The Meredith Mission
A Documentary History
The mission of Meredith College has evolved since the College opened as the Baptist Female University in 1899. This page presents documents illustrating this evolution. What we call the "mission" today was addressed as the "aim," "intent," "purpose," or "goal" in the past. However, certain principles have been constant throughout the history of the College, namely high standards, equal opportunity for women, and an emphasis on the liberal arts.
1891: Course of Study
1891: Board of Trustees: Graduation Requirements & Degrees
Board of Trustees Minutes, Book 1, page 35 Raleigh, N.C., April 14, 1891 Graduation. We would recommend the conferring of two degrees, Artium Baccalaurea, and Artium Magistea, with great flexibility in the course required for these degrees. The A.B. course ought to involve not less than four years of study in the Department of Literature and Science, always including the Schools of English and Mathematics, with one Ancient and one Modern Language, but with the privilege of limited substitution of successful work in the Department of Fine Arts, & Technical Training in places of parts of the Department of literature and Science. The A,M, course ought ought to include one fourth more of successful study than the A.B. course, being equivalent to the mastery of the whole Department of Literature and Science including at least three languages, and allowing substitutions similar to the those mentioned above.
1899: The First Annual Announcement
It is the aim of the University to furnish to the young women of the South educational advantages equal in extent and personal value to those enjoyed by the opposite sex at as moderate cost as possible.
1899-1900: Catalog of the Baptist Female University
The ideals of the University have been hinted at. Its first intention is to provide, not simply instruction of the noblest and most thorough sort but instruction made perfect in the religion of Jesus Christ.
The purpose of this corporation is to provide for the higher education of women under Christian auspices and within a Christian context, fostering in all its activities and relationships the ideals of personal integrity, intellectual freedom, and academic excellence... This institution, a liberal arts college, shall emphasize and develop its academic program in terms of scholastic standards and service... and, as a Christian college, shall be primarily concerned to inculcate attitudes, provide activities, and promote learning calculated to deepen and broaden the Christian experience, of its students and to prepare them for maximum service in the Christian enterprise.
Meredith is a woman's college of high quality in the liberal arts -- a college in which the Christian perspective is the integrative principle of all that comprises the educational program. The purpose of Meredith College is to provide experiences through which her students will develop the Christian attitude toward the whole of life. Its intention is to provide not only thorough instruction, but also culture made perfect through the religion of Jesus Christ. In an atmosphere of freedom and commitment, students are encouraged to realize their potential as individuals, to acquire sound knowledge in the arts, sciences, humanities, and to develop skills in analytical thought and communication. ...the College seeks to prepare her students for intelligent citizenship, for productive work in the vocations and professions, for graduate and professional study, for leisure, and for homemaking.
The purpose of this corporation is to provide for the higher education of women under Christian auspices and within a Christian context, fostering in all its activities and relationships the ideals of personal integrity, intellectual freedom, and academic excellence; and to that end. to provide adequately and fully for the maintenance, management, operation, and development of a collect at Raleigh, North Carolina, under the name of Meredith College. This institution, a liberal arts college, which historically and traditionally is operated according to Baptist principles, shall emphasize and develop its academic program in terms of scholastic standards and service and shall maintain procedures implicit in an educational institution of high quality; and, as a Christian college, shall be primarily concerned to inculcate attitudes, provide activities, and promote learning calculated to deepen and broaden the Christian experience of its students and to prepare them for maximum services in the Christian enterprise.
In educating women to excel, Meredith College fosters in students integrity, independence, scholarship, and personal growth. Grounded in the liberal arts, the college values freedom and openness in the pursuit of truth and, in keeping with its Christian heritage, seeks to nurture justice and compassion. Meredith endeavors to create a supportive and diverse community in which undergraduate and graduate students learn from the past, prepare for the future, and grow in their understanding of self, others, and community. To these ends, Meredith strives to develop in students the knowledge, skills, values, and global awareness necessary to pursue careers, to assume leadership roles, to continue their education, and to lead responsible lives of work, citizenship, leisure, learning, and service.