Jo Allen, Ph.D., ‘80, is the eighth president of Meredith College, a top-tier nationally ranked institution and one of the largest private colleges for women in the US. She is the first alumna to lead the 125-year-old institution.
President Allen led a collaborative, community-wide process to develop a comprehensive strategic plan, Meredith Forever. In the four years of the plan’s implementation, Meredith has exceeded enrollment and retention goals; raised more than $55 million toward its largest fundraising campaign ever; earned the highest rating from the U.S. Department of Education for financial stability; launched the Going Strong brand; established StrongPoints®, the College’s signature coaching and personal advising program; created a personal and professional development program for women called Stronger U; and completed renovations on buildings and infrastructure across campus.
Allen earned her B.A. from Meredith, her M.A. from East Carolina University, and her doctorate from Oklahoma State University. She served as tenured associate professor of English and as administrator at ECU and at NCSU. Before her return to her alma mater, Allen served as senior vice president and provost, and tenured professor of English, at Widener University, where she oversaw academic and student affairs on four campuses in two states.
She has been the featured speaker and has published and presented in hundreds of regional, national, and international scholarly venues. She has written and edited several books, including one that has won two national awards.
She has been recognized by Meredith College as a Distinguished Alumna, and as an Outstanding Woman of ECU.
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