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Meredith Myth Busters, Part 2: Dolls

Johnson Hall at Meredith College
Photo by Madison Sholar

Meredith Myth Busters is back and discussing another aspect of Meredith’s campus that has some mysterious elements: the Margaret Bright Doll Collection. For many years, the Meredith senior class has presented the Meredith College Alumnae Association with a doll on Class Day that represents both the clothing style and the unique accomplishments that each particular class went through during their time at Meredith.

“Since 1936, each graduating class of Meredith College has dressed a doll in a fashion reflective of that class’s time at Meredith,” Vice President for College Programs Jean Jackson said. “Once that tradition took hold, classes fashioned dresses for each of all the earlier classes, from the first graduates in 1902 to those who finished in 1935.”

Dr. Jackson continued by providing that Margaret Bright, Class of 1907 and first director of the doll gallery, “used to wash and iron the dolls’ dresses, as well as making any needed repairs each year before Class Day.”

Many of these dolls are located on the third floor of Johnson Hall, and there have been some murmurs of the dolls being haunted, with rumors of the dolls making noise. Dr. Jackson emphasized that, although the dolls stare at those who walk by them, she has never personally had any spooky instances with the doll collection.

“I’ve been in Johnson Hall at all hours of the day and throughout the night for many years — and have never yet had any encounter with the dolls or any other person or thing to suggest the building is haunted,” Dr. Jackson said.

Dr. Jackson wished to add that “there is not any other college with a collection like this one — created each year by seniors, eager to tell the story of their time at Meredith. From simple dresses to dolls who come with jewelry, gear and names, the dolls tell their stories and are a reminder, when alumnae visit the College, of the challenges, the fun and the friends they made during their undergraduate years.”

For anyone who wishes to learn more about the Margaret Bright Doll Collection, click here.

We’re calling this Meredith myth: busted. Have you heard any myths or legends regarding Meredith College that you want busted? Email The Meredith Herald ( or DM The Herald on Instagram (@meredith_herald).

By Hannah Porter, Opinion Editor


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