Classmates of Teri Meadows Hires, ’77, encouraged her to become the class gift officer 13 years ago and today her relationships with her classmates are stronger because of it.
“It has been a wonderful way to support Meredith while also staying in touch with my class,” says Hires. “It has been another way to continue relationships that began so many years ago.”
Hires had a great experience as a Meredith student, and for her it is important to find ways to give back and support current and future students so they can have outstanding experiences as well.
As the gift agent, Hires communicates what is happening at Meredith to her class on a regular basis. She enjoys hearing back from people when those emails are sent and also enjoys planning and participating in Alumnae Reunion. These activities have kept them connected.
One friendship the class has always cherished was with Ellen Rumley, who passed away during their senior year in a car accident. The class’s senior gift was a gazebo by the lake in memory of Rumley. In 2013, it was time for it to be refurbished. Hires said she didn’t have to do much other than spread the word and track their progress toward their goal.
“The Class of 1977 is a special group of people who readily stepped up to honor Ellen’s memory as they do every year to support Meredith. As our class gift, the gazebo is our way of making sure Ellen is not forgotten.”
Kitty Furches Rumley, Ellen’s mother, challenged them to match her $10,000 gift to the gazebo. The class was able to exceed the challenge and together they raised over $20,000 for the project.
Classes normally raise funds for projects during their reunion years, and although 2013 was not a reunion year for the Class of 1977, they believe the gazebo will be a gathering spot for the campus community for years to come, allowing their special classmate to always be remembered.