Transcript (549 KB)


John Porter was the 17th president of Eastern Michigan University, his term lasting from 1979 to 1989. Major improvements and upgrades were made to the University during Porter’s tenure. In this interview, Porter discusses his upbringing, professional life, and the many structural and educational changes which took place during his time as president. This interview is the second in a series of two. This interview was conducted for the purpose of gathering primary research for Laurence Smith’s book, Eastern Michigan University: A Sesquicentennial Portrait (1999).

Interview Date



Civil Rights, James Brickley, campus security, North Central Michigan College, Decade of Advancement, Racism, Fort Wayne athletics, Albion College, NAACP, Great Depression

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Permission to quote from this oral history should be requested from the University Archives (

Streaming Media

John W. Porter Oral History Interview, 1999 May 7