GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
A JOINT RESOLUTION HONORING THE LIFE AND MEMORY OF THOMAS MEREDITH, ON THE OCCASION OF THE CENTENNIAL OF THE GRANTING OF THE CHARTER TO BAPTIST FEMALE UNIVERSITY (MEREDITH COLLEGE) BY THE NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
Whereas, Thomas Meredith was valedictorian of the graduating class of the University of Pennsylvania in 1816; and
Whereas, Thomas Meredith came to Edenton in 1817 as a missionary to North Carolina; and
Whereas, Thomas Meredith founded and began regular publication of the Biblical Recorder in 1835 in New Bern and moved it to Raleigh in 1838; and
Whereas, Thomas Meredith served on a committee appointed by the North Carolina Baptist State Convention at its 1835 session held at Union Camp Ground in Rowan County to study the establishment of a female seminary; and
Whereas, Thomas Meredith continued to serve on that committee which in 1836 acknowledged " 'the great importance of female education' " and urged " 'upon the Baptist public generally to avail themselves, as far as their circumstances will allow, of the facilities now in existence for cultivating the minds of their daughters in order to raise up a generation of women who shall employ all that influence and control which are conceded to them in every civilized and Christian country, on the side of liberal sentiment and to sway the minds of men in behalf of virtue and religion;' " and
Whereas, Thomas Meredith authored a resolution adopted by the Baptist State Convention on November 6, 1838, which argued in part, " 'that there are but few female schools of much standing in our State -... that our people are therefore compelled either to keep their daughters at home uneducated, or send them to other states, at an enormous expense and much inconvenience-constitute, in the view of your committee, sufficient evidence that a seminary adapted to the wants of our people, and located in central part of the State, is an object much to be desired;' " and
Whereas, Thomas Meredith continued to argue for the cause of the establishment of a female seminary in the conventions which followed and in the pages of the Biblical Recorder, which he edited for 20 years; and
Whereas, Thomas Meredith argued that cause until his death in 1850; and
Whereas, Thomas Meredith's dream was realized when the 1891 North Carolina State Legislature issued a charter on February 27 for Baptist Female University; and
Whereas, Baptist Female University was opened in 1899, its name changed to Baptist University for Women in 1904, and changed once more in 1910 to Meredith College in honor of Thomas Meredith; and
Whereas, Meredith College for 100 years has held steadily to the ideals of academic integrity and religious influence cherished by its founders, trustees, faculty, staff, alumnae, and students; and
Whereas, Meredith College honors its proud heritage and expands its vision as it enters a second century of providing scholarly and spiritual education for women;
Section 1. The General Assembly honors the life and memory of Thomas Meredith, whose actions, example, ideals, and deeds led to the founding of Meredith College and joins in commemorating the centennial celebration of the issuance of its charter.
Sec. 2. The Secretary of State shall transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the President of Meredith College.
Sec. 3. This resolution is effective upon ratification.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 16th day of July, 1991.
James C. Gardner
President of the Senate
Daniel Blue, Jr.
Speaker of the House of Representatives