Institutional Advancement held the Scholarship and Donor Recognition dinner on Thursday, March 16, at the Embassy Suites in Cary, N.C. The dinner pairs scholarship donors and their students, allowing students the opportunity to say thank you and donors learn more about individuals they are supporting. More than 300 were in attendance at the event, with many students meeting their donors for the first time.
Sierra Smith, ʼ18, a dance and communication major, emceed the event and introduced President Jo Allen at the beginning of the program.
“One of the most powerful indicators of how a society is faring is how its women are faring. In that way, women are the bellweather for any region. Educated women, in particular, benefit from and contribute to greater economic advantages and stability in a region, greater health and safety for a community, greater confidence in more education and social advancement,” said President Allen. “In this sense, the education of women is a moral imperative and a common sense investment that benefits us all. I think a Meredith-educated woman is even more powerful because she knows her strengths and has worked to enlist them in service to her creativity, her career, her community, and her family.”
Briana Landis, ʼ19, a biology major in the honors program, spoke about how the Isa Ward Byrum scholarship had changed her life and allowed her to flourish in her first two years at Meredith. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age four and finding out in the summer of 2016 that her father had a rare kidney disease brought medical bills and worry of not being able to return to Meredith. However the scholarship allowed her to stay and thrive.
“While at Meredith, I have been able to do a lot of speaking to spread the word about Multiple Sclerosis awareness. Being in the undergraduate research program and my work with the MS Society, I am happy to announce I have a paid internship this summer at Duke with one the top MS researchers in the United States, which is truly a dream come true,” said Landis. “However, none of this would have been possible without the Byrum scholarship I received and for that, I am truly grateful.”
Mimi Mays, ʼ20, a psychology and communication major from Portland, Ore., spoke about how her grandmother, Class of 1948, first introduced her to Meredith at a young age. She knew she had to apply, but had no idea the impact Meredith would have on her in just her freshmen year. Mays received the Meredith Legacy Scholarship and has gotten to know Jerry and Joyce Causey, family members of her donor Joyce Causey, Class of 1955, very well in a short time.
“I feel blessed to be able to cultivate such a close relationship with the people who have given me such wonderful opportunities here at Meredith,” said Mays. “I feel so confident in my future, more than I ever thought I would, before I was given the privilege of coming to Meredith. And I see this confidence in so many other Meredith students. It’s absolutely infectious, and it’s all because of the people in this room.”
–Submitted by Emily Parker, Campaign Communications Manager