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Nov. 18, 2008
CONTACT: Ron Podell
ron.podell@emich.edu 734.487.4400

EMU regents grant emeritus status to five faculty, four staff members

YPSILANTI — The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents granted emeritus status to five former faculty and four staff members at its regular meeting Nov. 18. To be awarded emeritus status, faculty must have served EMU for at least 15 years and be nominated for emeritus faculty status upon retirement. Staff members who have at least 15 years of service may be nominated for emeritus status upon retirement.

The faculty members granted emeritus status are:

Richard Fairfield, professor of art, who retired in 2008 after 45 years of service.  Fairfield, of Ypsilanti, was an inspiring and challenging influence on thousands of undergraduate and graduate students who took classes in printmaking, drawing and collage, many of whom achieved success after graduation as educators and artists.

Fairfield received his master’s degree from the University of Illinois and his bachelor’s degree from Bradley University.

John  McManus, associate professor of psychology, who retired in 2008 after 27 years of service. McManus, of Canton, taught Intelligence Testing, Adolescent Psychology, Adjustment and his most popular course, Stress and Relaxation, a course he developed.  Whether he taught the class on campus or in Traverse City, McManus was often seen leading his class in deep meditation with the lights turned off and candles in the room, or wearing a toga or Superman costume to emphasize the cognitive awareness to promote good mental health.

McManus received his doctorate, master’s degree and bachelor’s degree, all from Ohio State University.

Mary Meernik, assistant professor in Halle Library, who retired in 2007 after 20 years of service. Meernik, of Ann Arbor, was head of cataloging for 15 years and played a role in many innovations, including implementation of the NOTIS and Voyager online systems. She also coordinated the library’s assessment and evaluation activities.

Meernik received her master’s degree in library science from the University of Michigan and her bachelor’s degree in history from Aquinas College.

Crystal Mills, professor of social worker, who retired in 2008 after 16 years of service.  Mills, of West Bloomfield, has been responsible for strengthening the School of Social Work’s relationships with many community agencies and securing federal, state and private funding for joint research projects. Mills had a strong commitment to students, served as director of the master’s of social work program and chaired a variety of committees.

Mills received her doctorate in social work and social psychology; her master’s degree in interpersonal practice; and her bachelor’s degree in psychology, all from the University of Michigan.

Walter Parry, professor of mathematics, who retired in 2008 after 24 years of service. Parry, a resident of Ann Arbor, has served in numerous capacities in the department, as chair of the Math Area Committee for many years, as chair and main organizer of many search committees, and as a graduate adviser. Parry won a Distinguished Faculty Award for Research, was awarded several Faculty Research Fellowships and received seven sabbatical leave awards.

Parry received his doctorate from the University of California-Berkeley and his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.

Staff members granted emeritus status are:

Daryl Hendricks, group leader of skilled trades at the physical plant. Hendricks, who retired in July, was employed at Eastern Michigan for 36 years. A resident of Willis, Hendricks was known as a one-stop repairman for many people on campus. Hendricks began at EMU as a custodian and took classes for two years. Hendricks eventually moved to servicing the motor pool and then to the welding/fabrication and body shop at the physical plant. There, he serviced and repaired the equipment for athletics, food service and skilled trades.

Mary Niehaus, secretary for the College of Business. Niehaus, who retired in September after 22 years, worked in the undergraduate programs office, with a focus in student support functions in undergraduate advising.

Niehaus, of Ypsilanti, received her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University.

Alexandrine Stanford, senior secretary (library payroll manager), who retired in 2008 after 26 years of service. She provided assistance to the university librarian and associate university librarian, and had excellent knowledge of the policies and procedures of the department.

Sanford, a Milan resident, received her associate’s degree from Washtenaw Community College.

Jean Wallace, library assistant III in Halle Library, who retired in 2008 after 18 years of service. Wallace came to EMU in 1989 and worked in the auxiliary services department. She later moved to the library as the library’s time and attendance secretary. She moved to Halle Library in 1998 and worked in ICT until 2003. She finished out her career at EMU working in the library client service area.

Wallace received her master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado.


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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