Emily Couric, a two-term Virginia State Senator, had just embarked upon a statewide campaign for Lieutenant Governor when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, to which she eventually succumbed. While undergoing treatment for her disease, she continued representing her constituents in the 25th District and was elected to serve as General Chair of the Democratic Party in Virginia.
Widely regarded as a rising star in Virginia politics, all the experts predicted Emily Couric would have been elected the first woman to serve as Governor of Virginia.
A strong advocate for public education and health care issues, Sen. Couric’s legislative accomplishments include bills establishing the Advanced Mathematics and Technology Diploma Seal for high school graduates, the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative to support research and rehabilitation for victims of spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, and the nation’s first state law mandating insurance coverage for colorectal cancer screening.
Numerous organizations recognized Sen. Couric with awards for her work in the General Assembly, including the Virginia School Boards Association, Virginia Technology Education Association, Northern Virginia and Piedmont Virginia Technology Councils, American College of Gastroenterology, Virginia State Fraternal Order of Police, Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge, Virginia Women’s Forum, and Virginia Press Women.
Prior to her election to the General Assembly in 1995, Sen. Couric served on the Charlottesville School Board from 1985-1991, including one term as chair. She was a member of several community boards and organizations, among them the Boys & Girls Club, Charlottesville Area School Business Alliance, Jefferson Area Board for Aging, Virginia National Bank, Virginia Festival of the Book, Heritage Repertory Theatre, WVPT Public Television, Camp Holiday Trails, and Downtown Charlottesville Inc.
A writer and journalist, Sen. Couric previously worked as an author specializing in articles and books about the legal profession. She received the first place prize for non-fiction from the National Association of Press Women for her book, The Trial Lawyers: The Nation’s Top Litigators Tell How They Win.
Throughout her life, Emily Couric epitomized a passionate commitment to continuous learning and public service. One of her last projects was to establish the Emily Couric Leadership Scholarships, as a way to honor and inspire young women in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. An inspiration with her grace, warmth, intelligence, and courage, Emily motivated young people to embrace civic involvement.