Previous Commencement Speakers

2020: Pat Nathan, ’74, Founder, Dress for Success Triangle N.C.

2019: Jo Allen, ’80, Meredith College President

2018: Adrienne Cole, ’93, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce President and CEO

2017: Becky Jacobs, Chief Engagement Officer, Simple Change Wellness

2016: Ellen Stofan, NASA chief scientist

2015: Jo Allen, ’80, first alumna to serve as Meredith College president

2014: Susan Mboya, Coca-cola executive and philanthropist, founder of the Zawadi Africa Foundation

2013: Anne-Marie Slaughter, International affairs scholar and the first woman to serve as director of policy planning for the United States Department of State

2012: Silda Wall Spitzer, ’80, Former First Lady, State of New York

2011: Sally Brice-O’Hara, U.S. Coast Guard vice admiral

2010: Gretchen Holt Witt, ’89, a pediatric cancer activist and co-founder of the non-profit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

2009: Sarah Parker, chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court

2008: Betty Ray McCain, former Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

2007: Elizabeth Edwards, author, advocate and attorney

2006: Beverly Perdue, North Carolina lieutenant governor

2005: Renee Montagne, National Public Radio correspondent and “Morning Edition” co-host

2004: Elaine Marshall, North Carolina Secretary of State

2003: Judy Woodruff, journalist for news organizations including CNN and PBS

Pat Nathan, ’74
Founder, Dress for Success Triangle N.C.

Pat Nathan, founder of Dress for Success Triangle N.C. and retired Dell Corporation executive, will deliver the commencement address for Meredith College’s 2020 commencement.

Dress for Success is a nonprofit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and development tools to help them thrive in work and life.

A North Carolina native, Nathan founded the local Dress for Success Triangle affiliate in 2008. She has received several awards for her leadership, including the Tar Heel of the Week, the Triangle Business Journal’s Women in Business award for leadership in the nonprofit sector, the Durham County Dr. Martin Luther King “Keeper of the Dream Award,” and the Leadership Triangle Goodmon award for exemplary regional leadership by an individual.

Nathan has been active in a variety of organizations addressing social and environmental equity. She founded the first European chapter of Women in Technology International (WITI) in England in 2001 and a second in Ireland in 2002.

With a successful leadership record of 24 years in the electronics industry, Nathan has expertise in the areas of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Quality and Customer Service, Procurement, Diversity, Supplier Management, Coaching, and Sustainability. A former Dell executive, she has also worked at Data General Inc. (EMC) and N.C. State University.

In addition to her undergraduate degree from Meredith College, Nathan attended N.C. State University’s master’s program in statistics.

In 2004, Nathan received the Meredith College Distinguished Alumna Award.

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