Founders’ Day; Annual celebration of the founding of Meredith College


Legacies Classification
Memorial Event
Memorial Type
Commemorative Events
Memorial Context
Memorialized Subject
Founders’ Day; Annual celebration of the founding of Meredith College
Background and Context
Founders’ Day is an annual event at Meredith College that celebrates the founding of the college, and previously had a focus on the founders of the institution. The event was created at the suggestion of R.T. Vann for the establishment of a Founders’ Day, which would be scheduled for sometime in January. The first Founders’ Day event took place in 1909 and has taken place every year since, though the date of celebration varied until it was set in stone as February 27th in 1966. Celebrations often had associates of the university or major figures in North Carolina give speeches that would often commemorate the college’s founders: Thomas Meredith, Oliver Stringfield, and Leonidas Polk. Meredith, who suggested the creation of a Baptist women’s college in the early 19th century and became the college’s namesake, was a pro-slavery antebellum minister and slaveholder. Stringfield, who helped fund the college, supported the North Carolina White Supremacy Campaign of 1898. Polk, who reintroduced the idea of establishing a Baptist college for women, was a slaveowner and had ties to the Confederacy. Founders’ Day 1910 gave special attention to Thomas Meredith; a memorial wreath was placed on his grave located in City Cemetery, and similar memorials were done sporadically. Celebrations also often saw the dedication of buildings, such as the dormitories and the auditorium. In recent years, celebrations have shifted away from the founders and now resemble a birthday party or fundraising opportunity for the college .
Meredith College; Raleigh, North Carolina
Creator/Participating Person(s)
Date created, installed or dedicated
28 January 1909
Date Modified
Campus Location
Johnson Hall
Location: Institution, City, State

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