and dean of undergraduate instruction, who assumed the re- 
sponsibility of academic leadership while Dean Burris took a year's sab- 
batical. Additional new colleagues included Alma Lane Lee, '88, director 
of the Teaching Fellows program; Stephanie Helms Harris, director of 
commuter life and special services; Anita Gunn Shirley, director of grants 
and program development; Robert Vetter, director for corporate and 
major gifts; and Mary Ann Morgan Reese, '8z, manager of the book- 
store. Reese's predecessor, Dru Morgan Hinsley, '52, who "piloted the 
Meredith supply store through four decades of cultural inventory,"^- and 
her entire staff had agreed to stay on under Follett College Stores, Inc. — 
"the largest contract manager of college and university bookstores 
throughout the U.S. and Canada"^^ — when Meredith followed the busi- 
ness trend in 1996 of "outsourcing" (another high-tech nineties word) 
work; but Hinsley retired in less than a year to concentrate on treatment 
for lung cancer. On Friday, October 18, the entire campus celebrated Dru 
Hinsley Appreciation Day. 

An earlier instance of relinquishing operations to an independent com- 


pany occurred in 1969, when the College contracted with the Slater com- 
pany as food services concessionaire. Slater later became ARA and, more 
recently, the ARAMARK Corporation. Accepting further responsibilities 
in 1996, ARAMARK added to its food service operation that of the ad- 
ministration of facilities services — capital improvements, maintenance, 
grounds, and housekeeping. 

And, since 1996, the security staff has evolved into the campus police 
force under Chief Mike Hoke, a retired lieutenant colonel in the United 
States Marines and certified police officer, whose last military assignment 
was that of provost marshal at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Vice Pres- 
ident Taylor's annual report for 1996-97 alluded to the "576 hours of 
state-mandated training" that the department's eight new certified offi- 
cers had undergone. In January 1997, Lisa Marie Robinson, '95, was 
sworn in, becoming Meredith's first state-certified policewoman. 

The Meredith Herald playfully reported an emergency call to campus 

Campus police officers armed with .357 magnum pistols, a card- 
board box, and a gray wool blanket proved to be more than a 
match for an intruder in Johnson Hall last Wednesday. 

While concerned Johnson Hall staff members looked on ner- 
vously, officers Timmy Morris and David Richards chased a fright- 
ened possum toward the rear rotunda [door] held open by the cam- 
pus police chief. 

The possum exited the rotunda unharmed as staff members 
breathed a sigh of relief and returned to their offices. 

"This was a highly successful S.RA.T. (Special Possum Adminis- 
tration Team) operation," commented Meredith security chief Mike 
Hoke. "This is the type of thing we train and remain ready for. We 
used the least amount of force necessary, and the suspect was re- 
leased on its own recognizance." ^■** 

OF ALL THE title chauges and the promotions in 1996-98, two were 
unique in that they involved the highest level of the administration and, 
to accommodate them, trustee action to amend the bylaws. On Septem- 
ber Z7, 1997, such action was taken, changing the title of LaRose 

*Vice President Jackson reported that, while in Johnson Hall, the possum had dined 
on leftovers from a recent Johnson Hall reception. 

THE VISION REVISITED: 1996-1998 I 345 

Spooner, vice president for administrative affairs, to vice president for 
marketing and the name of her division from office of college communi- 
cations to the office of marketing and communications. In the same meet- 
ing, the Board of Trustees created the position of executive vice president 
and appointed Charles Taylor to fill that position. Taylor had held the 
vice presidency for business and finance since 1983; his new responsibil- 
ities meant a broader administrative jurisdiction for twelve-year veteran 
William F. "Bill" Wade, Jr., controller. Public relations intern Jennifer 
Lynch, '98, wrote in the October 1997 employees' newsletter, "Taylor 
will be breaking new ground as he works with the Meredith community 
to prepare for the future. In his new role, Taylor is responsible for over- 
seeing the College's strategic planning [Initiative 2000] and implementa- 
tion of the recommendations made in the marketing audit by Stamats." 
President Weems said that this recommendation of Stamats Communica- 
tions''" was the first of 174 to be implemented. 

"Stamats Communications is a consulting firm commissioned in 1996 by the Board 
of Trustees to conduct a study of the academic programs and administrative struc- 
ture of the College. 


In the fall of 1997, Weems appointed and the trustees empowered an 
Initiative 2000 review team of "representatives from each of the College's 
major constituencies" to "prepare an institutional strategic plan docu- 
ment which will be proposed to the Board of Trustees lin the fall of 
1998]."^^ The team included Executive Vice President Taylor; Vice Presi- 
dents Jackson, Osborne, and Spooner; Deans Johnson and Page; trustee 
Robert Lewis; community leader Bob Brooks; faculty members Ellen 
Goode and Jack Huber; students Kelly Conkling and Kristy Eubanks; 
alumnae Del Hunt Johnson and Cleo Glover Perry; and administrative 
staff members Vanessa Goodman Barnes, Gordon Folger, and Jeannie 

With approval of the Board of Trustees and, said Taylor, "Armed with 
historic purpose, a current mission and a stated vision for the future, the 
College will be on solid ground to begin developing a strategy to make 
the vision a reality." ^^ 

IN THE CONTEXT of Taylor's statement, vision suggests a beginning. And 
in the context of this volume's final chapter, vision revisited more nearly 
suggests an ending. And an elegiac note unavoidably creeps into conclu- 
sions. Norma Rose, professor of English, 1937-86, and department 
head, 1986-91, died April 6, 1996, on the day before Easter. The Easter 
Sunday edition of the News and Observer took note of the "Legendary" 
professor at Meredith: 

Rose retired 10 years ago when she turned 70, but she kept teaching 
continuing education courses in Shakespeare, grammar, and other 
topics until two weeks ago, when she became too sick to keep 

But Dr. Rose didn't just quit. 

She left behind individual study guides to get her students 
through the rest of the term.^^ 

Rose's students, to whom the reporter referred, were fondly known as 
"Dr. Rose's disciples." Many had sat in her classroom almost every se- 
mester since she retired from full-time teaching to enjoy the more 
leisurely pace of continuing education enrichment courses. Her long-time 
"disciples" included Margaret Bullard Pruitt, Louisburg; Alice Goodman 
Satisky, Raleigh; and Frances Pittman Woodard, Selma — all members of 

THE VISION REVISITED: 1996-1998 I 347 

the Class of 1937 and all college contemporaries of their teacher — as 
well as Drs. John Dotterer and trustee Ehzabeth James Dotterer, '30, San- 
ford; and trustee Robert Lewis, Raleigh. And although Dr. Rose probably 
felt like it, she didn't "just quit" editing Chapel Talks by Carlyle Camp- 
bell, a collection of memorable messages of Meredith's fourth president, 
when, for his student audience, chapel was a "required course." Although 
publication of the talks had been a topic of conversation for some years, 
its reality in 1996 was credited to Mary Lily Duncan Gaddy, '42, instiga- 
tor of the project and head of the alumnae committee that saw it through. 
By 1998, the committee had donated proceeds of more than $4,000 to 
Friends of the Carlyle Campbell Library. A memorial service for Dr. Rose 
took place in Jones Chapel on April z6. Also a veteran of the Department 
of English, Helen Jones, instructor, 1969-81, died June 10, 1998. Mrs. 
Jones's family and friends honored her memory at a June 12 memorial 
service in Jones Chapel. 

Evelyn Pope Simmons, associate professor emerita of economics and 
twenty-seven year veteran — 1962-1990 — of the Department of Business 
and Economics, died July 16, 1997. And James R. Johnson, III, also pro- 
fessor emeritus of economics, had retired six months before his death on 
July 18. Dr. Johnson joined the faculty in 1979, was named by his stu- 
dents Outstanding Professor for 1995-96, and was remembered at a ser- 
vice on September 19 in the Elva Bryan Mclver Amphitheatre. The James 
R. Johnson Meredith Economic Student Fund honors his memory. 

Less than a year after Drulynn Morgan Hinsley, '52, enjoyed a day of 
appreciation in her honor, she died on May 11, 1997. Vice President Tay- 
lor reminded the community of her long tenure of forty-three years as 
bookstore manager. "She has been a friend to thousands of students and 
staff . . . and she will be missed," he said.^^ 

Lucretia L. Peterson, a member of the housekeeping staff, died March 
12, 1998. Mrs. Peterson was employed by the College for more than six- 
teen years, having joined the staff in 1981 and retired in 1997. 

On July 4, 1997, Meredith lost Elizabeth James Dotterer, member of 
the Class of 1930 and a trustee for many years, beginning in 1956; and, on 
August 31, 1997, another trustee, 1979-82, Katherine Wyatt Flodgins, 
'48, died. Soon after completing her first term on the Board of Trustees, 
Helen Harris died on May 2, 1998. Mrs. Harris and her late husband, 
Shearon Harris, were benefactors of the College for many years. 


The Class of 1998 — indeed, the entire college family — grieved long 
and deeply for senior Erika Suzanne Woodlief, who died in a car accident 
on November 15, 1997. Ms. Woodlief was riding with her mother, 
Sharon Woodlief, '88, administrative assistant to President Weems and 
twenty-seven-year employee of the College, who was injured. Erika 
Woodlief was a sociology major and, said the News and Observer^ 

Ishe] hoped to become certified to teach kindergarten through sixth 
grade. . . . Erika had been inducted into Silver Shield, an honorary 
leadership society, and named in "Who's Who Among American 
College and University Students" in the past two weeks. . . . Along 
with her studies and participation in numerous extracurricular ac- 
tivities, Erika was working this semester as an intern counselor with 
the Wake County juvenile court.^^ 

Jeannie Morelock, director of marketing and communications, told the 
newspaper, "Erika basically grew up on the campus. . . . Everybody knew 
her since she was a baby." Her faculty adviser and professor of sociology 
Rhonda Zingraff said, "The youth of North Carolina have lost a devoted 
advocate, and we have lost one of our treasured students." And President 
Weems added, "Erika's death was a 'crushing loss, both for Meredith 
College and for me personally. [She] was one of the finest women we have 
ever had a Meredith, a young woman of great promise.' "^°° A Service of 
Remembrance and Celebration for the Life of Erika Woodlief was held 
November 20, 1997, in Jones Chapel. Ms. Woodlief's parents, Sharon 
and Eugene Woodlief, established the Erika Suzanne Woodlief Memorial 
Scholarship to provide financial assistance to a Meredith freshman who 
has interest in elementary education or sociology. . . . "^°' The office of in- 
stitutional advancement announced in February 1998 that "one-third of 
the 192 gifts received for the . . . scholarship fund were received from 
Meredith faculty, staff and students." '°- 

Freshman Akie Segawa collapsed on a hiking trip with friends near 
Sanford on February 15, 1998, and died of natural causes in a nearby 
hospital. Ms. Segawa was an international student from Hitachi-shi, 
Ibaraki-ken, Japan. Her mother, two siblings, and a family friend, who 
traveled to Meredith to attend a February 18 memorial service in Jones 
Chapel, were guests of the College in the Sarah Lemmon House. "Con- 
dolence books for the family of Akie were placed around campus. Hall- 

THE VISION REVISITED: 1996-1998 I 349 

mates and friends . . . made and distributed white ribbons for students, 
faculty and staff to wear in remembrance of her."i°^ 

In 1996-98, Meredith lost by death approximately 200 alumnae, as 
well as numerous other benefactors, including, on November 27, 1996, 
Vivian Dawson Massey, who, with her husband, L.M. Massey, initiated 
the funds for the Massey House, the president's residence. These few rep- 
resent the many — a host of memorable Meredith "angels" who continue 
to serve as guardians of the College's vision and tradition. 

EVEN WHEN A collcague retires, those "still in the race" suffer a sense of 
loss, although retirement is a gradual process, and ties are rarely broken 
permanently. One need only peruse the forty-plus names on the faculty 
emeriti list to recognize that retirees continue to appear at special events, 
the library, and any number of old haunts with any number of old friends. 
In 1996, the College honored the retirement of Lon Avent, maintenance 
supervisor; Vergean Birkin, assistant professor of geography; Carolyn 
Harrington Grubbs, '60, professor of history; Dru Morgan Hinsley, '52, 
manager of the bookstore; Geraldine Myers, secretary/receptionist, office 
of institutional advancement; Anne Carmack Pugh, '82, administrative 
secretary to the vice president for business and finance; Dan Shattuck, 
chief of security; and Janice Shattuck, secretary, office of security. Retiring 
in 1997 were Jacques Comeaux, associate professor of foreign languages; 
Frank Grubbs, professor of history; James R. Johnson, III, professor of 
business; Dorothy Knott Preston, '54, professor of mathematics; and Lois 
Rowland, member of the housekeeping staff. The College bade farewell 
to fewer retirees in 1998: Marie Mason, former dean of students, pro- 
fessor of psychology, and, more recently, coordinator of campus activi- 
ties; and Craven Allen Burris, Vice President and Dean of the College. 
The service to Meredith represented by the faculty and staff who retired 
in the three-year period totals 401 years, with Dr. Comeaux's tenure of 
fourteen years the shortest period and Mrs. Hinsley's 49 years the 

Allen Burris announced retirement plans as early as 1996, and, at his 
request, the Board of Trustees granted him a year's sabbatical, beginning 
July I, 1997. He and Mrs. Burris spent several months in England, and, 
on return, he was immediately busy preparing the annual faculty lecture 
and, at the request of the Class of 1998, the annual baccalaureate ser- 


mon. Burris had high hopes for his sabbatical, and many of them materi- 
ahzed. The Biblical Recorder reported, "During this year, he hopes to 're- 
tool' himself as a historian and political scientist by reading, writing and at- 
tending some classes at one of the Triangle's universities. . . ."^°'* His 
long-range retirement prospects — learning the guitar, folk singing, wood- 
working, volunteering for community work, teaching, writing a book — 
suggested a man of many interests. ^°^ For Meredith, Anne Pugh wrote, "An 
educator and a people person. Dean Burris has regularly taught classes in 
history and politics. Some summers he has accompanied students to Europe 
for the Meredith Abroad program. One year the students presented him 
with a sweatshirt on which was printed his newly acquired nickname: 
'Uncle Dean."'^o^ Burris's "Uncle Dean" shirt prompted eye-rolling and 
quipping, but probably not as much as has the sign on his desk that read, 
"Flip Not Thine Wig." The sign was a gift from his wife, Jane Burris. 

Dr. Burris reflected on the "innumerable ways" that Meredith has 
grown. It has "nearly tripled in size," and, academically, it "offers gradu- 
ate programs, a capstone program with a national reputation, and a 
holistic honors program." He said he will miss "the daily community 
with people, perhaps even committee meetings, . . . the interaction in the 
classroom, telling jokes in the hall, and making hard and important deci- 
sions." ^^^ 

In April 1997, before Burris left on sabbatical, the college community 
threw — as someone said — "the surprise party of the century" in his 
honor. To be sure the dean attended his own party. Police Chief Hoke 
"arrested," handcuffed, and transported him — sirens blaring — to the 
Weatherspoon Building. He was tried for desertion before the King of 
Hearts (shades of Alice in Wonderland) and sentenced to the party. Al- 
most overflowing the gymnasium, the crowd enjoyed antics, toasts and 
roasts, videos, including an Oscar-winning documentary narrated by Bur- 
ris's long-time administrative assistant, Anne Pickard; a few serious good- 
byes, and the announcement of a scholarship endowed in Burris's name. 
One of Meredith's legends, Lon Avent, who had retired in 1996 as main- 
tenance supervisor at the College, prepared and oversaw the serving of a 
barbecue feast outside the gymnasium. In an open letter to the commu- 
nity, Burris wrote, "Meredith people, my colleagues and friends, again 
gave of themselves for the benefit of students as they do every day. This 
time they did it in my honor. . . . You people are really a piece of work."^°^ 


AN ERA ENDS categorically on June 30, 1999, the last day of the Weems 
presidency. At the November 24, 1997, executive committee meeting of 
the Board of Trustees, chairman Norman Kellum announced the presi- 
dent's plans for retirement and Vice President Taylor's added responsibil- 
ities of administering the planning and operations of the College. Kellum 
also said that the president would be granted a sabbatical leave for the 
year beginning July i, 1998, and, in 1999, would become president emer- 

Accomplishments of the Weems administration are documented 
throughout this volume, not the least of which are the growth in endow- 
ment and reserves from $887,000 to $49,500,000 and the College's debt- 
free status. Meredith published expressions of acclaim from faculty, ad- 
ministrators, alumnae, trustees, students, educators, benefactors, and 
other friends. One of the accolades came from North Carolina's Gover- 
nor James B. Hunt: 

Dr. Weems has dedicated twenty-seven years of his life to making 
Meredith College an enriching college experience for women in 
North Carolina. Under Dr. Weems's leadership, Meredith College 
has nearly doubled the size of both its student body and its faculty, 
constructed twelve new facilities and founded the John E. Weems 
Graduate School. He has left a legacy of strength and vitality for 
Meredith College and for education throughout North Carolina. 
Dr. Weems is a great friend of mine and I sincerely thank him for 
making the young people of our state a priority in his life.^*^^ 

William Friday, executive director of the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable 
Trust and former president of the University of North Carolina System, 
also paid tribute: 

Strong colleges require strong leaders. John Weems has provided 
Meredith College that quality of leadership. He is a man of uncom- 
mon dedication, intelligence, integrity, and good will. This Trust's 
respect for him led to a funding grant to enrich the offerings of 

John Weems is a respected and longtime friend with whom I have 
happily joined in many endeavors to benefit Meredith and our state. 
His tenure is marked by growth, expansion of progress and, above 


all, academic excellence while maintaining essential freedom and 
open exchange. He has been a very good president during a stressful 
interval of American history. . . .^^° 

The fact that, after commencement 1998, President Weems had 
awarded 10,587 of the 16,060 diplomas granted since 1902^^^ was a 
telling statistic of the growth of the College in the past twenty-seven 
years. But Dr. Weems's life in the period of this chapter was more than 
diplomas and trustee meetings and technology and academic decision- 
making; it was also John Edgar Weems and Ruth Ellen Taylor Weems, 
husband and wife. Following their marriage in Florida on Thanksgiving 
Day, 1996, and two weeks in Aspen, Colorado, Dr. and Mrs. Weems re- 
turned to the Massey House. From an interview with Mrs. Weems, Anne 
Pugh reported, "Home for Ruth Ellen Weems before coming to North 
Carolina was a working ranch in Venice, Florida, on which she raised 
cattle and mined shell road-base material. Real estate development is 
presently also a part of the ranch's business. The ranch is now managed 
by her three sons. . . ."^^^ The second marriage for both, the Weemses met 
in Blowing Rock, where each owned a home. 

At sabbatical send-offs, the college community honored President 
Weems at an informal gathering in Belk Dining Hall on April 23, 1998, 
and the trustees feted him with a dinner dance at the Carolina Country 
Club on June 2. 

TO PUBLISH AN inclusivc list of all those whom the community has gained 
and lost in the previous three decades would be impossible. But, like 
William Butler Yeats, we do our part "to murmur name upon name, / As 
a mother names her child." ^^^ All who have come are appreciated; yet 
none who is missing is forgotten. Each name is written in the human 
heart and, therefore, in the annals of this history. 


IN THE FINAL years of the twentieth century, the Baby Boomers turned 
fifty; Israel celebrated its golden anniversary of independence; Scottish 
scientists cloned a sheep; the White House claimed a balanced national 
budget for the first time in decades; El Nino spawned erratic weather 
patterns; septuplets were born into the world and survived; and Mere- 
dith prepared to say goodbye to its sixth president and to undertake the 
difficult search for a seventh. On April 20, 1998, the Board of Trustees 
finalized the appointment of a thirteen-member committee charged with 
the selection by April 1999 of a new president, who will be expected 
to assume official duties at the start of the academic year 1999-2000. 
Eugene M. Langley, Jr., was elected search committee chair and Faye 
Arnold Broyhill, '59, vice chair. Other members included Sam Ewell, 
Jerry Harper, Sr., Earl Pope, Judge Gary E. Traywick, and Claude 
Williams for the trustees; Gwendolyn Clay and Janice Swab would rep- 
resent the faculty; Virginia Gentry Parker, '83, the alumnae; Amy Smith, 
'99, the student body; Jeannie Morelock, '95, MBA, the administration; 
and Harry Eberly, the community. So this volume of Meredith's biogra- 
phy has come full circle — search committee to search committee and an 
era between. 



A NEW MILLENNIUM waits just ovcr the horizon, and history, like "William 
Shakespeare's Antonio in The Tempest, teaches that "What's past is pro- 
logue."^ As the era concludes, Meredith honors the contrasts between the 
beginning and the end and finds the vision inevitably revisited by its peo- 
ple — its leavening — working "by contagion, until the whole is leavened."- 



1. Matthew 13:33 KJV. 

2. Buttrick, Parables of Jesus, 23. 

3. M.L. Johnson, History, 5. 

4. The World Almanac and Book of 
Facts 1997, 2.08. 

5. Ibid., 207. 

6. Weems, "Upheld by the Affections of 
a Great People," Inaugural Address, 21 
September 1972. 

7. Buttrick, Parables, 24. 


1. M.L. Johnson, History, v. 

2. Ibid. 

3. Alumnae Magazine, June 1971, 4-5- 

4. Leslie Syron, "Notes on a Sabbati- 
cal," Alumnae Magazine, December 1971, 


5. E. Bruce Heilman, "Paraphrasing 
My Own Propaganda," Alumnae Maga- 
zine, September 1971, 5. 

6. Laura Weatherspoon Harrill, "What 
a President!" Alumnae Magazine, Septem- 
ber 1971, 4. 

7. Margaret Farmer, "Multicolored 
Memories," Alumnae Magazine, December 


8. Ibid. 

9. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 24 Sep- 
tember 1 97 1. 

10. Ibid. 

11. Encyclopedia of American Facts 
and Dates, 6th ed., s.v. "education." 

1 2. "Are Americans Losing Faith in 
Their Colleges? "Editorial Projects for Edu- 
cation, Inc., insert. Alumnae Magazine, 
June 1971. 

13. E. Bruce Fieilman, "Meredith Not 
in Trouble," Alumnae Magazine, June 

14. Minutes, faculty, 18 September 1971. 

15. Ibid. 

16. Susan Van Wageningen, editorial, 
Twig, 16 September 1971. 

17. Van Wageningen, editorial, Twig, 2 
September 1971. 

18. Anne Wall, "Juniors Take Pump- 
kin[;] Sophomores Place Second," Twig, 4 
November 197 1. 

19. Twig, 2 September 1971. 

20. Janice Sams and Eleanor Hill, edito- 
rial, Twig, 2 November 1972. 

21. Meredith McGill to editor. Twig, 
31 October 1974. 

22. Farmer, "Multicolored Memories," 
Alumnae Magazine, December 1971, 7. 

23. Carlyle Campbell, "The Idea of 
Community," address to the student body, 
date unknown, Campbell papers. 

24. Jan Johnson, "Carol's Cart Be- 
comes Well Known on Campus," Raleigh 
Times, 22 October 197 1. 

25. J. Eugene White, "Her Spirit Soars," 



Charity and Children (Thomasville), 12 
September 197 1. 

z6. Conversation with Joe Baker, 18 
January 1995. 

zy. Minutes, called meeting. Board of 
Trustees, 14 October 1971. 

28. W.L. Norton, news release, 14 Oc- 
tober 1971. 

29. Ibid. 


1. W.L. Norton, news release, 14 Octo- 
ber 1971. 

2. Twig, 20 January 1972. 

3. M.L. Johnson, History, 277. 

4. Judy Yates and Diane Reavis, "What 
a Great Day to Be Alive!" Twig, 20 Janu- 
ary 1972. 

5. Alumnae Magazine, March 1972, 12. 

6. Report of the President i^ji-jz, 49. 

7. Tw/ig, 30 March 1972. 

8. Martha Grafton, "Women's Lib: a 
Second Look," Alumnae Magazine, March 
1972, 36. 

9. Ellen Bullington, "Overtime Needed 
to Pull the Meredith Basketball Team 
Through," Twig, 30 March 1972. 

10. Report of the President i^yi-yz, 7. 

11. Twig, II May 1972. 

12. Alumnae Magazine, Summer 1972, 6. 

13. Eleanor Gardner Bedon to Presi- 
dent, M.C., 12 April 1970, reprinted in 
Alumnae Magazine, Summer 1972, 6. 

14. Dorothy Loftin Goodwin, "The 
Margaret Bright Gallery of Class Dolls," 
Alumnae Magazine, Summer 1972, 8. 

15. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 23 Sep- 
tember 1972. 

16. Alumnae Magazine, Fall 1972, 8. 

17. Conversation with Allen Burris, 20 
January 1994. 

18. Conversation with Anne Dahle, 28 
April 1994. 

19. Ibid. 

20. Minutes, faculty, 6 August 1972. 

21. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 21 August 1972. 

22. Twig, 8 September 1972. 

23. Eleanor Edwards Williams, "A 
Proper Title for an Heroic Poem," Alumnae 
Magazine, Winter 1973, 14-15. 

24. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 20 November 1972. 

25. Twig, 8 September 1972. 

26. Ibid. 

27. Katherine Inez Hall v. Wake County 
Board of Elections, No. 37, Supreme Court 
of North Carolina, 15 March 1972, South 
Eastern Reporter, vol. 187, N. C. Ed. 

28. Ibid. 

29. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 27 Feb- 
ruary 1971. 

30. Report of the President i^yi-ji, 41. 

31. Janice Sams, "Students Care 
Enough to Become Involved," Twig, 27 
April 1972. 

32. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 20 November 1972. 

33. Twig, 8 September 1972. 

34. Report of the President i^yi-ji, 42. 

35. Twig, 8 October 1972. 

36. Ibid. 

37. Ibid. 

38. Twig, 30 March 1972. 

39. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 23 Sep- 
tember 1972. 

40. Minutes, faculty, 14 October 1972. 

41. Ibid. 

42. Report of the President i^ji-yz, 33. 

43. Inauguration of John Edgar Weems, 
printed program, 22 September 1972. 

44. Weems, "Upheld by the Affections 
of a Great People," inaugural address, 22 
September 1972, reprinted in Alumnae 
Magazine, Fall 1972, 13-15, 40. 

45. Ibid. 

46. Ibid. 

47. Ibid. 


1. Britt, Images, i. 

2. "Making a Case for Women's Col- 
leges," Wall Street Journal (New York), 14 
November 1974. 

3. Suzanne Reynolds Greenwood, "The 
Challenge of the Women's Movement to 
the Women's Colleges, Alum?tae Magazine, 
Winter 1973, 4-5, 36. 

4. Information Please Almanac Atlas & 
Yearbook 199s, 48th ed., 430. 

5. Weems, address to the North Car- 
olina General Assembly, February 1973. 

6. Ibid. 

7. Conversation with Weems, 11 Janu- 
ary 1994. 

8. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 27 Sep- 
tember 1974. 

9. Clara Bunn to John Weems, 12 May 


10. Allyn Vogel, "Thomas Addresses 


Group at First SGA Meeting," Twig, 26 
September 1974. 

11. Genie Rogers, "V.P. Move for 
Good," editorial, Twig, 8 November 1974. 

12. Mary Owens and Barrie Walton, 
"Weems Talks on Women's Roles," Twig, 1 
March 1973. 

13. Minutes, Faculty, 21 August 1974. 

14. Phyllis Trible to editor. Alumnae 
Magazine, Fall/Winter 1973, i. 

15. Jane Cromley Curtis to editor. 
Alumnae Magazine, Spring 1974, cover 2. 

16. Elizabeth Garner McKinney to edi- 
tor, Alumnae Magazine, Fall 1974, i. 

17. Twig, 31 January 1974. 

18. Conversation with Weems, 5 April 

19. Twig, 4 October 1973. 

20. Twig, 4 May 1973. 

21. Woody Dicus, Cookie Guthrie, Meg 
Pruette, Elaine Williams, to editor. Twig, 
21 February 1974. 

22. Rogers, "Energy Crisis Ignored; 
Disregard Is Shocking," editorial. Twig, 3 1 
October 1974. 

23. Meredith McGill, "Administration 
Takes Steps Toward Conserving More En- 
ergy, '''Twig, 21 November 1974. 

24. Twig, 13 December 1973. 

25. Lynne Wogan, Raleigh Times, i De- 
cember 1975. 

26. Sharon Ellis, "Meredith's Twelve 
Sisters Live in Poteat Dorm Basement," 
Twig, 4 December 1973. 

27. Minutes, Academic Council, 5 Feb- 
ruary 1975. 

28. Leslie Syron to John Weems, 26 
September 1973. 

29. Syron to Weems, 3 May 1973. 

30. Greenwood, "Working With People 
Has a New Name," Alumnae Magazine, 
Fall/Winter 1973, 7-9, 39. 

31. Human Services at M., an Experi- 
mental Program, brochure, 1973. 

32. Greenwood, Alumnae Magazine, 
Fall/Winter 1973. 

33. Report of the President I9y^-J4, 6. 

34. Tivig, I May 1975. 

35. Conversation with R. John Huber, 
18 April 1994. 

36. Report of the President i<)jt,-j4, 25. 

37. Ibid. 

38. Ibid., 6. 

39. Minutes, Academic Council, 6 No- 
vember 1973. 

40. Eleanor Hill, "Is Meredith Becom- 
ing Merely a Diploma Mill?" Twig, 14 
February 1974. 

41. Minutes, faculty, 16 February 1974. 

42. Ibid. 

43. Mary Bland Josey to editor. Twig, 
21 March 1974. 

44. Frank Grubbs to editor. Twig, 21 
March 1974. 

45. Conversation with Burris, 20 Janu- 
ary 1994. 

46. Report of the President i^j^-y^, 

47. Twig, 8 November 1973. 

48. Janice Sams, "Helms Selection Not 
Questioned?" editorial. Twig, 21 March 


49. Michael Hall, "M. Tastes Black Ex- 
perience," Raleigh Times, 10 February 1973. 

50. Sams, editorial, "BVU Activities 
Challenging," Tti^/g, 16 February 1973. 

51. Sams and Hill, editorial, "Racial 
Prejudice Noted by BVU," Ttvig, 19 April 


52. Conversation with Burris, 8 Febru- 
ary 1994. 

53. Ibid. 

54. Hill, "Input Needed for Policy Re- 
vision," editorial. Twig, 27 September 


55. Twig, 20 September 1973. 

56. Student Handbook 1996-97, 77. 

57. Maggie Odell, "Cadets Mixed 
Well," Twig, 17 October 1974. 

58. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 22 Sep- 
tember 1973. 

59. Bill Morrison, "Musical's Inexperi- 
enced Ensemble Deserves 'Applause,' " 
News & Observer (Raleigh), 8 November 


60. Report of the President i^j^-y^, 4. 

61. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 15 April 1974. 

62. Report of the President 1973 -74, 14. 

63. Ibid., 5-6. 

64. Ibid. 

65. Report of the President 1971-72, 8. 

66. Conversation with Burris, 8 Febru- 
ary 1994. 

67. M.L. Johnson, "M.'s Historical 
Collection, a Beautiful Reality, Alumnae 
Magazine, Summer 1973, 8. 

68. Oliver L. Stringfield to Weems, i 
October 1972. 

69. Twig, 5 April 1973. 


70. Twig, 4 May 1973. 

71. Rebecca Askew, "Beth Leavel Chore- 
ographs Applause," Twig, 31 October 1974. 

72. Bill Morrison, "Musical's Inexperi- 
enced Ensemble Deserves 'Applause,' " 
News & Observer (Raleigh), 8 November 


73. Ibid. 

74. A.C. Snow, "Ah, Bread for the Ducks 
at M.!" Raleigh Times, 23 February 1974. 

75. Sandra Thomas, "A Challenge for 
Global Education," Alumnae Magazine, 
Summer 1975, 4-5. 


1. Burris, "Treasure in Earthen Vessels," 
Meredith, Fall 1976, 3. 

2. Ibid. 

3. James M. Wall, editorial, "Carter 
and the Religion Factor, Christian Century, 
31 August-7 September 1977, 739-40. 

4. Burris, "Treasure in Earthen Vessels," 
Meredith, Fall 1976, 4. 

5. Frank Grubbs, "Symbol To Be 
Recreated," Twig, 17 April 1975. 

6. Phyllis Burnett, "Will America Recall 
Ford?" Twig, i September 1976. 

7. Linda Williams, "Jack Ford Ap- 
plauded at Meredith," News & Observer 
(Raleigh), 9 October 1976. 

8. Kim Farlow, "Lancaster Campaigns 
at Convention," Twig, 8 September 1976. 

9. Vicki Jayne, "Impulse Takes Two 
Students to Inauguration," Twig, 8 Septem- 
ber 1977. 

10. Allyn Vogel, "M. Gets Grant for 
Consciousness Raising Program," Twig, 1 1 
September 1975. 

11. Sarah Lemmon, conversation with 
Jonathan Lindsey, archives, taped 1 7 
March 1982. 

12. Ibid. 

13. Angela Herrin, "Janet Guthrie De- 
scribes Turmoil," News and Observer 
(Raleigh), 21 September 1976. 

14. Maggie Odell, "RSW and Sports," 
editorial. Twig, i September 1976. 

15. "Coeds Celebrate Victory," News 
& Observer (Raleigh), 21 September 1973. 

16. Ibid. 

17. "Symposium on the Future Was a 
Spring Feature," Meredith, Spring 1978, 25. 

18. Ibid. 

19. Lemmon, conversation with Jona- 
than Lindsey, archives, taped 6 May 1982. 

20. Minutes, Academic Council, 1 1 
January 1977. 

21. Undergraduate Catalogue, 1994- 

22. Burris to academic administrators, 
25 January 1996. 

23. Report of the President i^jG-jj, 

24. Conversation with R. John Huber, 
18 April 1994. 

25. Ibid. 

26. Ibid. 

27. M.L. Johnson, History, 253. 

28. Report of the President i^y^-yS, 

29. Ibid. 

30. Twig, 7 September 1978. 

31. Report of the President i^j6-jj, 6. 
3 2. Royster Hedgepeth, "The Hazard 

of Being Who We Are," Meredith, Fall 

33. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 24 Feb- 
ruary 1978. 

34. Hedgepeth, The Hazard of Being 
Who We Are, Meredith, Fall 1978, 2-5. 

35. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 18 August 1977. 

36. Vivian Keasler, "Harriet Mardre 
Wainwright Remembered," Meredith, 
Spring 1977, 5-7. 

37. M.L. Johnson, History, 38. 

38. Oliver L. Stringfield to Weems, i 
October 1972. 

39. Meredith College (newsletter), April 
1978, reprinted in Meredith, Winter 198 1. 

40. Meredith, Fall 1978, 21. 

41. Carolyn Robinson, "The Chapel, a 
Continuing Challenge," Meredith, Winter 
1978, lo-ii, 30. 

42. Marion D. Lark, "From the Inside 
Out," Meredith, Winter 1981, 13-17. 

43. Robinson, Meredith, Winter 1978, 10. 

44. Minutes, executive committee, 
Board of Trustees, 8 September 1980. 

45. R. Frank Poole, "Convention Epi- 
log 1977," Newsletter, Carolinas-Virginia 
Region MGA. 

46. Mary Pickett, "CIM Chooses M. as 
Site of Celebration," Twig, 28 September 

47. Valerie Ray, "Area Students Work 
with Gifted Children," Twig, 16 November 

48. Report of the President I^j6-J7, 3. 

49. Meredith, Fall 1977, 25. 


50. Julia C. Bryan, "M. Abroad," 
Meredith, Fall 1977, 3-7. 

51. Sandra Thomas, "M. Classroom in 
Peru," Meredith, Fall 1977, 8-10. 

52. Ibid. 

53. "M. Group Spends Holiday in 
Cuba, Meredith, Winter 1980, 24. 

54. Undergraduate Catalogue 

55. Report of the President i^~/6--j-j, 16. 

56. Twig, 3 May 1982. 

57. "Alumna to Head Legal Assistants 
Program," Meredith, Winter 1980, 22. 

58. Report of the President i^y^-So, 

59. Student Handbook i()()6-<)y, 99. 

60. Ann Pelham, "She Sees Self as 'Gen- 
eration-Gap-Jumper,' " News & Observer 
(Raleigh), 30 May 1976. 

61. Virginia Norton, "Trade In: Old 
Experiences for New," Meredith, Winter 
1977, 18. 

62. Ibid. 
63. Ibid. 

64. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 23 Sep- 
tember 1977. 

65. "Hypocrisy?" guest editorial. Twig, 
21 September 1978. 

66. Susan Felts, "Library Improvements 
Made," Twig, 30 August 1978. 

67. "Hypocrisy?" Twig, 21 September 

68. Carolyn A. Wallace, untitled ad- 
dress. Friends of the Carlyle Campbell Li- 
brary, 5 May 1977, M. archives. 

69. Julia H. Harris, "Libraries Old and 
New," Alumnae Magazine, Winter 1948, 20. 

70. Kristie Beattie, editorial, "Move 
Cornhuskin'?" Twig, 16 November 1978. 

71. Ibid. 

72. M.L. Johnson, History, 170. 

73. Sharon Ellis, review, Alice in Won- 
derland, Twig, 29 March 1976. 

74. M.L. Johnson, History, 73. 

75. Twig, 22 January 1976. 

76. Janice Sams, "Spring of Awareness," 
Alumnae Magazine, Summer 1972, lo-ii. 

77. Beth Wicker, cartoon. Twig, 22 Sep- 
tember 1977. 

78. 1979 Annual, Baptist State Conven- 
tion of North Carolina. 

79. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 27 Feb- 
ruary 1976. 

80. Minutes, executive committee, 
Board of Trustees, 21 November 1977. 

81. Minutes, executive committee, 
Board of Trustees, 18 November 1980. 

82. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 11 August 1980. 

83. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 18 November 1980. 

84. News & Observer (Raleigh), 18 
September 1980. 

85. Faculty to Bailey C. Smith, 
reprinted in Meredith, Winter 1981, 23. 

86. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 20 January 1977. 

87. Information Please Almanac Atlas 
and Yearbook 1995, 836. 

88. Report of the President i9j6-j-j, 68. 

89. Minutes, executive committee, 
Board of Trustees, 19 January 1976. 

90. Caroline Vaught McCall, "Angels 
Come and Go," M. Writes Home, Septem- 
ber 1989. 

91. World Almanac 1997, 507. 

92. Meredith, Spring 1979, 26. 

93. "Campbell's Legacy to Others," 
News & Observer, reprinted in Twig, i 
September 1977. 

94. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 14 April 1980. 

95. Burris, "Treasure in Earthen Ves- 
sels," Meredith, Fall 1976, 3. 


1 . Susan Gilbert, Ann Kurtz, William 
Ledford, Dorothy Preston, Evelyn Sim- 
mons, interview, "The India Aspect," 
Meredith, Winter 1983, 2-7. 

2. Ibid. 

3. Ibid. 

4. "Indian Ambassador Visits the Cam- 
pus," Meredith, Spring 1983, 25. 

5. Lyn Aubrecht, "D.C. Sabbatical," 
Meredith, Winter 1983, 8-10. 

6. Minutes, executive committee. Board 
of Trustees, 17 March 198 1. 

7. Minutes, faculty, 2 October 198 1. 

8. William Shakespeare, Hamlet, III, i, 

9. Betty Webb, tribute to Norma Rose, 
26 April, 1996. 

10. Lisa Sorrels, "Samson Surprised by 
Shower," Twig, 1 March 1982. 

11. Allen Burris, "The Academic Side," 
Meredith, Fall 1982, 3-5. 

12. Report of the President 198^-84, 28. 

13. Minutes, executive committee 
Board of Trustees, 12 October 1981. 


14. Meredith, Winter 1982, 17. 

15. Kelly Efirt, "Department Given 
New Residence," Twig, 20 September 1982. 

16. Linda Sellers, "Frazier Discusses 
Advantages of New Building," Twig, 1 3 
September 1982. 

17. Sellers, "St. Mary's Makes Dona- 
tion," Twig, 18 November 198 1. 

18. Marion D. Lark, "From the Inside 
Out," Meredith, Winter 1981, 13-17. 

19. Weems, remarks, Jones Chapel ded- 
ication, September 24, 1982. 

20. Duke McCall, dedicatory address, 
Jones Chapel, September 24, 1982, quoted 
in Meredith, Fall 1982, 15. 

21. Sellers, "New Pipe Organ High- 
lights Chapel," Twig, 28 March 1983. 

22. Donald C. Samson to editor. Twig, 
28 January 1981. 

23. Samson to editor. Twig, 29 April 

24. Joe Baker, "Acting on Change," 
Meredith, Fall 1982, 9-10. 

25. Ibid. 

26. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 15 February 1982. 

27. "Ellen Ironside on Pulling It All To- 
gether," Meredith, Spring 1988, 4-8. 

28. Ibid. 

29. Anne C. Dahle, "Continuing Edu- 
cation, a Way Out for Lillie Lawson- 
Jones," Meredith, Fall 1983, 6-7. 

30. Ibid. 

31. Ibid. 

32. Ibid. 

33. Meredith, Spring 1983, 1-2. 

34. Ibid. 

35. M.L. Johnson, History, in. 

36. Minutes, faculty, 19 November 1982. 

37. Meredith, Spring 1983, 1-2. 

38. Ibid. 

39. Ibid. 

40. Weems to Academic Council, 2 Oc- 
tober 1982. 

41. Meredith, Spring 1983, 1-2. 

42. Ibid. 

43. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 25 Feb- 
ruary 1983. 

44. Burris, "The Academic Side," 
Meredith, Fall 1982, 3-5. 

45. President's Message, 1983, 1-26. 

46. Report of the President 1983-84, 113. 

47. Jill Kibler, "Students Experience an 
Unforgettable Summer," Twig, 2 September 

48. Melody West, "Meredith Abroad 
Provides Fun Summer," Twig, 13 Septem- 
ber 1982. 

49. Conversation with Reginald Shi- 
flett, 18 April 1994. 

50. Meredith, Fall 1972, 17. 

51. Ibid. 

52. Advertisement, North Carolina 

53. Kellie Farlow, "NCSU Not All That 
Bad," guest editorial, Twig, 22 February 

54. Report of the President 1981-82. 

55. Ann Stringfield, "Rev. R.G. Puckett 
Speaks on Moral Majority," Twig, 23 Sep- 
tember 198 1. 

56. Lisa Sorrels, "Mullins to Speak on 
Nuclear Power," Twig, 22 February 1982. 

57. Meredith, Summer 1982, 12-13. 

58. Twig, 28 January 1981. 

59. Report of the President 1981- 

1982, ID. 

60. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 25 Feb- 
ruary 1983. 

61. Report of the President 1983- 
1984, 36. 

62. Ibid., 102. 

63. Ibid., 36. 

64. Minutes, executive committee, 
Board of Trustees, 14 February 1983. 

65. Minutes, faculty, 17 August 1983. 

66. Melody West, "SGA Signs Peti- 
tion," Twig, 9 December 198 1. 

67. Editorial, "Library or Shrine?" 
Twig, 1 6 September 1 9 8 1 . 

68. President's Message, 1983, 1-26. 

69. Edward Hughes Pruden, "From a 
Pulpit in Washington," Alumnae Magazine, 
Spring 1974, 12-13, 39- 

70. "Dangerous Dispute," Christian 
Century, 7-14 January 198 1, 8. 

71. A. Stringfield, "Puckett Speaks on 
Moral Majority," Twig, 23 September 198 1. 

72. A. Stringfield, "M. Students Greet 
Returning Hostages," Twig, 4 February 

73. Emily Craig, "Success for M.Girls 
in WQDR Contest," Twig, 1 5 February 

74. Kathleen McKeel, "A Date with 
Carlyle?" Twig, 4 November 198 1. 

75. Twig, 25 January 1982. 

76. Twig, 26 April 1982. 

77. Twig, 22 February 1982. 

78. Britt, Images, 62. 



1. Boyarsky, Ronald Reagan: His Life 
and Rise to the Presidency, 195. 

2. Schaller, Reckoning with Reagan, 
America and Its President in the i()8os, 36. 

3. Minutes, Academic Council, 10 May 

4. Minutes, Academic Council, 13 Sep- 
tember 1983. 

5. Ibid. 

6. "Professor Emerita Mary Lynch 
Johnson Dies," Meredith, Spring 1984, i. 

7. "'Odyssey' Set for Spring 1985," 
Meredith, Spring 1984, i. 

8. Report of the President 1984-198^, 

9. Conversation with Mary Johnson, 
8 February 1994. 

ID. Twig, I April 1985. 

11. Report of the President 
1984-198^, 18. 

12. M.C. Undergraduate Catalogue, 

13. Catalogue 1899-1900, Baptist Fe- 
male University, 4 5 . 

14. Twig, 7 October 1985. 

15. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 28 Sep- 
tember 1984. 

16. Graduate Program Analysis and 
Evaluation, February 1985, 2. 

17. Ibid., 30. 

18. Report of the President 1984- 
198s, 54. 

19. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 22 Feb- 
ruary 1985. 

20. Jennifer Bruffey, "M.C. Democrats 
Coming on Strong," Twig, 9 September 1985. 

21. Twig, 23 September 1985. 

22. Beth Blankenship, "Is Buckling Up 
Better?" Twig, 11 October 1985. 

23. Cynthia Church, "'Big Brother' 
System Cuts Students Off from the World," 
Twig, 2 September 1985. 

24. Blankenship, "Give Me Privacy or 
Give Me No Phone," Twig, 2 September 

25. Report of the President 1984-8^, 

26. Report of the President 
1983-1984, 185. 

27. Ibid., 167. 

28. Jenny Beavers, "Shaken by Di- 
vorce?" Twig, 18 March 1985. 

29. Carolyn Carter, address, junior 
class ring dinner, 16 November 1995. 

30. Annette Gregory, Twig, 17 Novem- 
ber 1977. 

31. Meredith Herald, i November 1995. 

32. Emily Pool Aumiller to editor, 
Meredith, Winter 1985, cover 2. 

33. Amos Bronson Alcott, "The 
Teacher," Orphic Sayings [1840]. 

34. Phyllis Trible, tribute to Ralph E. 
McLain, 30 August 1977. 

35. Meredith, Winter 1989. 

36. M.L. Johnson, History, 335. 

37. Declaration of Independence, 4 July 

38. Report of the President 1984- 


39. Raleigh Times, 16 November 1984. 

40. Meredith, Fall 1982, 18. 

41. Laura W. ITarrill to select alumnae, 
reprinted in Meredith, Winter 1984, 27. 

42. "Dorothy Gillespie Brings Her 
Sculpture to M." Meredith, Winter 1984, 5. 

43. Ibid. 

44. Report of the President 1984- 
1985, 9. 

45. Cathy Manning, "Problems Arise 
vv^ith Art Building," Twig, 7 October 1985. 

46. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 22 Feb- 
ruary 1985. 

47. Minutes, faculty affairs committee, 
22 February 1985. 

48. Minutes, Academic Council, 8 Feb- 
ruary 1983. 

49. Linda Cheek, "Calendar to Feature 
State Men," Twig, 26 September 1983. 

50. Ibid. 

51. Susan Harris, "Bear Spotted on M. 
Campus," Twig, 25 November 1985. 

52. Ibid. 

53. Minutes, executive committee, 
Board of Trustees, 12 August 1985. 

54. Raleigh Times, December 1985. 

55. Biblical Recorder, 21 December 1985. 

56. Meredith, Summer 1986, 32. 

57. Jenny West, "On Tour! The M. 
Chorale," Twig, 11 November 1985. 

58. Report of the President 
1984-1995, 15. 

59. Report of the President 
1983-1984, 175-76. 

60. Ibid. 


I. Anne Saker, "A Female Minister's 30- 
Year Path of Righteousness," News & Ob- 
server (Raleigh), 8 August 1994. 


2. Ibid. 

3. Ibid. 

4. Ibid. 

5. Randall Lolley, "Last at the Cross — 
First at the Tomb," convocation address, 
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 
published in Biblical Recorder, 1 5 Septem- 
ber 1984, 3. 

6. Ibid. 8. 

7. Minutes, executive committee, Board 
of Trustees, 15 April 1985. 

8. Minutes, executive committee. Board 
of Trustees, 18 November 1985. 

9. Ibid. 

10. Weems, A Matter of Importance, 
15 September 1986, 2. 

11. Ibid., 5. 

12. Ibid., 9-10. 

13. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 26 Sep- 
tember 1986. 

14. Ibid. 

15. Weems, transcribed telephone con- 
versation with Bernice Sandler, 3 1 October 

16. Renee Keever, "Special Report: 
Trustees Vote Women Only in Graduate 
programs," Meredith, Summer 1986, 1-5. 

17. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 18 November 1986. 

18. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 28 February 1986. 

19. Keever, "Special Report," Meredith, 
Summer 1986, 1-5. 

20. Betsy Short, "Demonstration Ex- 
presses Student, Faculty, Alumnae Discon- 
tent," M. Herald, 15 March 1986. 

21. Page Leist, "Grad Studies Depart- 
ment Heads Comment on Admittance of 
Males Issue," M. Herald, 22 March 1986. 

22. Ibid. 

23. Ibid. 

24. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 14 April 1986. 

25. Minutes, executive committee, 
Board of Trustees, 12 May 1986. 


1. New York Public Library Desk Ref- 
erence, 1989, s.v. "Important Dates in 
American History," 738. 

2. M. Herald, 7 November 1986. 

3. Annual Report, 1988, 35. 

4. Thomas Moore, "Oh, Call It by 
Some Better Name," Ballads and Songs, i. 

5. Renee Keever, "Jimmy Carter Comes 

to M.: A Day to Remember," Meredith, 
Fall 1986, 6. 

6. Ibid., 5. 

7. Jimmy Carter, press conference, 11 
September 1986, Casette A, 4.1.6, Carlyle 
Campbell Library. 

8. Ibid. 

9. Ibid. 
ID. Ibid. 

11. Keever, "Jimmy Carter Comes to 
M.," Meredith, Fall 1986, 2, 4. 

12. Lewis Grizzard, "Carter's the Guy 
to Disconnect Falwell's Hotline to 
Heaven," News & Observer (Raleigh), 28 
September 1986. 

13. Linda Sellers, editorial, "But Where 
Are the People?" Twig, 27 September 1982. 

14. Ibid. 

15. Cynthia Church, editorial, "Re- 
sources Available but Worship Services De- 
nied," M. Herald, 28 February 1986. 

16. Twig, 2 February 1978. 

17. Maggie Odell to editor. Twig, 23 
February 1978. 

18. Sonya Ammons, editorial, "Newspa- 
per Title Evaluated," Twig, 25 March 1981. 

19. Mary Beth Smith to editor, Twig, 
23 February 1978. 

20. Church, editorial, "When the 
Growing Gets Tough, the Tough Get 
Growing," Twig, 25 November 1985. 

21. Ibid. 

22. Beth Blankenship, "Change!", edi- 
torial. Twig, 25 November 1985. 

23. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 17 November 1986. 

24. "Gaddy-Hamrick Art Center Begins 
to Take Shape," Meredith, Summer 1986, 42. 

25. Jo Hodges, "Gaddy-Hamrick Hosts 
First Art Show," M. Herald, 20 April 1987. 

26. Ibid. 

27. Amber Burris, "M.'s First Lady," M. 
Herald, 16 October 1987. 

28. Meredith, Winter 1988, 14. 

29. Keever, "A Center for Women in 
Art," Meredith, Fall 1987. 

30. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 10 August 1987. 

31. Conversation with LaRose Spooner, 
13 December 1993. 

32. Meredith, Spring 1988, 21. 

33. Ibid. 

34. Minutes, faculty, 18 August 1987. 

35. "Ellen Ironside on Pulling It All To- 
gether," Meredith, Spring 1988, 5. 


36. Annual Report 1988, 58-59, 

37. Meredith, Spring 1988, 14-15. 

38. Annual Report 1988, 35. 

39. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 23 September 1988. 

40. Minutes, executive committee, 
Board of Trustees, 14 September 1987. 

41. Conversation with Gwendolyn 
Clay, 18 April 1994. 

4Z. Anne Pugh, "A Social Perspective," 
Meredith, Summer 1988, 5. 

43. Undergraduate Catalogue 
1993-94, 6z. 

44. Ibid. 

45. Annual Report, September 1987, 60. 

46. Undergraduate Catalogue 

1994-9J, 57- 

47. Minutes, Academic Council, 18 
January 1988. 

48. Annual Report 1988, 33. 

49. Catalogue 1899 -1900, BFU, 45. 

50. Conversation with Donald Span- 
ton, 13 April 1994. 

51. Ibid. 

52. Conversation with Allen Page, 24 
January 1994. 

53. Becky Butts, "New Foreign Lan- 
guages Head Hopes to Revitalize Program, 
M. Herald, 4 December 1987. 

54. Conversation with Burgunde Winz, 
13 April 1994. 

5 5 . Conversation with Virginia Knight, 
21 April 1994. 

56. Ibid. 

57. Annual Report, September 1987, 64. 

58. President's Message 1986. 

59. M. Herald, 13 September 1988. 

60. Cara Lynn Croom, "Opening Con- 
vocation Begins New Year with a Bang," 
M. Herald, 7 September 1988. 

61. Meredith, Winter 1988, 19. 

62. Meredith, Winter 1989, 7. 

63. Conversation with Burgunde Winz, 
13 April 1994. 

64. American Association of University 
Professors, Southeastern Baptist Theologi- 
cal Seminary, press release, 22 October 

65. Minutes, faculty, called meeting, 30 
October 1987. 

66. President's Message, 15 September 
1986, 8-9. 

67. Minutes, faculty, 20 February 1987. 

68. Minutes, finance committee. Board 
of Trustees, 25 September 1987. 

69. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 16 November 1987. 

70. Ibid. 

71. Meredith, Summer 1988, 7. 

72. Ibid. 

73. Ibid. 

74. Annual Report, 1986, 147-48. 

75. Ibid., 151. 

76. Annual Report, 1988, 159. 

77. Minutes, executive committee, 
Board of Trustees, 10 February 1986. 

78. Kim Allen, " 'Bee Hive' Becomes 
Ode to Senior Class," M. Herald, 14 April 

79. Meredith, Winter 1988, 16-17. 

80. Ibid. 

81. Ibid., 23. 

82. "Fall Courses Focus on the Consti- 
tution, Meredith, Winter 1988, 3. 

83. M.L.Johnson, History, 135. 

84. Casey Bass, "New Image for Stunt," 
M. Herald, 23 January 1987. 

85. Annual Report, September 1987, 85. 

86. Angle Stroud, "Meredith Receives 
Prestigious Award," M. Herald, 4 Decem- 
ber 1987. 

87. "Tarheel of the Week," News & 
Observer (Raleigh), December 1987. 

88. Meredith, Spring 1988, 8. 

89. Susan Worley, "Holocaust Com- 
memoration in Jones," M. Herald, 8 No- 
vember 1988, 6. 

90. Carol Brooks, "Margaret Person 
Currin: From Meredith Graduate to U.S. 
Attorney," M. Herald, i April 1988. 

91. U.S. News & World Report, 10 Oc- 
tober 1988, C20. 

92. Ibid. 

93. News & Observer (Raleigh), 30 
October 1988. 

94. Meredith, Winter 1989. 

95. Ibid. 


1. Report of the President's Task Force 
for the Pursuit of Excellence, January 
1989, 42. 

2. Ibid. 3. 

3. Ibid. 

4. Ibid., 6-7. 

5. Meredith, Winter 1989, 3. 

6. "Egbert Davis Presents Gift of Cere- 
monial Mace," Meredith, Winter 1990, 18. 

7. Ibid. 

8. Meredith, Winter 1990, 18. 


9. Conversation with Gwendolyn Clay, 
18 April 1994. 

10. Conversation with Louise Taylor, 
iz April 1994. 

11. Jeannine Manning, "Meredith Stu- 
dents Stage Sit-in in Support," M. Herald, 
2.-J February 1990. 

12. Ibid. 

13. Ibid. 

14. Annual Report, Student Develop- 
ment, 1990, 112-13. 

15. Susan Gilbert to editor, M. Herald, 
2.-J February 1990. 

16. President's Message, August 1990, 29. 

17. Ibid. 

18. Annual Report, Student Develop- 
ment, August 1990, 120. 

19. Annual Report, Administrative Af- 
fairs, 1989, 28. 

20. Report of the Task Force for the 
Pursuit of Excellence, 1 1 . 

21. Annual Report, Business and Fi- 
nance, September 1990, 65. 

22. Meredith, Winter 1990, 15. 

23. Meredith, Spring 1979, 24. 

24. Allen Burris to personnel commit- 
tee, Board of Trustees, 6 January 1989. 

25. President's Message, August 1990, 3. 

26. Annual Report, Academics, Septem- 
ber 1990, 22. 

27. Meredith Herald, 3 April 1990. 

28. Ibid. 

29. Meredith, Winter 1989, 7. 

30. Ibid. 

31. "Briefing," Jane Goodall Institute, 
as reprinted in Meredith, Fall 1990, 2. 

32. Carolyn Robinson, "'Gombe 30': 
an Anniversary," Meredith, Fall 1990, 3. 

33. Meredith, Fall 1990, 8. 

34. Ibid. 

35. Annual Report, Academics, Septem- 
ber 1990, 38-39. 

36. Carol Sessoms, "Publications Board 
Explains Plan for Academic Credit," M. 
Herald, 5 December 1989. 

37. Meredith, Winter 1990, 20. 

38. Report of the President's Task 
Force for the Pursuit of Excellence, 1 1 . 

39. Annual Report, Business and Fi- 
nance, 1990, 70. 

40. Meredith, Winter 1990, 25. 

41. Annual Report, Student Develop- 
ment, 1989, 144. 

42. Annual Report, Business and Fi- 
nance, 1989, 100. 

43. Meredith, Winter 1990, 22-23. 

44. Annual Report, Business and Fi- 
nance, 1989, 105. 

45. Weems, Christian Dimensions, Sep- 
tember 1989. 

46. Annual Report, Student Develop- 
ment, 1994-95, 6. 

47. Janie Mullis, "IHOM=International 
House of M., M. Herald, 27 August 1990. 

48. Krista Holloman, "Inaugural Week- 
end for College Republicans," M. Herald, 
31 January 1989. 

49. Kym Spell, "A Class of Champi- 
ons," M. Herald, i October 1990. 

50. Annual Report, Academics, 1989, 

51. M. Herald, 13 February 1990. 

52. Report of the President's Task 
Force for the Pursuit of Excellence, 11. 

53. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 3 March 1989. 

54. Annual Report, 1990, 41. 

55. Annual Report, Student Develop- 
ment, 1990, 132. 

56. Annual Report, 1990, 11. 

57. Annual Report, Academics, 1989, 49. 

58. Annual Report, 1990, 11. 

59. Student Handbook 1996-97, 63. 

60. Annual Report, Academics, 1990, 32. 

61. Marlea Doane, "Meredith Recy- 
cling Efforts Reported," M. Herald, 13 
February 1990. 

62. Annual Report, Academics, 1990, 37. 

63. Ibid., 39. 

64. Annual Report, 1990, 27-28. 

65. Ibid. 

66. Jayne Potter, "Accreditation Team 
Evaluates College," M. Herald, 5 Decem- 
ber 1989. 

67. Minutes, executive committee, 
Board of Trustees, 28 November 1989. 

68. Report of the President's Task 
Force for the Pursuit of Excellence, 23. 


1. Carolyn C. Robinson, "Diary of a 
Decision, Meredith and North Carolina 
Baptists," Meredith, Spring 1991, 9. 

2. Ibid. 

3. Ibid. 

4. Ibid. 

5. Ibid. 

6. Gerald Johnson, "Meredith: a 'Gone 
Gosling,'" News & Observer (Raleigh), 
October 1944. 


7. Weems, Founders' Day remarks, 25 
February 1996. 

8. Ibid. 

9. Robinson, "Diary," Meredith, Spring 


10. Ibid. 

11. Eugene Watterson to John Weems, 
21 February 199 1. 

12. Weems, Founders' Day remarks, 

13. Ibid. 

14. Minutes, Board of Trustee, 22 Feb- 
ruary 199 1. 

15. Addendum, Minutes, Board of 
Trustees, 22 February 199 1. 

16. Robinson, "Diary," Meredith, 
Spring 1991, 10. 

17. Ibid., II. 

18. Meredith, Spring 1991, cover 2. 

19. Ibid. 

20. Ibid. 

21. Ibid. 

22. "Meredith Out of the Fray," editor- 
ial. News & Observer (Raleigh), 26 Febru- 
ary 199 1. 

23. Ibid. 

24. Weems, Founders' Day remarks, 

25. Jean Jackson, Founders' Day re- 
marks, 1992, reprinted in Meredith, Spring 
199Z, 3. 

26. Ruth Schmidt, as printed in Mered- 
ith, Spring 1992, 9. 

27. Britt, Images, 126. 

28. Jackson, "Pilgrimage to a New 
Century," Meredith, Spring 1992, 11. 

29. Ibid. 

30. Ibid. 

31. Ibid. 

32. Meredith, Spring 199 1, 20. 

33. Ibid. 

34. Britt, "The Fine Art of Print Mak- 
ing," Meredith, Winter 1991, 3. 

35. Jackson, "Pilgrimage," Meredith, 
Spring 1992, II. 

36. Ibid. 

37. President's Message, 1991. 

38. Jessica Cook, "White Iris Consid- 
ered a 'Big Time' by Students, M. Herald, 
20 November 199 1. 

39. Britt, "The Centennial's Essential 
Quintessential Woman," Meredith, Spring 
1982, 4. 

40. Ibid. 

41. Britt, Images, X. 

42. Minutes, executive committee, 
Board of Trustees, 10 February 1992. 

43. Jackson, "Pilgrimage," Meredith, 
Spring 1992, 13. 

44. Ibid. 

45. Biblical Recorder (Quotation from 
editor, i8oo's). 


I. Rebecca Murray, "What Shall I 
Make of Myself? A Glimpse into the Lives 
of the Immortal Ten," manuscript, 1994, 4, 
M. archives.. 

z. Ibid. 23-27. 

3. Ibid., 15-16. 

4. Ibid., 28-29. 

5. Hebrews 12:1-2 KJV 

6. The One Volume Bible Commentary, 
J.R. Dummelow, Ed., 1028. 

7. President's Message, 1992, 15-16. 

8. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 27 Feb- 
ruary 199 1. 

9. Meredith, Winter 1992, 25. 
ID. Conversation with Bernard 

Cochran, 12 April 1994. 

II. Conversation with Marie Cham- 
blee, 20 April 1994. 

12. Ibid. 

13. Ibid. 

14. Anne Pugh, "Trouble in Georgia," 
Meredith, Spring 1993, 10. 

15. M. Herald, 25 March 1991. 

16. President's Message, 1991, 68. 

17. Minutes, faculty, 13 August 1991. 

18. Meredith, Spring 1993, 9. 

19. Ibid. 

20. Ibid. 

21. Meredith, Fall 1992, 11-12. 

22. Minutes, faculty, 4 March 1993. 

23. Robinson, "Political Climate Fore- 
cast: Warm and Partly Women," Meredith, 
Spring 1993, 17-22. 

24. Ibid., 17 

25. Ibid. 

26. Ibid., 18. 

27. Ibid., 21. 

28. Ibid., 19. 

29. Ibid., 20. 

30. Ibid., 21. 

31. Ibid, 22. 

32. Sandra Thomas, "Having a Ball 
at the President's Inaugural," Meredith, 
Spring 1993, 23-24. 

33. Ibid. 

34. Ibid. 


35. Kelly Phillips, Beth Lowry, "Point/ 
Counterpoint," M. Herald, 21 October 

36. Ibid. 

37. Traci Latta and Tracy Rawls, 
"Hillary Clinton Stresses the College Stu- 
dent Vote," M. Herald, 30 September 1992. 

38. The New York Times 1998 Al- 
manac, John W. Wright, Ed., s.v. U.S. 
Hisory, 79. 

39. Angels Aware, Fall 1990. 

40. President's Message, 1993, i. 

41. Ibid. 

42. Ibid., 21. 

43. Ibid. 

44. Karen Howell, "Meredith Co-Spon- 
sors Event to Encourage Women in Math," 
M. Herald, 10 February 1993, 6. 

45. Ibid. 

46. Meredith, Fall 1992, 15-16. 

47. Meredith, Winter 1993, 3. 

48. Weems, "Endangered Species," 
Meredith, Summer 1993, 3. 

49. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 25 Sep- 
tember 1993. 

50. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 23 November 1992. 

51. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 8 February 1993. 

52. Ibid. 

53. Ibid. 

54. Ibid. 

55. Juha Haskett with Cynthia Ed- 
wards, "Gulf War Support Services," M. 
Herald, 18 February 1991. 

56. Julie Smith, "Chinese Reps to Visit 
M.," M. Herald, 23 September 1992. 

57. President's Message, 1991, 43. 

58. "Meredith Announces New Christ- 
ian Lectureship," News Release, 26 March 

59. President's Message, 1991, 21. 

60. Ibid., 21. 

61. President's Message, 1991, 21. 

62. Minutes, Academic Council, 10 De- 
cember 1 99 1. 

63. Ibid. 

64. Sonali Kolhatkar, "Council Makes 
Decision on Cornhuskin' Issue," M. 
Herald, 21 October 1992. 

65. Amity Brown, "Cornhuskin' 
Launched by Record Attendance at Bon- 
fire," M. Herald, 4 November 1992. 

66. Brown, "New Dimension Added to 
Cornhuskin'," M. Herald, 4 November 1992. 

67. Brown, editorial, M. Herald, 11 
November 1992. 

68. M. Herald, 22 April 1991. 

69. Oak Leaves 1993, 38. 

70. Janie Mullis, "ARA Services Become 
Good Samaritan," M. Herald, 8 April 1991. 

71. Ibid. 

72. M. Herald, 14 January 1991. 

73. President's Message, 199 1, 77. 

74. M. Herald, 16 September 1993. 

75. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "Locksley 

76. Meredith, Fall 1992, 12. 

77. Child Care for the Meredith College 
Campus: A Comprehensive Report, April 

78. President's Message, August 199 1, 


79. Meredith, Fall 1992, 12. 

80. President's Message, 1993, 16. 

8 1 . Minutes, executive committee, 
Board of Trustees, 13 April 1992. 

82. Minutes, faculty, 2 October 1992. 

83. Rawls, "SGA To Sponsor Faculty 
Appreciation Day," M. Herald, 10 Febru- 
ary 1993. 

84. M. Herald, 8 September 1993. 


1 . Anne Pugh, "At Home With Com- 
puters," Meredith, Fall 1993, 16. 

2. Ibid. 

3. Ibid., 14-15. 

4. Ibid, 15. 

5. Ibid. 

6. Ibid. 

7. Ibid. 

8. Ibid. 

9. President's Message, 1993, 13. 
ID. Meredith, Winter 1993, i. 

11. M. Herald, 15 November 1995- 

12. "M. Goes Plastic: Introducing . . . 
CamCard," Meredith, Winter 1993, 4. 

1 3 . Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 14 November 1994. 

14. Ibid. 

15. Traci Latta, "The Star of the Scene: 
Ben Vereen," Meredith, Spring 1994, 13. 

16. Meredith, Spring 1994, 5. 

17. Ibid., 6. 

18. D.H. Johnson, "From Classroom to 
Boardroom," Meredith, Spring 1994, 12. 

19. Robinson, "Laura Harrill: Philan- 
thropist Cum Laude," Meredith, Fall i994> 


zo. Ibid, 
zi. Ibid. 

22. D.H. Johnson, "The Winning Cam- 
paign," Meredith, Fall 1994, 14. 

23. Meredith, Summer 1994, i. 

24. D.H. Johnson, "The Winning Cam- 
paign," Meredith, Fall 1994, 14. 

25. Meredith, Fall 1992, 12. 

26. Chuck Twardy, "The Cost of the 
Triumph of Tradition," News & Observer 
(Raleigh), 6 March 1994. 

27. Ibid. 

28. President's Message, 1994, 8. 

29. Jeannie Morelock, "Special Notice 
to the Meredith Community," 10 January 

30. Minutes, executive committee, 
Board of Trustees, 24 September 1993. 

3 1 . Minutes, executive committee, 
Board of Trustees, 11 April 1994. 

32. Ibid. 

3 3 . Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 22 August 1994. 

34. President's Message, 1995. 

35. Meredith, Spring 1980, 30. 

3 6. Conversation with Rebecca Bailey, 
25 April 1994. 

37. Lou S. Liverman, "M. VP Chosen 
to Lead Converse College, Meredith, 
Spring 1994, 17. 

38. M. Herald, 13 April 1994. 

39. Meredith, Fall 1994, 4. 

40. Christina Peoples, "Newf VP for 
Student Development Steps Up to Bat," M. 
Herald, 25 August 1994. 

41. New York Times Almanac, John W. 
Wright, Ed., 81. 

42. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 22 August 1994. 

43. Jessica Cook, editorial, M. Herald, 
II November 1991. 

44. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 23 Feb- 
ruary 1994. 

45. Weems to trustees, 25 August 1994. 

46. Ibid. 

47. Elizabeth Rihani, "Youth Today," 
M. Herald, 3 November 1993. 

48. D.H. Johnson, "From Classroom to 
Boardroom," Meredith, Spring 1994, 


1. Meredith, Winter 1991, 19. 

2. Topor and Volkmann, Marketing 
Higher Education, foreword. 

3. Robinson, "To Market, To Market 
..." Meredith, Summer 1992, 2. 

4. Ibid., 4. 

5 . Weems to faculty and staff, 7 Febru- 
ary 1995. 

6. Weems to department heads, 3 1 Jan- 
uary 1995. 

7. Weems to department heads, 3 Feb- 
ruary 1995. 

8. Ibid. 

9. Biblical Recorder, 18 February 1995, i. 
ID. Weems to department heads, 14 

February 1995. 

11. Weems to students, 14 February 


12. Nina I. McClellan to editor, News 
& Observer (Raleigh), February 1995. 

1 3 . Cynthia Griffith McEnery to editor, 
M. Herald, 15 February 1995. 

14. Alumnae Association executive 
committee to Board of Trustees, 24 Febru- 
ary 1995. 

15. Minutes, called meeting, executive 
committee, Board of Trustees, 1 3 March 


16. Minutes, executive committee. 
Board of Trustees, 21 August 1995. 

17. Minutes, called meeting (executive 
session), executive committee. Board of 
Trustees, 22 September 1995. 

18. President's Message, 1995, 5. 

19. Jerod Kratzer and Deborah Smith 
to faculty, 19 September 1995. 

20. Minutes, faculty, 6 October 1995. 

21. LaRose F. Spooner to John E. 
Weems, report of enrollment management 
team, 1993-94. 

22. Sue Kearney to the Board of 
Trustees, 23 February 1994. 

23. Minutes, faculty, 15 August 1995. 

24. Debbi Sykes, "Enrollment Jump 
Delights Meredith," News & Observer 
(Raleigh), 19 July 

1995, lA. 

25. Ibid., 9A. 

26. President's Message, 1995, 28-29. 

27. Meredith, Spring 1995, 2-3. 

28. Ibid. 

29. Minutes, Academic Council, i 
March 1983. 

30. Attachment to minutes, executive 
committee. Board of Trustees, 1 1 Septem- 
ber 1995. 

31. Carol Swink, "After Five Comes 
Alive," M. Herald, 25 October 1995. 


32. Meredith, Fall 1995, 6. 

33. Weems, "President's Corner," 
Meredith, Spring 1996, 3. 

34. Ibid. 

35. Meredith, Spring 1995, 3. 

36. Meredith, Fall 1995, 5-6. 

37. M. Herald, x6 April 1995. 

38. Michael Novak to M. community, 
21 August 1995. 

39. Ibid. 

40. Meredith, Fall 1995, 7. 

41. Sara Rimer, "At Harvard, Lovers of 
Beauty Sing a Collective Ode to Keats," 
New York Times, 11 September 1995. 

42. Ibid. 

43. Ibid. 

44. Ibid. 

45. Meredith, Fall 1995, 7. 

46. Ibid. 

47. Ibid. 

48. Kim Highland, "First Year Experi- 
ence Is Destined To Be a Great Hit," M. 
Herald, 30 August 1995. 

49. D.H. Johnson, "The New Voice of 
Experience," Meredith, Spring 1995, 5. 

50. President's Message, 1995, 22. 

51. Ibid. 

52. John Kincheloe, "Science Fiction?" 
Friends of the Carlyle Campbell Library, 
Fall 1995. 

53. President's Message, 1995, 22. 

54. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 28 Feb- 
ruary 1992. 

55. Shannon Batts, "MIA Brings Diver- 
sity to Campus," M. Herald, 25 October 95. 

56. Anne Pugh, "A Woman of Vision," 
Meredith, Spring 1995, 6. 

57. M. Herald, 19 January 1994. 

58. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 22 Sep- 
tember 1995. 

59. President's Message, 1995, 31. 

60. Ibid. 

61. Biblical Recorder, 26 November 

1994, 4- 

62. Ibid. 

63. Meredith, Summer 1995, 2. 

64. Christina Peoples, "Hull Lecturer 
Brings Message of Peace to Meredith," M. 
Herald, 5 April 1995. 

65. Debbie Doss, "Communication is 
Major Mid-East Problem," Twig, 5 Febru- 
ary 1976. 

66. Ibid. 

67. Facilities services department to fac- 
ulty and staff, 2 August 1995. 

68. M. Herald, 15 November 1995. 

69. Clarky Lucas, "Nooe Expresses Vi- 
sion for Raleigh," M. Herald, 1 3 Septem- 
ber 1995. 

70. Donna L. Fowler-Merchant, "The 
M. Connection," Meredith, Fall 1995, 

71. Ibid., 14. 

72. Meredith, Summer 1995, i. 

73. Minutes, faculty, 16 February 1996. 

74. David Van Biema, Time, 22 August 
1994, 61. 

75. Pat Wingert, "Oh, To Be a Knob!" 
Newsweek, 28 August 1995. 22. 

76. Amy Bernstein, " 'Shannon 
Faulkner Should Have Come Here,' " U.S. 
News & World Report, 22 August 1994, 6. 

77. Marc Peyser, "Sounding Retreat," 
Newsweek, 28 August 1995, 38. 

78. Traci Latta, editorial, "Women at 
the Citadel," M. Herald, 19 January 1994. 

79. Wendy Kelly, editorial, "Who's 
Laughing Now?" M. Herald, 13 September 


80. Kimberly Zucker, "Meredith's Cat 
Team's Cat Trap Is Missing," M. Herald, i 
February 1995. 

81. Ibid. 

82. Ibid. 

83. Heather Blake, "Why I Chose 
Meredith College," M. College Viewbook, 

1994-95, li- 

84. Betsy L. Cochrane, "The Circle of 
Spirituality and Intellectual Discovery," 
commencement address, Meredith, Sum- 
mer 1995, 6-7. 

85. "Fall Commencement Draws Over- 
flow Crowd," Meredith, Spring 1996, 4. 

86. Suzanne Britt, "I'm Nobody. Who 
Are You?" commencement address, 16 De- 
cember 1995. 


1. M.L. Johnson, History, 7. 

2. Cynthia Barnett, "A New Degree of 
Equality," News & Observer (Raleigh), 11 
July 1997, lA, 14A. 

3. Ibid. 

4. Ibid. 

5. "Committed to the Arts," Meredith, 
Fall 1997, 8-9. 

6. Ibid. 

7. Ibid. 

8. Ibid. 

9. Ibid. 


10. Nutshell, March 1997. 

11. Anne Pugh, "Making a Difference," 
Meredith, Summer 1997, 1-2. 

12. Ibid. 

13. Weems, "M. Creates Award Win- 
ning Math Mentoring Program," Initiative 
2000, February 1996. 

14. Ibid. 

15. Mary Sharpe, "Angels for the Envi- 
ronment," M. Herald, 4 September 1996. 

16. Meredith, Spring 1997, 7. 

17. Converse Survey Reports, M. Her- 
ald, 20 November 1996. 

18. Clyde Frazier, "78% of Resident 
Students Registered," M. Herald, 23 Octo- 
ber 1996. 

19. Frazier, "Will M. Lead the Nation 
in Voting?" M. Herald, 4 September 1996. 

20. Carey Gore, "Frazier 96 in '96 Vol- 
unteers Pleased With Voter Turnout," M. 
Herald, 20 November 1996. 

21. Ibid. 

22. Frazier, "M. Challenged to Lead the 
Nation in Elections," M. Herald, 1 8 Sep- 
tember 1996. 

23. Converse Survey Reports, M. Her- 
ald, 20 November 1996. 

24. In a Nutshell, March 1997. 

25. Jeannie Morelock, "An Interview 
With President John E. Weems Regarding 
Recent Actions Taken by the Meredith 
Board of Trustees," Meredith, Spring 1997, 


26. Biblical Recorder, 2 August 1997. 

27. Ibid. 

28. Weems, "New Relationship with 
Baptist State Convention," Meredith, Fall 
1997, 25. 

29. Meredith, Spring 1998, 4. 

30. Sue Kearney, "Challenges to Enroll- 
ment," Angels Aware, Spring 1996. 

31. Annual Report, Marketing, 

32. Employee Newsletter, November 

33. LaRose Spooner to Board of 
Trustees, 9 May 1997. 

34. "New Fitness Center Named After 
Alumna," Meredith, Summer 1996, 6. 

35. D.FI. Johnson, "The Center of At- 
tention," Meredith, Summer 1996, 6. 

36. Ibid. 

37. Nutshell, September 1997. 

38. D.H. Johnson, "The Center of At- 
tention," Meredith, Summer 1996, 6. 

39. Ibid. 

40. M.L. Johnson, History, 415. 

41. Meredith, Summer 1997, 9. 

42. Friends of the Carlyle Campbell Li- 
brary, Spring 1998. 

43. Employee Newsletter, October 

44. Annual Report, Business and Fi- 
nance, 1996-97, 12. 

45. Employee Newsletter, October 1996. 

46. Meredith, Fall 1996, 9. 

47. Meredith, Fall 1997, 14. 

48. Ibid. 

49. Conversation with Gwendolyn 
Clay, 28 May 1998. 

50. Minutes, faculty, 15 August 1996. 

51. Rosemary Hornak, "Capstone 
Course Development Grants Awarded," 
Nutshell, February 1998. 

52. Allen Page, "New Majors," Nut- 
shell, April 1997. 

53. M. Herald, 30 October 1996. 

54. Sharon Cannon, "New Technology 
for Disabled Students," M. Writes Home, 
October 1997. 

55. Courtney Lancaster, "Tour the M. 
Intranet — a Great Way to Communicate, 
Conserve Paper and Stay Informed," Nut- 
shell, September 1997. 

56. Dina DiMaio, "Turn to Wake Up 
M. on MCTV," M. Herald, 5 February 

57. Addie Tschamler, "MCTV Enter- 
tains and Informs with 'Wake Up Mered- 
ith,'" M. Herald, 19 February 1997. 

58. "Travel Adventures Sponsors NYC 
Trip," Meredith, Spring 1996. 

59. Nutshell, December 1997/January 

60. Continuing Education at M., Fall 

61. Continuing Education at M., Spring 

62. Ibid. 

63. Charles Taylor, "Initiative 2000 
Sets Sights on Long-Range Plans," 
Nm^s/;^//, June/July 1997. 

64. Annual Report, Business and Fi- 
nance, 1996-97. 

65. Emily Fulghum, "After Ten Years, 
Writing Center Improves Options," M. 
Herald, 19 February 1997. 

66. Nan Miller, "The Learning Center: 
One Stop Shopping for Academic Success," 
M. Writes Home, October 1997. 


67. Ibid. 

68. Minutes, Board of Trustees 14 Feb- 
ruary 1997. 

69. Annual Report, Business and Fi- 
nance, 1996-97. 

70. Charles Taylor to John Weems, 1 1 
February 1997. 

71. M. Herald, 18 February 1998. 

72. "M. Announces new Scholarships 
and Gifts," Meredith, Spring 1998, 4. 

73. Nutshell, April 1997. 

74. Minutes, Board of Trustees, 23 Feb- 
ruary 1996. 

75. Ibid. 

76. Ibid. 

77. Brandi Bettis, interview with Jean 
Jackson and Erica Balmer, "Extension of 
Open House Visitation Policy: A Discus- 
sion," M.Writes Home, September 1996. 

78. Erica Balmer, "N.C. SGA Presidents 
Meet with Governor," Nutshell, February 

79. Betsy Stewart, "Good Idea Turns 
Into a Major Art Show," M. Herald, 6 De- 
cember 1995. 

80. Louise Taylor, "Searching for 
Hugh: The M. Connection," Founders' 
Day address, 23 February 1998. 

81. D.H. Johnson, "Lost in the Rain 
Forest," Meredith, Spring 1996, 7. 

82. Kat Allen, "Dr. Wade Davis Deliv- 
ers Honors Convocation," M. Herald, i 
October 1997. 

83. Beth Hall, "Visiting Lecturer Doug 
Adams Connects Religion and Art," M. 
Herald, i October 1997. 

84. Wendy Kelly, "Tennis Team Re- 
ceives National Ranking," M. Herald, 7 
February 1996. 

85. Weems, M. Athletic Programs Boast 
National Rankings," Initiative 2000, Feb- 
ruary 1996. 

86. M. Herald, 30 October 1996. 

87. D.H. Johnson, "Operation Toy 
Box," Meredith, Fall 1997, 1-2. 

88. Pugh, "Continuity and Change," 
Meredith, Spring 1997, 5. 

89. Nicole Brodeur, "Her Bald Head's 
No Island," News & Observer (Raleigh), 
19 September 1997, iD. 

90. Ted Waller, "Australian Journey," 

Friends of the Carlyle Campbell Library, 
Fall 1997. 

91. Meredith, Fall 1997, 10. 

92. Meredith, Summer 1996, 6. 

93. Weems, "M. Outsources Bookstore 
Management," Initiative 2000, February 

94. M. Herald, 6 November 1996. 

95. Taylor, "Initiative 2000 Review 
Team Appointed," Nutshell, April/May 

<^6. Taylor, "Initiative 2000 Sets Sights 
on Long-Range Plan," Nutshell, June/July 

97. Matthew Eisley, "Legendary Profes- 
sor at Meredith Dies," News & Observer 
(Raleigh), 7 April 1996, 15. 

98. Taylor, "The Loss of a Friend," 
Meredith, Summer 1997, 25. 

^9. Steve Swindell, "Collision South of 
Louisburg Kills Two," News & Observer 
(Raleigh), 17 November 1997, iB, 5B. 

100. Ibid. 

loi. Nutshell, March 1998. 

102. Ibid. 

103. Ibid. 

104. Biblical Recorder (Raleigh), 19 
July 1997, 6. 

105. Jennifer Lynch, "Allen Burris: 
Making Plans to Say Good-bye," Nutshell, 
November 1996. 

106. Pugh, "Continuity and Change," 
Meredith, Spring 1997, 5. 

107. Lynch, "Allen Burris," Nutshell, 
November 1996. 

108. Burris, "My Surprise Party," Nut- 
shell, ]und]u\y 1997. 

109. "The Legacy of Our President," 
Meredith, Spring 1998, 2. 

no. Ibid. 

111. Conversation with Sue R. Todd, 
II June 1998. 

112. Pugh, "A New Face on Campus," 
Meredith, Summer 1997, 4. 

113. William Butler Yeats, "Easter 


1. William Shakespeare, The Tempest, 
II, i, 261. 

2. Buttrick, Parables of Jesus, 23. 



Campbell, Carlyle. "The Idea of Community." Address to the Meredith College student 
body, date unknown, Campbell papers. 

Carter, Carolyn. Address to Junior Class, i6 November 1995. 

Carter, Jimmy. "America: A Champion of Peace?" Lillian Parker Wallace Lecture, Mered- 
ith College, II September 1986. 

Lolly, Randall. "Last at the' Cross-First at the Tomb." Convocation address. Southeastern 
Baptist Theological Seminary. Published in Biblical Recorder, 150, no. 32, 15 Septem- 
ber 1984: 3. 

Taylor, Louise. "Searching for Hugh: the Meredith Connection." Founders' Day address, 
23 February 1998. 

Wallace, Carolyn A. Untitled address. Friends of the Carlyle Campbell Library, 5 May 

Weems, John E. "Upheld by the Affections of a Great People." Inaugural Address, 

Raleigh, N.C., September 22, 1972. Published in the Alumnae Magazine, 26, no. 4 (Fall 
1972): 13-17,41. 

. Address to the North Carolina General Assembly in support of Equal Rights 



Annual Reports, 1972-97. 

Cooper, Jean Batten. An Oral History of Meredith College Alumnae. Master's thesis. 

Wake Forest University, 1989. 
In-house correspondence, 1971-98. 

Lemmon, Sarah. Conversations with Jonathan Lindsey. Taped in 1982. 
Message of the President 1972-97. 
Minutes, Academic Council, 1972-98 
Minutes, Board of Trustees, 1971-98. 

Minutes, Executive Committee, Board of Trustees, 1972-98. 
Minutes, Faculty Meetings, 1971-98. 
Minutes, Select Faculty Committees, 1985-97. 



Murray, Rebecca. What Shall I Make of Myself? A Glimpse into the Lives of the Immor- 
tal Ten, manuscript, 1994. 
Strategic Planning Documents, 1974-97. 


Bedon, Helen. Letter to the President of Meredith College. 12 April 1970. 

Biblical Recorder. Select issues, 1971-98. 

"Dangerous Dispute." The Christian Century (Chicago) XCVIII, no. i (7-14 January 

1981): 8. 
News & Observer (Raleigh). Select issues, 1944-98. 
Paper Trail. Collection of papers regarding Meredith's relationship with the Baptist State 

Convention of North Carolina, August 1993. 
Report of the President's Task Force for the Pursuit of Excellence, 1989 
Stringfield, Oliver L. Letter to John E. Weems, i October, 1972.. 
Raleigh Times (Raleigh). Select issues, 1971 
Rimer, Sara. "At Harvard, Lovers of Beauty Sing a Collective Ode to Keats." New York 

Times (New York), 11 September 1995. 
Wall, James M., editorial. "Carter and the Religion Factor." Christian Century (Chicago), 

(31 August-7 September 1977): 739-40. 
Watterson, Eugene. Letter to John E. Weems, 21 February 1991. 


Boyarsky, Bill. Ronald Reagan: His Life and Rise to the Presidency. New York: Random 

House, 198 1. 
Britt, Suzanne. Images: A Centennial journey. Raleigh: Meredith College Press, 1991. 
Buttrick, George A. The Parables of Jesus. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1928. 
Johnson, Mary Lynch. A History of Meredith College, Second Edition. Raleigh: Edwards 

and Broughton, 1972. 
Schaller, Michael. Reconing with Reagan, America and Its President in the 1980s. New 

York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. 
Topor, Robert, and M. Frederic Volkmann, Marketing Higher Education. Washington: 

Council for the Support and Advancement of Education, 19 83. 


Alumnae Magazine. Vols. 23 (1968)- 29 (1975). 

Angels Aware (Alumnae Newsletter). 

Announcements, 1899-1900. Baptist Female University. 

Continuing Education at Meredith. 

Friends of the Carlyle Campbell Library. 

Meredith (College Magazine). Vols, i (1976)- 22 (1998). 

Meredith Writes Home (Parents' Newsletter). 

In a Nutshell (Employees' Newsletter). 1996-98. 

Initiative zooo. 

Student Handbook, 1971-1997. 

Undergraduate Catalogues. 1971-1997. 

Viewbook. 1992-95. 


Academic department heads 


Select administrative staff members 

Select alumnae 

Select trustees 



Katherine Inez Hall v Wake County Board of Elections. No. 37. Supreme Court of North 
Carolina. 15 March 1972. South Eastern Reporter 187, North Carolina ed. St. Paul, 
Minn.: West Publishing Company, 1972.. 

New York Times 1998 Almanac, John W. Wright, ed. New York: The Penguin Group, 1997. 

One Volume Bible Commentary, J.R. Dummelow, ed. New York: The McMillan Com- 
pany, 1958. 


Meredith Herald, 1985-98. 
Oak Leaves, -L9J-L-9J. 
Twig, 1971-85. 


Abbate, Jodi, 321 

ABB Corporation, 249 

Abbott, Sidney, 47-48 

Academic computing, 153, 180, 257 

Academic Council, 31, 49, 53, 56, 75, 90, 
119, 175, 176, 250, 266, 267, 282 

Academic freedom, 4, 5, 48, 145, 157, 
182-83, 218-22 

Academic support services, 332 

Accreditation, 49, 214-15, 266 

Acorn, 168, 204 

Adams, Doug, 338-39 

Adcock, Betty, 147, 326 

Admissions office, 52-53 

Adult education, see Continuing education; 
Re-entry program 

Advertising, see Recruitment and 

Affronti, Cynthia, 298 

African- American students, 13, 33-34, 
57-59, 302; see also Minority students 

Agnes Scott College, 222 

AIDS, 4, 184 

Alcott, Amos Bronson, 145 

Alexander, Shana, 48 

Alford, Jeanie, 17 

Alice in Wonderland, 97, 231, 256, 272 

ALIS (Automated Library Information Sys- 
tem), 256-57 

Allen, Barbara, 218, 230 

Allen, Kim, 166, 185-86 

Aim, Doug, 342 

Alpha Lambda Delta, 204 

Alpha Mu Gamma, 284 

Alumna Award, 25, 227, 260, 269 

Alumnae Association, 23, 121, 180, 192, 
193, 205, 227, 237-38, 238, 244, 
260, 269 

executive committee, 279 
Alumnae College, 227 
Alumnae Day, 25, 193 
Alumnae Legacy Day, 316 
Alumnae Magazine, 9-10, 14, 17, 26, 49, 

67, 98, 130; see also Meredith 
Alumnae Re-entry Club (ARC), 117 
Alumnae Seminar, 23 
Alumnae Weekend, 227, 318 
American Association of University 

Women, 307 
American Bar Association, 116, 204, 266 
American Dietetic Association, 120, 287 
American University, 3 o 
Ammons, Jo Ellen Williams, 309 
Amnions, Sonya, 167 
Anderson, Brenda Faye, 189, 209 
Angel Farm, 101-102, iii 
Angels Aware, 244 
Angels for the Environment, 308 
Animal laboratory, 48 
Annual Women's Colleges of the Southeast 

Art Exhibition, 337 
Anti-Semitism, 99-100, 189 
Apartheid in South Africa, 4, 183-84 
Applause, 61, 66-67 
ARA Food Services, 251-52, 254, 344 
ARAMARK Corporation, 344 
Architectural and Transportation Barriers 

Compliance Board, 1 8 
Art center, see Gaddy-Hamrick Art 





Art Department, 109 

Ashcraft, Hugh, 159 

Ashcraft, Morris, 182 

Askew, Rebecca, 194 

Associated Press, 45 

Association of American Colleges, 3 5 

Association of Black Awareness, 302 

Association of Women in Mathematics, 

Astrotekton Society, 97-98 
Aubrecht, Lyn, 48, 88, 91, 107, 118, 203 
Augustine College, 89 
Auman, Becky, 141 
Aumiller, Emily Pool, 144 
Autistic children, program for, 283 
Avent, Lon, 349, 350 
Averett College, 267 

Bachelor of Arts degree, 1 20 
Bachelor of Music degree, 27, 298 
Bachelor of Science degree, 12, 44, 45, 

120, 284, 326 
Bailey, Cheryl, 132 
Bailey, Rebecca, 267-68 
Baity, Hazel, 17 
Baker, James, 242 
Baker, Joe, 10, 11, 14-15, 19, 35, 46, 63, 

64, 80, 87, 89, 108, no, III, 114, 115, 

146, 148, 171, 179 
Bakker, Jim, 125 
Balla, Ruth, 180, 257, 342 
Balmer, Erica, 336 
Bamford, Linda, 17, 66 
Baptist Female University: 

chartering of, 301 

first catalogue of, 301, 302-303, 
311, 314, 325, 330, 331, 332, 

renaming of, 22, 234, 301 

Baptist State Convention of North Car- 
olina, 5, 98-99, 214, 221, 279, 312-14 

Barbee, Christie Bishop, 189, 227 

Barefoot, C. C, 21, 22 

Barefoot, Kilty, 21, 22 

Barefoot Residence Hall, 21, 22, 62, 108 

Barham, Charles, 158, 159, 180-81, 184, 
218, 323 

Barlow, Jill, 251 

Barnes, Elizabeth, 158 

Barnes, John, 125 

Barnes, Vanessa Goodman, 346 

Barnett, Cynthia, 303 

Barrington, Carolyn, 78 

Barron's Best Buys in College Education, 
2-45, 2.59 

Bartlett, Tim, 342 

Bate, Walter Jackson, 285 

Bathtub Ring, The, 59 

Baylor University, 1 3 

Beam, Mary Ann, 342 

Beattie, Kristie, 97 

Bedon, Helen Davie, 26 

Bee Hive, 185-86, 317 

Begin, Menachem, 4 

Belk, Ellen, 209 

Belk Dining Hall, 87, 92, 254, 275 

Bell, Peggy Kirk, 147 

Bell, Victor, 60 

Bennett College, 303 

Benson, Margaret "Peggy" P., 238 

Bentsen, Lloyd, 162 

Berger, Vickie, 228 

Bergman, Jane, 125 

Berlin Wall, fall of, 4 

Berry, Frank, 296 

Best Small College Legislation Award, 66 

Biblical Recorder, 125, 130, 151, 217, 
232, 2.J6-JJ, 291, 300, 312 

Bicentennial celebrations, 3, 70-72 

Bird, Ronald, 137, 160 

Birkin, Vergean, 349 

Black, James, 307n 

Black Awareness Week, 57 

Black Emphasis Week, 48, 142 

Black Student Unity, 33-34 

Black Voices in Unity, 57-59 

Blackwell, Patricia, 297 

Blake, Heather, 297-98 

Blankenship, Beth, 142, 168 

Blasingame, James Carter, 309, 322-23 

Bleiberg, Rabbi James, 189 

Board of Associates, 260 

Board of Trustees, 3, 5, 11-12, 42, 48, 
92-93, 96, 9S-99, 100, 108, no, 
119, 120, 140, 149, 158, 160, 185, 
191, 205, 210-11, 218-20, 221, 
239, 253, 260, 263, 265, 271, 
279-80, 322, 332, 335-36, 345, 


drug policy, 3 2 

elections, 56-57, 84, 311-13 

Emeritus, 323-24 

executive committee, 10, 11, 21, 86, 
loo-ioi, 157, 159, 161, 210-11, 
215, 218, 231, 246, 279, 294, 323, 

Initiative 2000 and, 346 
investments in South Africa, 184-85 
original, 323 
presidential selection committee, 10, 

19,353 , , ^ , 

task force to prepare Meredith for the 

2ist century, 279, 280 
women on the, 194-95, 294-95 

Bombeck, Erma, 226-27 

Booker, Louise, 104 

Boone, Laura, 327 

Bosnia, 292 

Bowling, Cynthia, 212, 328 

Bowman Gray School of Medicine, 126, 

Boyarsky, Bill, 134 

Boyce, Eugene, 218 

Boyles, Harlan, 125 

Bradshaw, Thomas W, Jr., 36, 37 

Branching Out, 208 



Brenau College Women's Concert Choir, 


Brewer, Charles Edward, 319 

Brewer, Judge Coy, 31-32. 

Brewer, Ellen, 104, 114, 254, 286 

Brewer, Luther, 158 

Brewer, Talcott, 254 

Brewer House, Ellen, 253 

Brewer Infant and Toddler Lab Home, 
Ellen, 253 

Brewer Residence Hall, 46, 186 

Bright, Bill, 125 

Bright Gallery of Class Dolls, Margaret, 26 

Brisson, Carson, 194, 251 

Britt, David, 159, 218 

Britt, Madra, 283, 329 

Britt, Suzanne, 39, 133, 223, 228, 231, 
298, 326 

Broadwell, W. J., 10 

Brodeur, Nicole, 342 

Brooks, Bob, 346 

Brooks, Carol, 189-90, 209 

Brooks, Gwendolyn, 126 

Bross, Cynthia, 188, 290 

Broughton, Lorna Bell, 60 

Browde, Joseph, 51-52 

Brown, Amity, 250-51 

Brown, Lori, 327 

Brown, Yvette, 5 8 

Brown Foundation, 135 

Broyhill, Faye Arnold, 36, 37, 353 

Broyhill Family Foundation, 259 

Broyhill Leadership Institute, 259, 288, 

Bryan, Anne, 65, 226 

Bryan, Bob, 253 

Bryan, Julia, 71, 89, 90 

Bryn Mawr College, 40 

Buchanan, Madaline Elliott, 82 

Budget deficit, national, 4 

Bullington, Ellen, 24 

Bunn, Clara, 30, 41, 56, 118, 161 

Burke, Anne, 229 

Burlein, Ann, 3 27 

Burnett, Phyllis, 72 

Burris, Craven Allen, 15, 24, 28, 36, 37, 
50. 53. 55. 56, 58, 64, 6s, 70, 75, 
77, 91, 105, 118, 119, 121, 127, 
138, 149, 153, 163, 176, 179, 186, 
200, 201, 235, 239, 247, 282, 298, 

32-7, 330, 341-42. 

as acting president, 10 -11, 19 

retirement of, 349 — 50 

sabbatical leave, 343, 349-50 
Burris, Jane, 350 
Burroughs-Wellcome, 249 
Burton, Mary Jean, 36 
Bush, Barbara, 209 

Bush, George, 162, 209, 210, 241, 243, 246 
Business and Economics Department, 120, 

153, 176-77, 180, 237, 286 
Buttrick, George, 2, 6 
Bynum, Flora Ann Lee, 227 

Byrd, Jane Sparrow, 252 
Byrns, Nancy, 132 

Cablevision of Raleigh, 211-12, 252, 

Cal Tech, 173 
CamCard, 257-58, 290 
Cameron, C. Cliff, 9, 10, 19, 37, 84 
Campbell, Carlyle, 11, 18, 20, 37, 65, 104, 

105, 32.3 
Campbell, Melinda, 339 
Campbell University, 145, 221, 267 
Cam-Tel, 212 
Cannon, Sharon, 288, 327 
Capel, Marie, 17, 55, 91, 179, 180 
Capital Associates, 244 
Capital City Semester, 50 
Capstone courses, 175, 200, 327 
Career Day, 91 
Career Networking Day, 287 
Career services, 253, 269, 281, 287 
Carl, Bill, 181 

Carlton, Najla Nave, 237-38 
Carlyle Campbell Library, 11, 17, 52, 
64, 94-96, 132, 189, 212, 
319-20, 343 

ALIS (Automated Library Information 
System), 256-57 

Friends of the Library, 95-96, 226, 347 

Harris Rare Books Room, 65 
Carolinas Chapter American Society of 

Interior Designers (CCASID), 326 
Carnegie Foundation, 14 
Carney, Megan, 294 
Carothers, Rev. Samuel B., 137, 143, 166, 

240, 251, 294 
Carroll, Amanda, 214 
Carroll, Lewis, 97 
Carroll Annex, 209, 289 
Carroll Health Center, 289 
Carswell, Clara, 56 
Carswell Concert Hall, Clara, 83 
Carter, Carolyn, 36, 37, 143-44, 220, 

250, 279 
Carter, Jimmy, 4, 18, 69, 70, 72, 80, 

102-103, 131, 163-66, 224 
Carter, Virginia, 126 
Carver, Andrea, 340 
Castel, Nico, 202 
Gate, Frances, 60 
Gate, Kemp S., 60, 104 
Gate Center, 27, 55, 60, 62, 291, 316, 317 
Gates, Fred, 21 
Celebration of Spring, 24n 
Centennial celebration, Meredith, 212, 

Center for Communications, Microelec- 
tronic Center of North Carolina 

(MCNC), 257 
Center for Women in the Arts, 171, 

Cerebral Palsy Center, 98 
Challenger shuttle accident, 162 



Chamblee, Marie, 237, 339 
Chapel, see Jones Chapel 
Chapel Talks by Carlyle Campbell, 347 
Charter of Meredith College, 5, 221 
Chemistry and Physical Science Depart- 
ment, 30 
Chemistry research center, 145-46 
Chernenko, Constantin, 4 
Chernobyl nuclear accident, 162 
Chicago Tribune, 341 
Chisholm, Shirley, 3, 23 
Chorale, see Vocal ensembles 
Chorus, see Vocal ensembles 
Chowan College, 221 
Christian, Chandy, 194 
Christian Century, 69-70, 130 
Christian Dimensions, 208 
Christman, Ed, 22 

Chronicle of Higher Education, 42, 121 
Church, Cynthia, 142, 166, 168 
Citadel, 295-96 
Class Day, 26, 188 
Class of 1902, 86, 233-34, 2.38, 304 
Class of 1907, 65 
Class of 1927, 260 
Class of 1928, 85 
Class of 1972, 25 
Class of 1975, 56 
Class of 1983, 108 
Class of 1985, 137 
Class of 1986, 173, 186 
Class of 1991, 174, 227 
Class of 1993, 233n 
Class of 1997, 143, 317 
Clay, Gwendolyn, 174, 195, 200, 279, 

Clinton, Bill, 240-41, 242, 243, 292, 293, 

Clinton, Hillary Rodham, 243, 272 
Close, Sandra, 267, 329 
Cochran, Bernard, 17, 24, 135, 165, 200, 

236, 277, 326 
Cochrane, Betsy Lane, 222, 241, 298 
Cockman, Billie Jo Kennedy, 194 
Colby, Robin Bailey, 318 
Cold War, 4 

Colwell-Waber, Alyson, 202 
Comeaux, Jacques, 349 
Commencement, 26-27, 48, 194, 215, 

226, 298 
Commentaries, 74 
Community, 181, 184, 213, 283 

service in the, 33-34, 248-49 
Computers, 5, 28, 31, 63, 126-27, 153, 
180, 249, 252, 253, 257, 265, 327 

laboratories, 180 
Conkling, Kelly, 346 
Connors, M. Austin, 17 
Constitution, U.S., 200th anniversary of, 

Continuing education, 3, 28-29, 45, 
49, 52--53» 78, 9I5 92.-93, "6, 
140, 172.-74, 2.13, 244, 248, 304 

Meredith After5, 267, 282-83, 284, 
Continuing Education at Meredith, 3 29 
Converse College, 229, 268, 295, 304, 326, 

Convocation attendance requirement, 

Cook, Jessica, 269 
Cooper, Jean Batten, 7n, 227, 269, 

Cooperating Raleigh Colleges, 17-18, 56, 

88-89, 107, 12.4, 125, 181-82, 188, 

Cooperative education, 91, 92 

see also Cooperating Raleigh Colleges 
Cope, Tom, 229 
Corn, Jennifer, 184 
Cornejo, Jose, 266 
Cornhuskin', 16, 57, 97, 210, 250 
Council, Frances Tatum, 309 
Council, Marjorie Moore, 13 
Council for the Advancement and Support 

of Education (CASE), 198 
Council on Social Work Education, 13, 49, 

Covey, Stephen, 244, 288 
Cox, Lesley, 239-40 
Craig, Amy, 3 27 
Cralle, Ruth, 98 
Creagh, John, 223 
Creative Ideas Fund, 340-41 
Crews, Nancy, 17, 24 
Crook, Roger, 10, 29, 53, 89, 90, 91, 177, 

179, 228 
Crook hunt, 188 
Croom, Cara Lynn, 180, 184 
Cross, Eugenia Sealey, 29 
Crouch, W. Perry, 3 6 
Cruze, Sidney L., 287 
Cultural Resources Management, 116 

changes in the, 30-31, 75-78, 
92-93, 116, 120, 126-27, 136, 
138, 175-76, 204, 284, 286-87, 
326, 327 

Writing Across the Curriculum, 136 
Currin, Margaret Person, 190, 226 
Curtis, Jane Cromley, 44 

Dahle, Anne Clark, 28-29, 52, 92, 

117-18, 222, 267 
Dahle Scholarship, Anne C, 117 
Dance, 66-67, 136, 2.02, 230-31, 237, 

Dance Exchange, 230-31 
Dance Theatre, 202 
Daniell, Helen, 27-28 
Data General Corporation, 127 
Daughtry, Michele, 239 
Davis, Eleanor Layfield, 194 
Davidson and Jones, in, 148 
Davis, Addie, 155-56 
Davis, Charles, 78, 149, 194 

INDEX I 379 

Davis, Egbert L., 194 

Davis, Elva Wall, 147 

Davis, Mary, 104 

Davis, Wade, 338 

Davis Foundation, Arthur Vining, 52 

Deane, Charles B., Jr., 41 

Deese, Jane, 5Z 

Delta Mu Delta, 120, 125 

Dickey, Mark, 254 

Dickinson, Emily, 74 

Dickson, Mary, 184 

Dicus, Martha, 226 

Dicus, Mary Woodley "Woody," 46 

DiMaio, Dina, 328 

Dinner With Our Friends, 96 

Directory of Volunteer Opportunities, 


Disney Studios, Walt, 198 

Dixon, Delia, 323 

Dodge, Michael, 52, 94 

Dole, Bob, 72, 310 

Dole, Robin, 310 

Dolls, Margaret Bright Gallery of Class, 26 

Dongbei University of Finance and Eco- 
nomics, 200, 247 

Dotterer, Elizabeth James, 10, 195, 347 

Dotterer, John, 347 

Drach, Jan, 132 

Drew, Jessica, 294 

Drugs, 32-33, 59, 184 

Duckworth, Betty, 65 

Duffy, Sharon, 290 

Dukakis, Michael, 162 

Duke University, 119, 120, 127, 129 
-University of North Carolina 
Women's Studies Center, 136 

Duncan, Jenny, 327 

Duncil, Courtney, 328 

Dunn, Johanna, 92 

Dunston, Harry, 104 

DuPont Foundation, 115, 249, 327 

DuPont Religious, Charitable, and Educa- 
tional Fund, Jessie Ball, 125, 153-54, 
200, 230 

East Carolina University, i97n 

Eastern Europe, emancipation of, 4 

Eberly, Harry, 261, 353 

Eberly, Marion, 261 

Eberly Faculty Development Awards, 

Harry and Marion, 261 
Edge, Debbie, 66 
Edgerton, Clyde, 145 
Edinger, Lois, 238 

Editorial Projects for Education, Inc., 14 
Education Department, 77, 109, 137, 195, 

Edwards, Cynthia, 237, 339 
Edwards, Jacquelyn, 186 
Eisele, Elizabeth, 223 
Elion, Gertrude, 204, 306-307 
Elks, Renee, 1 3 
Elliott, Annie, 202 

Elliott, Gay, 216 

Elliott, Kristen, 290 

Elon College, 291 

Emerging Leaders Seminar, 259-60 

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 7 

Employment, academic credit for career- 
related, 55 

Encyclopedia of American Facts and 
Dates, 13-14 

Endowments, 13, 25, 35-36, 96, 115, 
174, 248, 291, 308-309, 333, 351 
professorships and Chairs, 26, 50, 

135-36, 153, 199, 2.38 
Second Century Challenge capital 

campaign, 214, 230, 240, 261-62 
Visions Program, 82, 121, 300 

Energy crisis, national, 45-46, 80 

English Department, 109, 120, 128-29, 
195, 285, 326 

Enrollment, 10, 22-23, 43? S^-? 64, 79, 
108, 120, 139, 140, 155, 190, 197, 

245, 263, 275, 280-81, 314-15 
diversity of students, 302 

Equal Rights Amendment, 3, 40-41, 129, 

131, 187, 243 
Equitation, 28, 60, 201 
Etheridge, Bob, 224 
Eubanks, Kristy, 346 
Evangelicals, 70 
Evans, CoUyn, 337 
Evans, Johnny, 294 
Ewell, Sam, 353 

Faculty, 109, 149, 176-80, 195, 220, 
236-37, 261, 267-68, 270-71, 
276-77, 285-86, 310, 32.4-2-5> 

compensation, 14-15, 96, no, 198, 

246, 332 
diversity of, 302 

with doctorates, 10, 14-15, 51, no, 
199-200, 266, 323 

lifelong learning program, 255 

original, 322-23 

sabbatical leave for, see Sabbatical 
leave program 
Fairbank, Doreen, 284 
Faircloth Residence Hall, 46, 186 
Falwell, Jerry, 125, 165-66 
FAME (Faculty Applied Meredith 
Endowment), 96, 227, 269 

Harrill Presidential Awards, 261 
Family Life Education conference, 28 
Farlow, Kellie, 1 24 
Farlow, Kim, 72 
Farmer, Margaret, 10 -11, 17 
Faulkner, Shannon, 295-96 
Faw, J. C. and Patsy, 84 
Faw Garden, 84 

Fayetteville State University, 288 
Feek, Peter, 53 
Feminist Movement, 2, 3, 15, 23-24, 44, 


380 I INDEX 

Feminine Mystique, The (Friedan), 23 

Ferraro, Geraldine, 3 

Ferrell, Lucile Withers, 65 

Fetzer, Tom, Z93 

FIDER (Foundation for Interior Design 

Education Research), 266 
Financial aid, 63, 154, 210, 211, 291, 


default rate, 334 

see also Scholarships 
Fine arts building, 60-62 
First Citizens Bank, 249 
First Union Bank, 249 
Fisher, Ben C, 36, 37 
Fitzgerald, Rev. F. Sue, 216 
FitzSimons, Linda, 317 
Fleetwood, Mazie, 66 
Fletcher Foundation, A. J., 202, 230 
Fletcher School of the Performing Arts, 

Folger, Gordon, 180, 280-81, 346 
Folger, Kathleen, 160 
Follett College Stores, Inc., 317, 343 
Food service, 251-52, 254, 344 
Forbes, James A., Jr., 248 
Ford, Gerald, 67, 72 
Ford, Jack, 72 
Ford Foundation, 14 
Foreign Languages Department, 77, 
136, 178, 324-25 

laboratory, 284 
Formy-Duval, Kelly, 279 
Forrest, Donna, 260 
Fortunes, Susan, 321 
4znd Street, 6j 
Founders' Day, 22, 48, 83, 84, 137, 

222-23, 2-31, 2,34, 245 
Fow^ler, Earl, 321 
Fowler, Jane Gate, 60 
Fowler-Merchant, Donna, 294 
Franklin, Bonnie, 141 
Frazier, Clyde, 227, 310 
Frazier, Lois, 112, 199, 237 
Freeman, Janet, 222, 256, 343 
Freeman, Katherine Parker, 78 
Freeman, L. E. M., 78, 104 
Freeman, Thomas M., 36, 37 
Freshman Frolic, 339 
Friday, William, 220, 351-52 
Friedan, Betty, 23, 57 
Friedrich, Kay, 179 
Fulghum, Emily, 332 
Fundamentalism, 182-83 
Fundamentalists, 214, 218 
Fund-raising, see Endowments 

Gaddy, Charles, 169, 288 

Gaddy, Claude F, 168 

Gaddy, Mary Lily Duncan, 160, 169, 347 

Gaddy family, 168, 169 

Gaddy-Hamrick Art Center, 148, 153, 

Gaito, Madalyn, 237 

Galligan, Katalin, 27-28 

Gandhi, Arun, 291-92 

Gandhi, Indira, 67, 107 

Gantt, Harvey, 310 

Gardner- Webb University, 221, 290 

Garriss, Phyllis, 235 

Gates, Rosahe, 92, 107, 182 

Gay, Ginger, 72 

GE Capital Mortgage, 249 

Gilbert, Susan, 106-107, nS, 197, 215, 

Gillespie, Dorothy, 147, 148 
Gioia, Dana, 259 
Gleason, Ann, 326 
Godfrey, Menda Sue, 98 
Goodale, Beth, 340 
Goodall, Jane, 202—204 
Goode, Ellen, 346 
Goodman, Vanessa, 58 
Goodson, Ann, 17 

Goodwin, Dorothy Loftin, 26, 230, 309 
Goodwin, Lorena Gaddy, 169 
Goodwin, William S., 230 
Googe, Ann Victoria, 13 
Gorbachev, Mikhail, 4 
Grades, 53-54 

Graduate studies, 49, 140, 152, 195, 
2-59, 2.74, 330 

naming of John E. Weems Graduate 
School, 190, 191 

reestablishment of, 4, 118-20 

Title IX and all women's, 158-61 
Grafton, Martha S., 23-24 
Granddaughters' Club, 223, 234-35 
Grant, Carol, 18 
Greenberg, Bluma K., 90, 147, 200, 222, 

Greenburg, Joanne, 259 
Greene, Craig, 109, 148, 149, 169, 170, 

171, 228, 267 
Greene, Jane, 17 

Greensboro First Baptist Church, 25 
Gregory, Annette, 144 
Grimes, Larry, 261 
Grimmer, Mae Frances, 238 
Grizzard, Lewis, 166 
Grubbs, Carolyn Barrington, 200, 222, 

267, 268, 284, 349 
Grubbs, Frank, 54, 70, 78, 267-68, 349 
Gruber, Heidi, 328 
Guillory, Ferrel, 310 
Gulf War, 246-47 
Gullick, Jonathan, 180 
Gunter, Paige, 209 
Guthrie, Cookie, 46 
Guthrie, Janet, 7474 

Habitat for Humanity, 240 
Hackett, Thomas, 277 
Haley, Alex, 142 
Hall, Kathy, 31-32 
Hamby, Teresa Parker, 102 
Hamrick, Fuller B., 168 

INDEX I 381 

Hamrick family, 168 

Hardison, Thomas, 90 

Harper, Jerry, Sr., 353 

Harrell, Martha, 3 42 

Harrill, Donna, 261 

Harrill, James, 261 

Harrill, Laura Weatherspoon, 10, 64-65, 

96, 146-47, 159, 260-61, 309 
Harrill Awards, Laura, 96 
Harrill Presidential Award, Laura, 269 
Harrill Scholarship Fund, Laura Weather- 
spoon, 261 
Harris, Bernice Kelly, 65 
Harris, Helen, 347 
Harris, Julia Hamlet, 29-30, 96 
Harris, Shearon, 8-9, 10, 62, 98, 104, 

105, 111,347 
Harris, Stephanie Helms, 343 
Harris Business Building, 111-12 
Harris Classroom Building, Shearon, 

Harris Scholarships, Julia Hamlet, 29-30, 

139, 282 
Hartig, Jennifer, 255 
Harwood, Gina Ledgetter, 260 
Hatchell, Carl "Sammy," 210, 240, 261, 339 
Health, Physical Education, and Dance, 

Department of, 136, 237, 327 
Heck, Fannie E. S., 320 
Hedgepeth, Royster, 80, 81, 82 
Heide, Wilma Scott, 44 
Heilman, E. Bruce, 2, 7-10, 12, 37, 335 
Heilman Residence Flail, 12, 62, 264, 

Heim, Pat, 288 
Heining-Boynton, David, 331 
Helms, Jesse, 56-57, 141, 158 
Henderson, Chip, 228, 231 
Henderson, Melinda, 281 
Heritage Society, 214, 230 
Hess, Rev. Margaret, 137 
Hill, Anita, 243, 281-82 
Hill, Eleanor, 16, 53 
Hilliard, Gwyndolyn Matthews, 1 3 
Hinsley, Drulynn Morgan, 143, 235, 343, 

347, 349 
Hinson, Joyce, 342 
Hiott, John, 154, 211, 238 
Hiott, Marie, 131 
History and Politics Department, 267, 310, 

324, 327 
History of Meredith College, A, Second 

Edition (Johnson), 2, 7-8, 25, 301 
Hitchings, George, 307 
Hobbs, Rev. J. Dewey, 27 
Hodgins, Katherine Wyatt, 347 
Hodgkins, Sara, 147 
Hoffman, George, 91, 96 
Hoke, Michael, 64, 344, 350 
Hoke, Tory, 339 
Holcomb, Paul, 17, 55-56 
Holland, June, 279 
Holliday, Bob, 209 

Hollins College, 40 

Holloman, Krista, 209 

Holt, Gretchen, 188 

Holt, John, 77-78 

Holt, Mimi, 227, 238 

Home Economics Department, 1 20, 

name change, 286 

Honor Code, 3, 94-95, 196-97 

Honors Convocation, 228 

Honors Program, 135, 268, 282 

Honors Scholars, 174-75, 2-27 

Hope, C. C, 230 

Hornak, Rosemary, 194, 200, 327 

Horner, Sally, 10, 30, 75, 78 

Horton, Hamilton, 47 

House, Rebecca O., 220 

Howard, Mary, 236 

Howell, Patricia H., 73 

Howerton, Martha Flamrick, 1 69 

Hubbard, Barbara, 88 

Huber, R. John, 51-52, 77, 223, 346 

Huchinson, Debbie, 131 

Huffman, Sarah, 339 

Hugh Lefler Award, 66 

Hull, James, 248 

Hull, Jo Welch, 248 

Human Environmental Sciences Depart- 
ment, 286-87 

Human Services Program, 49-50, 98 

Hume, Britt, 47 

Hunt, James B., 141, 149, 241, 261, 336, 

Hunt, Judy, 222, 226, 241-42 
Hurricane Fran, 320-21 
Hurricane Marilyn, 341 
Hutchison, Kay Bailey, 310 

IBM Corporation, 173, 244 

Ihnen, Shirley, 91 

Images: A Centennial Journey (Britt), 7, 

39, 223, 228, 231 
Ingram, John, 125 

Initiative 2000, 301, 305, 34on, 345-46 
In loco parentis role, end of college's, 3 , 

Instrument Society of America, 173 
Inter- American Commission for Women, 

42, 88 
International House, 209 
International Women's Year, 43, 67-68, 73 
Internet, 257, 289 

American hostages, 4, 103, 131, 162 

Shah of, 107 
Iraq, 246-47 
Irene, 306 
Iris Society, 309 
Ironside, Ellen, 116, 173, 204, 213, 237 

Jackson, Jean, 222, 223, 226, 229, 231, 
264, 268-69, 279, 285, 318, 322, 336, 
344n, 346 

382 I 


Jackson, Shera, 89 

January Religious Emphasis Week, 22 

Jayne, Vicki, 72, 103 

Jenkins, Emyi, 29 

Joacquim, Sherine, 343 

Johnson, Austin, 105 

Johnson, Dei Hunt, 260, 262, 271-72, 

287, 316, 346 
Johnson, Emily, 93 
Johnson, Gerald, 217 
Johnson, James R., Ill, 347, 349 
Johnson, Luann, 131 
Johnson, Mary, 137, 160, 195, 215, 237, 

259, 279, 281, 346 
Johnson, Mary Estelle, 233 
Johnson, Mary Lynch, 2, 7-8, 9n, 25, 36, 

37, 51,78, 135-36, 145,301 
Johnson, Patsy, 17 
Johnson Chair of English, Mary Lynch, 

135-36, 199, 326 
Johnson Hall, 11, 43, 80 
Johnson Library Enrichment Endowment, 

Mary Lynch, 25 
Johnson Meredith Economic Student Fund, 

James R., 347 
Jones, Anissa, 290 
Jones, Christina, 112 
Jones, Helen, 92, 347 
Jones, Julie, 66 
Jones, Randi, 132 
Jones, Seby B., 10, 36, 37, 99, 112, 158, 

Jones Auditorium, 26-27, 47, 61, 86, 

127-28, 172, 212, 223, 322 
Jones Chapel (Seby and Christina), 6, 

85-86, III, 112-15, 137, 166 
Jordan, Bob, 188 
Jorgenson, Alice Nell, 239 
Josey, Mary Bland, 10, 22-23, 53, 54, ^49 
Journey: Pilgrims and Strangers, 73 
Journey Proud, 229-30 
Journigan, Mary Lou, 71 
Joyful Noise, A, 147 
Joyner, Jean, 325 
Joyner, Mary Leslie, 184 
Joyner Hall, 61, 262n, 264 
Judkins, Ben, 201 
Julian, Alexander, 126 
Junior League of Raleigh, 87 

Kanipe, John T, Jr., 10, 11, 36, 73, 81 

Kappa Omicron Phi, 120 

Kearney, Sue, 149-50, 198, 281, 314-15, 

Keever, Renee, 159-60, 166, 171 
Keith, Kathy, 91-92 
Keith, Mary Kate, 287 
Kellogg Foundation, W. K., 94 
Kellum, Norman, 218, 221, 280, 323, 351 
Kelly, Wendy, 296 
Kemp, Ginny, 342 
Kenan Charitable Trust, William R., Jr., 

50, 147, 201, 239 

Kennan, Elizabeth, 148 

Kent State University, 14, 33 

Kercheval, Carol, 343 

Kerr Drugs, 244 

Kesler, Annie, 248 

Kesler, John M., 248 

Kesler, M. L., 38 

Kesler, Marjorie, 234 

Khizanishvili, Nana, 238-39 

Khomeini, Ayatoliah, 103 

Kibler,Jill, 122 

Kicklighter, Robert W, 104 

Kincheloe, John, 153, 288-89 

King, Betty, 59 

King, Rodney, 272 

King and I, The, 123 

Kirk, Philip, Jr., 230 

Kirk-Duggan, Cheryl, 340 

Kitahata, Carolyn Massey, 25 

Klausmeyer, Peter, 90 

Knieriem, Gail, 10 

Knight, lone Kemp, 51, 199, 279, 280, 

Knight, Virginia, 178, 244, 324, 337 
Knott, Lynn, 104, 105 
Kraines, Vivian, 200 
Kratzer, Jerod, 280, 325 
Krebs, Max and Esther, 92 
Kresge Auditorium, 212 
Kresge Foundation, 60, 83 
Krogh, Egil, Jr., 47 
Kurtz, Ann, 78, 103, 106, 107, 178 

Lancaster, Carol, 72 

Landis, William, 287 

Langley, Eugene M., Jr., 353 

Lanham, Louise, 104 

Lanneau, Sophie, 234, 238, 304 

Lanneau Leadership Program, Sophie, 304 

Lark, Marion, 85, 112, 167 

Latta, Traci, 243, 296 

Latter Day Saints retreat, 28 

Law^rence, William W and Mrs., 230 

Lawson-Jones, Lillie, 1 17-18 

Laybourne, Roxie Collie, 146 

Leavel, Beth, 66-67, 3 06 


Broyhill Lectures, 260 

"Dinner with a Winner," 288 

Distinguished Faculty Lectures, 48 

Great Decisions Lectures, 213 

Hull Lectures, 248, 291-92 

Lectures in Religion, 21-22 

Lillian Parker Wallace Lectures, 
86-87, 163, 224-26 

Mary Stowe Gullick Lectures in 
christian Ethics, 180 

Mercer-Kesler Lecture Series on Art and 
Religion, 248, 338 

Preston Lectures in Biblical Studies, 180, 

Staley Lectures, 48, 229 
Ledford, Hubert, 205, 262 



Ledford, William, 911, 27-28, 106 
Ledford Hall, 205, 214, 253, 262-63, 

264, 266, 320 
Lee, Alma Lane, 343 
Leist, Paige, 160 
Lemmon, Sarah, 10, 34, 36, 54, 56, 72, 

73, 75, 78, 92--93> 12.1, 137, 175, 227 
Lerman, Liz, 230-31 
Levy, Jerre, 228-29 
Lewis, John M., 36-37, 181 
Lewis, Robert, 266, 346, 347 
Liberty Tree, 70 

Library, see Carlyle Campbell Library 
Life After Death (Page), 178 
Li Kejian, 247 

Lindsey, Jonathan, 75, 92, 94, 116, 118 
Lipske, Mike, 146 
Litchfield, Doris Allen, 180 
Litchfield, Laura, 138 
Litt, Stephen, 171 
Little Friends Weekend, 251 
Liu Jianmin, 247 
Liverman, Lou Stephenson, 268 
Livesay, Dorothy, 339 
Lolley, W. Randall, 156-57, 182, 220 
Long, Ben, 149, 178 
Long, Meredith, 181 
Lopez, Gabriela Touchard, 88 
Lovell, Ann, 144 
Lowry, Beth, 243 
Lugi Yao, 201 
Lynch, Dave, 294 
Lynch, Jennifer, 345 
Lynch, W. David, 10, 36, 51, 114-15, 119, 

160, 202, 294 
Lyon, Wortham C. (Buddy), 237 

McCall, Caroline Vaught, 102, 189 

McCall, Duke, 114 

McCann, Jodi, 251 

McClellan, Nina L, 278 

McClendon, James, 181 

McClendon, Janice, 251 

McCotter, George, 157, 191, 218, 246, 

McDaniel, Casey, 65-66 
McDuffie, Elizabeth Vann, 238, 281, 287 
McEnery, Cynthia Griffith, 278-79 
McGee, Jerry E., 82-83, 121, 153, 172 
McGill, Meredith, 16, 46 
McGovern, George, 31, 187, 259 
Mclver Amphitheater, Elva Bryan, 26, 86, 

163, 213, 264 
Mack, Regina, 340 
McKinney, Elizabeth Garner, 44 
McLain, Ralph, 104, 145, 235 
McLean, Karen, 3 6 
McMinn, Bridget, 242 
McSwain, Ruby C, 252 
Maddrey, Gordon, 115 
Maddrey, Mabel Claire Hoggard, 25, 85, 

115, 230, 236 
Madren, Beth, 132 

Manilow, Barry, 132 

MAPS (Meredith Alumnae Preparing Stu- 
dents), 287 

March of Dimes Award, 1 8 

Marketing, see Recruitment and marketing 

Marketing Higher Education (Topor and 
Volkmann), 273-74 

Maron, Joe, ^6, no 

Mars Hill College, 221 

Martin, Debbie, 333 

Martin, Donna, 333 

Martin, Leroy, 333 

Martin, Margaret Craig, 333 

Martin, Nancy, 66 

Martin, Sidney, 333 

Martin, Sue Jarvis, 333 

Martin, Zeno, 60 

Martin Family Scholarship Fund, 333 

Marymount College, 127 

Mary Baldwin College, 23, 340 

Mason, Marie, 114, 349 

Massey, Jay, 96, 235, 237 

Massey, Luther M., 10, 19, 24, 25, 36, 37, 

Massey, Vivian Dawson, 24, 25, 349 
Massey House, 24-25, 62 
Masters, Gary, 202 
Mathematical Sciences, Department of, 

120, 137-38, 178-79 
Mathematics and Computer Science 

Department, 326, 327 
Matthews, Deborah, 58 
Mayberry, Kathy, 339 
May Day, 24n 
MCTV (Meredith Cable Television), 212, 

252, 284-85, 328 
Mead, Margaret, 44-45 
Mebane, Ann, 339 
Megginson, Leon, 147-48 
Meier, Beth, 209 
Mellette, Susan Jackson, 65 
Mellon Foundation, Andrew W, 72 
Mendlovitz, Saul, 88 
Mennis, Paul, 114 
Mentors, 260, 307, 308 
Mercer, Carolyn, 97, 248 
Mercer, Isaac Morton, 248 
Meredith, 69, 70, 85, 90, 105, in, 121, 

144, 171, 172, 173, 189, 191, 203, 

205-206, 216-17, 230, 236, 239, 241, 

242, 257, 261, 274, 284, 287, 298, 305, 

306,307, 316, 341,350, 351 
Meredith, Georgia Sears, 65 
Meredith, Hugh, 338 
Meredith, Thomas, 22, 65, 83-84, 114, 
222, 300, 338 

Memorial, 222, 245 
Meredith Abroad, 28, 53, 122, 178, 181, 

200, 246, 294, 329, 350 
Meredith Advancement Program, 22, 36 
Meredith After5, 267, 282-83, 284, 

Meredith Angels, 101-102 

384 I INDEX 

Meredith Baptist Heritage Scholarship 

Fund, Thomas, 3 14 
Meredith Center for Women in the Arts, 

Meredith Christian Association (MCA), 

143. 2.47 
Meredith Christian Association (MCA) 

forum, 24, Z40 
Meredith College: 

as Baptist college, see Baptist State 
Convention of North Carolina; 
North Carolina Baptists; Southern 
Baptist Convention 

Baptist Female University renamed, 
22, 234, 301 

location of, 334 

statement of purpose, 330-31 

Undergraduate Research Conference, 

as women's college, see Women's 

see also specific subjects, e.g. 
Curriculum; Faculty; Lectures 
Meredith College Academic Scholarships, 

139, 282 
Meredith College Advancement Program, 

Meredith College Day, 3 6 
Meredith College Press, 216 
Meredith College Television (MCTV), 328 
Meredith Connection, 294 
Meredith Entertainment Association, 230 
Meredith flower (Iris), 318 
Meredith Girls' Chorale, 305-306 
Meredith Girls' Chorus, 305-306 
Meredith Herald, 160, 168, 169, 180, 184, 

186, 188, 189-90, 196, 197, 202, 204, 

209, 211, 213, 230, 239, 243, 247, 

250-51, 252, 258, 268, 269, 277, 

278-79, 283, 290, 293, 296-97, 303, 

321, 328,332,338-39,344 
Meredith in Europe, 5 3 
Meredith Mile, 205 

Meredith-on-the-Road seminars, 116-17 
Meredith Performs, 123, 127, 306 
Meredith Playhouse, 17 
Meredith Recreation Association, 250 
Meredith ring, 143-44, 2.50 
Meredith Writes Home, 102, 189 
Merit weekend, 91 
Mihaly, Robert, 305 
Milano, Carol Lancaster, 242 
Miller, Heather Ross, 73 
Miller, Nan, 172, 227, 332 
Miller, OHve Flamrick, 169 
Millhiser, Ross, 125-26 
Mills, Karen, 132 
Mills College, 40 
Milstead, Kelley, 229 
Minority students, 57-58, 302 
Mir, Danielle, 308 
Mississippi University for Women Concert 

Choir, 74 

MOD (Meredith Oak Donor), 64-65 

Mondale, Walter, 72 

Money magazine, 210, 258 

Montgomery, Joyce, 5 8 

Moore, Mary, 209 

Moore, Thomas, 163 

Moral Majority, 125 

Morelock, Jeannie, 172, 198, 237, 257, 

264, 281, 311-12, 346, 348, 353 
Morgan, Robert, 47 
Morris, Naomi E., 27 
Morrison, Bill, 56, 61 
Mosley, Steve, 237 
Mt. Holyoke College, 40 
MuUinax, T. Robert, 36, 222 
MuUins, Jay T, 125 
MuUis, Janie, 209, 251251 
Munden, Sara Joyce, 13 
Murff, Cathy, 66 
Murphy, Austin J., 107 
Murray, Aedrin, 340 
Murray, Rebecca, 77, 117, 226, 233 
Music, Speech Communication and 

Theatre, Department of, 50-51 
Music Department, 181 
Music Scholarships, 139 
Myers, Geraldine, 349 

Narayanan, K. R., 107 

Narron, Georganne, 131 

National Association of Schools of Music 
(NASM), 215 

National Council for Accreditation of 
Teacher Education (NCATE), 215 

National Men's Garden Club, 87 

National Opera Company, 124, 202 

National Organization for Women, 44, 67 

National Political Caucus, 67 

National Science Foundation, 14 

New Depression in Higher Education, 
The, 14 

Newlin, April, 294 

Newman, Sylvia, 210, 240 

News and Observer, 48, 54, 61, 67, 72, 
74, 92-, 99, 105, 155, 156, 171, 189, 
221, 263, 274, 276, 277, 278, 281, 303, 

Newsweek, 45, 295 

Newton, Suzanne, 73, 326 

Nicholas Nickelby, 123 

90 Percent Angels, 131-32 

Nixon, Richard M., 3, 14, 31, 47, 129 

Noble, Gwen, 37 

Noel, Marguerite Warren, 289-90 

Noel, Nancy Young, 238 

Noel International House, 289-90 

Nondiscriminatory policy, loo-ioi 

No No's, 131-32 

Nooe, Mary Watson, 293 

Norma Rose Garden, 318 

Norris, Jennifer, 210, 240 

North Carolina Baptist Development Offi- 
cers' Association, 290 

INDEX I 385 

North Carolina Baptists, 34, 98, 130-31, 

301, 31Z-14, 332 
North Carohna Baptist Woman's Mission- 
ary Union, 3 20 
North Carohna Biotechnology Center, 284 
North Carolina Central University, 288 
North Carolina Committee for Continuing 

Education in the Humanities, 34 
North Carolina Democratic Party, 188 
North Carolina Department of Public 

Instruction (SDPI), 215 
North Carolina Legislative Tuition Grant 

;ram, 154, 210-11 

Carolina Little Symphony, 74 

Carolina Museum of Art, 123-24, 

Carolina State University, 18, 56, 
58-89, 124, i97n 
Carolina Student Legislature, 66 
Carolina Symphony, 124 
Carolina Teaching Academy, 260 
Carolina Teaching Fellows Commis- 







sion, 215 

North Carolina Teaching Fellows Enrich- 
ment Program, 174, 328 

North Carolina Triangle Race for the 
Cure, 308 

North Carolina Tuition Grant, 333 

North Carolina Wesleyan College, 267 

Norton, Bill, 42, loi, 128 

Norton, Virginia, 92-93 

Novak, Michael, 284, 310, 324, 337 

Oak Leaves, 168, 204, 251 

Oakwood Project, 34 

Gates, Wayne E., 24 

Oatsvall, Rebecca, 260, 286, 326 

O'Briant, Paula, 336 

O'Connor, Sandra Day, 3, 224-26 

Odell, Maggie, 74, 167, 229 

Office of Career Services and Cooperative 
Education, 55, 179, 180 

Ogburn, Ella Adams, 333 

Oklahoma City Federal building, bombing 
of, 6, 293 

Oldham, Conniesue Barfield, 180 

Oliver, Lucile, 57 

Olympics, 102-103, 188 

Once Over Lightly, 1 8 

Once Upon a Mattress, 127 

One Volume Bible Commentary (Dum- 
melow), 235 

Operation Toy Box, 341 

Oral History of Meredith College Alum- 
nae, An, yn 

Osborne, Murphy M., Jr., 172, 230, 240, 
254, 261, 316, 327, 333, 346 

Oughton, Jerrie Preston, 181 

Outing Club, 73 

Outstanding Alumna Philanthropist 
Award, 261 

Outstanding Christian Educators Award, 


Overby, Lois Morgan, 238 
Owens, Mary, 43 
Oyarzum, Maria Eugenia, 88 

Page, Allen, 91, 118, 177-78, 200, 236, 
279, 281, 343, 346 

Page, Frances M., 181, 305-306 

Page, Sally, 53 

PAGE (Parents for the Advancement of 
Gifted Education), 88 

Palin Foundation, 238 

Parable of the Morning Star, 223 

Parent and Family Association, 3 20 

Parents' Association, 24, 25, 92, 153, 32on 

Parents' Weekend, 24, 70, 84, 251 

Parham, Kate Johnson, 238 

Park, Dorothy Dent, 316 

Park Center, 316, 317 

Parker, Alice, 73-74 

Parker, Bridgette, 160 

Parker, Charles, 17 

Parker, Elizabeth, 234 

Parker, Joni Bennett, 152 

Parker, Laura Weatherspoon, 309 

Parker, Margaret Weatherspoon, 194-95, 
218, 316 

Parker, Sarah, 241 

Parker, Virginia Gentry, 353 

Parker Fitness Center, Margaret Weather- 
spoon, 290, 316 

Park Foundation, 316 

Parramore, Thomas C, 35, 96 

Paschal, Rosa Catherine, 234 

Patterson, Charles, 17 

Patterson, Jane, 125 

Patton, Frances Gray, 96 

Peace College, 6, 17, 89, 119, 303 

Peacock, L. A., 95 

Peacock, Mary O'Kelly, 65 

Peden Construction Company, 253 

Pellizzari, Maria, 328 

People magazine, 341 

Peoples, Christina, 269 

Perot, Floss, 310 

Perry, Cleo Glover, 180, 204-205, 346 

Perry, Mary, 234 

Perry, Pauline Davis, 96, 269 

Perry Award for Excellence in Teaching, 
Pauline Davis, 195 

Peters, Tom, 288 

Peterson, Lucretia L., 347 

Phi Alpha Theta, 5 1 

Phi Beta Kappa Award, 66 

Philanthropist of the Year Award, 290, 309 

Philaretian Society, 97-98 

Philip Morris, 126 

Phillips, Christa, 223 

Phillips, Gene, 17 

Phillips, Kelly, 243 

Phi Omicron, 5 1 

Physically challenged, access to facilities 
for, 19 

Pickard, Anne, 342, 350 

386 I INDEX 

Pi Epsilon Mu, 204 

Pierce, Brinkley, Cease, and Lee, 291 

Pi Kappa Lambda, 51 

Pitt, Theo, 158,218 

Pitts, Brent, 222, 324-25 

Plotkin, Mark, 338 

Poe, Mary Virginia Warren, 86 

Poister, Arthur, 50-51 

Polumbo, Pat, 326 

Pope, Earl, 353 

Poteat Residence Hall, 48, 320 

Potter, Page, 172-73 

Poussaint, Alvin, 71-72 

Powell, Betsy, 290 

Powell, Colin, 293 

Powell, Loleta Kenan, 318 

Powell, Walda, 3 27 

Powers, Ellen, 250 

Powers, James, 152-53 

Pre-professional studies, 56 

President's Dining Room, 62 

Presidents of Meredith College, see names 
of individuals, e.g. Weems, John E. 

President's Task Force for the Pursuit of 
Excellence, 192-93, 198, 215 

Preston, Dorothy Knott, 106, 181, 349 

Preston, E. S., 181 

Preston, Mary Frances, 181 

Price, David, 310 

Price, Reynolds, 96 

Prillaman, Renee, 254 

Project HALO (Help and Learning Out- 
reach), 249 

Project Help, 28 

Pruden, Edward Hughes, 130 

Pruette, Meg, 46 

Pruitt, Bland B., 104 

Pruitt, Margaret Bullard, 346 

Psi Chi, 77 

Psychology Department, 23, 77, 283 

Puckett, R. G., 125, 130 

Pugh, Anne, 257, 296-97, 349, 350, 352 

Putnam mathematics competition, William 
Lowell, 179 

Quayle, Dan, 162 
Quick, Dorothy, 179 

Rabin, Yitzhak, 292, 293 

Radcliffe College, 234, 295 

Raising the Sights of Women program, 

72.-75. 92. 
Raleigh, North Carolina, 258-59 
Raleigh Fine Arts Society, 169-70 
Raleigh Preschool, 265-66 
Raleigh Symphony, 124, 239 
Raleigh Times, 57, 146, 151 
Ramsey, Liston, 188 
Randolph-Macon College, 40 
Raney (Edgerton), 145 
Rawley, D. A., 82 
Rawley, Sarah Cook, 82 
Rawls, Tracy, 243 

Ray, Cecil, 99 

Reagan, Ronald, 4, 72, 103, 134, 165, 242 

Reavis, Dianne, 22 

Recent Graduate Award, 227 

Recruitment and marketing: 

job, 55 

of students, 197-98, 273-75, 
298-99, 303, 315-16 
Recycling program, 213 
Reddish, Minnie Huffman, 120 
Re-entry program, 3, 173, 213, 266-67, 

Reese, Mary Ann Morgan, 343 
Reid, Elizabeth Davis, 65 
Reid, Regina, 337 
Reid, Robert, 306 
Religion and Philosophy Department, 180, 

Religious Emphasis Week, 48, 208 
Religious right, 163, 165 
Renaissance Singers, 74 
Rendal, David, 125 
Reno, Janet, 272 
Research Triangle Park (RTP), 122, 244, 

266, 334 
Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), 


Residence halls, 46, 108, 184-85, 197, 264 
air-conditioning of, 186, 208 
male visitation of, 335-36 
off-campus living, 79-80, 108 
Spanish language, 136 
see also names of specific buildings 

Reynolds, Suzanne, 13, 49, 161, 226 

Reynolds Foundation, Z. Smith, 60, 244 

Ride, Sally, 3 

Rihani, Ehzabeth, 271 

Rimer, Sara, 285 

Roach, Mary Jon Gerald, 23 8 

Roberts, Gina, 209 

Robert Shaw Chorale, 73-74 

Robinson, Carolyn Covington, 17, 172, 
222, 223 

Robinson, Katie, 308 

Robinson, Lisa Marie, 344 

Rock, Shannon "Shan" P., 238 

Rockefeller Foundation, 73 

Rodgers, Catherine, 306 

Rogers, Genie, 42, 46 

Roof, Phillip D., 287, 334 

Rose, Norma, 17, 51, 105, 109, 238, 

Rosser, Lou, 132, 285-86 

Rowland, Lois, 349 

Rumley, Ellen Amanda, 104-105 

Rumley, Leon, 104-105 

Rumley, Sarah Katherine Furches, 104 

Rumley Memorial Scholarship Endow- 
ment, Ellen Amanda, 105 

Rust, Eric Charles, 48 

Sabbatical leave program, 9, 10, 41, 107, 
268, 306, 325, 351 

INDEX I 387 

Sadat, Anwar, 4 
St. Augustine College, 17 
St. Mary's College, 6, 17, 89, 112 
Salem College, 40, 303 
Salisbury, Mary Estelle Johnson, 86 
Salisbury Memorial Organ, Estelle John- 
son, 114-15, Z33 
Salter, Amy, zoz 
Sams, Janice, 16, 33, 57-58, 98 
Samson, Donald, 109, 115 
Sanderson, Carol, 341 
Sanderson, Christy, 341 
Sanderson, Glenn, 172 
Sandler, Bernice, 159 
Sandlin, Lula Ditmore, 23 8 
Sanford, Terry, 25 
Sappho Was a Right-On Woman (Abbott), 

SAS Institute, 244 
Satisky, Alice Goodman, 346 
Saunders, John, 198-99 
Scarboro, Virginia, 179 
Schaller, Michael, 134 
Schiffman's Jewelers, 194 
Schlafly, Phyllis, 187 
Schmidt, Ruth, 222 
Scholarships, 24, 29, 34, 117, 139, 

153-54, 154, 176, 194, 2.11, 214, 254, 

282, 290, 291, 314, 333, 348; see also 

Financial aid 
Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, 50, 53-54, 

210, 315 
SchoU, Jean Gaddy, 169 
Schroeder, Patricia, 231-32 
Schuster, Judy, 257 
Sears-Roebuck Teaching Excellence and 

Campus Leadership Award, 198-99, 

Sebrechts, Jadwiga, 281-82, 304 
Security, 64, 94-95, 127-28, 150 

campus police force, 344 
Segawa, Akie, 348-49 
Self-determining hours, 1 5 
Sellers, Linda, 166 
Serendipity Singers, 60 
Sergio, Lisa, 67-68 
Sermon-Boyd, Norma, 325 
7 Habits of Highly Effective People 

(Covey), 244 
Sex discrimination laws, 4, 158-61 
Shapiro, Sherry, 306 
Sharapun, Hedda, 126 
Shariff, Mary, 341 
Sharpe, Mary, 308 
Shattuck, Daniel G., 64, 349 
Shattuck, Janice, 349 
Shaw, Becky Batson, 92 
Shaw, Blanche, 46 
Shaw, Henry M., 46, 104 
Shaw University, 18, 89, 288 
Shelley Child Development Center, 98 
Shelp, Hannah, 293 
Sherrill, O. L., 36, 37 
Shields, Margaret Whitmore, 234 

Shiflett, Reginald B., 78, 122, 182, zoo, 

281, 306 
Shirley, Anita Gunn, 343 
Short, Nona, 196 
Siddell, Hallie, 30 
Sills, Nancy, 202 
Silver Shield, 58, 93, 95 
Simmons, Evelyn Pope, 106, 107, 347 
Simmons, Harry, 179 
Simmons College, 119 
Simpson, Edith Stephenson, 10, 105 
Simpson- Vos, Juliellen, 287 
Sinclair, Gordon, 159 
Single-sex education, 295-96 

see also Women's colleges 
Sir, Edouard Morot, 147 
Sixty Minutes, 48 

Sizemore, Chris, 126, 184-85, 206 
Sizemore, Dorothy, 78, 197, 281, 288 
Skinner, Thomas E., 233 
Slater company, 344 
Smith, Amy, 353 
Smith, Bailey C., 99-100 
Smith, Barbara Barefoot, 22 
Smith, Deborah, 227, 280 
Smith, Gloria, 3 6 
Smith, Karen, 144 
Smith, Leon, 218 
Smith, Mary Beth, 1 67 
Smith, Mary Rodwell, 85 
Smith, Roy, 218-19 
Smith, Wade, 188 
Smith College, 40 
Smithsonian, 146 

Smoot, Martha Salisbury, 86, 115, 233 
Snow, A. C, 47, 67 

Social restrictions, lifting of, 3, 15, 33 5-3 6 
Social work program certification by CSWE, 

see Council on Social Work Education 
Society of Biblical Literature, Recruitment 

Conference, 340 
Sociology and Social Work, Department of, 

78-79, 262, 284 
Somaha, 292 
Sound of Music, The, 17 
South Africa, 4, 183-84 
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 

182-83, 290 
Southeastern Library Network, 94 
Southern Association of Colleges and 

Schools (SACS), 161, 214-15 
Southern Baptist Convention, 99-100, 

Journeyman Program, 28 

ordination of women, 155-57 

ultra-conservative dominance of, 4-5, 
130-31, 156-58, 163, 165, 
182-83, 214, 218-22 
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 5, 

Southern Bell, 198 
Soviet Union, 4, 247 
Sowers, Rhoda, 186 


Spangler, Mr. and Mrs. Earl, 320 

Spangler Arboretum, 3 20 

Spanton, Donald, 176-77, 200, 231, 237, 

Spearman, Walter, 96 

Spectator, 213 

Spooner, LaRose, 171-72, 235, 237, 280, 

315, 343> 344-45» 346 
Sports, 101-102, 131, 138-39, 188, 
209-10, 249, 266, 339 

basketball, 24, 210, 239-40, 339, 

golf team, loi, 131 

intramural, 139, 209-10 

soccer, 266, 337, 339 

softball/baseball, 188, 210, 340 

swim team, 18, loi 

tennis team, loi, 339-40 

volleyball team, 138-39, 339 
Springs Queen, 24 

Staley Distinguished Christian Scholar Lec- 
ture, 48 
Staley Distinguished Lecture on Women in 

Religion in the 21st Century, 229 
Staley Foundation, Thomas E, 48 
Stamats Communications, Inc., 246, 345 
Stanley, Julian, 147 
Starkey, Peggy, 136 
STAR (United Star Distance Learning 

Consortium) program, 288 
State Department of Public Instruction, 49, 

260, 288 
State Games of North Carolina Amateur 

Sports, 213 
Stebbins, Carole, 132 
Steele, David, 248 
Steely, Deborah, 229 
Stephenson, Nan L., 229-30 
Stiff, Lee, 325 
Stoltz, Robert E., 29 
Strav^^bridge, Nelson, 10 
Stringfield, Ann, 131 
Stringfield, Oliver Larkin, 66, 84 
Stringfield, Oliver Linwood, 66, 84 
Stringfield Residence Hall, 46, 186, 208, 

Stuber, Marilyn, 286 
Student development, vice president for, 

Student Government Association, 15, 33, 

58, 93, 103, 130, 151, 255, 270, 277, 

Student Handbook, 59 
Stumpf, Pat, 114 
Stunt Night, 189 
Sullivan, Ayn, 59 
Sullivan, Jane Watkins, 73 
Sultan, Terrie, 337 
Summer schools, 28, 53 
Summer Study/College Credit for High 

School Students, 13, 90-91 
Sumner, Eugene M., 50, 78-79, 118 
Support groups, 209, 326 

Suttle, Clarke, 320 
Sutton, Minnie Wilma, 234 
Swab, Janice, 306, 32in, 326, 353 
Swift, Elizabeth Ann, 131 
Swink, Carol, 283 
Sykes, Debbi, 281 
Symmetry (Crook), 228 
Syron, Leslie, 9, 33, 34, 49 

Tate, Josh, 342 

Taylor, Charles E., iio-ii, 127, 139, 
153, 183-84, 186, 206, 213, 245-46, 
257, 282, 316, 321, 332-33, 344, 345, 

Taylor, Dennis, 172 
Taylor, Louise, 128-29, 195, 268, 

Taylor, Olive, 96 

Teacher education, 49, 120-21, 174, 
249, 260 

English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) 
license, 330 
Teaching Fellows, 174, 215, 249, 282, 

Teaching Fellows Commission, 291 
Teague, Jane Williamson, 116 
Teague, Jean, 17 

Technology, 94, 127, 172, 252-53, 257, 
284, 288-89, 32.7, 342. 

ALIS, 256-57 

cablevision and internal television, 
211-12, 252, 284-85, 328 

CamCard, 257-58, 290 

Cam-Tel, 212 

computers, see Computers 

Intranet, 328 

telecommunications system, 153 

video, 64 
Teen Action Program (TAP), 18 
Television evangelists, 163, 165 
Templeton Foundation Honor Roll for 

character Building Colleges, John, 

245, 326 
Tew, Susan, 17 
This Essential Part: The First 1000 Books 

of the Library of Baptist Female Univer- 
sity (Murray), 216 
Thomas, Clarence, 243, 282 
Thomas, Mary, 227, 255 
Thomas, Sandra Carol, 3, 42-43, 56, 67, 

68, 79, 89-90, 97, 100, 107, 200, 242, 

268, 292-93, 304 
Thomas Meredith Society, 309 
Thomason, Harry, 242 
Thornburg, Lacy, 188 
Thorne, Frances, 186 
Three Mile Island nuclear disaster, 4 
Thrift, Julianne Still, 303 
Tiananmen Square, 4, 201 
Tidball, Elizabeth, 40 
Time, 295 

Timmerman, Peggy, 59 
Tippett, Deborah, 286 

INDEX I 389 

Title IX of 1972 Educational Amendments 

Act, 158-59 
Todd, Daniel, 109-10, 119 
Todd, Sue Ridge, 343 
Tolson, Fred, iii, 148 
Tomorrow's Business Women, 260 
Topor, Robert, 273-74 
Transfer students, 211 
Traywick, Judge Gary E., 353 
Triangle Universities Computer Center, 


Trible, Phyllis, 43-44, 229 

Triplett, Elizabeth, 17 

Trueblood, Elton, 21-22 

Truelove, Cindy, 103 

Trustees, see Board of Trustees 

Tschamler, Addie, 328 

Tucker, Car 11, 126 

Tucker, Charles, 25 

Tucker, Martha Nell, 104 

Tuition increases, 332-33 

Tull, Elizabeth Gladys, 234 

Tunney, John, 47 

Turlington, Helen, 103-104 

Turlington, Henry, 103-104 

Turner, Alyce, 279 

Turpin, William Bradley, 5 1 

Twardy, Chuck, 263 

Twenty-three Plus (23+), 329 

Twig, 15-16, 22, 23, 24, 25, 29, 31, 42, 
43, 45, 46, 48, 53, 54, 56, 57-58, 
59, 60, 70, 72, 74, 75, 79, 88, 92, 
94, 97, 98, 103, 109, III, 115, 
124, 129, 131, 132, 137-38, 
139, 141, 142, 143, 144, 150, 
153, 293 
becomes a weekly, 34-35 
name change, i6on, 166-68 

U.S. Constitution, 200th anniversary of, 

U.S. News and World Report, 190-91, 

United States Steel Award, 121 
University of California at Los Angeles 

(UCLA), Higher Education Research 

Institute, 163 
University of North Carolina, 119, i97n 

Graduate School of Social Work, 49 

Vandiver, Fran, 18 

Van Every, Nan Davis, 147 

Vann, Richard T, 65, 83-84 

Vann Residence Hall, 46, 128, 186, 208, 

Van Wageningen, Susan, 15, 16 
Vassar College, 40 
Vendler, Helen, 248 
Vereen, Ben, 259 
Vetter, Robert, 343 
Viccellio, Nancy Blair, 25 
Vietnam War, 2, 3, 14, 15, 25, 31, 32, 45 
Visions Program, 82, 121, 300 

Vocal ensembles, 74, 132, 152-53, 181, 
222, 305-306 

for community children, 181 
Vogler, Jill Wine, 47 
Volkmann, M. Frederic, 273-74 
Vorus, Ann, 147 
Votaru, Carmen Delgado, 88 
Voting, 56, 309-10 

lowering of voting age, 1 5 

presidential elections, 3 1 

residency requirements, 31-32 

Wade, William E "Bill," Jr., 231, 345 
Wainwright, Harriet Mardre, 199 
Wainwright, Irving H., 83, 199, 230 
Wainwright Chair of Business and Eco- 
nomics, Irving H., 199 
Wainwright Conference Suite, 254, 264, 

Wainwright Music Building, Harriet 

Mardre, 83 
Waitley, Denis, 288 
Wake County Schools, 173 
Wake Forest University, 102, 131, 181, 

217, 22in, 290, 301, 312 
Wake Technical Institute, 64 
Wake Up Meredith, 328 
Walker, Alyce Epley, 3 6, 3 7 
Wall, Anne, 16 
Wall, Lissy, 17 
Wall, Silda, 66 
Wall, Susan, 239 

Wallace, Carolyn Andrews, 95-96 
Wallace, Lilhan Parker, 13, 65, 97 
Wallace Lectures, Lillian Parker, 86-87, 

163, 224-26 
Wallace Phi Beta Kappa Award, Lillian 

Parker, 132 
Waller, Edward "Ted," 257, 320, 342-43 
Wall Street Journal, ^9-40 
Walters, Sonya, 194 
Walton, Barrie, 43 
Walton, W. Garrett (Garry), Jr., 200, 223, 

261, 268, 285 
Wang Yunkin, 201 
Warren Wilson College, 267 
Watergate scandal, 2-3, 47 
Watson, George, 148 
Watterson, Gene L., 218-19 
Watts, Sarah Elizabeth Vernon, 65, 83, 84, 

195, 238 
Watts, William M., 65 
Weatherspoon, Margaret Parker, 323 
Weatherspoon, W. Herbert, 18, 323 
Weatherspoon Physical Education and 

Recreation Building, 18, 62, 213 
Weatherspoon Physical Education-Dance 

Building, 263-64 
Weaver, Marjorie Jo Anne, 13 
Webb, Betty, 91, 109, 157, 181, 195, 199, 

200, 222, 240, 247, 279, 280 
Weems, Frankie G., 90, 169-70, 193-94, 


390 I INDEX 

Weems, John E., 2, 24, 26, 27, 35, 40- 
49 passim, 54, 55, 63, 64, 66, 79, 
81, 85, 88-89, 90, 96, 98-99, 
105, 114, 116, 119, 121, 129-30, 
140-41, 145, 149, 157-58, 159, 
160, 174, 180, 181-83, 194, 203, 
210-11, 212, 214, 215, 217-18, 
218, 221, 222, 235, 239, 246, 247, 
251, 252, 254, 257, 264, z66-6y, 
269, 270, 275-80, 282, 283-84, 
288, 291, 311-12, 315, 317, 322, 

339, 345,346,352- 

background of, 20-21 

contract through year 2002, 279 

Honor Code protest and, 196-97 

inauguration, 25, 36-38, 39 

named as president, 8, 19 

naming of graduate school after, 190, 

photograph of, 341 

retirement plans, 6, 351-52 

Task Force for the Pursuit of 
Excellence, 192-93, 198, 215 
Weems, Ruth Ellen Taylor, 352 
Weems Art Gallery, Frankie G., 170, 193, 

Weems Graduate School, John E., 259, 
286, 287, 330 

Challenge for Leadership Institute, 

naming of, 190, 191, 195 

see also Graduate studies 
Weems Memorial Garden, Frankie G., 205 
Wellesley College, 40 
Wessels, Susan, 324 
West, Fiarold, Jr., 237, 3 14 
West, Melody, 1 29 
Westphal,W. H., II 
Wharton, Bob, 123 
Wheeler, Ed, 78, 111-12, 178-79 
Whichard, Judge Willis, 125 
White, Joyce, 60, 79 
White, Leonard, 29, 179 
White Iris Ball, 230, 251 
Who's Who Among Students in American 

Colleges and Universities, 132 
Wicker, Beth, 98 
Wiggins, Norman, 145 
Wilkinson, Sylvia, 73 
Willard, Amy, 250 
Williams, Claude, 60, 112, 275, 353 
Williams, Elaine, 46 
Williams, Eleanor Edwards, 29-30 
Williams, F. Carter, 60, 86, 112 
Williams, Heidi Ann, 239 
Williams, Heidi Sue, 239 
Williams, Larry, 86 

Williams, Turner, 86 

WiUiams, Zelma Green, 105 

Williams and Associates, F. Carter, 253, 

Williford, Jo Ann, 67 
Wilson, Elizabeth, 59 
Wilson, Sir Harold, 86-87, 2.24 
Wilson, Henry Hall, 22, 47 
Wilson, Steve, 228 
Wingate University, 221, 290 
WINGS (Women in New Goal Settings), 


Winnie-the-Pooh, 67 

Winterhoff, Paul, 327 

Winz, Burgunde, 178, 181, 247 

Wolfinger, Elizabeth, 284 

Women in Science Day, 306 

Women's College Coalition, 281, 295, 303 

Women's colleges, 6, 158-61, 179, 
281-82, 295-96, 303 
fall in number of, 197 
success of graduates of, 40, 295, 303 

Women's movement, see Feminist Move- 

Wood, Frank, 126 

Wood, Ira, 67 

Woodard, Francis Pittman, 346 

Woodlief, Erika Suzanne, 348 

Woodlief, Eugene, 348 

Woodlief, Sharon, 342, 348 

Woodlief Memorial Scholarship, Erika 
Suzanne, 348 

Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Visiting Fel- 
lows Program, 92 

Wooten, Eliza Rebecca, 234 

World Almanac and Book of Facts, 5 

Wurst, PhylUs, 66, 132 

Yarbrough, John A., 18, 30 
Yarbrough, Mary, 25-26, 30, 55 
Yarbrough Chair of Chemistry, Mary E., 

Yarbrough Research Center, Mary E., 

Yates, Judy, 22 
Yeager, Betty Jean, 179 
Yow, Jan, 294 

Zelaya, Jorge Luis, 88 

Zenke, Otto, 326 

Zhou Yue, 247 

Zimmermann, Gerhardt, 123 

Zingraff, Owen, 223 

Zingraff, Rhonda, 149, 174-75, 200, 227, 

Zucker, Kimberly, 296-97 
Zuo Xiuyin, 247 

*«— ^ , Carolyn Covington Robinson, 

. a native of Rockingham, NC, 
^ graduated from Meredith 
College in 1950, and after a 
hiatus of only eight years 
returned to Meredith, where 
she remained for 34 years, 
serving as the first director 
of publications (1967-1970) 
and as director of alumnae 
affairs (1970-1976). She completed her tenure at 
Meredith in the publications division, retiring in 
1 99 z as college editor and director of publications 
emeritus. She is a 1988 recipient of a Meredith 
alumna award, has served on the charter centen- 
nial executive committee, and has also been presi- 
dent of the Carlyle Campbell Friends of the 

Her literary and civic achievements have flour- 
ished alongside her Meredith career. In 1974, she 
wrote a historical drama for the centennial of 
Tabernacle Baptist Church in Raleigh; in 1986, 
she was commissioned to write a play for the 
North Carohna WMU's 1986 annual convention, 
in observance of its looth anniversary; and in 
199 1, she wrote Parable of the Morning Star, 
which was performed at Meredith's charter cen- 
tennial celebration. 

In the early days of her career, the City of 
Raleigh named her community ambassador to the 
former Yugoslavia, and she lived for several 
months in the Bosnian city of Sarajevo. Over 
the years, she has been active in civic affairs, 
serving on the board of directors of the YWCA, 
and receiving the Golden Deeds Award from 
the Exchange Club of Raleigh. In 1994, she pre- 
sented a paper for the Harnett County Historical 
Society, in commemoration of the hundredth 
anniversary of the birth of former Meredith presi- 
dent Carlyle Campbell. The first woman elected to 
the diaconate at Raleigh's Tabernacle Baptist 
Church, Robinson has taught Sunday school there 
for 30 years and currently chairs the personnel 

Author photograph: Suzanne Britt 

The Meredith College Press 

3800 Hillsborough Street 
Raleigh, North Carohna 27607 


"The College's most valuable history can 

be found in the minds and hearts of all 

who have passed through her doors. 


ISBN: 1-879635-01-1