Celebrated African American studies professor Robert Perry honored upon retirement

An event was held in honor of professor Robert Perry’s retirement on Tuesday, Feb. 4 in rooms 310 A and B in Eastern Michigan University’s Student Center.

Perry dedicated his life to ethnic and black studies. He was the first to build the Ethnic Study Program for students who are interested in learning about African American culture and history.

He is well respected by his students and other faculty members at EMU. Melvin Peters, an associate professor who has been working with Perry for 10 years, described him as a modest man.

“He has been a great supporter of students, and the community,” Peters said. “I hate to see him leave.”

Patrick Pieh, a part-time African American studies instructor, praised Perry. “He is like a father to me,” Pieh said. “I promise I will do all I can to pass on the knowledge that he passed on to his students.”

Ronald C. Woods, a professor who served as the first head of the Department of African American studies at EMU, said he felt fortunate of Perry’s involvement in the department. “He will always be part of our department”

Ravi Perry, Robert Perry’s son, talked about how his father enjoyed being around his students. “His most joyous moments were in his classroom with his students,” he said, before ending his speech in tears, saying, “My dad is simply a good man.”

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