Eastern Michigan University

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Dyer Foundation

The Equality Research Center was established, under the name Center for the Study of Equality and Human Rights, through a planned gift from the John & Genevieve Dyer Educational Foundation and EMU alumnus and former Regent Timothy Dyer. The $1.5 million gift in Fall 2010 was made to the University for the establishment of the Dr. Timothy J. Dyer Distinguished Interdisciplinary Chair in Forensics/Debate and Human Rights. It was in direct response to this generosity that the Department of Communication, Media & Theatre Arts established the Center for the Study of Equality and Human Rights.

The activities of the Center are coordinated in the CMTA department in collaboration with EMU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center and other academic units. As part of the gift, the Chair position was established to lead the creation of the Center at EMU.

Dr. Timothy Dyer received his undergraduate and graduate degrees at EMU. He served in the education field as a teacher, debate/forensic coach, and principal and also was mayor of Ypsilanti from 1968 to 1970. In addition to senior positions in public education, Dr. Dyer also served as executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. He served on the EMU Board of Regents in 1973-1983.

In October 2011, Dr. Dyer was among the inductees to EMU Forensics Hall of Fame in recognition of his contribution and long-time support of debate and forensics as a student, coach, teacher, and administrator. 

“Hate is an evil and destructive emotion,” said Dr. Dyer. “It ignores reason and intellectual inquiry and should be eradicated whenever it raises its ugly head. The only way to do this is through educated enlightenment. We have seen over our own short history that education is the most effective way to eliminate prejudice, ignorance, discrimination and hate.”

In addition to this gift, Dr. Dyer has also sponsored campus-wide events on matters of eradication of homophobia.