In Memoriam: John W. Porter, 1931-2012

John W. Porter, the former president of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, died late last month in Ann Arbor. He was 80 years old.

Dr. Porter was elected the 17th president of Eastern Michigan University in 1979 and served in that post for a decade. During his tenure, enrollments increased significantly. He established the College of Technology and the College of Business and created the university’s first doctoral program in educational leadership.

A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Dr. Porter was a graduate of Albion College in Michigan, where he was a star basketball player. He earned a master’s degree and an educational doctorate from Michigan State University.

Before coming to EMU, Porter served as state superintendent of public instruction. After leaving the presidency of Eastern Michigan University, Dr. Porter served as superintendent of the Detroit public school system.

The John W. Porter College of Education Building at EMU is named in his honor as is an endowed chair in urban education.


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