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March 28 , 2006
CONTACT: Ron Podell
734.487.4400
Ron.Podell@emich.edu

EMU to induct four into COE Alumni Hall of Fame

YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University will honor four EMU graduates for their work in the field of education by inducting them into the College of Education Alumni Hall of Fame.

The ceremony will take place Friday, March 31, in EMU’s Porter Building. A reception begins at 4:15 p.m., followed by the induction ceremony at 5 p.m. The Hall of Fame has honored 31 educators since it was first established five years ago.

Those eligible for the Hall of Fame include alumni of the University who have distinguished themselves in the field of education or alumni of the College of Education who have distinguished themselves in education or other professions.

"The Education Alumni Hall of Fame gives us an opportunity to recognize our alumni who have contributed significantly to the field of education, at both state and national levels," said Vernon Polite, dean of the College of Education. "These individuals have taken and applied our philosophy and mission with them in all of their work. We are honored to recognize them in our ceremony this spring."

This year's honorees are:

Samuel Yarger who has dedicated his life to education, starting in the late 1950s as an elementary school teacher, school psychologist and elementary school principal in Michigan. He received his master of arts degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1959 and earned his doctorate in educational psychology at Wayne State University in 1968. Yarger served as professor and dean at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; associate dean at Syracuse University; and professor and dean at the University of Miami. Under his leadership, the education programs at these universities flourished and continue to credit their success to him. Yarger died in November 2005.

Floyd Clack received a master of arts degree in counseling from Eastern Michigan University in 1972. Clack served the Flint Public Schools as a counselor and teacher for 22 years. Additionally, he was a member of the Genesee County Board of Commissioners for eight years; served as a state representative in the Michigan House of Representatives for 14 years; was a member of the Flint City Council for three years; and was a president of the Flint Branch NAACP. Governor Jennifer M. Granholm appointed him to the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents in 2005.

Michael Flanagan received his master of arts degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1974. The State Board of Education appointed him state superintendent of public instruction in 2005. Previously, Flanagan served as the executive director of the Michigan Association of School Administrators and served on the board of the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators. For seven years, he served as the superintendent of the Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency, where he placed a strong emphasis on rising to the challenge of educating children living in poverty. Additionally, Flanagan served as superintendent of the Farmington/Farmington Hills School District in Michigan for five years; was a member of former Michigan Governor John Engler's Reading Plan for the Michigan Council; and was appointed education commissioner on the Detroit 300 Commission by former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer.

Mary Lou Durbin received her state limited degree and certificate, and her bachelor  of science degree from Michigan State Normal College in 1947 and 1952, respectively. She received her master of arts and specialist degrees from Eastern Michigan University in 1960 and 1966, respectively. Durbin earned a doctorate in education from the University of Michigan in 1977. For more than 50 years, she has used her professional experience, joined with a background in classroom teaching and administration in special education, to help elementary students realize their potential and self worth. For her extensive contributions to education and the community, Durbin was given special tribute by former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, former Michigan Governor John Engler and three members of Congress.

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.

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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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