Professor of Music Ellen Williams, ’72, received the Distinguished Alumna Award during Meredith’s annual Alumnae Reunion Weekend, held May 18-20, 2012.
Williams is a performing artist and active member of the Meredith College faculty, which she joined in 1992. She now serves as professor of music and coordinator of vocal studies. Her career as a voice teacher has been exceptional. Her students, who have consistently won honors, have built successful musical careers thanks to Williams’s positive, nurturing and energetic approach to teaching.
Williams performs internationally as a soloist and a director. Her most recent CD, of Mahler’s “Das Lied Von Der Erde,” was released in 2011. She has taught master classes and performed throughout the world, including at UCLA, Austria’s Mozarteum Summer Academy and the Rome Opera Festival. She is the co-founder of Capital Opera of Raleigh, and participated in the company’s merger with the Opera Company of North Carolina. She serves on the board of the directors for the now-thriving North Carolina Opera.
Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in voice and religion from Meredith, a Master of Music in voice performance from New England Conservatory and a Doctor of Music in voice performance from Florida State University.
Along with Williams, four other alumnae were honored during the awards event.
Nancy Williams Cheek, ’63, also received the Distinguished Alumna Award. A teacher for more than 30 years, Cheek was also recognized for her service to Meredith, which culminated in a 2011-12 term as chair of the College’s Board of Trustees.
Audrey Harrell, ’07, who received the Recent Graduate Award, became an assistant principal at Kinston High School in Kinston, N.C., less than five years after graduating from Meredith College.
Katherine Keith Thomas received the Career Achievement Award. Thomas has spent her career with CP&L/Progress Energy, most recently as Progress Energy’s director of community relations and economic development.
The Career Achievement Award was also presented posthumously to Lynn Jones Ennis, ’75. Ennis was an advocate for the arts who worked to promote the arts and its powerful role in our lives. She was associate director and curator of the collection at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at North Carolina State University. She was also an adjunct professor in the MBA Program at NC State, where she taught Creativity in Management, and at NC Wesleyan College’s Adult Degree Program.
For more information on the alumnae awards, click here.
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