On May 18, the Meredith Alumnae Association and the Office of Institutional Advancement presented the 2019 alumnae and philanthropy awards during Alumnae Reunion Weekend.
Deborah Jordan Matthews, ’74
Distinguished Alumna Award
Deborah Jordan Matthews, ’74, has remained committed to Meredith by being a dedicated volunteer. Matthews served on the Board of Trustees for seven years, served on the Presidential search committee that hired President Jo Allen, was president of the Alumnae Association and a past regional director. Four years ago she rallied her classmates to participate in funding an endowment for the Meredith Legacy Scholarship as their 50th reunion gift. Matthews’ passion for education is evident in her many years of work as an academically gifted and talented teacher and director of the elementary program in Wake County. She is currently a consultant for Bridgewater Educational Services.
Emily Hines Harper, ’09
Recent Graduate Award
The legacy of Emily Hines Harper, ’09, will be felt at Meredith for generations to come. Harper battled osteosarcoma for nearly four years and lost her battle on October 29, 2018. Her time as a Meredith Angel was filled with helping others, volunteering, connecting people so they could succeed, and showing leadership with confidence, enthusiasm, and humor. As a student, she was passionate about serving on the Honor Council and studying abroad in Sansepolcro, Italy. After graduation Harper started the Networking Angels alumnae group. Last year she created the Emily Hines Harper Scholarship endowment for Vance County students.
Gayle Price Van Velsor, ’64
Career Achievement Award
Gayle Price Van Velsor, ’64, was a trailblazer in the corporate world. Now retired, the former vice president of Progress Energy broke the glass ceiling starting in the 1970s and was often the only woman at any given level of leadership. Early in her career, she was a copywriter for Carolina Power & Light (now Progress Energy). She continued to receive promotions and as the eastern region vice president, she oversaw operations for all of Eastern North Carolina. She served as board chair of New Hanover Regional Medical Center and she was the Wilmington YWCA Woman of the Year as well as a Wilmington Star-News Person of the Week.
Kay Perkins Carrington, ’87, & Family
Meredith Memorial Philanthropy Award
Kay Perkins Carrington, ’87, attended Meredith in her 50s, graduating with a degree in political science. Her fondness for the College led her to leave a gift in her estate. Carrington worked at Campbell Soup Company in the personnel department after she was married. In 1962, she left to become a homemaker and her husband, John, bought Sirchie Fingerprint Laboratories. Over the next 40 years, the company grew to more than 100 employees. In 1975, her family moved to Raleigh. She was active in the Wake County Republican Party, and supportive of USO, Wounded Warrior Projects, the Gary Sinise Foundation, and the Veterans Leadership Council of North Carolina – Cares.
Susan Harris Frazier, ’81
Meredith Philanthropy Award
Susan Harris Frazier, ’81, attended Meredith College in her early 30s through the 23+ program (now called Wings), and it changed her life. Those positive experiences led her to give a gift to establish the Wings Directorship Endowment. The funding for this gift came from her family’s donor-advised fund at the Triangle Community Foundation established by her mother in an effort to teach her family about philanthropy. Frazier majored in psychology and after graduating from Meredith she completed her master’s degree at N.C. State and then worked at the Women’s Center in Raleigh, the AIDS Service Agency, and later graduated from massage school.
Cindy Parkman Godwin, ’89
Meredith Reunion Philanthropy Award
Cindy Parkman Godwin, ’89, believes you should give what you can to honor those who have been gracious to you. Godwin’s positive experiences at Meredith led her to establish a planned gift to The Meredith Fund. As a student, she was a resident assistant, student advisor, dorm council representative, on Honor Council, and worked for the Dean of Students. Godwin carried those skills into her first job at the United Way of Wayne County and later served as director of volunteer services at Wayne Memorial Hospital. Once Godwin moved to Wilmington, she served on the board of CareNet Counseling Center, and was a founding member of The Way Foundation.