Dr. John W. Porter

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Dr. John W. Porter Ann Arbor Dr. John W. Porter, former president of Eastern Michigan University, passed away peacefully on June 27, 2012. He is survived by many loved ones, including children Earl, Valorie, John Jr., Levon, Portia (Fletcher), David, Steve and Donna (Welch), their spouses and significant other, grand children and great grandchildren. Dr. Porter is predeceased by his daughter, Mary, his wife, Lois and his parents James and Ola Mae. Dr. Porter was born in Fort Wayne Indiana, on August 13, 1931. He graduated from Central High School in 1949 earning National Honor Society Recognition and all sport honors. Dr. Porter earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Albion College in 1953, a Master of Arts degree in Counseling and Guidance (1957) and a Ph.D. in Higher Education (1962) both from Michigan State University. Dr. Porter's distinguished career in education in the State of Michigan spans over 50 years. His dedication and commitment to improving both the state and national school systems is well known. Dr. Porter began his professional career as a teacher in the Albion and Lansing school systems before joining the Michigan Department of Education. At 26, he was the youngest person and the first black professional employed in the Michigan Department of Education. In 1969, Dr. Porter was unanimously elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction by the Michigan State Board of Education. At age 38, he was the youngest Chief State School Officer in the nation and the first black State School Superintendent in the United States, since the days of reconstruction. In 1979, Dr. Porter was appointed the seventeenth President of Eastern Michigan University. During his first year of administration, Dr. Porter unveiled an ambitious plan entitled "A Decade of Advancement", a phrase which has come to describe Dr. Porter's legacy to Eastern. In 1989, upon retirement from the University, Dr. Porter joined the newly created national Board for Professional Teaching Standards. By mid spring, Dr. Porter agreed to become the general Superintendent of the Detroit Schools. The Detroit Quality Education Plan was developed, two millage campaigns were launched in an effort to stabilize and improve the urban school system over a two-year period. In 1991, Dr. Porter formed the Center for Educational Improvement as an adjunct to the Urban Education Alliance, Inc. In 1992, Dr. Porter was inducted into the Michigan Educational Hall of Fame with the following tribute "Advocate of world class standards, spokesperson for National educational goals, champion of urban education, pacesetter in school improvement and student achievement, supporter of vocational rehabilitation, standard-setter in staff retraining, innovator in accountability, legendary in higher learning, and unparalleled in state and national education". In 1999, the John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education was endowed for over $1.5M at Eastern Michigan University. In October, 1999, the University named and dedicated the new John W. Porter College of Education Building as a lasting tribute to Dr. Porter's many contributions to the field of education. In September, 2001, Dr. Porter was inducted into the Albion College Athletic Hall of Fame. In October 2006, Dr. Porter released the publication of his most recent book entitled, Educational Leadership for the 21st Century. During that same month, Dr. Porter became the recipient of the first-ever Detroit Public Television John W. Porter Leadership Award. Visitation will be held on Friday, July 6, 2012 and Saturday July 7, 2012 from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Nie Family Funeral Home, 3767 W. Liberty Rd., Ann Arbor MI 48103. A funeral service for family, close friends and associates will be held on Monday, July 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm at the Liberty Road Chapel. A memorial service may be planned at a future date. Donations can be made to one of more of the following: Eastern Michigan University (the John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education, the John W. Porter College of Education Scholarship, the John & Lois Porter College of Health and Human Services Presidential Department Scholarship, the John W. Porter Undergraduate Research Excellence Scholarship, the John W. Porter - Wade McCree Scholarship), Washtenaw Community College (the John W. Porter Scholarship), Albion College, Olivet College (Dr. John Porter Community Responsibility Scholarship), St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor Ed. Foundation and/or Huron Valley Schools Ed. Foundation. Please visit Dr. Porter's personal webpage at www.niefuneralhomes.com and leave a message for the family.

Published in Lansing State Journal on July 1, 2012
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