Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Meredith alumnae and friends have remained connected to one another and the College through virtual events offered by the Office of Alumnae Relations.
The alumnae office presented 38 virtual events in fall 2020. Some highlights of these events included an election series featuring Professor of Political Science David McLennan, an alumnae book club, an Italian Adventure Series highlighting the culture, food, wine, and art of Italy, and a Scholar Sips Series.
There were more than 1,100 alumnae and friends in attendance for the virtual events, which provided alumnae from around the globe the opportunity to participate. Alumnae in North Carolina, Alaska, Florida, Virginia, New York, Arizona, California, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and even the U.K. and Japan joined in these Meredith programs.
Nelly Navarro-Britt, ’99, has regularly participated in the virtual alumnae book club meetings. Navarro-Britt lives in Anchorage, Alaska, and has appreciated the connection the virtual events have provided. “Since graduation I have moved all over the United States. While I do go ‘home’ every five years for my reunions, I miss out on so many awesome opportunities only offered on campus,” said Navarro-Britt. “What I have experienced since the current pandemic is what I was craving all these years. I am so happy to be able to participate in events no matter how far away I live from Raleigh.”
Deanna Harris, ’90, who lives locally, appreciates that alumnae from different parts of the world can participate in the virtual events. “The virtual alumnae book club has been a great opportunity to meet alumnae from across the country and overseas and to discuss interesting, relevant, and thought-provoking novels and non-fiction books,” Harris said. “As a teacher and school librarian, I love a strong book club, and it’s even better when I can meet with my Meredith sisters from my own comfy chair at home without having to drive back into Raleigh at night!”
In addition to the connection with fellow alumnae, virtual event participants have enjoyed the opportunity to engage with current Meredith College faculty members. Crystal Hartness Leathers, ’65, and her husband tuned in each Monday morning for the Meredith Votes 2020 series. “We’ve been impressed by Dr. David McLennan’s knowledge of politics, government, and elections at every level,” Leathers said. “This series is another example of Meredith helping us be responsible citizens and strengthening our bonds as an informed community.”
The virtual events offered during the fall semester sought to educate, inform, and facilitate discussion among members of the Meredith community. In particular, Boyd King Dimmock, ’71, said, “The Meredith Book Club has exposed me to interesting books that have given me new insights into the challenges of others’ lives. Feeling somewhat isolated because of COVID-19, I enjoy seeing the faces of the group and hearing in their views about the content.”
Tamani Anderson Powell, ’86, has been unable to stay connected with Meredith in recent years because she’s been focused on raising her kids. She has been thankful for a new way to connect. “My time at the recent virtual book club was amazing,” Powell said. “It gave me a chance to get back to me and share that time with a great group of women. In the beginning, I only knew one person but felt like I made some new friends who shared a kindred spirit and love of reading.”
Stay connected with the Office of Alumnae Relations at meredith.edu/alumnae for information on upcoming virtual and in person events.
Update your information at meredith.edu/alumnae/alumnae-update-your-contact-information or call the Office of Alumnae Relations at (919) 760-8548.