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Meredith Brokaw '60 Delivers Address at Cottey Commencement

Meredith Auld Brokaw was the honored speaker at the 128th Commencement at Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri. Brokaw, a South Dakota native, attended Cottey in 1958-1959 and this was her first return visit to the College since she was a student.

Brokaw noted in her address that some things about the physical appearance of the College had changed from 1959, but the things she valued most from her time as a student were still evident. Cottey has maintained its focus on educating women to become successful at whatever they wish to do. Whether a woman chooses to concentrate on a career or family or both, Cottey graduates are prepared to make the right choices for themselves and to be successful with those choices. Brokaw told the students that her daughters did not have the same limitations women of her generation faced, and today's graduates enter a world with even more opportunities for women.

"We were so honored to have a speaker of Mrs. Brokaw's quality address our graduates," said Dr. Judy R. Rogers, president of Cottey College. "She is a highly accomplished woman and is a great example for our students, their families, guests, and the alumnae who had the privilege of hearing her speak."

Brokaw was involved for 16 years as vice-chair of Conservation International, a field-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect the earth's living heritage and its global biodiversity.

She is also on the board of Maloto, Inc., whose mission is to transform the lives of children and women living in extreme poverty in northern Malawi by supporting programs that feed, educate, and empower. Brokaw established the tomato canning project initiative, a micro finance business, which is partnered with the Kwithu Women's Group.

Brokaw is an emeritus board member of WNET and was chair of their Education Committee for over ten years. She was also a director of the Gannett Company for 18 years.

Founder and operator until 1999 of Penny Whistle Toys in New York City, she also wrote eight Penny Whistle books for children. In 2006 she co-authored a cookbook titled Big Sky Cooking.

A native of Yankton, South Dakota, Meredith is married to Tom Brokaw of NBC News. They have three daughters and four granddaughters.

Cottey College is an independent, liberal arts and sciences college for women with two-year and selected four-year programs. Located in Nevada, Missouri, the College's student population of 350 typically represents 40 states and 24 countries annually. The College is owned by the P.E.O. Sisterhood, an international women's organization of approximately 250,000 members, making Cottey the only nonsectarian college in the United States owned and supported by women for women.