We are frequently asked how Meredith is really doing (well, thank you!) and what alumnae can do to ensure the future of the College. So, since you asked … here are a few suggestions:
- Recommend Meredith to bright, promising women. Better yet – bring them to campus or to Discover Meredith, an annual event that’s designed for alumnae to introduce talented students to our community. The next generation of Meredith students is all around us, and you are in a unique position to help us identify them.
- Read Meredith Magazine, and check meredith.edu, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other postings faithfully. Tell your friends and colleagues about the great work going on at Meredith College.
- Wear your ring. Its distinctiveness connects alumnae around the world. And if you do not yet have a ring, you can order one online at jostens.com. You might also consider giving to the College in consecutive years, which earns you a spot in the Onyx Society (and a distinctive decal for your car).
- Tell your Meredith story. If Meredith provided you with friends of a lifetime, a fantastic career path, or any of a dozen other benefits, be sure to tell others. Share your stories with us as well – send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We love hearing from you and often feature alumnae in our magazine and on our website.
- Respond to our alumnae surveys. Your feedback provides evidence of the quality education you received here. (Did you know that 99% of our alumnae agree there are important benefits to attending a women’s college? That 99% would recommend Meredith to prospective students? That 96% would attend Meredith if they could start college over again? That 98% were satisfied with their academic experience here?) We use such talking points to attract high-quality students, faculty, and staff to Meredith.
- Answer the call. Current students staff our phone-a-thon each year, eager to ask alumnae about their cherished memories at Meredith and share their own stories and the good news of Meredith today. I have no doubt you will enjoy your brief conversations with them.
- Engage or re-engage with Meredith. We hope you attend alumnae events in your area and Alumnae Reunion Weekend with your classmates. You might also consider a Meredith Travels opportunity. We do the hard work of investigating, scheduling, and pricing our trips to blend educational, scenic, and cultural adventures with that special Meredith touch. Come travel with Meredith Angels. Reconnect at alumnae events. Better yet? Make any of these options a group experience with your own set of friends!
- Update your accomplishments in the Class Notes section of Meredith Magazine. Your friends love hearing your news and may find it a comfortable nudge to reconnect.
- Help us host a Meredith event. Whether an alumnae get-together, a picnic for potential students, or a senior-send-off for students who are Meredith-bound, sharing time with others who love (or ought to learn about) Meredith College is powerful.
- Include mentions of Meredith in your company, nonprofit, or local media stories about you. Got a promotion? Mention that you went to Meredith. Elected to office? Include Meredith in your bio. A wedding in your future? Be sure to cite Meredith as your alma mater.
- Offer geographic support and guidance. Many students and young alumnae find working outside North Carolina attractive. Can you help students find internships with your company – or with key employers in your area? Would you volunteer to be a regional contact for a student who is interviewing in your area? Your kindness could make a real difference to a sister alumna.
- See if your company matches charitable contributions (especially to colleges/universities who prepared great employees like you!). Many companies do so, and Meredith is grateful for these special gifts. See if your company has already established this practice. If not, consider talking with top leaders to see if they would do so.
These ideas will all help Meredith thrive. If I could make just one more suggestion … it would be to give generously. Too many women’s colleges are struggling, have gone coed, or closed altogether. Meredith is blessed that we do not have the dire problems facing other colleges. That said, we see our expenses continuing to rise (after dramatic budget cuts during the recession), and we know some of our students and their families are struggling to pay their tuition.
If you do give – thank you! No gift is too small to matter to Meredith College. That said, no gift is too LARGE either! If you will be increasing your gift this year (maybe double it? or add another zero?), we thank you. If you are considering a lifetime gift (estate or planned gift, trust, or annuity), we would like to talk with you about the tax and estate benefits – in addition to the meaningful impact such gifts make at Meredith.
Most of all, knowing that you are proud of your alma mater and eager to tell your Meredith story is the greatest evidence we have of the power of a Meredith experience … and the best assurance we have that the College will continue Going Strong.
Jo Allen, ’80, President