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Archives Meredith History: Timeline

College Archives

Meredith Timeline

Old Main
"Old Main", corner of Edenton and Blount Sts.


1835   North Carolina Baptist State Convention appoints a committee “to consider the establishment of a female seminary of high order.”

1838   Thomas Meredith, founder of the Biblical Recorder, calls for an institution to provide "a first-rate course of female education." Thomas Meredith history

1889   After a delay due to the Civil War and Reconstruction as well as the general lack of interest in women's education, Leonidas Polk introduces a resolution to the Convention for a Baptist female college. His resolution is adopted unanimously.

1891   The state legislature grants a charter for the Baptist Female University.

1893   To raise money for the school, Oliver Larkin Stringfield begins traveling across the state and Fannie E. S. Heck organizes the Woman's Executive Committee of the Baptist Female University. Economic conditions in the 1890s make fundraising difficult and donations often are small, many one dollar or less.

1895   Construction begins at the corner of Edenton and Blount streets in downtown Raleigh. Adolphus Bauer, who designed the governor's mansion, is the architect.

1899   Baptist Female University opens in September with nineteen faculty/staff members and more than 200 students. James C. Blasingame is president. A college year is three terms of three months each. Room and board costs $36 per term, and tuition is $17.50, with additional fees for music and art.

1900   President Blasingame resigns after one year and Richard Tilman Vann is chosen to lead the University. An accident at a cane mill when he was a child resulted in the loss of both hands and most of his arms. Despite this, he obtained an education and was a respected pastor and teacher.

1902   The first ten students graduate in May; these women are referred to as "The Immortal Ten."  History of "The Immortal Ten"

1904   Trustees change name from Baptist Female University to Baptist University for Women. Students publish the first yearbook, Oak Leaves.

1905   Student government, one of the first in the South, is initiated.

1906   The tradition of the hiding of the Crook begins. Crook history

1907   In 1900, there had been a debt of $43,000, but by 1907, the University has an endowment of $37,000 and has grown to include six buildings and a library of 2,000 volumes. Students publish a literary magazine, The Acorn.

1909   To honor Thomas Meredith, trustees change the name to Meredith College. College name history

1915   After fifteen years, Dr. Vann (who wrote the words and music to Meredith's "Alma Mater") retires. During his presidency, enrollment increased to almost 400 and the endowment to $127,000. Charles Edward Brewer, professor of chemistry at Wake Forest College, is selected as third president. 1915 also is the first year of Stunt.

1919   Student handbook contains a welcome letter to "Little Sis Class."

1921   Meredith is admitted to Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The Twig, the student newspaper, begins; it will be renamed Meredith Herald in 1986.

1923   Kappa Nu Sigma, scholastic honor society, is organized on campus by Dr. Helen Hull Law, professor of Latin and Greek.

1924   Graduates become eligible for membership in the American Association of University Women. The faculty presents Alice in Wonderland to entertain their students. Construction of a new campus begins on Hillsborough Street, despite the objections of some who think this site is too close to State College.

1926   In January, students return from Christmas holidays to the new campus with six Georgian-style buildings that form a quadrangle: an administration building, a cafeteria, and four dormitories.

1928   Association of American Universities places Meredith on its list of approved colleges.

1939   President Brewer retires. He oversaw the construction of and move to the new campus; enrollment has increased to almost 600. Dr. Carlyle Campbell is named fourth president.

1944   Baptist State Convention rejects proposals to merge Meredith and Wake Forest College.

1945   The first Cornhuskin' is held at Meredith. Cornhuskin' history

1947   The Honor Code is adopted.

1949   Jones Auditorium is dedicated.

1953   Grimmer Alumnae House is built.

1956   Joyner Hall for liberal arts is completed.

1959   Hunter Hall opens for science classes. The building is renovated as a home for departments of Human Environmental Sciences (formerly Home Economics) and Foreign Languages & Literatures. Sciences are moved to the new Science and Mathematics Building.

1960   Brewer House is built for students of home economics.

1962   Carroll Health Center and Poteat Residence Hall are completed.

1964   Dr. Norma Rose is the speaker at the first Faculty Distinguished Lecture. The newly completed McIver Amphitheater is used for Class Day.

1966   Dr. Campbell steps down. During his twenty-seven years, enrollment has increased to almost 1,000. Dr. Bruce Heilman becomes Meredith's fifth president.

1968   The first African American students enroll; in 1971 Gwendolyn Matthews Hilliard becomes the first African American to graduate.

1969   The library moves from Johnson Hall to the new Carlyle Campbell Library; a sixth dormitory, Heilman, is added. Library history

1970   Weatherspoon Physical Education Building opens.

1971   Dr. Heilman resigns as president. He is credited with continuing high academic standards, increasing faculty compensation and the number of faculty with doctorates, and expanding the student body by 44%.

1972   Dr. John E. Weems becomes president. Two new buildings are added: Massey House President's Residence and Barefoot Dormitory. The Continuing Education Program begins.

1973   Eric Charles Rust is the speaker at the first Staley Distinguished Christian Scholar Lecture.

1974   Cate Student Center is dedicated; Meredith names first female vice-president, Dr. Sandra Thomas. This is the first summer of Meredith Abroad.

1975   Varsity volleyball program is launched.

1977   Wainwright Music Building is dedicated.

1978   Sir Harold Wilson is the speaker at the first Lillian Parker Wallace Lecture. The lecture series continues to bring notable speakers to campus, which have included Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Sandra Day O’Connor.

1979   The Paralegal Program begins.

1982   Jones Chapel and Harris Building are completed. Meredith College becomes a full member of NCAA Division III.

1983   Meredith begins offering master's degrees in business, education, and music.

1984   The Honors Program begins.

1985   Mary E. Yarbrough Research Center is dedicated.

1987   Gaddy-Hamrick Art Center opens.

1988   The Graduate Program is named John E. Weems Graduate School. Meredith is chosen to participate in the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program. When funding for the state program ends in 2012, Meredith launches its own program, the Meredith Teaching Fellows.

1991   Meredith celebrates its centennial anniversary.  Also, the Brewer House was converted to the Ellen Brewer Lab Home for Infants and Toddlers to serve as a model of quality care for young children.  

1993   CamCards are issued to Meredith students. Campbell Library gets its first computerized online library system.

1994   Ledford Hall is dedicated.

1995   Meredith Autism Program begins.

1996   Park Center opens.

1997   Association for Black Awareness changes its name to Association for Cultural Awareness. Meredith and Baptist State Convention formally redefine their relationship.

1999   The twenty-seven year Weems presidency ends; during these years, the size of both the student body and the faculty nearly double. Dr. Maureen A. Hartford is chosen as first female president.

2001   Meredith Technology Initiative begins, providing laptop computers for incoming students. Through the leadership of Elizabeth Triplett Beam, '72, and Ione Kemp Knight, '43, the Alumnae Legacy Steering Committee begins work on establishing Meredith's first full-tuition merit scholarship. Meredith is the first women's college in the nation to become a campus-based site for the LeaderShape Institute.

2002   Four men graduate from the M.B.A. program, becoming the first men in the College's history to earn degrees.

2003   Science and Mathematics Building opens. Since becoming president, Dr. Hartford has introduced four initiatives: Science and Mathematics, Undergraduate Research Opportunities, Meredith Technology, and Service Learning and Leadership. Meredith remains the largest private college in the Southeast for women.

2004   The Campaign for Meredith, the College's largest fundraising initiative, enters its public phase with a goal of raising $33.5 million.

2005   Cross Country is added to the College's intercollegiate athletic program.

2007   The Campaign for Meredith concludes, raising more than $41.5 million. The campaign exceeded its goal by over $8 million.
The Alumnae Legacy Steering Committee awards the first Meredith Legacy Scholarships to Sarah Beth Phelps, '11, and Erin Huber, '11. Meredith Avenging Angels join the USA South Conference.

2009   Meredith opens a permanent international site in Sansepolcro, Italy. The largest first-year class in the College's history enrolls.
The newly constructed LEED-certified apartments, The Oaks, and athletic field and track complex open on campus.

2010   The School of Business earns Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation. Meredith is only one of two women's colleges in the world accredited by AACSB International.

2011   Dr. Jo Allen becomes Meredith's 8th president on July 1, 2011. Dr. Allen is the first Meredith graduate to hold the office. Dr. Jo Allen history

2012   The Board of Trustees approves Meredith Forever, the College's three-year rolling strategic plan. Lacrosse is added to the College's athletic offerings.

2013   The first TEDx Meredith College is held on campus.

Meredith launches the Meredith College | Going Strong brand initiative.

2014   The College announced StrongPoints®, an advising and personal coaching program designed to help students maximize their college experience.

2015   Johnson Hall  was renovated and the new Ammons Welcome Center was created.

Meredith launched Stronger U, personal and professional development programs for women.

2016   Meredith added track and field as its eighth varsity sport. 

Meredith celebrated the beginning of its 125th anniversary year.

2018   Meredith launched after-school care program.

2019   Carlyle Campbell Library celebrates 50 years in building.

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