Honoring the Friday Institute’s Founding Executive Director Hiller Spires

Image of Hiller Spires speaking into a microphone. A red box over the image contains the following text: Honoring the Friday Institute’s Founding Executive Director Hiller Spires. After founding the Friday Institute in 2002 and serving two terms as its executive director, Hiller Spires retired on June 1, 2022.


Hiller A. Spires, executive director of the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, associate dean and Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor of Literacy and Technology in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences at NC State’s College of Education, retired June 1, 2022, after 43 years in education and 20 years at the Friday Institute.

Spires served as the founding director for the Friday Institute from 2002-2006, collaborating with a team at the College of Education to raise $10 million to design and build a leading-edge facility on Centennial Campus, initiate $10 million in faculty-driven research programs and secure a state operations budget.

After serving as a senior research fellow for 13 years, Spires was asked to be the executive director and associate dean for the Institute in 2019.

Ida Friday, Hiller Spires and Bill Friday stand side by side
Hiller Spires with Bill and Ida Friday at the opening of the Friday Institute in 2005.


Q and A with Hiller Spires
Hiller Spires shares the history of the Friday Institute, her experience leading the organization and reflects on what she's learned over the last 20 years.
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'Make Sure You Leave a Place Better Than You Found It.' I Hope I've Been Able to Do That in the College of Education.
In this Q and A, Hiller Spires talks about how she ended up in the College of Education, what she'll miss most about it and how she hopes she is remembered.
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“Dr. Spires is a transformative leader. She and her team have partnered with us for the past four years on her Project-Based Inquiry (PBI) Global process, which supports our students to be critical thinkers, problem solvers and compassionate. Our students think of themselves as part of a global community now.”

– Shirlrona Johnson, Principal, Person Early College High School, Roxboro, NC

4 Highlights From Hiller Spires’ Second Term as Executive Director

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Person Early College Sees Success with the Project-Based Inquiry (PBI) Global Program
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