Meredith College held commencement exercises for the Class of 2015 on Saturday, May 9, 2015, in Dorton Arena.
The evening was filled with remembrances of successful years at Meredith College. This year’s commencement speaker was Meredith President Jo Allen, the first alumna to serve as Meredith’s president.
Allen began her tenure as president in July 2011, just before the Class of 2015 moved in as freshmen. This special relationship with the class prompted their officers to invite Allen to serve as their commencement speaker.
The title of Allen’s speech, How Did It Get So Late So Soon?, was inspired by how quickly the years had passed. Allen recalled important events that took place during those four years, both at Meredith and in the world. She also emphasized the kinship she feels with the Class of 2015 and all who attended Meredith.
“For the undergraduates here tonight, you welcomed me as only ‘sisters’ could do, and our stories and early days are probably rather similar,” Allen said. “I don’t know about you, but I was a little nervous, and excited, and thrilled. I saw opportunities and challenges — for you, for me, and for this College.”
To those completing graduate degrees, Allen said while their experiences may have been different from those of undergraduates, all Meredith graduates have things in common.
“You may not have participated in all our traditions, but you honor the greatest tradition of all: the excellence that is Meredith College,” Allen said.
Allen also reminded the graduates of Meredith’s focus on strengths.
“There is so much I’d like to say—one last time about the importance of knowing and building on your strengths especially in service to your passions … Strength plus passion has all the makings for a life well lived,” Allen said. “I hope you have learned the value of planning, the need for resilience when plans go awry, and the importance of supporting others on their journey.”
About the Graduates
Approximately 440 degrees were conferred by Meredith College during the ceremony. Meredith conferred Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Social Work degrees upon graduates of the undergraduate program, as well as master’s degrees in business, education, and nutrition. These include degrees completed in August 2014, December 2014, and May 2015. Undergraduate programs at Meredith are for women only, while graduate programs are coeducational.
Graduates were represented by two student speakers.
Kathleen Maloney, who received her Master of Science in nutrition, spoke on behalf of graduate students. Maloney recognized the “small but strong” community of graduate students who had “guided, inspired, supported and pushed” while she earned her degree
Senior Class President Alexis Trell spoke on behalf of the undergraduates.
“With the support of our families, Meredith’s faculty and staff, and our 2015 sisters, we have been able to overcome our obstacles and not only grow – but thrive,” Trell said. “The time has come for us to take what we have learned at Meredith College out into the world.”
Success After Meredith
Meredith 2015 graduates have been hired by companies including Credit Suisse, Biogen, Nordstrom, Merck, IBM, Capitol City Homes, BDO USA, Carolina Retina Clinic, Wake County Public Schools, Walt Disney World, and King’s College London. Others will pursue graduate degrees at universities including UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State University, Duke, Emory, George Mason, University of California at Berkeley, East Carolina University, and Campbell Law School.