Remembering alumnus John Porter, historic education leader in Michigan

July 26, 2012

Alumnus John W. Porter (M.A. ’57, Ph.D. ’62) passed away June 27, 2012. He was 80. John Porter

A two-time graduate of the College of Education, he received a master’s in counseling and guidance and a doctorate in higher education.

Dr. Porter worked as a teacher before becoming the first black professional employed in the Michigan Department of Education. He was selected as state superintendent of public instruction in 1969, becoming the youngest and first black chief state school officer in the United States.

A decade later he became president of Eastern Michigan University where he served for ten years before retiring. His retirement did not last long as he became the superintendent of Detroit Public Schools, reducing spending and a multi-million dollar deficit.

For more, read his full obituary.