Meredith Celebrates Completion of First Habitat Home

Meredith College celebrated the completion of the College’s first fully-funded, volunteer-built Habitat for Humanity home on Saturday, April 18, 2009.

Students, faculty, staff, alumnae, trustees and administrators all worked together with project partner Choate Construction and Habitat for Humanity to make the project possible. Representatives of each of these groups spoke during the dedication ceremony, which was held on the home’s front lawn on a bright, sunny spring morning.

Meredith President Maureen Hartford noted that the home’s location in Southeast Raleigh was near Meredith College’s original location.

“In many ways, we are in old Meredith’s backyard, and we recognize this neighborhood as where we started as well,” Hartford told new homeowners Oslet Rene and Mimose Baptiste.

Rene gave thanks for all the volunteers with whom he worked to build the home. “I thank God for Meredith College’s building this house for us,” Rene said. “I thank God for all the hard work they did for this house.”

Rene talked about the dedication of volunteers whom he worked alongside even on rainy days.

“Everyone takes their time to come here, leaving their homes to come help,” Rene said. “If they are getting wet in the rain, I [needed] to get wet myself.”

Students, faculty and staff have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for more than 20 years, but the new home is the first to be fully-funded and built by the Meredith community. On-site construction began in September 2008 with teams of students, trustees, alumnae, faculty and staff working together with the future homeowners.

Hayley McPhail, ’08, founder of Meredith’s Habitat Club, and current club president Chelsea McGlaughlin, ’10, shared the history of the project.

“It is hard to believe that it was five years ago that this began,” said McPhail, who started Meredith’s Habitat club and inspired the Habitat home project after volunteering with another school. The home dedication was held on McPhail’s birthday.

Habitat for Humanity Silver Hammer awards were presented to Meredith College and Choate Construction in recognition of their support of this project.

Date Submitted: 2009-04-20

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