Mary Catherine Flythe
Mary Catherine FlytheTo the casual observer, Mary Catherine Flythe appears to be a soft spoken, gentle woman with a welcome smile and reserved personality. While she is certainly all of those things, what the casual observer would never suspect is that Mary Catherine and a friend spent 12 months sailing from New Orleans through the Caribbean to South America and back, she spent six months driving cross-country to complete her visits to all 50 states, she went to Africa alone to experience a safari, she is an avid tennis player and she works for the Institute of Defense Analyses – War gaming, data-base applications, DISA telecommunication services; nuclear, biological, and chemical casualty estimations. Obviously, the casual observer could not begin to imagine the “real” Mary Catherine.
In 1967, Mary Catherine graduated suma cum laude from NC Wesleyan College. While at NC Wesleyan, she earned a BS in mathematics and in 1969, she received her master’s degree in abstract mathematics from LSU. Mary Catherine credits the professors at NCWC for helping her discover her passion for what has become and exciting and rewarding career.
Mary Catherine shared a story about Dr. James, an NCWC philosophy professor. The assignment was for each student to write a paper describing their personal philosophy of life. Mary Catherine said she remembered “walking the wall” for hours and days pondering that paper. Finally, she had her philosophy of life solidified and the paper was written and forgotten. Recently, while going through some old boxes, Mary Catherine discovered that paper. As she read over the paper written in 1966, she was amazed to discover that her philosophy of life had not changed.
Mary Catherine has made a gift to NC Wesleyan College every year since 1982. When asked why she was such a faithful donor she relied, “When I think back on the teachers there, the teachers inspired students to achieve. They would help in any way they could to help students reach their full potential.” Mary Catherine continues, “My education has allowed me to do what I want to do. It has provided me interesting work and that work provided me with the money to pursue my hobbies. I have always had a good life.”