Eastern Michigan University to honor three alumni at April Commencement

by Ward Mullens, Published February 16, 2010

YPSILANTI — Former EMU Regent Timothy Dyer (’61, ’65),  former EMU track star Daniel McClory (’81, ’82) and EMU legend Kenneth “Red” Simmons (’33) will be awarded honorary degrees at the Eastern Michigan University Commencement April 25.

McClory will speak during the morning commencement.  Dyer will speak during the afternoon commencement.

The action was approved by the EMU Board of Regents at its regular meeting today.

Dyer served in the educational field as a teacher and principal and was mayor of Ypsilanti from 1968 to 1970. He simultaneously held positions as the superintendent of the Wayne-Westland school district and on the EMU Board of Regents (1973-1983), before he left the state to become superintendent of the nation's largest high school district, in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1990, Dyer accepted the position of executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, serving in that capacity until 1998.

For the last seven years, McClory has served as a managing director for Hunter Wise Financial Group, LLC, in Irvine, Calif., which provides mid-market investment banking services from offices in the U.S., the United Kingdom, China and Canada. McClory, of Royal Oak, Michigan, was a three-time captain and four-year letterman on the men's track and field and cross country teams (1977-79). He was also a writer for The Eastern Echo and a founding member of the University Ambassadors Society. He turned in his top performance for EMU as a junior cross country runner in 1979 when he was the top EMU runner and 45th overall at the NCAA District Championship. That same year, he finished 19th overall at the Mid-American Conference Men's Cross Country Championship.

Simmons’ love of sports began at a young age and led him to success as a competitor, coach, mentor, and innovator. A championship athlete at Redford High School, he also enjoyed success at Michigan State Normal College, winning three varsity letters in track, the intramural boxing championship, and the wrestling championship (three times).

After retiring from the Detroit Police Department, Simmons began teaching at the University of Michigan, served as the assistant track coach, and started the first Ann Arbor women’s track club because of his belief in women’s right to compete in athletics. The team won numerous state AAU championships, and Simmons was asked to start a U of M women’s track team, which won seven national championships and 19 state championships.

A former member of the EMU Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, he was elected to the EMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978 and was the first person elected to the U of M Women’s Track and Field Hall of Fame.

Simmons turned 100 years old in January.

Ward Mullens

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