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Posted on Tue, Mar 9, 2010 : 3:50 p.m.

Eastern Michigan University College of Education Dean Vernon C. Polite dies

By Juliana Keeping

The dean of one of the largest colleges of education in the nation has died.

Vernon C. Polite, dean of the Eastern Michigan University College of Education, one of the school's five colleges, died Monday at 61 of complications from pancreatic cancer. He had served in his role since the summer of 2005.

EMU's College of Education enrolls 5,000 students and counts one in four Michigan teachers as a graduate.

"Dean Polite was a warm and caring person, and an outstanding educator and leader," EMU President Susan Martin said today in a written release. "He will be deeply missed by the Eastern Michigan University family. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to his family."


Vernon C. Polite, dean of the Eastern Michigan University College of Education, died Monday at 61.

Photo courtesy of Eastern Michigan University

A funeral Mass will be held on Monday, March 15, at the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, 9844 Woodward in Detroit. The Rev. Norman Thomas will officiate. There will be a 10 a.m. family hour for guests to express condolences, followed by an 11 a.m. Mass.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Bearline Wallace Brooks Endowed Scholarship Fund, in care of the Eastern Michigan University Foundation, 1349 S. Huron, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. The contribution can be made in memory of Vernon Polite.

This story will be updated.

Juliana Keeping covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter