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April 24, 2006
CONTACT: Nancy Mida
734.481.2325
nancy.mida@emich.edu

Thorne gift funds two endowed scholarships in special education at Eastern Michigan University

YPSILANTI — A $72,000 gift from the estate of Anne (Merriman) Thorne, a longtime area resident, will fund two scholarships in special education for Eastern Michigan University students. Thorne, who graduated from Michigan State Normal School (now EMU) in 1931, taught her entire career in the Dearborn schools, where she also created the system’s speech therapy department and curriculum. She died in 2005.

The Anne Thorne Memorial Endowed Scholarships will benefit students studying hearing impaired education, and speech/language pathology in EMU’s College of Education.

Thorne dedicated her life to children with speech impairments and often volunteered her time tutoring them. She also was a longtime volunteer with the American Red Cross.

She was married to the late Dolph Thorne, an Ypsilanti businessman who owned Thorne Tire and Appliance. Both Thornes were enthusiastic boosters and sponsors of area sports groups.

“Anne Thorne always appreciated her days as a student at Eastern Michigan University and what better tribute than this lasting gift,” said Peter B. Fletcher, trustee of Thorne’s estate and a lifelong friend.

“These funds represent the only scholarships designated for majors in hearing impairment, and the only graduate-level designated scholarship in speech/language pathology,” said Lynne Rocklage, professor and department head of special education at EMU.

“Anne Thorne’s gift will provide scholarship support for many outstanding students in these areas. Each of the scholarship award winners will further Anne Thorne’s legacy as a practicing professional in the field of special education. On behalf of the department’s faculty, staff and students, I wish to express our gratitude to Anne Thorne for this bequest,” Rocklage added.

EMU’s Department of Special Education was the first such department west of the Alleghenies.  It remains one of the largest departments of its kind in the nation. The department prepares professionals at all levels, to work with and advocate for children, adolescents and adults with disabilities. 

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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