Meredith Scholars Celebrated in Senior Send-Off

Three Meredith scholars who were awarded the College’s highest academic honor, the Full-Ride Merit Scholarship, were celebrated on Friday, April 19, 2024, as they prepare to graduate.

Emily Angel, Kate Erb, and Kendall Putnam were joined by faculty, staff, family, friends, and members of Meredith’s Executive Leadership Team at the Alumnae House.

Jean Jackson, ’75, vice president for college programs, and Jo Allen,’80, president of Meredith College, kicked off the celebration with remarks before inviting the students to speak.

President Allen emphasized the importance of Meredith’s strengths-based approach to education, saying that doing so prepares graduates for a more satisfying life.

“A life based on your strengths offers powerful steps into the knowledge, skills, activities, networks, and careers that make the most of you,” said Allen.

Each student spoke about their Meredith experience and shared personal wisdom with other scholarship recipients who were present.

Emily Angel majored in biology with minors in chemistry and Spanish. Currently employed as a medical assistant, she plans to apply to physician assistant school. She spoke about the challenges of entering college during COVID-19, saying her academic experiences were key during that difficult time.

“It was my professors and the Honors classes I was able to take, including creative writing, the science of fermentation, and queer literature that made my experience,” said Angel. “I know that I would not have had the same opportunities at a larger institution and I also would not have been able to enjoy the small class sizes and connections with professors, which have been two of my favorite things about Meredith.”

Other highlights for Angel were the friends she made through the Honors Program and travel experiences, including trips to Asheville and New York City.

“Getting to travel, with opportunities for exploration on my own, granted me the opportunity to grow in my independence and self-confidence,” she said.

Kate Erb also cited travel as an essential growth experience while at Meredith. A chemistry and biology major, she came to Meredith fully intending to study abroad. She spent a full semester in Sansepolcro, Italy, where she was able to travel most weekends to cities including Venice, Sorrento, Florence, and Rome.

After engaging in undergraduate research and presenting at Celebrating Student Achievement Day, Erb applied for the highly competitive Research Internships in Science and Engineering Program, which matches students with an internship in Germany and provides a stipend to cover expenses.

“As someone who came to Meredith in the fall of 2020, most of my labs had been online, and to compound that, I had only just officially declared my chemistry major,” said Erb. “I lacked the experience to stand out as a candidate, and when I saw the acceptance rate, I almost gave up. But I submitted my application, and the following summer, I was conducting research in organic chemistry and materials science at the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research in Dresden, Germany,” said Erb.

Kendall Putnam is a dual degree engineering student, earning a chemistry degree from Meredith and a degree in chemical engineering from NC State University.

Community was essential to her college experience, having formed strong connections through her major, her work as a tutor in the Learning Center, and her involvement in a research group at NC State.

“In the chemistry department, I found some of my best friends and some amazing mentors,” she said.

Putnam’s parents, Barbara and Jerry Putnam, said Kendall’s Meredith experience helped her become a well-rounded person.

“Meredith has been a blessing for Kendall. We’ve watched her grow her strengths, build her STEM abilities, and also be able to explore her artistic side,” said Barbara.

“We often remark she would not have succeeded in the same way at another school,” said Jerry. “She was made for Meredith, and Meredith was made for her.”

About the Scholarship

The Meredith Full-Ride Merit Scholarship is a four-year, fully-funded educational experience for exceptional student leaders at Meredith College. The scholarships are awarded to first-year students based on academic achievement, leadership, service, and character. 

Recipients are awarded full tuition, housing in residence halls, food, books, supplies, international study, and other academic enrichment programs with a total estimated value of $230,000.

Established in 2007 by a dedicated group of alumnae, the scholarship has attracted highly qualified students who thrived at Meredith and have gone on to successful careers in dentistry, law, communication, scientific research, education, and more.

Learn more about the Meredith Full-Ride Merit Scholarship

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330
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