Patricia J. Dignan
Patricia J. Dignan, M.A., 1970. Patricia Dignan received her Master of Arts degree in 1970. Before attending EMU, Dignan taught at the elementary and secondary levels, served as director of Headstart programs in Michigan and California, and co-founded Michigan’s first alternative education program for middle and high school students. In 1982, Dignan received an Ed.D. from the University of Michigan and in 1994 she earned a J.D. from Detroit College of Law. She was the first female superintendent in school districts in both Michigan and the greater Washington , D.C. area. After retiring from the superintendency, Dignan served as dean of Washtenaw Technical Middle School and as executive director for Student Achievement and Accountability in Detroit. Her career achievements have earned her numerous honors and awards.
Ingrid Saunders Jones
Ingrid Saunders Jones, M.S. 1973. Ingrid Saunders Jones is senior vice-president of Corporate External Affairs for The Coca-Cola Company and chairperson of The Coca-Cola Foundation. Prior to attending Eastern Michigan University, Jones received a bachelor’s degree in education from Michigan State University. In 1973, she earned a master’s degree in education from EMU. Before moving to Atlanta, Jones taught at Detroit area schools and served as the executive director of the Detroit / Wayne County Child Care Coordinating Council. A teacher by training, Jones has remained committed to education and community development. Through the Coca-Cola Foundation, Jones leads the Company’s philanthropic commitment to education. Under her leadership, the Foundation contributed more than $100 million to education, including scholarships and initiatives to increase the academic success of students in public and secondary schools.
Julia Ann King
Julia Ann King, Teaching Certificate 1858. Born in 1838, Julia Ann King graduated from Michigan State Normal School in 1858. Shortly thereafter, she was appointed by the State Superintendent to organize a graded school in St. Claire , Michigan, where she served as high school principal. King then became high school principal in Lansing and soon led all the Lansing area schools. Later, she was appointed head of the Ladies Department at Kalamazoo College. In 1881, King was named Preceptress at Michigan State Normal School, a position comparable to Dean of Women. She also was named head of The Normal’s History Department, a position she held for 27 years. King retired in 1915 and died in 1919. The first residence hall on campus, completed in 1939, is named in her honor.
Dean Rockwell, B.S. 1935. Dean Rockwell graduated from Michigan State Normal College in 1935. While at MSNC, Rockwell competed in football, track and wrestling and was president of Phi Sigma Epsilon and the Men’s Union. After graduating, he taught and coached various sports at three Michigan high schools. Rockwell joined the U.S. Navy in 1942; on June 6, 1944, he successfully led a group of soldiers in the Normandy invasion, earning both American and French awards for valor. In 1945, Rockwell returned to Michigan and earned a graduate degree from the University of Michigan. He continued to coach, leading the U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling team in the 1964 Olympics and chairing the National AAU Wrestling Committee from 1966 to 1968. From 1985 to 1991, Rockwell chaired the committee responsible for bringing the Geddes Town Hall School to EMU’s campus, a project he considers his major EMU achievement.
Gerald F. Tape
Gerald F. Tape, B.A. 1935. Gerald F. Tape received his B.A. degree from Michigan State Normal College in 1935. He then attended the University of Michigan, earning an M.S. and Ph.D. in physics in 1936 and 1940, respectively. Tape began his career in 1939 as an Assistant Professor of physics at Cornell University. During the 1960s, Tape became involved in all facets of nuclear power, advising the U.S. Government at the most senior levels. From 1963 to 1969, he served as the AEC Commissioner responsible for the United States ’ nuclear weapons program. From 1973 to 1977, he was the U.S. Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria. Tape’s services have consistently been in high demand by various governmental organizations. His untiring attention to details, constant integrity, and ‘common sense’ approach have been important components in the success of the modern relationship between government and science.