Local/State

Peace alumni unhappy with coed change

Friday, July 22, 2011

Former Peace College students are turning to Facebook to vent after learning about big changes at their alma mater.

Thursday the school announced it will be turning coed in 2012 and changing its name. Now, alumni believe another local women's college will reap the benefits.

"Meredith is really going to benefit from this transition," 2008 graduate Hayden Miller said. "Those women that would go to Peace, that are looking for that all-women's education, they're gonna go, they're gonna look to Meredith. Especially, if they're wanting to be in the Raleigh area."

Miller is very fond of her alma mater. She still wears her college ring and even has a tattoo on her foot, but she fears the newly announced changes will impact the dynamics on campus and do away with one of the things she valued most about her college experience.

"We were very natural, very comfortable in our environment, and there wasn't pressure to look a particular way or be a particular way because of pressure from the opposite sex," Miller added.

Board trustee Beth Cherry says the decision to go coed will help increase enrollment and expand what Peace has to offer. She also says the school will still be unique.

"We are going to be diverse, we're gonna keep small classes, we are going to make a niche for us in offering single gender classes and specific courses," Cherry said.

Miller says she understands the need for change but doesn't think going coed or changing the school's name to William Peace University are good ideas.

She also wishes alumni would have been part of the process.

"We're the women of Peace and you didn't involve us in the decision," Miller added. "Now, what's happened is it's done it's happening, the end. There's no more conversation."

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