The University Record, March 18, 2002


Editor, The Record:

I can’t be the only Michigan faculty member, active or retired, disappointed that Murray Jackson’s obituary, when it finally appeared in the Record a month after Murray’s death, was “submitted by Wayne State University.” Yes, he had been a student, faculty member, administrator and ultimately a Governor of our sister institution, but he was an important figure here years before he joined our School of Education in 1972. He was the second “Special Assistant to the Vice President” (today these titles are much more resplendent) responsible for what was then called the Opportunity Award Program, the origin of every minority recruitment program and affirmative action step on this campus. Murray was here in 1963–64 in that capacity, and he, like his predecessor Leonard Sain and successor John Chavis, all from Detroit, deserves our everlasting gratitude for making this public institution look more like its public. It was work that, in those days, required not just patience but courage, not just persistence but tact, and especially a vision of what an institution of higher education could be without any concern for personal ego. Murray contributed all of that, and we were very lucky to have had him among us.

—R. B. Schmerl, associate professor emeritus, School of Education

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