History

 

1835
North Carolina Baptist State Convention appoints a committee “to consider the establishment of a female seminary of high order.”

1838
Thomas Meredith, founder of the Biblical Recorder, calls for an institution to provide "a first-rate course of female education."

1889
After a delay due to the Civil War and Reconstruction as well as the general lack of interest in women's education, Leonidas Polk introduces a resolution to the Convention for a Baptist female college. His resolution is adopted unanimously.

1891
The state legislature grants a charter for the Baptist Female University.

1893
To raise money for the school, Oliver Larkin Stringfield begins traveling across the state and Fannie E. S. Heck organizes the Woman's Executive Committee of the Baptist Female University. Economic conditions in the 1890s make fundraising difficult and donations often are small, many one dollar or less.

1895
Construction begins at the corner of Edenton and Blount streets in downtown Raleigh. Adolphus Bauer, who designed the governor's mansion, is the architect.

1899
Baptist Female University opens in September with nineteen faculty/staff members and more than 200 students. James C. Blasingame is president. A college year is three terms of three months each. Room and board costs $36 per term, and tuition is $17.50, with additional fees for music and art.

1900
President Blasingame resigns after one year and Richard Tilman Vann is chosen to lead the University. An accident at a cane mill when he was a child resulted in the loss of both hands and most of his arms. Despite this, he obtained an education and was a respected pastor and teacher.

1902
The first ten students graduate in May; these women are referred to as "The Immortal Ten."

1904
Trustees change name from Baptist Female University to Baptist University for Women. Students publish the first yearbook, Oak Leaves.

1905
Student government, one of the first in the South, is initiated.

1906
The tradition of the hiding of the Crook begins.

1907
In 1900, there had been a debt of $43,000, but by 1907, the University has an endowment of $37,000 and has grown to include six buildings and a library of 2,000 volumes. Students publish a literary magazine, The Acorn.

1909
To honor Thomas Meredith, trustees change the name to Meredith College.

1915
After fifteen years, Dr. Vann (who wrote the words and music to Meredith's "Alma Mater") retires. During his presidency, enrollment increased to almost 400 and the endowment to $127,000. Charles Edward Brewer, professor of chemistry at Wake Forest College, is selected as third president. 1915 also is the first year of Stunt.

1919
Student handbook contains a welcome letter to "Little Sis Class."

1921
Meredith is admitted to Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The Twig, the student newspaper, begins; it will be renamed Meredith Herald in 1986.

1923
Kappa Nu Sigma, scholastic honor society, is organized on campus by Dr. Helen Hull Law, professor of Latin and Greek.

1924
Graduates become eligible for membership in the American Association of University Women. The faculty presents Alice in Wonderland to entertain their students. Construction of a new campus begins on Hillsborough Street, despite the objections of some who think this site is too close to State College.

1926
In January, students return from Christmas holidays to the new campus with six Georgian-style buildings that form a quadrangle: an administration building, a cafeteria, and four dormitories.

1928
Association of American Universities places Meredith on its list of approved colleges.

1939
President Brewer retires. He oversaw the construction of and move to the new campus; enrollment has increased to almost 600. Dr. Carlyle Campbell is named fourth president.

1944
Baptist State Convention rejects proposals to merge Meredith and Wake Forest College.

1945
The first Cornhuskin' is held at Meredith.

1947
The Honor Code is adopted.

1949
Jones Auditorium is dedicated.

1953
Grimmer Alumnae House is built.

1956
Joyner Hall for liberal arts is completed.

1959
Hunter Hall opens for science classes.

1960
Brewer House is built for students of home economics; today it is used as an infant care teaching lab.

1962
Carroll Health Center and Poteat Residence Hall are completed.

1964
Dr. Norma Rose is the speaker at the first Faculty Distinguished Lecture. The newly completed McIver Amphitheater is used for Class Day.

1966
Dr. Campbell steps down. During his twenty-seven years, enrollment has increased to almost 1,000. Dr. Bruce Heilman becomes Meredith's fifth president.

1968
The first African American students enroll; in 1971 Gwendolyn Matthews Hilliard becomes the first African American to graduate.

1969
The library moves from Johnson Hall to the new Carlyle Campbell Library; a sixth dormitory, Heilman, is added.

1970
Weatherspoon Physical Education Building opens.

1971
Dr. Heilman resigns as president. He is credited with continuing high academic standards, increasing faculty compensation and the number of faculty with doctorates, and expanding the student body by 44%.

1972
Dr. John E. Weems becomes president. Two new buildings are added: Massey House President's Residence and Barefoot Dormitory. The Continuing Education Program begins.

1973
Eric Charles Rust is the speaker at the first Staley Distinguished Christian Scholar Lecture.

1974
Cate Student Center is dedicated; Meredith names first female vice-president, Dr. Sandra Thomas. This is the first summer of Meredith Abroad.

1977
Wainwright Music Building is dedicated.

1978
Sir Harold Wilson is the speaker at the first Lillian Parker Wallace Lecture.

1979
The Paralegal Program begins.

1982
Jones Chapel and Harris Building are completed.

1983
Meredith begins offering master's degrees in business, education, and music.

1984
The Honors Program begins.

1985
Mary E. Yarbrough Research Center is dedicated.

1987
Gaddy-Hamrick Art Center opens.

1988
Meredith is chosen to participate in North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program. The Graduate Program is named John E. Weems Graduate School.

1993
CamCards are issued to Meredith students. Campbell Library gets its first computerized online library system.

1994
Ledford Hall is dedicated.

1996
Park Center opens.

1997
Association for Black Awareness changes its name to Association for Cultural Awareness. Meredith and Baptist State Convention formally redefine their relationship.

1999
The twenty-seven year Weems presidency ends; during these years, the size of both the student body and the faculty nearly double. Dr. Maureen A. Hartford is chosen as first female president.

2001
Meredith Technology Initiative begins, providing laptop computers for students.

2002
Four men graduate from the M.B.A. program, becoming the first men in the College's history to earn degrees.

2003
Science and Mathematics Building opens. Since becoming president, Dr. Hartford has introduced four initiatives: Science and Mathematics, Undergraduate Research Opportunities, Meredith Technology, and Service Learning and Leadership. Meredith remains the largest private college in the Southeast for women.

2011
Dr. Jo Allen becomes Meredith's 8th president on July 1, 2011. Dr. Allen is the first Meredith graduate to hold the office.

 



 

Contact Information:

105 Cate Center
Phone: (919) 760-8633
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