by Emily Vontom, Published December 14, 2011
YPSILANTI - The late Charles Eugene Beatty, Sr., an alumnus of Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University), was recently inducted into the Eastern Michigan University College of Education Hall of Fame Dec. 7.
Beatty graduated from Michigan State Normal College in 1933 where he was a track and field athlete, setting the world records for the 440-low yard hurdles and the world record for the NCAA 400-meter low hurdles. In 1940, Beatty became the first African-American school principle in Michigan at Lawrence C. Perry Elementary School in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Beatty was the primary pioneer for the development and success for Head Start programs in the United States and was instrumental in the Ypsilanti Perry Preschool Project, a project that addressed the issues of academic failure and took preventative measures by involving the community and parents in preparing young students for the future.
"He emphasized health, nutrition, family and community as being factors in school success," said Jann Joseph, dean of the College of Education at Eastern. "His ambition was to create a school where each student mattered and where school was the core of the community."
Beatty retired in 1974 after working his entire career in the Ypsilanti School District. He was inducted into the Eastern Michigan University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1976, the Michigan Education Hall of Fame in 1985 and was awarded the Washtenaw County Bar Association's Liberty Bell and Patriot Award in 1991.
"The Education Hall of Fame is the most celebrated alumni activity that the College of Education undertakes each year," said Joseph. "We honor alumni that have made a positive impact in the field of education and the world around us."