Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University
Public Guest Book • In Memoriam

Dean Vernon Polite

Thank you for visiting our memorial page. Please share your thoughts, reflections and memories of Dean Vernon Polite. Please review your comment before posting. Your comment will be shared publicly when you click "Submit." Dean Polite's bio and obituary are here.


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Bro. Vada V. Mitchell M.Div. Atl.Ga. Friday, July 2, 2010 1:21 pm

Bro.Polite, may you rest in PEACE and our spirit will always be Fraternally as one! Peace be onto you my BROTHER...

James Fisher Thursday, June 10, 2010 3:08 pm

Dr. Polite will be deeply missed. His scholarship as well as his influence within the African American academic community was widely respected. I am grateful for the encouragement and inspiration he gave me as an undergraduate male of color and later as an educator within public education. Dr. Polite's legacy and sage advice shall remain with me as I move forward in my academic aspirations. I remain, James R. Fisher, Jr.

Daryl R. Newberry Friday, April 23, 2010 11:55 am

Dear Dr. Polite, it truly was a blessing and an honor to know you. Through God's grace you came back in not only my life, but my sister's life as well full circle from Einstein Elementary school to Eastern Michigan University. From the start, you pulled us to the side and said "Is your auntie or uncle so and so?" and I'd say yes and come to find out, he grew up with my father in the same neighborhood on the East side of Detroit. Dr. Polite always told us to achieve and strive to be the best in school and life. He would have me acting roles in elementary school plays and also giving speeches in the school gymnasium. Dean Polite was a role model for many like my sister and I. My sister eventually brought me to Dr. Polite after about 20 years because she was now working for him at EMU while obtaining her master's degree! I was glad to visit him before he passed away. Thank you Dean Vernon C. Polite for everything you've done, you truly will be missed. Sincerly, Daryl R. Newberry and the family

Cathy Fleischer Thursday, April 22, 2010 2:16 pm

I remember the first time I met Vernon, at some gathering of methods teachers soon after he arrived at EMU. He walked up to me (as he did to every person there), introduced himself, and then asked all sorts of questions about what I taught, where I was from, what I thought of Eastern. From that moment on, whenever I saw him on campuseither in big meetings or just passing on the sidewalkhe remembered the things we talked about that day and so genuinely expressed interest in what I was up to. He was a wonderful bridge for those of in the College of Arts and Sciences, always supporting the work we did, always helping us to feel a true part of the unit that works with pre-service and practicing teachers. He was a lovely man, so committed to students and faculty and to issues of social justice. We miss him already.

Connie Witt Thursday, April 22, 2010 1:55 pm

I am thankful Dean Polite is no longer in pain; but for myself, for COE, COE students, and all those to whom he meant so much, I am deeply, deeply saddened. His five short years with us was not nearly long enough! There was so much more we wanted and needed from his gentle leadership; so much more this talented scholar had to offer. I think of the ideas, grant proposals and research projects that have lost their champion and hope that some of those he has mentored throughout his career will take up the banner and see many of his ideas to fruition. Maybe passing that torch and passion was part of his purpose in this life; I don't know. I only know that he touched and inspired many, myself included. I know he took time to get to know and to care about many, many students. I will always be grateful that his care for a particular international graduate student gave me the opportunity to realize one of my own and my husband's long-time wishes: to sponsor and host an international student. This student-guest is a wonderful addition to our household and it only happened because Dean Polite cared. For this and many other gifts of inspiration and insight, I thank you, Dean Polite. Watch over us and rest in heavenly peace.

Richard Douglass Thursday, April 22, 2010 11:07 am

Vernon Polite was one of the members of the EMU community who challenged us to embrace the world, and the whole of our own culture within the university. He was a champion of the faculty, a steadfast advocate for quality education, a voice for reason and fairness, and he believed in the truth. We need these qualities and his loss will not soon be replaced.

Daydawn Butler Wednesday, April 21, 2010 9:56 pm

I had not had the chance to meet Dr. Polite in person, however, I am very proud of the fact that an African American male has achieved so much in so little time at such a fine institution of education. He was well respected by all those who knew him. My prayers remain with his family, friends, students and colleagues. He will be sorely missed and his are big shoes to fill.

James Hendee Tuesday, April 20, 2010 6:19 pm

I will remember Dr. Polite because he took of his time to share with us who are in the McNair Scholar program at Eastern Michigan University. He came to speak with the McNair Scholars on the topic of education and obtaining the "Ed.D." doctorate. He was also the type of person who would come out to support the scholars when it was time for our McNair Summer Research Institute presentations. I could tell by his demeanor that he was a kind man, and took an honest and encouraging active relationship toward the education of others. He was to me a good example of an educator that cares, something we need more of in higher education faculty members today. I will remember Dr. Polite, and his example as I forge my own path in higher education. We will miss you, Dr. Polite, God Bless, as you no doubt smile down at us from heaven.

Mimi Schuttloffel Monday, April 19, 2010 3:36 pm

Vernon and I were colleagues during his tenure at the Catholic University of America. He and I worked on several projects that has us traveling around the nation. We enjoyed these times that we shared both in the professional settings and personal. He was a good friend and a wonderful human being. He will be greatly missed.

Tina Evans Monday, April 19, 2010 2:25 pm

I appreciate you guys excepting people not because of who they are but how they are and because of how smart they are.

Tina Evans Monday, April 19, 2010 2:20 pm

you are the best school ever.

Regina George Friday, April 16, 2010 9:17 am

Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make our requests known to God. then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9. This was one of Dean Polite's favorite Bible verses. We remember how he lived these words and it is a comfort to us. We are challenged to follow his example and never weary of doing good.

Abdul-Jaleel Thursday, April 15, 2010 9:11 am

I pray that the peace and blessings that only God gives was and is upon him. Dean Polite is a very good man and though he appeared to have a very stern demeanor, he is quite the warm, helpful and engaging man. I spoke to him just a few times personally with questions about pedagogy and everytime he gave a sound response. He will be missed and I hope the University recognizes the scholarly think tank we are without because it was his time to leave us. I shall also pray his family is given the peace, tranquility of hert and mind and strength to endure these current times until they become more bearable. Peace be upon you AJM Eastern Michigan University Educator.

Kathleen Segar Thursday, April 15, 2010 1:32 am

I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting Dean Polite at the spring EMU '08 and '09 Spring commencement. I was honored and yet a little apprehensive, even though I had sung for theater's of thousands, to sing the National Anthem with the EMU Band in front of many of my respected colleagues, students and their families. It was Dean Polite who immediately gave me calm with his great sense of humor and his ease of conversation. He had an amazing ability to boost my confidence level even though I had been performing publicly for 30 years. He touched my life for a brief time........and I will never forget his kindness.......................

Dr. Elizabeth Johnson Wednesday, April 14, 2010 10:19 am

Dr. Polite is/was a template for social justice . . . for high integrity . . . for what is right and just. He didn't only leave a legacy, he LIVED A LEGACY! I will miss you Sir.