Board President Emeritus
Rita Heard Days
Rita Heard Days was born October 16, 1950 in Minden, Louisiana. She was educated in the public schools of Webster Parish. Upon graduating from high school, Rita came to Lincoln University to study music.
Rita was elected State Representative from the 71st District in St. Louis County in a special
election in November, 1993. She became the first Black woman elected to the legislature from
St. Louis County. Prior to that, she served nine years on the Normandy School Board of
Education. Three years after being elected to the House, she was elected Majority Whip by her
colleagues, a position she held for the remainder of her time in the House of Representatives.
In 2002, Rita was elected to the Missouri Senate becoming the first Black Senator from St. Louis
County. While serving in the legislature, Senator Days sponsored or co-sponsored legislation
regarding education, healthcare, adoptions, elections, special school districts, water bonds and
Senator Days has served on a number of boards and commissions including Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club, Black Leadership Roundtable, Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, Division of Youth Services Advisory Board, 353 Great Streets Natural Bridge Urban Redevelopment Corporation, a member of SLAVI (St. Louis Area Voting Initiative) and is the immediate past President of the Lincoln University Foundation.
In 2011, she was appointed Director of Elections for St. Louis County by then Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, and served for four years. After leaving the elections board, Rita served as Community Liaison for the Missouri Housing Development Commission.
Rita is a member of New Sunny Mount Missionary Baptist Church, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Lincoln University Alumni Association.
Rita is a mother of Elliott, Natalie and Evelyn and the grandmother of Zachary Elliott, Justice, Alexander, Jackson Ryan and Austin Franklin.