by Amanda Skowronek, Published September 25, 2013
YPSILANTI—The Eastern Michigan University Foundation Board of Trustees elected alumnus and former Regent Timothy Dyer to the Board, and named John Bodary, Dale Heydlauff and Jeanne Merlanti emeritus members. Alumnus Patrick Barry, Jr., president-elect of the EMU Alumni Association, was appointed by the Alumni Association as one of the seven appointed positions on the Board.
Dyer, who resides in Phoenix, Ariz., received his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Eastern. He served in the education field as a teacher, debate/forensic coach, and school principal and also 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, Ariz. In 1990, Dyer accepted the position of executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, serving in that capacity until 1998.
In October 2011, 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.
Dyer pledged a $1.5 million planned gift to the University for the establishment of the Dr. Timothy J. Dyer Distinguished Interdisciplinary Chair in Forensics/Debate and Human Rights in the fall of 2010. The Chair led to the creation of the Center for the Study and Research of Equality and Human Rights in the College of Arts and Sciences. The activities of the Center are coordinated in the Department of Communication, Media & Theatre Arts in collaboration with Eastern's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center and other academic units. The funds will be bequeathed to the University from his estate upon his death.
Bodary, president of Woods Construction, Inc. and a 1984 alumnus of the University, served on the board for three full terms. He was a member of several committees, including the Development and Trusteeship, as well as a member of the Eagle Crest Board. He has been a member of the College of Technology’s Executive Board since 2002. He and his wife, Michelle, are very active with EMU and established the John and Michelle Bodary/Woods Construction Endowed Scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students in the Construction Management program.
Heydlauff, vice president of corporate communications for American Electric Power, is a 1978 alumnus of EMU. He served three terms and served as the co-chairperson for Eastern Michigan’s first comprehensive campaign. He also served as vice chairperson of the Board. Heydlauff was pivotal in the establishment of the Michael G. Morris Endowed Chair, by the AEP Foundation in the College of Education. He and his wife, Gloria, established the Heydlauff Student Excellence Award and are generous supporters of several areas on campus, including the Undergraduate Symposium and Forensics.
Merlanti, a former consultant and past president of Personnel Systems Inc., served for 10 years and is a member of the College of Business Advisory Board. She and her husband, Ernest, established the Ernest and Jeanne Merlanti Endowed Scholarship and the Merlanti Business Ethics Program.
Barry (BS71, MA73) is an active alumnus as a member of the EMU Alumni Association and the founding member of the Communication Media and Theatre Arts Alumni Chapter. The CMTA Alumni Chapter is the largest chapter in the Alumni Association, with 1,400 members. He has spent 43 years teaching and is currently a part-time lecturer in the CMTA department and specializes in public speaking. He and his wife, Cheryl, have two children and reside in Livonia during the academic year and Glen Arbor in the summer months.
The EMU Foundation is a private, nonprofit corporation that increases private support and manages endowment assets for the benefit of Eastern Michigan University.