On May 10, 2009, Meredith College held spring commencement exercises. The ceremony took place on an unseasonably cool day in Meredith’s scenic outdoor McIver Amphitheater. Noting that it was also a day set aside to celebrate mothers across the nation, President Maureen Hartford asked all mothers present, including those graduating, to stand and be acknowledged.
Sarah Parker, chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, served as commencement speaker. A native of Charlotte, N.C., Parker attended Meredith College from 1960-62 before earning her undergraduate and law degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Parker was appointed chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court in 2006.
In her introduction of Chief Justice Parker, President Hartford said that Parker, in addition to her illustrious and well-respected judicial career, had volunteered with the U.S. Peace Corps in Ankara, Turkey, for two years.
Observing that the commencement ceremony provided an opportunity for graduates to pause and reflect on where they are going next, Justice Parker shared seven “guideposts” to help them live with “excellence and grace.” The qualities she advocated included adaptability; courage; optimism; the ability to embrace love; a willingness to respect the dignity of every person; a commitment to give generously of their time, talent and resources; and an appreciation for the strength and maturity that comes from the inner person.
Parker concluded her comments with a message of congratulations to the Class of 2009, encouraging them to “live with integrity and perseverance, look up, laugh, love and lift someone less fortunate so that you will not have lived in vain.”
About the Class of 2009
In total, the Class of 2009 had 450 members who earned 457 degrees, including those who completed degrees in August and December 2008. Members of the Class of 2009 range in age between 20 and 61 years old.
Meredith conferred the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Social Work, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education and Master of Science in nutrition during the commencement exercises.
Members of Meredith’s Class of 2009 will enter the work force for employers including the Walt Disney Company, YMCA, First Citizens Bank, Duke University Health System, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Barnes and Noble.
Other members of the class of 2009 will pursue graduate and professional study at UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State University, Pratt Institute, the University of Georgia and many others. Their areas of study are varied, ranging from accounting, medicine, music, law, nursing, microbial technology, podiatry and more.
Chartered in 1891, Meredith College is a private, four-year, comprehensive college for women.
Date Submitted: 2009-05-10
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