John Dingell’s resolute devotion to the people of Michigan and our nation set a high standard to which we should all aspire in public service. He fought for legislation and led change that made our state and nation better for all Americans – including civil rights, access to quality medical care, and clean air and water. I will always admire and remember his decades of thoughtful, optimistic leadership, grounded in a belief that healthy communities, economic prosperity, and environmental stewardship are all values that we could relentlessly pursue for the betterment of our society. I considered John a historically significant public servant and man of great gravitas.
During his iconic Congressional career, he generously shared his time and support, mentoring our faculty, students and graduates, while frequently speaking with students on our campus. It was a great honor that his was the first honorary degree I conferred during a University of Michigan Spring Commencement, and generations of students and scholars will learn from and be inspired by his archive, which he so graciously donated to our Bentley Historical Library.
On behalf of the Michigan Family, I express my condolences to Rep. Debbie Dingell, John’s friends and family, and the many people in our state and across the nation whose lives he touched through his outstanding leadership. We will miss him dearly, but his impact will endure.