The Daisy Edmister Teacher Support Fund
The Daisy Edmister Teacher Support Fund, established by Mr. Russell Edmister, honors the memory of his mother, Daisy M. Edmister. The Fund offers an award of $75 to currently-employed, full-time, K-12 and community college teachers who attend Adventures in Ideas seminars. Attending educators will receive an application at the event to submit at the end of the program in order to receive the $75 award. (A check will be mailed to the participant post-seminar.) Teachers can receive one stipend per semester and must attend all hours of the seminar in order to receive the stipend. (Please note that awards are not offered at Carolina K-12 events, since they are free of charge.) For more information, please call 919.962.1544.
About Daisy Edmister
The Daisy Edmister Fund for K-12 teachers honors the mother of Rusty Edmister, a long-serving member of the Carolina Public Humanities External Advisory Board.
Daisy Elizabeth Moore (1919-2005) was born in Craven County, NC. She grew up on her parents’ farm and attended public schools in rural Craven County, graduating from Dover High School in 1936 (there were only 11 grades in those days). She went on to a cosmetology school in Greenville and later took her hair dressing skills to Chapel Hill. She worked for many years at a Franklin St. salon called the “Beauty Box.” She also met Keith Seymour Edmister (1920-1950), who came to UNC from upstate New York and graduated from Carolina’s business school in June 1942. They married in Chapel Hill three weeks after his graduation.
Keith Edmister joined the US army and became an officer in the Adjutant General’s Corps. He was assigned to a post in Boston, where he and Daisy spent the next three years. Edmister joined Dunn & Bradstreet after the war and the family (which soon included two young sons) moved to Charlotte. Daisy managed the household there until her husband died of cancer at a very young age in 1950.
Daisy and Keith Edmister both believed in the value of education. Keith was the first member of his branch of the family to attend college, and he was buried with his UNC class ring. This strong Carolina connection suggests why Daisy moved back to Chapel Hill. She wanted her sons, Rusty and Greg, to earn UNC degrees, and this dream was fulfilled when they went on to graduate in 1966 and 1969 from Carolina’s Business School. Daisy Edmister treasured the value of education, though she was never able to attain a college degree herself. After working long days in the “Beauty Box” during the early 1950s, she attended a Durham business school in the evenings to learn bookkeeping skills. This education opened an opportunity for her to work more than 30 years in the UNC Utilities Department.
Raising her sons as a hard-working single mother, Daisy pushed her children to do well in school. She constantly stressed the importance of completing homework assignments, behaving appropriately in the classroom, and paying close attention to the teachers. Her children’s education was a central concern in her life, and Daisy made great sacrifices to ensure that they could complete a college education. When she passed away in 2005, it made perfect sense to honor her memory by supporting the work of the North Carolina teachers she deeply admired. The Daisy Edmister Fund was therefore created to thank, honor, and give back to those who continue to provide the kind of education that was Daisy’s highest priority for her own children and for others in North Carolina.