Each year as spring arrives, another academic year draws to a close. It is a bittersweet moment. Students feel proud of what they have accomplished and relieved to have successfully completed another year of scholarly challenge. There is also a hint of sadness in the air as they gather their belongings, bid classmates farewell, and prepare to disperse in all directions of the globe. For graduating seniors, it is the end of a chapter marked by tremendous personal growth and hard-earned achievements. It is also a time of uncertainty and hope as they prepare to embark on the next chapter in their lives.
For any organization that aspires to greatness, the work is never done. Such is the case at Meredith College.
They say “time flies when you are having fun,” and that is certainly what I have realized over the past two years. It is truly hard to believe that two years have passed since I assumed the role of President of Meredith’s Alumnae Association. When I took the gavel as the president in May of 2011, I knew it would be a lot of hard work, but I also experienced so much fun, had so many wonderful opportunities and have met so many great Angels along the way.
I hope that all of our alumnae association members feel a sense of pride in belonging to our organization. I also hope that some of the new events and activities that we have developed, and will continue to develop, will better serve your needs and desires. We want to reach out to the amazing Angel in each of you!
One of my favorite duties and privileges as president was to preside over Reunion Weekend, and present awards to our Distinguished Alumnae during our Annual Meetings. All of these outstanding alumnae make me even more proud to be a Meredith graduate! They exemplify Meredith’s greatness, and they ensure our college continues to excel. The creation of the Discover Meredith alumnae recruiting event, held twice yearly is a new event I am most proud of. This exclusive alumnae-only recruiting event has generated a lot of enthusiasm among our alumnae and prospective students. I predict this event will continue to grow and become even more important to our overall recruiting efforts on campus.
Of all the experiences I’ve had as your President one event will always stay with me as the most poignant of my tenure. In May, 2012, I had the privilege of welcoming back to Meredith my late Mother’s class of 1947 for their 65th reunion. Even though my Mom, Sue McDonald Dove, was not there (although she was in spirit!), her class made me feel welcome as one of their own. I will never forget our conversations over lunch and watching them laugh together when they had their beautiful photo taken on the quad. Their stories of their days at Meredith were a reminder to me that we all share the same goals for the college, and that our school represents a wonderful continuum of life with each successive generation.
There are so many wonderful people I wish to thank before departure. One is our Director of Alumnae and Parent Relations, Hilary Allen and her amazing team of Meredith Moore Moody and Haile Sue Smith. Each of them ensures our alumnae events roll smoothly year after year. If you’ve never stopped by the Alumnae House and thanked these amazing alumnae for all their hard work, please do! We truly could not function without their drive and commitment to the College. Erin Cleghorn, our Meredith Fund Director and her staff are the force behind the Meredith Fund. I thank each of them for their dedication to building the Fund each year, and kicking our collective alumnae butt when we’re not giving!
I also thank Dr. Lennie Barton, our VP of Institutional Advancement along with Dr. Denise Rotondo and Dr. Liz Wolfinger for their wonderful ideas and words of encouragement for our Alumnae Association throughout my tenure. President Jo Allen was a wonderful mentor and friend to me throughout these past two years. Thank you Dr. Allen for meeting with me and sharing my ideas and goals for the Association.
Mentor, friend and beloved sister, Deborah Dove Smith, class of 1980 is my biggest inspiration. I am lucky to have followed in her footsteps as President.
A most sincere and heartfelt thanks for the Alumnae Association Board of Directors for all of their efforts and for sharing this journey with me. They have elevated our alumnae association in so many ways and will continue to carry us forward on our quest to be the best.
I have served side by side with our incoming president Andrea Oakley Fox, class of 1995, and I am certain that she will move us ahead in ensuring our alumnae, community and friends stay connected and remain a significant part of our college and our mission. I have had the privilege of knowing Andrea as a friend and colleague and am confident that she will serve alumnae well. You are in great hands with Andrea as our leader in the coming years, and I wish her all the best.
Thanks again for the opportunity to serve as your president. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life as an Angel.
– Elizabeth Dove, ‘84, President, Meredith College Alumnae Association