Dr. Tomothy J. Dyer was deeply rooted in the Ypsilanti and Eastern Michigan University communities. He died Thursday, April 12, at 80.
He was born December 29, 1937, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the son of John and Genevieve (Lynn) Dyer. Education played a huge role in his life — as a scholar, community leader and school administrator. Graduating from Ypsilanti High School, Dyer went on to receive his undergraduate degree in political science and graduate degree in educational administration from Eastern Michigan University.
Following graduation he was a school administrator for the Wayne-Westland district, while also serving on the Ypsilanti city council and later as mayor from 1968 to 1970. He also served for 12 years as a member of the EMU Board of Regents. Tim’s career in educational leadership then took him to Phoenix, Arizona, to serve as superintendent of the nation’s largest high school district. Next came Washington, D.C., where he headed the National Association of Secondary School Principals. He then returned to Arizona as a full professor of educational administration and directed a doctoral program at Arizona State University.
Additionally, Dyer has had an acclaimed career in public service. As witnessed by Dyer’s time as a public servant and school administrator, he has long believed in giving back to communities and causes that he cares for — and EMU is one such place. Dyer donated a large gift to establish the Dr. Timothy J. Dyer Distinguished Interdisciplinary Chair in Forensics/Debate and Human Rights through his estate. The chair will lead in the creation of the Center for the Study and Research of Equality and Human Rights in the College of Arts and Sciences. Education is the key to a safer, more open world, and through his gift, Dyer sought to help make that a reality.
“Hate is an evil and destructive emotion,” he said. “It ignores reason and intellectual inquiry and should be eradicated whenever it raises its ugly head. The only way to do this is through educated enlightenment. We have seen over our own short history that education is the most effective way to eliminate prejudice, ignorance, discrimination and hate.”
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, April 20, 2018, at 10 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 410 W. Cross St., Ypsilanti. The family will receive friends on Friday at the Church from 9 a.m. until time of Mass.
To learn more about Dyer and his activism, read more here.