WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., – October 24, 2023 – Jeraldine “Jeri” Dailey was a professor of Mathematics at West Liberty State College from 1965 until 1998. She also served as an advisor to the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Following her retirement, the “Jeri Dailey Mathematics Scholarship” was established in her honor by several of her former students.
In October 2021, Jeri passed away. Students and colleagues continue to remember Jeri with yearly contributions to the scholarship fund in an effort to move the scholarship to the level of endowment so it can be awarded to WLU students in perpetuity. Most recently, an anonymous pledge of $25,000 was made to match gifts to the scholarship fund in memory of Jeri Dailey.
A former student and friend, Eve (Kaplan) Wallin noted, “In the late 1960s, Jeri was the only female professor in the department of Mathematics and Science, and I was the lone female student in Mathematics. As a professor, Jeri was serious about instructing and finding a way to reach her students. She mentored male and female students alike, and I appreciated being one of them. I continued to keep in touch after graduation, remaining friends over the years. When Jeri passed away, my husband and I inherited Jeri’s extensive book collection. Going through the collection, we found notes and inscriptions from former students and sorority members.’ Eve said, ‘Empowering math students at WLU with scholarship support is a wonderful way to continue Jeri’s legacy.”
Jeri Dailey was fondly recalled by former student John Wheeler when she passed away in 2021. “Miss Dailey was my advisor, teacher, colleague, and friend. I wasn’t even certain I wanted to go to college. She steered me into the ‘comprehensive mathematics degree program and encouraged me while I commuted, worked full-time, and got married the summer before my senior year. I graduated on time, secured a great job, and I told her many times that none of that would have occurred without her pushing and encouragement.”
Dailey’s impact was also felt by Michele “Mickey” Zdinak Strayer, a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, “Ms. Daily taught me how to be gracious, kind, and understanding. She befriended each of us. She would listen, nod, and then smile with a twinkle in her eye giving her wise counsel. She didn’t lose her cool, even when we did silly things. I don’t know how she did it. Each of us had our own story, but she brought all of us together as a unit to represent the best of Alpha Delta Pi.”
Debbie Campa, a 1990 graduate said of Dailey, “Over the years, I have always thought about Professor Dailey. She was the teacher in my life that when people ask, ‘Which teacher was your favorite in school?’ She is the only person I name. She was tough, but I learned so much from her. As a teacher myself, I appreciate her dedication to the profession. She will not be forgotten.”
Betsy Delk, Executive Director of the West Liberty Foundation, is grateful for this generous matching pledge. “It is always heartening to learn of the impact that WLU faculty members have had on their students’ lives. Jeri Dailey was clearly a dedicated educator and good friend. We hope that the generosity of this matching pledge will inspire other students, friends, and advisees of Jeri to make a contribution in her memory.”
Gifts to the Jeri Dailey Mathematics Scholarship Fund at the West Liberty University Foundation will be matched up to $25,000 and can be made by online at wlufoundation.org, via mail at WLU Foundation, 208 University Drive, College Union Box 126, West Liberty, WV 26003 or via phone at 304-336-5686. For questions/information, contact Betsy Delk, firstname.lastname@example.org.