PITTSBORO - Ms. Emily Stewart Boyce, 80, professor emeritus and daughter of the late Joseph H. and May F. Boyce, died Tuesday evening at Galloway Ridge Arbor Healthcare.
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Growing up on a peanut/cotton farm in eastern North Carolina, Emily attended East Carolina University, where she received a bachelor's degree in library science and history and a master's degree in counseling. Later, she received the MLS degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before joining the faculty at ECU, she was a school librarian and a children's librarian in a public library. Emily also worked in the Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh, supervising all school libraries in N.C. She joined the newly created Department of Library Science in 1966, serving as chairwoman beginning in 1980. Ms. Boyce worked with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for 20 years, visiting public schools as a member of the evaluation team for SACS.
On the state level, Emily was the governor's appointee as chairwoman of the State Library Commission from 2001-03, and she also chaired the Library Services and Technology Act Advisory Committee for the State library from 1997-99. Emily chaired the Asheville-Buncombe Library System Board of Directors from 2004 until her relocation to Pittsboro in 2006.
During her career, Emily was honored by a number of organizations. In 1998, the N.C. Association of School Librarians presented her the Mary Peacock Douglas Award, recognizing outstanding efforts in promoting the development of school libraries in N.C. In 1992, the N.C. Community College Learning Resources Association presented her an Achievement Award as well as life membership in appreciation of outstanding service. In 1993, the N.C. Library Association presented her life membership in appreciation of notable contributions to librarianship at the local, state and national levels. At ECU, she is in the Educators Hall of Fame and received the Outstanding Educators Award in 1994. The Baha'is of Asheville honored Emily in 1997 as they presented her the 17th annual Human Rights Award for the promotion and practice of social progress and protection of basic human rights. ECU honored Emily again in 2007 by naming her as one of the "100 Incredible ECU Women: A Legacy of Leadership" as a part of its centennial celebration.
When Emily retired from ECU in 1992, her former students, colleagues and friends established a scholarship in her name. An award from this fund goes each year to a deserving student who is working toward a master's degree in information studies. At the same time, the department and university voted to grant her the title of professor emeritus.
After retiring in 1992 and moving to the Asheville area, Emily started a new career as a community volunteer. She served on the board of directors of the Botanical Gardens, served as president of the Board of Mediation Center, served on the Learning Resource Center Advisory Committee at A-B Technical College, and served a term on the Nursing Home Advisory Committee for the Buncombe County Commissioners. She was elected president of the board for the Asheville YWCA in 1995. In this position, she initiated a long and successful campaign to prevent the YWCA from closing and to develop a closer working relationship with the United Way. In recognition of her work with the YWCA, the board honored Emily in 2003 by naming a conference room in her honor in the renovated building. Emily also served as president of the board of the Literacy Council and served on the board of the Asheville Branch, American Association of University Women.
A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at Markham Memorial Gardens in Durham. Officiating will be the Rev. Al Fisher.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Emily S. Boyce Fellowship Fund, ECU College of Education, c/o Kendra Alexander, 2200 S. Charles Blvd., Suite 1107, Greenville, NC 27858-4353.
The Boyce family is under the care of Howerton & Bryan Funeral Home. Online condolences may be submitted at http://www.howertyonbryan.com.
Howerton & Bryan Funeral Home - Durham
1005 West Main Street Durham, NC 27701
Published in The Daily Reflector on Apr. 28, 2014