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Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197
University Information:
(734) 487-1849



Presidents of EMU:

Adonijah Strong Welch, 1851-1865
David Porter Mayhew, 1865-1870
Charles FitzRoy Bellows, 1870-1871
Joseph Estabrook, 1871-1880
Malcolm MacVicar, 1880-1881
Daniel Putnam, 1880-1886 (non-contiguous)
Edwin Willits, 1883-1885
John Mayhelm Barry Sill, 1886-1893
Richard Gause Boone, 1893-1899
Elmer A. Lyman, 1900-1902
Lewis Henry Jones, 1903-1911
Charles McKenny, 1912-1933
John M. Munson, 1933-1948
Eugene B. Elliott, 1948-1965
Harold E. Sponberg, 1965-1974
James Brickley, 1974-1978
John W. Porter, 1979-1989
William E. Shelton, 1989-2000
Samuel A. Kirkpatrick, 2001-2004
Craig D. Willis, 2004-2005
John A. Fallon, III, 2005-2007
Donald M. Loppnow, 2007-2008
Susan W. Martin, 2008-2009

Adonijah Strong Welch

Adonijah Strong Welch

Administrative Goals: Welch wanted students to be independent thinkers; to analyze rather then memorize the lessons that were being taught. He was concerned with both the content as well as the process of learning. His open-minded educational philosophy, however, was not the primary guiding principle in his administrative practice. He held strongly to prescribed rules both as a teacher and an administrator.

Charles Fitz Roy Bellows, an outstanding member of the mathematics faculty and later an acting principal for a year, noted that, "Welch's idea of a school was one in which first of all existed a condition of perfect system and order."

Original Main Building, 1852
(Today's Welch Hall is named for Adonijah Welch)

David Porter Mayhew

David Porter Mayhew

Administrative Goals: Mayhew was acclaimed as a superior teacher who cared deeply about his students, a man who was gentle and considerate. He had much confusion to overcome when he accepted the Board of Education's offer to be the the Michigan State Normal School's second principal. He handled the challenge well as a conciliator and consensus-builder. Mayhew was described a few years later in the Normal news as having made no one his enemy and everyone his friend.

Conservatory 1864-1870

Charles Fitz Roy Bellows

Charles Fitz Roy Bellows

Administrative Goals: Bellows served on the mathematics faculty of Michigan State Normal School for 24 years and then served one year as principal. He was a prolific writer of math textbooks, among other scholarly activities. In 1902 he returned to Michigan State Normal School under President Jones as a teacher of mathematics.

Buildings: none were constructed during Bellows' year as principal.

Joseph Estabrook

Joseph Estabrook

Administrative Goals: Estabook was known, trusted and liked by all. When, at the age of 53, he was appointed the principal of MSNC, he brought to the task considerable professional leadership experience. This led to resolution of the growing conflict between method and content and also pointed way for future institutional direction and development. During his nine years as principal, he clearly improved the quality of professional training.

Buildings: none were constructed during this period

Malcolm MacVicar

Malcolm MacVicar

Administrative Goals: MacVicar concentrated on the quality of the teachers prepared, instead of the number of teachers produced. He insisted that all programs include required courses in English as well as academic areas of "special promise." MacVicar knew that, without the opportunity to practice what was learned in the class, students would not become successful teachers. He also abolished the required and disliked study hours to improve student satisfaction with the school and the education they were receiving. In the one year that he served as the principal of Normal, no contribution he made was more important than redirecting the school away from its experiment over the curriculum.

Buildings: none

Daniel Putnam

Daniel Putnam
1880; 1881-83; 1885-86

Administrative Goals: Putnam brought a rich perspective to his assignment when he served as acting principal on three different occasions. For his last service to the school, he was given the title of vice principal, which he retained throughout his years at Michigan State Normal School. He was the first head of the Training School, organizer and the first head of the library, and the first head of the Education Department.

Buildings: none (Today's Putnam residence hall is named for Daniel Putnam)

Edwin Willits

Edwin Willits

Administrative Goals: Willits wielded substantial influence that helped MSNC during his time as principal. For example, University of Michigan attempted to have a bill enacted by the state Legislature that would give UM the same authority as MSNC to grant teaching certificates. The bill was soundly defeated due to Willits' persuasive abilities. Another major accomplishment was to set into motion the acquisition of needed space. Although the new north and south wings of Old Main were not approved and constructed until 1887, the credit for these additions belongs to Willits.

Buildings: planning for Old Main additions

John Mayhelm Barry Sill

John Mayhelm Barry Sill

Administrative Goals: Sill provided a vision and leadership for transforming the Normal School into a college, but ironically was not interested in adopting the name "college." He feared that the younger students would begin not only to think of themselves as college students but begin, in his words, "to ape college tricks and manners, and duplicate college noise and disorder." The school under Sill's leadership also brought to fruition Willits' initiative for expanding the Old Main building, growth in library holdings and a major increase in student enrollment.

North and the South wings were added to the Old Main Building
(Today's Sill Hall is named for John Mayhelm Barry Sill)

Richard Gause Boone

Richard Gause Boone

Administrative Goals: Boone sought to emphasize scientific education beyond religious and moral instruction. His primary contribution to Eastern was the development of a new curriculum that set the stage for the present system of core classes with majors. He also expanded the training school.

StarkWeather 1897
Welch Hall 1897
(Today's Boone Hall is named for Richard Gause Boone)

Elmer A. Lyman

Elmer A. Lyman
Administrative Goals: During his brief presidency, Lyman was instrumental increasing the Normal School Executive Council. This advisory group included the principals from the other three teacher colleges in Michigan, but the president of MSNC was its chair.




Lewis Henry Jones

Lewis Henry Jones

Administrative Goals: Jones spent much of his administration facing concerns about funding. Since there were now four teacher colleges in Michigan, funding became tighter. Jones hoped to build not only a new science building, but also an auditorium and a new training school. He succeeded in building the new science building. More importantly, he continued to expand the curriculum offered at MSNC.

Sherzer 1903
(Today's Jones residence hall is named for Lewis Henry Jones)

Charles McKenny

Charles McKenny

Administrative Goals: During McKenny’s 21-year administration, MSNC became the largest teacher training school in the world. As part of this trend, McKenny expanded the laboratory teaching program by building a laboratory high school on campus (today's Roosevelt Hall). He is well remembered for his deep interest and concern for students and for constructing several buildings to enhance their educational experience.

Pease Auditorium, 1914
Boone Hall 1917-1918
Roosevelt High School 1924
Ford Hall 1930
Student Union 1930-1931 (McKenny Union is named for Charles McKenny)

John M. Munson

John M. Munson

Administrative Goals: Munson took control of the school in the depths of the Depression and guided it through the war years. Although he was well-known for being demanding, he was also known for integrity. He cut salaries of the entire faculty and staff, including his own, and he was also able to invest money into educational programs as well as building programs.

Briggs Hall 1937
Rackham 1938-1940
King Residence Hall 1939
Goodison Residence Hall 1939
Business and Finance 1939
Munson Residence Hall 1941
Hover Laboratory 1941
Pierce Hall 1948
Jones Hall 1948

Eugene B. Elliott

Eugene B. Elliott

Administrative Goals: Elliott’s presidency spanned the turbulent, exciting baby boom generation. The school was already experiencing a rise in enrollment following World War II. Elliott appreciated, however, that enrollment would continue to climb rapidly as the baby boom children reached college age. He began preparing by adding buildings to campus and bringing in new technology such as the first computers and closed circuit television. During his administration, the University's name changed twice: first to Eastern Michigan College in 1956 and then to Eastern Michigan University in 1958.

Brown Residence Hall 1949
Pine Grove Apartments I 1955
Goddard Residence Hall 1955
Bowen Field House 1955
Strong Hall 1956-1957
Pine Grove Apartments II 1957
Buell-Downing Residence Hall 1957-1958
Snow Health Center 1958
Quirk 1959
Best-Wise 1964
Warner Gymnasium 1964
Sill Hall 1965

Harold E. Sponberg

Harold E. Sponberg

Administrative Goals: Sponberg took office during a period of significant national unrest and incredible institutional growth. Students and faculty alike experienced the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, a man on the moon, and Watergate. Enrollment grew from 10,226 students in 1965 to 12,850 in 1966 and continued to climb. Building campaigns struggled to keep up with the population boom. Meanwhile, student activism deeply influenced campus life, covering everything from poor food and lack of parking to the Vietnam War and racial equality on campus.

Phelps-Sellers 1966
Porter College of Education Building (current name) 1967
(Today's Sponberg Theatre is named for H. Sponberg)

James Brickley

James Brickley

Administrative Goals: Brickley came into office in the wake of Sponberg’s departure and faced a difficult period in the life of the school. With the state economic downturn, he had to work much harder to acquire funding. At the same time, Brickley negotiated with three unions on campus: the American Association of University Professors, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, and the Ypsilanti Police Officers. Brickley was instrumental in establishing a number of initiatives to address faculty, staff and physical plant concerns.

Alexander Music Building 1978-1980

John W. Porter

John W. Porter

Administrative Goals: Porter's ten-year administration comprised three phases dedicated to the University's growth. During the "revitalization" period, his policies reversed enrollment decline, brought about accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and revitalized Intercollegiate Athletics. Next came a period of "stabilization." The school now served 20,000 students, and Porter decided to reorganize the administration to meet their needs. At the end of his presidency, during the "expansion" stage, Porter began to reach out to 40,000 alumni and friends of the University. Upon retirement, he left behind a strategic plan that he hoped would keep the school on the right track.

Olds/Robb Recreation Center 1982
Cooper Building 1984
Coatings Research Building 1987
Geddes Town Hall School (brought to campus) 1987
A variety of remodeling on a number of older buildings
(Today's Porter College of Education building is named for John W. Porter)

William E. Shelton

William E. Shelton

Administrative Goals: Shelton arrived with three goals. He wanted to build a better relationship between higher education and industry/professional groups, market the university, and raise funds. He hoped to establish Eastern Michigan University as the nation's premier learning university. During his presidency, he succeeded in gaining additional funds for the College of Health and Human Services, built a new library, and moved the College of Education to larger, fully renovated quarters.

Pond and Lake House 1992-1993
Physical Plant 1995
Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology Building 1997
Halle Library 1998
Marshall 2000

Samuel A. Kirkpatrick

Samuel A. Kirkpatrick

Administrative Goals: Kirkpatrick entered the presidency at the turn of the millennium. In his first year as president, Kirkpatrick developed a comprehensive strategic development plan and reorganized the University’s leadership by adding a vice president for Advancement and a new chief information officer. One of his first priorities was gaining re-accreditation for the University. Kirkpatrick sought to extend academics on campus with the support of new graduate and undergraduate programs, including the introduction of a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and a Ph.D. in technology.

The Village residence halls, 2001
University House, 2003
Approval for new student center, 2004

Craig D. Willis

Craig D. Willis

Administrative Goals: Dr. Willis accepted a one-year interim appointment at EMU following the departure of Samuel A. Kirkpatrick. Previously, Dr. Willis served as president of Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania for 22 years.

Willis pledged to bring the EMU community a strong sense of openness, a steady hand at the helm and an unwavering commitment to work collectively to do everything possible for the University.

Key tasks Willis was asked to address included advancing the University’s position in Lansing, defining better internal controls, resolving relationship issues, ensuring high quality educational experiences for all students and successfully completing all collective bargaining agreements.

Dr. Willis' extensive professional experience and person-centered style served EMU well, making him a popular leader among all constituencies and setting the stage for the next steps in the University's success.

Construction under way on new student center, 2004

John A. Fallon, III

John A. Fallon, III

Administrative Goals: Dr. Fallon came to EMU in 2005 from SUNY Potsdam after a great deal of experience in higher education ranging from Michigan, Iowa, Indiana and New York.

Upon his arrival at EMU, he set an ambitious agenda for "Building the Promise" of EMU, including 12 goals for his first year to set the stage for the future.

Student Center, opened November 2006

Don Loppnow

Donald M. Loppnow (interim)

Administrative Goals: Dr. Loppnow was a long-time leader at Eastern, having served as professor of social work, leader of strategic planning, interim president, and provost. He was appointed interim president for a second time after the dismissal of President Fallon in 2007.

Key tasks Interim President Loppnow addressed included stabilizing the university's image and community relations, building trust and connections locally and regionally, and planning for future initiatives related to capital improvements and enhancements to academic affairs.


Susan Martin

Susan W. Martin

Administrative Goals: Dr. Martin came to EMU as the first female president of the institution. Her top priorities from the start were to maintain excellent, accessible, affordable education. Enrollment began to improve during her tenure, and she made a number of key appointments to executive positions. She led efforts to improve Eastern's physical infrastructure - such as the Science Complex, Pray-Harrold, and other renovations - and to enhance academic programming and athletics success.

During President Martin's tenure, Eastern initiated its first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, titled, "Invest. Inspire," with a goal of $50 million.

Headquarters for Police Department
Indoor Athletics Practice Facility
Science Complex
Major renovations to Pray-Harrold