Kent and Scott Carrington’s mother, Kay Perkins Carrington, ’87, attended Meredith College as an adult learner and her sons say she loved Meredith and enjoyed her time spent on campus.
“My mother found the Meredith community extremely friendly and accepting. Although she was in her 50s while attending, she never felt as if she did not fit in,” said Kent.
After Kay’s death in 2017, Kent informed the College of his mother’s wish to leave a gift to Meredith from her estate. Her two sons realized after her passing that she had not put the request in her will, but they wanted to honor her wishes. The Carrington family wanted their gift to be used in a manner that would make the most impact and chose the College’s Greatest Needs fund, for which the College is very grateful.
Giving to this fund allows the College to address the most pressing needs on campus. Examples of past unrestricted gifts or those designated for the greatest needs of the College include the creation of StrongPoints®, renovations to the StrengthsLab, new roofs, new carpet and paint in various buildings, new chillers, new seating in the Cate Center, faculty development, and support for students going to professional conferences.
Kay was born in Climax, Georgia, in 1931. She met her husband, John Carrington while working as a civilian for the US Army at Fort Benning, Georgia, in the early 1950s. They married in 1955 after John’s discharge from the Army and moved to New Jersey where Kay worked for the Campbell Soup Company in the personnel department.
In 1962 she left Campbell to become a homemaker. That same year Kay, her husband, and a close friend used their savings to buy Sirchie Fingerprint Laboratories, a three-employee business that manufactured crime scene investigation equipment. Over the next 40 years, the company would grow to 100 employees worldwide.
The family, including their two sons, moved to Raleigh in 1975. Kay eventually decided to attend Meredith and graduated in 1987 with a degree in political science. Her degree along with her desire to help others served her through the years. She became active with the Wake County Republican Party, serving as chairman in the 1980s, and was a presidential elector for North Carolina in 1992. She was also appointed as a board member of First Flight Centennial Foundation by Governor Jim Martin. Kay was a volunteer with the USO from the early 2000s and was a supporter and donor for the Wounded Warrior Project, the Gary Sinise Foundation, and the Veterans Leadership Council of North Carolina - Cares.
During Alumnae Reunion Weekend in May, the Office of Institutional Advancement presented the Meredith Memorial Philanthropy Award to Kay Perkins Carrington and her family for their gift that will help the Meredith community continue going strong.