Beverly Mecum, ’15, spent more than 20 years working in probation and parole and substance abuse counseling. A single parent until her children graduated from high school, she had high expectations for her children.
So when her son graduated from college, she decided it was her turn. Bev’s daughter, a Meredith alumna who loved her college experience, encouraged Bev to apply to Meredith.
Originally, she intended to get a degree related to her background in social services. But once she came to campus and walked into Gaddy-Hamrick, Meredith’s art building, she decided to pursue her love of art.
“Art has been in my life since I was a young child, and it has never failed me,” said Bev.
As an art education major, Bev is deeply invested in helping others discover their own artistic talents, both for their own pleasure but also for the practical benefit of developing the creative thinking skills needed in today’s workforce.
In 2014, Bev curated her first art exhibition on Meredith’s campus. Titled The Creative Spirit, the exhibit showcased work by Meredith’s faculty and staff. Few are professional artists – for Bev, that was precisely the point.
“I love to find some unexpected side to a person and thought it would be interesting for students, faculty, and staff to view a different aspect of the people they are in contact with each day,” said Bev, who was delighted by the variety and volume of submissions.
As an adult student, Bev has built on her strengths as a natural leader by attending workshops, conferences, and holding leadership positions. She’s also made professional connections in the field.
“I have met more people within the art community through the art faculty than I ever would have on my own,” said Bev. “That may be one of the greatest advantages to having a Meredith education – networking. This college completely has its finger on the pulse of the community, state, and in many cases, the nation.”
Bev is excited to see where her passion for art will take her next.
“My plans are to teach in the Wake County Public System, and eventually have my own teaching studio. That’s the big dream!”
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