For the first time, a Meredith College graduate will lead it.
The private women's college has named Jo Allen to be its 8th president. Allen, a 1980 graduate of Meredith, takes over July 1, succeeding Maureen Hartford, who retires after a 12-year tenure.
Allen was introduced to faculty, students and staff today in a mid-day ceremony in Jones Auditorium.
An English scholar, Allen is the current provost and executive vice president at Widener University, located in Chester, Pa., with branch campuses in Pennsylvania and Delaware.
A native of LaGrange, N.C., - between Goldsboro and Kinston - Allen earned her master's degree from East Carolina and her doctorate from Oklahoma State and taught at ECU and N.C. State prior to moving to Widener.
Allen, 53, was lauded for visionary leadership at Widener, where she helped craft a 10-year strategic plan.
She'll have a similar charge at her alma mater.
"We wanted someone who could bring the world to Meredith and bring Meredith to the world," said Elizabeth Triplett Beam, who chaired the search committee.