In my brief 19 years in the world, I have come across a small handful of people who have shown me the world like other people could not. These people have opened up the possibilities of the world to me in ways almost undescribable, or uncapturable by words. In showing me what is possible out there, in the great big popsicle stand that is the world, they too have touched the great big popsicle in my chest: my heart. Meredith Wohl: a radio executive, The Rival at CofC founder and sloth admirer extraordinaire is the most recent and perhaps most poignant inductee into this Milesian Hall of Touching. Uncompromisingly upbeat and endearingly enthusiastic, this kickass lady does not believe in the word settle and refuses to let anything stop her from opening opportunities for her peers and her friends, two groups which to Meredith are almost indistinguishable. I feel personally thankful to her for simply being: I see in her everything I’ve always wanted to be and some things I never knew I valued. From introducing me to the world of radio through CisternYard and allowing me to share my voice and refine my skills here at The Rival, my gratitude to her overflows, and I can only hope to do her justice in this profile.
My initial idea for this profile was to transcribe our interview and share it word for word, but halfway through the process I knew that I could never capture her essence, her “Meredithness” through that medium. I feel that she is owed much more than that.
Our conversation started with her humble beginnings at The College. She preceded this story with her famous Meredithian smile and a warning to buckle up. She came to Charleston for the first time for Accepted Students Weekend, a College sponsored program to allow incoming freshman a “first taste” of the collegiate life, and attended a CisternYard Radio party while staying overnight with a fellow Jew through the Jewish Studies program. She found herself in the position that all those musically inclined hope to find themselves — party DJ — and knocked it so far out of the park that she scored herself a paid job offer with CYR (CisternYard Radio) if she attended The College.
As is common with incoming freshman, Meredith’s academic expectations did not come to a reality. She planned on going pre-law with political science thrown in there somewhere, but ended up finding her niche in communication and history. She told me how this cross section of study allowed her to do all the things she loves, like participating in debates on issues important to her, engaging meaningfully with the world of music, and participating in groups where everyone brings something different to the table. She makes a special point of the latter, and indeed I think it’s one of Meredith’s most attractive qualities: never before have I ever met someone so selflessly exuberant about amplifying people’s diverse opinions in order to make something great. She told me about how not only did The College satisfy her desire for a strong mixture of campus and city life, but also her particular attraction to civil war history.
Noting that the topic is something of a niche field, I asked what drew her attention to this seemingly dry field. In typical “Meredith” fashion, her answer was informed and inspiring. She spoke to me in great length about her childhood and early education, from her adoption by her loving parents and the dissatisfaction with the public school system, and how that dissatisfaction led her homeschooling and an eventual family road trip where she and parents drove throughout the South visiting the battlegrounds and historical sites of the Civil War, following the march of the generals and accompanied by the very same general’s notes and letters. Her fascination with her field of choice is indicative of both her personality and her point of view. To most, civil war history is a dull, yawn-inducing field, but her unyielding exuberance and relentless thirst for knowledge shines through.
Her exuberance for all things shows most in our final question, where we spoke about The Rival and her time at CisternYard Radio. The General Manager for CYR and Director of Content here at The Rival, she has made the decision to not seek the General Managership for her last year. After three years of direction, and a correlating track record of unparalleled growth, Meredith spoke passionately and excitedly, if not with a slight touch of nostalgic satisfaction unique to those who can reflect on years of good work, about how the most important thing to her is that she be a vehicle for other’s growth and a selfless arbiter of mentorship, teaching and direction. I of course felt extremely prideful at this, as it is her doings that led me to her office as a staff writer for this great publication.
I struggle to find Meredith’s best quality because all of them compete for the title. She is kind, kickass, and unwaveringly kooky; she doesn’t take bullshit and does not stand for mediocrity; she is funny, forgiving and fair.
She is Meredith Fucking Wohl.