Women’s colleges develop women who break barriers and assume leadership roles. Among the “firsts” produced by women’s colleges: the first woman to be named the U.S. Secretary of State, the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and the first woman neurosurgeon in the U.S.
Meredith “Firsts” include:
- First woman to serve in a leadership role in the North Carolina House and Senate: Betsy Lane Cochrane, ’58
- First woman and first African-American officer to hold command roles in the Chaplain Corps of the U.S. Navy: C.C. Wiggins, ’76
- First female U.S. Attorney in North Carolina: Margaret Currin, ’72
- First woman to be ordained in a Southern Baptist Church: Addie E. Davis, ’42
- First woman certified by American Board of Prosthodontics: Patricia Smathers Moulton, ’53, DDS
More Strong Meredith Alumnae
- N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice: Sarah Parker, attended 1960-62
- Broadcast journalist: Judy Woodruff, attended 1964-66
- Tony-Award winning actor: Beth Leavel, ’77
- Groundbreaking biblical scholar: Phyllis Trible, '54
- Fulbright grant recipients: Samantha Cibelli, ’11; Lauren Highfill, ’02
- NC Women’s Hall of Fame: Ruth Dial Woods, ’62
- Professors, deans and college presidents: Suzanne Reynolds, ’71, dean, Wake Forest University School of Law; Jo Allen, ’80, president of Meredith College; Laura Prestwood, ’90, department chair of interior design and merchandising, Texas Christian University; Lauren Highfill, ’02, assistant professor of psychology, Eckerd College; Steffani Webb, '82, Vice Chancellor for Administration, University of Kansas Medical Center; Linda McKinnish Bridges ’75, associate dean of admissions, Wake Forest University.Robin Wilson Morgan, '77, professor of molecular biology and has also recently been Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Delaware. Maggie Odell, '77, Professor of Religion, St. Olaf College.
- Vice-Presidents at major corporations: Meg Armstrong, general manager of e-commerce, QVC; Becca Correll McClendon, ’81, senior vice president in FedEx services/CIO for FedEx Freight; Jo Cooper, ’67, former group vice president for government & industry affairs, Toyota Motor North America; Anne Huffman, ’81, vice president-HR projects at Duke Energy Corporation; Leigh Brady, '91, Executive Vice President for Organizational Development, State Employees Credit Union.
- Teachers of the Year: Kay Allen Blizzard, '78; Elizabeth Loftis Plotkin, ’06; Stephanie Crocker, ’04, M.Ed., ’11; Jennifer Facciolini, ’98; Amanda Huerta, ’06.
- Founders of nonprofits: Gretchen Holt, ’89, founder of Cookies for Kids Cancer; Lori Moscato, ’99, founder of Pay It Forward Fertility Foundation; Silda Wall Spitzer, ’80, founder of Children for Children; Pat Nathan, ’74, founder of Triangle Chapter of Dress for Success.