Institutional Advancement held a Scholarship and Donor Recognition Dinner on March 23, 2023, at the Embassy Suites in Cary, N.C. The dinner honored Meredith donors who give graciously to Meredith College and gave students receiving scholarships the opportunity to thank donors for supporting their education. More than 250 people were in attendance including the Board of Trustees.
Sonia Chrostowski, ‘23, gave a welcome and introduced all the speakers, including President Jo Allen, ‘80. Chrostowski is a senior majoring in business and a scholarship recipient.
President Allen highlighted recent successes at Meredith such as the student success coaches, the ninth year of StrongPoints, our highly successful Giving Day on February 28 in which 65% of gifts were designated for scholarships, the CHESS building opening, continuing work on the anti-racism initiative, and the success stories of students studying abroad to name a few.
“I applaud the givers in this room and how they have supported our students on their journey,” said Allen.
David Branch, a member of the Board of Trustees, was the donor who spoke at the event. Branch is a practicing attorney in his hometown of Lumberton, N.C., and his wife JoAnne Williams Branch, ‘83, and his daughter Elizabeth Hartley Branch, ‘18, both graduated from Meredith. Branch said his daughter developed courage and strength in so many ways during her time at Meredith. Her education, lifelong friends, and the time to not be afraid to try new things made her the person she is today.
“She would not have gained those experiences anywhere but Meredith College and JoAnne and I are proud that she is a dynamic first-grade teacher now.”
Branch and his wife are grateful to help young women attend Meredith. “We are pleased to provide in some small way and give another young woman the gift to attend Meredith. Our gifts and others’ gifts invest in young women,” said Branch.
Alexandria Rosenzweig, ‘23, was the student speaker. Rosenzweig is majoring in business and economics and is the recipient of several scholarships that made her student experience possible.
“Throughout these past four years, I have been the recipient of numerous scholarships such as an academic merit scholarship, Rumley-Promise, study abroad, honors, and other donor-supported scholarships. I could not be more thankful for the kindness of strangers whose support for the College has given me the chance to pursue a phenomenal education and lighten my financial burden.”
Rosenzweig had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy for three months which was made possible through donor support.
“As an art history minor, it was incredible to study this discipline in the heart of art history and world creativity. The opportunity to study abroad expanded my mind. Doing so allowed me to see the world through a multicultural lens that has planted a seed of adventure and travel for the rest of my life. My time in Italy was a transformative experience that would not have been possible without your support.”
Rosenzweig reflected on her four years at Meredith and says her time in College has made her strong and driven. She has grown into a campus leader as a campus tour guide, vice president of the Broyhill Fellows, and President of the Meredith Activities Board.
“Just as you have given back to the College and each of us here tonight, I hope my time on campus, both inside and outside of the classroom, demonstrates the ways in which I have given back to our Meredith community.”
Rosenzweig, ended her speech by expressing her gratitude for donor support.
“As a scholarship recipient, I have been afforded not only financial support, but it has allowed me to grow as a person and pursue my dreams. I, along with all the other student recipients here this evening, want to thank you for changing our lives for the better. I hope that you leave today with a bit more understanding of how your choices have made smiles, memories, and a positive difference in each of us,” said Rosenzweig.