Meredith College held its 2018 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 12 at 7 p.m. in Dorton Arena. The many academic achievements of the Class of 2018 were celebrated during the ceremony with approximately 490 degrees conferred. Speakers highlighted the importance of graduates finding their purpose,
believing in themselves, and using their experiences to make a global impact.
The commencement address was given by Adrienne Cole, ’93, president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. Cole is the first woman to lead the 129-year-old organization. The chamber is the second-largest business chamber in the state.
In her speech, Cole reflected on her Meredith commencement 25 years ago and shared with the graduates the lessons she has learned along the way: Be open to uncertainty. Trust in your competence. Do not underestimate yourselves. Try not to fear failure. Be open to opportunities and seize them when they come. And raise your hand.
“I am very confident about the future – because I know that the Meredith Class of 2018 is ready to take on every challenge, overcome every obstacle, and vigorously embrace every opportunity. Our communities, companies, and organizations need you.”
She reminded the graduates that their education won’t end with commencement.
“Keep learning, keep inquiring, keep questioning, keep challenging conventional wisdom, and keep growing. Wherever life takes you, remember you are strong. Meredith strong.”
The graduates were represented by two student speakers, one undergraduate and one graduate.
Frances Ellison White spoke on behalf of the master’s candidates. White, who received her Master of Science in Nutrition, spoke to the graduates about the importance of finding their purpose and understanding the WHY behind their actions.
“Understanding our motive serves as the compass for the rest our lives. It transcends jobs, industries, and careers. In graduate school, it can be easy to lose sight of WHY we do what we do because we focus on WHAT we need to do to complete an assignment or get a good grade. While they are important, my professors and the experiences that I had at Meredith always brought me back to my purpose.”
Kelsie Anne Taylor, president of the Class of 2018, spoke on the great accomplishments of the graduates and reflected on the past four years, reminding the class, “the framework you have established here at Meredith provides a firm foundation – and the direction you choose to take on your journey through life remains in your control.”
She encouraged her classmates to remember what Meredith provided them.
“I hope that you will never forget what Meredith College has taught us; we are able to succeed, able to prosper, and most importantly, able to believe in ourselves. I know that every one of you in front of me today will continue to Go Strong as we take this next step in each of our own journeys.”