Linda B. Day Memorial Scholarship honors champion for education

IN HER HONOR – Donna and John Bel Edwards (from left), Dr. Kim McAlister, Dr. Cristy Hornsby, and Dr. Katrina Jordan were on hand to announce the establishment of the Linda B. Day Memorial Scholarship.


Gov. John Bel Edwards, First Lady Donna Edwards and friends of the late Linda B. Day planted a tree in her memory on the campus of Northwestern State University Tuesday and announced the creation of the Linda B. Day Memorial Scholarship that will support students preparing for a career in education by pursuing a graduate degree in the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development.  

The tree and scholarship acknowledge Day’s dedication to the teaching profession, her work to improve the education system for all students and her desire to encourage others to become educators.  

“A two-time graduate of NSU, Mrs. Day was a model alumna who lived a life of service,” said NSU President Dr. Marcus Jones. “Mrs. Day touched the lives of so many and we are honored to be joined by the governor and first lady to hear about Mrs. Day’s life and legacy.”  

A native of Louisiana, Day was a passionate champion for education and helping all students achieve. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1967 and a graduate degree in counseling in 1978 at Northwestern and launched a career as a classroom teacher, which is where her advocacy work began.

Day went on to become an administrator with the Caddo Parish School System and later served as executive director of the Louisiana Association of Educators, then director of Louisiana Drug Policy and the Office of Drug Policy under Louisiana Attorney General Richard Ieyoub and next, commissioner to the Education Commission of the States.  

Her hard work was widely recognized. She received the LAE’s Human and Civil Rights Trailblazer Award and was selected as one of 76 delegates from the United States to attend the World Confederation of the Teaching Profession in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1993, Day was elected vice president of the National Council of State Education Associations, and in 2000, she was inducted into the first class of the NSU Hall of Distinguished Educators.   

After retiring, Day took on a new role as campaign manager for then gubernatorial candidate Edwards and became a beloved member of the Edwards family. Following a successful campaign, she served on Edwards’ transition team in 2016 and two years later, she was inducted into the Long Purple Line, NSU’s alumni hall of distinction, in recognition of her accomplishments and dedication to the community. 

Day passed away in 2019 after a nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer.  

The Linda B. Day Memorial Scholarship was established with a $10,000 gift to the NSU Foundation.  Friends can contribute to the scholarship by visiting