By President Jo Allen, ’80
Donors who make unrestricted gifts to the “greatest needs of the college” pay us one of the highest compliments imaginable – giving financial support to the College while recognizing that not all needs are plainly visible.
As anyone in fund-raising and higher education will tell you, some gifts just go further than others. An undesignated/greatest needs gift does just that. While Meredith proudly accepts all gifts – small and large, dedicated and unrestricted – few donors get excited paying for chillers (until it is a typical 99° summer day in North Carolina!) and boilers (unless students have to take a cold shower in the middle of the winter) or for repairing cracks in sidewalks until someone trips, or for covering the costs of snow removal, ice melting, tree limb clean-ups, storm drain clogs … and a host of other financial surprises! These kinds of costs, while unexciting, can and do wreak havoc on an otherwise stable budget. Of course, we budget for contingencies and emergencies, but having gifts to cover such novelties allows us to dedicate our funds to the true mission of the College.
In the context of Beyond Strong | The Campaign for Meredith, we’d like you to know what unrestricted gifts have supported. Here is a sampling of benefits and investments delivered through unrestricted gifts or those designated for “the greatest needs of the college”:
• the creation of StrongPoints, Meredith’s signature program for all students, encouraging them to build a four-part plan (academic, experiential, financial, and career) for their time at Meredith and then helping them translate that planning skill into their lives beyond Meredith
• new carpet, paint, furnishings, and signage for the StrengthsLab, our dedicated space for helping students, faculty, and staff learn more about how to use their strengths in their work and everyday lives
• new carpet in the Human Resources department, arguably the “front door” and first impression for anyone considering employment at Meredith College
• a refreshing carpet change, paint job, and seating for the entrance lobby to Cate Center, another campus location that hosts students and guests throughout the year
• architectural design work for areas needing upgrades (e.g., Weatherspoon, Kresge Auditorium, Barefoot Residence Hall, and Jones Chapel)
• work to expand the fitness center (equipment, space redesign, open hour staffing)
• advertising purchases (e.g., Downton Abbey, billboards, and mailers)
• a new roof for Ledford Hall
• a small discretionary fund to support students going to professional conferences, conducting unique research projects, and taking advantage of other exceptional opportunities for development.
As you continue to support Meredith, we are always happy to discuss our needs with you. If, however, you find this kind of drama just too exciting to contemplate, we will continue to make the catch-all phrase “the greatest needs of the college” an option for your designation. And we thank you for your gift more than you know!