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Supporting a strong foundation

July 1, 2020

“We are advocates of CASL because we feel that it gives you a good foundation to move forward in a changing world.” Alumni Dick and Linda Dyer created an endowed scholarship to help UM-Dearborn students on the path to success.

Dick and Linda Dyer in China
Dick and Linda Dyer in China
Dick ('64 B.S.) and Linda Dyer ('65 Teacher Cert.) in Beijing during a U-M Alumni Association trip to China

The mathematics department’s tile mural on the second floor of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters inspired Dick and Linda Dyer to give a generous gift as that project began twelve years ago. Thankfully, it would not be their last desire to support UM-Dearborn.

The Dyers created the Richard and Linda Dyer Scholarship in 2010. It is a need-based CASL scholarship for students who are graduates of Fordson High School in Dearborn. In September 2019, they generously endowed the scholarship after Dick had a health scare. They wanted to make sure their scholarship would exist in perpetuity, and based on what was happening in their lives, they decided to endow the scholarship sooner rather than later.

The three prior recipients of the Dyer’s scholarship have each had their own paths and career goals. Two of the students were in pre-med and went on to medical school.  The third student majored in journalism.

“We’ve been delighted with all three of the students. They have been very different but all are excited about learning and life and what they can add to the world,” said Linda.

“Every year we go back and meet with our recipient,” said Dick. “To see them mature connects us with their generation and makes us feel younger.”

Meet the Dyers

The Dyers currently live in New Hampshire; however, Dearborn holds a special place in their hearts.

Dick attended Fordson High School, started his college journey at Henry Ford College, and then transferred to UM-Dearborn, majoring in mathematics. He went on to earn a master’s degree at Michigan and subsequently had a 38-year career in IT in Michigan, New York, Connecticut and New Hampshire. Linda went to Dearborn High School and majored in English at UM-Ann Arbor. After graduating she worked as a children’s librarian at the Dearborn Public Library. She later received her teaching certification from UM-Dearborn and taught in Livonia. She is now a professional writer. Both feel privileged to have attended UM-Dearborn.

The Dyers have been married for 55 years, a testimony to the longevity of the marriages of each of their parents respectively.

“I think many people have a Hollywood view of marriage,” Linda said. “They think it’s supposed to be all roses, and romantic, or ‘oh, he’s such a hunk,’ when things really don’t stay that way.”

“You mean I’m not a hunk?” Dick asked jokingly, sharing a laugh with his wife.

They have a son and daughter who are both married, each with two kids of their own.

Due to the current pandemic, the Dyers are happily living what they call the “Zoom Lifestyle,” enjoying meetings, virtual gatherings with their families, spiritual services, and a variety of classes, including wine and cheese tasting.

Dick and Linda Dyer in New Zealand
Dick and Linda Dyer in New Zealand
The Dyers during a U-M Alumni Association trip to New Zealand

Alumni Life

In 2016, Dick was asked to speak as the alumni representative for UM-Dearborn at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Over 900 graduates received their degrees in an arena packed with family and friends. 

“I remember telling the graduates that my last tuition payment for my final semester at UM-Dearborn was $155,” he said.

The Dyers are well aware of the cost of college tuition today, and the fact that many of the students who are graduating now are the first in their families to attend and graduate from college.

“We feel that education is important, and we are advocates of CASL because we feel that it gives you a good foundation to move forward in a changing world,” said Linda.

Giving back to the college and supporting students' education contributes to the Dyers feeling connected to their alma mater. They’ve gone on many alumni trips to places such as France, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal/Spain, China and New Zealand.

The Dyers believe a U-M degree makes a difference and is recognized around the world.  Dick told of encountering a young Chinese student on the Great Wall of China who had just returned from studying at Michigan. It was Dick’s Michigan baseball cap brought them together. The scholarship in their name solidifies that they are Victors for Michigan.

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