Ida Friday passes away at age 97

Campus Updates – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Ida Howell Friday passed away peacefully at home on Monday, February 6, 2017. For 97 years, she was a lifelong learner, activist, and advocate for others. Ida and her late husband, Bill, who served as President of the University of North Carolina for 30 years, were married for 70 years. The couple’s influence on the University of North Carolina community was immeasurable, and Ida’s spirit lives on in many ways.
A tireless advocate for change and equality, Ida was an activist at heart, committed to women’s issues, social justice, historic preservation, and public health. She was a leading voice in the restructuring of the Compass Center for Women and Families, located in Chapel Hill. A founding member of the Community Church in 1953, Ida vowed to attend a church which embraced all people – regardless of background, race, or beliefs. She helped create the Chapel Hill Preservation Society. After earning her Masters of Public Health from Carolina, Ida endowed a scholarship to honor a professor of hers. As of 2016, 71 students have benefited from this scholarship.
With her many interests and talents, Ida believed in the tenets of lifelong learning and worked alongside her husband to promote educational access for all North Carolinians.  In honor of their efforts, the University established The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education in 1991. Operating as the University’s center for continuing education, the Friday Center serves the varied needs of adult learners through credit and noncredit course offerings and the operation of a continuing education conference facility. With over 2.5 million participants in Friday Center programming since its inception, Ida’s indelible impact to the University will continue well into the future.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts should be directed to the William and Ida Friday Fund for Lifelong Learning, providing opportunities for others to participate in lifelong learning, self-discovery, and the renewal of spirit.
Published February 9, 2017

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