In Memoriam

Ashley Bryan – February 4, 2022

Mr. Bryan was an Oakland University honorary degree recipient and guest lecturer with a distinguished career in the literary arts

Ashley Bryan, honorary degree, poet, illustrator, guest lecturer

icon of a calendarFebruary 14, 2022

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Ashley BryanIt is with deep sadness that I inform you of the death of Oakland University honorary degree recipient and guest lecturer Ashley Bryan, who was also Emeritus Professor of Art and Design at Dartmouth College, and a distinguished author of children’s books whose stories, poems, illustrations, and interpretive readings. He died on February 4, 2022, at the age of 98.

Having devoted his life to the cause of literacy and humanity, primarily by inspiring children to love music, art, and language, Mr. Bryan is credited with enhancing the African-American experience and adding new dimensions to American culture. His work garnered many honors, including the Arbuthnot Lectureship from the American Library Association, the Hopkins Poetry award from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Coretta Scott King Award.

In his readings and other public appearances, Mr. Bryan strove to unify audience members from across the world and to encourage all individuals to love of who they are. He was well known to treat all of his guests as family, as well as to impress and inspire everyone he met.

A memorial for Mr. Bryan is being planned for July 13, 2022 – the day of his 99th birthday – in his home state of Maine. The University community extends heartfelt condolences to Mr. Bryan’s family and friends during this very difficult time.


Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D.

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