On a night honoring her achievements, North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall told a Meredith College audience about “stumbling blocks and stepping stones” she had encountered during her career.
While walking the audience through her path from college, to teaching, to practicing law, and then to politics, Marshall offered words of wisdom for those following in her footsteps.
“The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is up to you, it’s what you make of it,” Marshall said. “Never let others define your limits.”
Marshall is Meredith’s 2017 Woman of Achievement Award recipient. During a public lecture held on February 27, Meredith President Jo Allen presented Marshall with the award, which recognizes women who are inspirational role models.
Marshall, who is the first woman to be elected to statewide office in North Carolina, said “I have always seen boundaries that marked a ‘woman’s place’ and fought against them. You are never wrong to demand equality.”
A former member of the Meredith Board of Trustees, Marshall noted that her connections to the College “began almost from the moment [she] arrived in Raleigh.”
“This place is like another home to me,” Marshall said. “Meredith is a place where each woman is honored and respected for her gifts.”
She encouraged Meredith students not to be stopped by roadblocks in their own lives.
“You were not made to live a timid life,” Marshall said. “I want to see your names in the news as North Carolina leaders.”
The Woman of Achievement event was presented in observance of Founders’ Day by The Presidential Lecture Series at Meredith College and by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. Previous recipients include former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarah Parker, journalist Judy Woodruff, Tony Award-winning choreographer Twyla Tharp, and environmentalist Celine Cousteau.