Alumna Helps Two Institutions with One Gift

Patricia Poe, pictured with her late husband Charles Aycock Poe, Jr., is pleased to support both Meredith College and Wake Technical Community College.

A planned gift to help Wake Technical Community College students transferring to Meredith College has been established by Patricia Poe, ’81. The scholarship will give preference to non-traditional aged students, known at Meredith as Wings students, with two or more semesters of credit at Wake Tech. The gift is the perfect way for Poe to express her appreciation for the education she received at both institutions.

In 1970, Poe left East Carolina University because she had not decided what she wanted to major in and her parents were struggling financially to pay tuition. Poe’s father mentioned the possibility of community college and the business data processing program at W.W. Holding Technical Institute, now Wake Technical Community College. The program offered an associate degree and a good possibility of a job upon completion.

“My parents wanted me to find my way as far as a career, but, like most people of that time, wanted their investment in me to pay off,” said Poe.

Approximately nine years after completing her studies at W.W. Holding Technical Institute, Poe made the decision to return to school to finish her four-year degree at Meredith.

“I wanted to study something I was totally absorbed in and something that would enrich my life.”

Meredith College was the only school that would take all of Poe’s credits at the time. One summer school session and three semesters later, she graduated with a B.A. in home economics with a focus on housing and interiors.

“Meredith valued me as a person and gave me the skills to confidently do whatever I decided to do with my future,” said Poe. “I credit Anne Dahle, advisor for adult students at the time, for helping guide me and direct me toward the field of study that became my life’s passion. Marilyn Stuber, department head of Home Economics, helped me design my course of study and Ellen Goode became my advisor and together we came up with a plan to complete my studies.”

When Poe learned from Stuber that she would be graduating she was elated and sad because she had completed one of her lifetime goals and didn’t want her time at Meredith to end.

“My teachers at Meredith had become my best friends and I learned that teachers were not there to intimidate but to encourage,” said Poe. “I think the faculty at Meredith was and is their greatest asset.”

Poe’s confidence was evident when she returned to ECU for an M.S. in housing. She graduated in 1985.

Poe says she will always feel indebted to all the faculty and counselors who helped guide her through the process of transferring to Meredith.

“When I returned to Wake Tech in 2009 for some re-tooling, I became friends with many of the young people there and realized many didn’t return for financial reasons or go on for a four-year degree. This led to my interest in helping someone change their career path as they find they have reached a place where there is no more growth or they just need a change,” said Poe.

Tom Manning, director of the Wings Program at Meredith, is very familiar with the community college system, having worked over 13 years there, including five years at Wake Tech.

“I have seen firsthand the preparedness and subsequent success of community college transfer students. I am keenly aware of community college’s value and the vast array of opportunities it affords,” says Manning. “Pat’s desire to help students transfer from Wake Tech to Meredith College through establishing this scholarship shows her commitment to helping students like herself achieve the dream of attaining higher education. It is also a strong testament to her belief in Wings students and a vote of confidence in both of these great colleges.”

Melyssa Allen

News Director
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(919) 760-8087
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