Bill and Ida Friday walk together down the street with a dog

We are proud to be named in honor of William Friday, former president of the University of North Carolina system, and his wife, Ida, who were passionate advocates and leaders in education for over 50 years. Bill Friday was a visionary leader and a guiding force for public education in North Carolina as well as an education advisor to Presidents Johnson and Carter. Similarly, Ida Friday promoted the arts through her work with a number of North Carolina organizations. The state of North Carolina honored Dr. and Mrs. Friday with the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine for their extraordinary service in 2004. 

When Dr. Friday first met with our founding and current executive director, Dr. Hiller A. Spires, he said to always remember two things:

1) Talk with teachers first. Teachers are the heart and soul of our educational system. They deserve all the support we can provide.

2) Make sure you reach out and develop relationships with our rural and underserved schools across North Carolina.

These two things have been constant guideposts, and we strive to continue the work and spirit of Bill and Ida Friday. Learn more about Bill Friday in this biography.