Former Meredith Parents Give in Honor of Faculty Member

Photo: Diane Ellis, Faculty Distinguished Lecture, 2019

Bobby and Franny Beasley saw first-hand how a student’s relationship with a professor affects their college experience. The positive experience their daughter, Lindsay Beasley, ’13, had at Meredith with Diane Ellis, Beasley’s fashion merchandising professor, was transformative and helped her both inside and outside the classroom.

“Diane was extraordinary on both a personal and professional basis,” said Bobby. “On a personal level, her students felt like she cared about each of them, and if they were one of her students, they were always one of her students, even after graduation. She was always giving of her time both at the College and at her home where she would often invite them for dinner or to make pies for school fundraisers. On a professional level, her reputation within the world of fashion was impeccable and far-reaching and afforded her students incredible opportunities as interns with world-famous clothing designers and luxury retailers.”

Ellis taught fashion merchandising at Meredith from 1982-2022. In honor of her retirement, the Beasleys created the Diane Rosen Ellis Faculty Development Fund. The gift was made in honor of Ellis in appreciation and support of her dedication to the fashion merchandising and design major. It will be awarded annually to a faculty member for professional development in the Department of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.

“Our decision to establish an endowment to benefit professors was clear cut. Students choose to attend a college for multiple reasons, but once they are on campus, the relationship they develop with their professors can dictate their academic success, the direction they choose following graduation, and their memories about their college experience,” said Franny.

The Beasleys hope faculty will realize they are appreciated, and that this initial gift will be the seed to grow this endowment into something even larger and more meaningful to the College.

Melyssa Allen

News Director
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