Immortal Ten Class of 1902
The first ten graduates of Meredith College (then known as Baptist Female University) are often referred to as the “Immortal Ten.” Nine received Bachelor of Arts degrees and one received a Master of Arts.
1 Eliza Rebecca Wooten – First cousin of J.Y. Lux, for whom Lux Hall is named. Described by her children as a “real intellectual.”
2 Sophie Stevens Lanneau – First president of Meredith’s alumnae association. Went to China as a missionary where she founded the Wei Ling Girls School.
3 Mary Estelle Johnson – Leader in church missionary society. Organ in Jones Chapel was given in honor of her lifelong love of church music.
4 Rosa Catherine Paschal – Earned M.A. in Psychology. Taught mathematics and was first dean of students at Meredith. Became professor of mathematics and psychology at Anderson College.
5 Margaret Whitmore Shields – Studied at Radcliffe, including one class with Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan. First woman elected as Trustee of Meredith College.
6 Elizabeth Gladys Tull – An active resident of Kinston, N.C., became president of the Kinston Alumnae Club, which raised over $150 for the Ida Poteat Fund to assist students.
7 Margery Kesler (M.A.) – First of three students to receive M.A. degree. Taught science at Howard Payne College. Also studied at Columbia University and University of Montana.
8 Minnie Willis Sutton – Elected president of Class of 1902. Senior thesis titled “The Modern Poetic Drama.”
9 Elizabeth Parker – Continued her studies in art, traveling to New York and Europe. Taught art at the college level in Idaho and Missouri before returning to North Carolina.
10 Mary Ellen Perry – After graduating from Meredith, taught all grades in Millbrook, N.C., for two years and was a charter member of the Millbrook Book Club.
Going Strong Class of 2016
125 years later, ten students from the Class of 2016 are living proof that Meredith women are going strong, thanks to the College’s founders – and the groundbreaking women who were the Immortal Ten.
1 Bailey Benge – The Senior Class President and an Honors student, Teaching Fellow, and psychology major pursuing K-6 licensure. Studied abroad in Belize and taught while there.
2 Mollie Melton – A Presidential Scholar double majoring in English and environmental sustainability. Conducted research on stream erosion in an urban environment and religion and the environment.
3 Tia Joyce – A Legacy Scholar who is a triple major in biology, chemistry, and psychology. Completed several internships and has been a Resident Assistant on campus.
4 Nikki Truax – A Wings student and social work major who interned with Interact, started the No More campaign against domestic violence, and led the WINGS student organization.
5 Alla Akiyeva – A business administration major from Kazakhstan who has conducted in-depth research on data collection in collaboration with business faculty.
6 Jasmine Aguinaldo – The captain of the volleyball team and pursuing dual degrees in engineering and mathematics. Earned USA South All-Academic and All-Sportsmanship honors.
7 Meredith Hovis – An environmental sustainability major who studied in Costa Rica and was one of five students selected nationally for a summer research program.
8 Savannah Allen Johnson – 2015-16 SGA President and history major. Served as chair of Honor Council, a student advisor, and tour guide for the Admissions Office.
9 Cathi Bert-Roussel – MBA student employed full-time in corporate finance. Owns and edits Triangle Dog magazine.
10 Zainabu Otieno – An economics and accounting major and Broyhill Business Fellow who held two highly competitive summer internships in New York City with Citi.
Watch a video that takes you behind the scenes of this photo shoot: https://youtu.be/VIdyXdnIv4o