‘Mother’ of photo workshop dies at 96

Tuesday, September 21, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:01 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

Vilia “Vi” Edom, co-founder of the internationally known Missouri Photo Workshop and Pictures of the Year contest, died Sept. 9 in Portsmouth, Va. She was 96.

Vilia Edom worked with her husband, Clifton C. Edom, who was the former head of MU’s photojournalism department, to create the workshop and contest.

“If he was the father of the workshop, she was the mother. It was a team effort,” said Zoe Smith, associate professor of journalism. “She was devoted to this place.”

Vilia Edom was assistant manager of the Missouri Press Association in Columbia for more than 30 years. She received the MU School of Journalism Gold Medal Award and the Photographic Society of America’s International Understanding Through Photography Award. She was an honorary life member of the National Press Photographers Club and the Missouri Press Women; and she was inducted into the Missouri Press Association’s Hall of Fame.

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