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March 24, 2005
CONTACT: Anastasia Maslova

Outstanding alumni to be inducted into EMU's Education Hall of Fame April 8

YPSILANTI - A Michigan pioneer woman educator and a physics professor with a distinguished career in the U.S. and international atomic energy field are among the five Eastern Michigan University educators who will be inducted into EMU's Education Alumni Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony will be April 8, 4-5:30 p.m., in the College of Education's Porter building on EMU's main campus in Ypsilanti. The ceremony is free and open to public.

The Education Alumni Hall of Fame honors EMU graduates who have made professional contributions to the education field in national, state and local arenas. This marks the fifth year the College has honored EMU educators. A total of twenty-six honorees have been inducted since 2001.

Alane Starko, interim dean of the College of Education, said the COE faculty committee wanted to honor alumni from across the College's history. The committee reviewed 50 nominees, including previous nominees who were not selected the year their names were submitted.

"This year's candidates represent the wide range of contributions of the College of Education's alumni, across time and in many fields of endeavor," said Starko. "Each honoree has pioneered some aspect of their chosen field. I believe this represents the best of Eastern's graduates, using their knowledge and skills to create something new or to make the world a better place."

This year's honorees are:

Patricia Dignan, of Ypsilanti, ('70). Before receiving her master of arts degree at Eastern Michigan University in 1970, Dignan taught at the elementary and secondary levels, and served as director of Headstart programs in Michigan and California. She also co-founded Michigan's first alternative education program for middle and high school students. Dignan earned her graduate degrees from the University of Michigan (1982) and Detroit College of Law (1994). She was the first female superintendent in school districts in both Michigan and the greater Washington, D.C. area. Dignan also served as dean of Washtenaw Technical Middle School and as executive director for student achievement and accountability in Detroit.   Her career achievements have earned her numerous honors and awards.  

Julia Ann King, 1858. Born in 1838, Julia Ann King graduated with her teaching certificate from Michigan State Normal School in 1858. Shortly after that, she was appointed by the state superintendent to organize a graded school in St. Claire, where she served as high school principal.   King then became high school principal in Lansing and soon led all the Lansing area schools.   Later, she was appointed head of the Ladies Department at Kalamazo College. In 1881, King was named preceptress at Michigan State Normal School, a position comparable to dean of women. She was named head of Normal's History Department, a position she was in for 27 years. King retired in 1915. She died in 1919. The first residence hall on campus, completed in 1939, is named in her honor.     

Dean Rockwell, of Ypsilanti   ('35). While at Michigan State Normal College, Rockwell competed in football, track and wrestling and was president of Phi Sigma Epsilon and the Men's Union. After graduating in 1935, he taught and coached various sports at three Michigan high schools. Rockwell joined the U.S. Navy in 1942. He earned American and French awards for valor after he successfully led a group of soldiers in the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944.

In 1945, Rockwell returned to Michigan and received a graduate degree from the University of Michigan. He continued to coach, leading the U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling team in the 1964 Olympics and chairing the National Amateur Athletic Union Wrestling Committee from 1966-68. From 1985-91, Rockwell chaired the committee responsible for bringing the Geddes Town Hall School to EMU's campus, a project he considers his major EMU achievement.

Gerald Tape, of Bethesda, Md. ('35). Gerald Tape received his bachelor's degree from Michigan State Normal College in 1935 and earned his master's and doctorate degrees in physics from the University of Michigan in 1936 and 1940, respectively. Tape began his career in 1939 as an assistant professor of physics at Cornell University. During the 1960s, Tape became involved in all facets of nuclear power, advising the U.S. government at the most senior levels.   From 1963-69, he served on the Atomic Energy Commission and was responsible for the U.S. nuclear weapons program. From 1973-77, he was U.S. ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria.

Tape's services have consistently been in high demand by various governmental organizations. His untiring attention to details, constant integrity and "common sense" approach have been important components in the success of the modern relationship between government and science.

Ingrid Saunders Jones , of Atlanta, Ga. ('73). Jones is senior vice president of corporate external affairs for The Coca-Cola Company and chairperson of The Coca-Cola Foundation. Jones received a bachelor's degree in education from Michigan State University. In 1973, she earned a master's degree in education from EMU. Before moving to Atlanta, Jones taught at Detroit-area schools and served as executive director of the Detroit/Wayne County Child Care Coordinating Council.

A teacher by training, Jones has remained committed to education and community development.

Through the Coca-Cola Foundation, Jones leads the company's philanthropic commitment to education. Under her leadership, the Foundation contributed more than $100 million to education, including scholarships and initiatives to increase the academic success of students in public and secondary schools.

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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