Four Honored at Women of Color Luncheon

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The campus and community came together Tuesday, April 5, to honor four outstanding women as part of the FS Women of Color Luncheon "A Celebration of Diversity and Achievement."

This year's honorees for the event, sponsored by the Fairmont State Office of Student Affairs, were Diana Phillips, Sandy Inghram, Persis Bates and Charlotte Meade.

"The Women of Color Luncheon is an opportunity to honor those in the community who care for other people and who treat people fairly," said Michael Belmear, Vice President for Student Affairs.

Diana Phillips has worked at FS for about 20 years, 16 of those in her current position as Program Specialist in the School of Education. In 1999, she was honored as FS Employee of the Year. She currently serves as President of the Classified Staff and as a member of the FS Board of Governors, the Salvation Army board and the Business and Professional Women organization.

Sandra Inghram worked at FS for 33 ½ years, retiring in 2002. She started her career in the Data Processing Center in 1968 and worked for 16 years in what was the Computer Center. For 17 ½ years, she worked as Administrative Secretary to the Chairs of the School of Technology. Although she is officially retired, she still works part-time in the office of the FSC&TC School of Health and Human Services. She is also a member of the Literacy Volunteers of Marion County.

Persis Bates, who graduated from FS in May 2004, was honored as the recipient of the Horace and Geraldine Belmear Outstanding African-American Academic Student.

Charlotte Meade was born in Fairmont, attended Dunbar School and graduated from Dunbar High School in 1955. She went on to attend West Virginia State College (now West Virginia State University) and graduated in 1959 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and English (grades 1-9). Meade is also a graduate of Toledo University with a master's degree in education with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction. She taught eighth-grade language arts at Robinson Junior High School in Toledo, Ohio, for 18 years. Her career also includes teaching at Fairmont Business College for two years and eighth-grade language arts at Monongah Middle School for 25 years. She retired in June 2003.

Meade is active in her local church, Trinity United Methodist Church in Fairmont, and in the W.Va. Conference of the United Methodist Church, as well as in the BMCR, the Black Caucus of the United Methodist Church. With the Rev. Richard Bowyer and Betty Hart, Meade co-wrote "Prayer in the Black Tradition" and served on the Task Force of "Songs of Zion." She is also the author of original poetry featured in the West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State folklife journal "Traditions" and a self-published book of poetry and written expressions titled "In My Time."

Meade's awards include the Distinguished Citizen of Fairmont, Marion County Teacher of the Year, The Soroptomist International of Fairmont's Woman of Distinction Award, Teacher Award from the City of Fairmont Arts and Humanities Commission and the Milken Foundation Educators Award.