In Memoriam

November 15, 2022
Eli Broad, August 4, 2011. Photo by Nancy Pastor.

MSU alumnus, renowned business leader and committed Spartan Eli Broad died April 30, 2021. Broad was known for his entrepreneurial spirit and his dedication to the sciences, arts and higher education. He graduated from MSU in 1954 with a degree in accounting from the School of Business, now known as the Eli Broad College of Business. Among his many philanthropic efforts, Broad was committed to supporting the next generation. His philanthropy was the catalyst for many of the College of Education’s urban programs. In 2003, Broad pledged $6 million to the college to help improve urban education, particularly for students in Detroit schools. 

Samuel S. Corl III died on Aug. 27, 2020. He was on faculty in the college from 1969-81 as a scholar with strengths in administration and curriculum. From 1973-80, he oversaw the Secondary Education Pilot Program (SEPP), which emphasized field experiences for Spartan undergraduates early in their time at MSU. SEPP students spent several hours per week in schools, were able to enroll in education courses every term and learned about adolescent and youth culture of high school students. About 150 students graduated from the program.

Gabriel Serna died on Aug. 17, 2022. Serna, who joined the college in 2018, was an assistant professor in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education unit. His research used quantitative approaches with a deeply critical perspective to examine higher education economics, finance and policy. His research specifically centered on undocumented students and students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, with intentions of helping establish education policies that worked with, not for, students. Learn more about Serna’s life and legacy.

Credit: Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections

Richard McLeod, College of Education professor emeritus, died May 13, 2022. McLeod joined the faculty in 1967 and retired in 1999. An early adopter of information and education technology, McLeod helped introduce many faculty across the college to processing programs, platforms and devices to help them be more productive in their work. His research and scholarship centered around how technology could be best used in the classroom. In addition to leading professional development opportunities for educators across the state, McLeod also taught many international classes, including teaching one year in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Betty Brewer, the College of Education’s printing program operator, died March 16, 2022. Brewer joined the staff in 1973 and retired in 1993.

Christine French, Department of Teacher Education secretary, died Oct. 9, 2021. French joined the staff in 1967 and retired in 1999.

Credit: Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections

George VanDusen, retired assistant dean and former interim dean of the MSU College of Engineering, died June 1, 2021. He earned a Ph.D. in 1969 in Educational Administration from the College of Education, and served on the faculty in various roles from 1969 until his retirement in 2000. While his main area was in the College of Engineering, VanDusen held an appointment in the College of Education’s administration and curriculum unit. VanDusen is known for his work in developing several programs to boost academic success, including the Engineering Equal Opportunity Program (now Diversity Programs), Women in Engineering, the Engineering Arts Program (now Applied Engineering Sciences) and the High School Engineering Institute. 

Helen Featherstone, associate professor emeritus, died on June 16, 2021. She joined the College of Education’s Department of Teacher Education in 1987 and retired in 2008. In addition to research on mathematics teaching and learning, Featherstone was part of the Team One teacher education program at MSU. Over 10 years, Featherstone and other MSU colleagues built a progressive teacher education program, which was later reflected upon in “Transforming Teacher Education: Reflections from the Field” (Harvard Education Press, 2007), of which Featherstone served as a co-author. She was the founding editor and chief writer of “The Harvard Education Letter” and “Changing Minds;” author of “A Difference in the Family: Living with a Disabled Child” (Penguin Books, 1980); and was, along with other MSU faculty and alumni, co-author of “Smarter Together! Collaboration and Equity in the Elementary Math Classroom,” (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2011) about complex instruction of mathematics.