October 28, 2019

Wayne State remembers U.S. Rep. John Conyers, civil rights icon and alumnus

U.S. Rep. John Conyers in 2007 at an anti-war march in Newark, New Jersey. The civil rights icon and Wayne State alumnus died of natural causes on Sunday, Oct. 27, at his home in Detroit.

The Wayne State University community is saddened at the passing of former U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a civil rights icon and Wayne State alumnus who died of natural causes on Sunday, Oct. 27, at his home in Detroit. Conyers represented and served the residents of Detroit and this country for more than 50 years in Congress and was distinguished by a legacy of civil rights activism and unceasing advocacy for the poor and disenfranchised.


In 2014, Conyers became the first African American to hold the distinction of dean (most senior member) of the U.S. House of Representatives. Conyers was one of 13 founding members and the dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, which was established in 1969. Some of his major accomplishments include: The Violence Against Women Act of 1994, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Act of 1983 and many others. He also served in the National Guard and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean War.
Conyers spent his post-college days as a good friend and staunch supporter of Wayne State. The university and the city of Detroit owe a huge debt of gratitude to Conyers for his years of outstanding service and commitment to the poor. Our deepest sympathies are with his family during this difficult time.

Gifts in memory of Conyers can be directed to the John Conyers Jr. Endowed Scholarship in the Wayne State University Law School. The scholarship was established in 2013 as a tribute to Conyers’ 50 years of public service. This fund is intended to recognize scholastic achievement, encourage continued progress and assist students in financing their Law School education. For help making your gift online, please contact the Office of Gift Processing at 313-577-2263 or fundoffice@lists.wayne.edu.

Subscribe to Today@Wayne

Direct to your inbox twice a week