Meredith College Presents 2009 Alumnae Awards

The Meredith College Alumnae Association presented awards to four alumnae as part of the College’s Alumnae Reunion Weekend. The awards were announced during the Alumnae Association’s annual meeting on Saturday, May 16.

Award winners for 2009 are the following:

Phoenix Chen Haydon, ’74, Distinguished Alumna Award;
Elizabeth Dobbins, ’99, Recent Graduate Award;
Carolyn Dunn, ’83, Career Achievement Award; and
Joyce McIntyre Rudisill, ’42, Alumna Philanthropy Award.

Each award winner spoke briefly after the awards were presented by classmates, former faculty and administrators at Meredith.

Phoenix Chen Haydon, ’74
Haydon, who came from Taiwan to attend Meredith College, said she “left home, but found a new home at Meredith. I thank Meredith, the administration, staff and my classmates from 1973 for making Meredith a home for me.”

Haydon has served on the Meredith College Board of Trustees, including as a member of the Board’s development committee. She is a class agent and active member of the Class of 1974, and serves as the leader of the Alumnae Association’s Central Wake County Chapter, helping organize and host several events and serving in many other volunteer capacities. Haydon has been instrumental in Meredith’s global education efforts. Haydon has been instrumental in Meredith’s global education efforts. At her urging, the College launched the Meredith College Global Education Initiative Program, a program of partnerships that bring young international students and others to the Meredith campus for recruitment and global awareness.

Elizabeth Dobbins, ’99
“Meredith is the place where I grew up,” said Dobbins. “I dedicate this award to the Class of 1999 and to my time here at Meredith. Meredith has always been a big part of my life.” Dobbins is special projects manager in the marketing division of the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Her community involvement includes memberships in the North Carolina Economic Development Association, the NAACP North Carolina Chapter, the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, the N.C. Society for Hispanic Professionals and the Junior Woman’s Club of Raleigh. Her service to Meredith includes involvement with the Young Alumnae Board since 2003, serving as a liaison to the Class of 2009, helping to plan social and community service events for the Wake County young alumnae and membership in the Reunion Weekend Steering Committee.

Carolyn Dunn, ’83
Dunn said the Meredith faculty encouraged students to reach for dreams that seem just out of reach. “This award truly is a highlight of my career, and I am humbled,” she added.

Dunn is a nationally recognized scholar in the area of obesity prevention. Since 1990, she has taught at NC State, where she is an associate state program leader, professor and nutrition specialist. Her service to the State of North Carolina includes membership on the Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina Leadership Team, the N.C. Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force and the N.C. Initiative for Healthy Weight in Children and Youth. Dunn and her colleagues have created innovative, research-based tools that are used across the United States. One example is Color Me Healthy, an obesity prevention program for four- and five-year-olds that is used in 40 states.

Joyce McIntyre Rudisill, ’42,
“Meredith gave me the belief that I could anything I wanted if I worked hard enough,” Rudisill said when accepting her award.

Rudisill is a member of the steering committee for the Alumnae Legacy Scholarship, Meredith’s first full academic scholarship program. She has also established an Alumnae Legacy Angel Endowment. Her service to the College includes being a member of the Board of Trustees, where she was a member of the Outreach Committee. A recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award, she has maintained close ties to Meredith by serving as president of the Alumnae Association, a member of the Board of Associates and an active participant in the Alumnae Association’s Charlotte/Mecklenburg County Chapter. During her term as president of the Alumnae Association, Rudisill visited more than 90 percent of the Association’s chapters.

Alumnae Association Annual Meeting
After the awards were presented, the Alumnae Association meeting included a presentation of each reunion class’ gifts to The Meredith Fund. The “countdown” included songs from each class’ graduation year, and balloons to symbolize their giving levels.

New officers and regional directors were elected to the Meredith Alumnae Association, and Association President Dena White Waters, ’97, passed the gavel to new president Deborah Jordan Matthews, ’74.

Date Submitted: 2009-05-16

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