How Planning is Making Strong Women (and Meredith!) Even Stronger

Like many of you, I keep a “to do” list that helps me plan my days. And, yes, occasionally I cheat. I add an item or two that I can quickly accomplish just to enjoy the satisfaction of checking it off. (That helps offset the days when I don’t get to check off anything.)

The “to do” list for Meredith is our strategic plan that lays out the College’s priorities for the next several years. Titled Meredith Forever, the plan has created great energy, collaboration, and vision for Meredith College. Most of all it has brought us focus; for in the absence of a plan, it is hard to agree on what needs to be on the list, in what order, and with what anticipated results to fully achieve our goals of strengthening the College.

Now in our second year of implementing the plan, I am delighted to report that we are making significant progress on its priorities, and the results are impressive: our largest fundraising year in history (over $18 million), our largest endowment in history (over $93 million), and our second largest class in history (471, compared to our largest class of 477). And our reinvigoration of the adult education program, Wings (formerly known as 23+ and Continuing Education), is already gaining momentum with a $1.7 million planned gift and a $780,000 realized gift to jumpstart the program with scholarships and operating funds.

Another key area of emphasis has been the roll-out of StrongPoints®, Meredith’s signature program that provides individualized coaching for each student, based on her strengths. Academic and experiential advising, combined with financial and career planning, are helping students understand how plans help them stay focused on the important decisions leading to timely graduation, minimal debt, and satisfying careers and lives after Meredith.

Other goals in our plan focus on enrollment, financial strength, facilities, and quality of life; and we are making steady progress on each of those goals. Of course, the celebration of the successful new brand – Meredith College | Going Strong – is the icing on the cake.

Ultimately, the plan requires that we focus on what Meredith has always done best: help strong, bright, engaged women build on their strengths to become even stronger. That success, coupled with the solid educational, financial, and community-centered foundations of the College, are the building blocks of our strength as we head toward our 125th anniversary in 2016. We are excited that our path to the future echoes our legacy of strength, mirrors our ongoing commitment to excellence, and projects our strongest possible future.

In short, the plan is working and we are checking off our “to do’s” – all to ensure that Meredith continues Going Strong.

Originally published in Meredith Magazine, Spring 2015

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330