Wayne State University

College of Education retired professor and board of visitors Helen Suchara passes

Return to news listing

Helen Suchara passed away July 27, 2017. Helen was a professor in Teacher Education for the College of Education and served as a member of the college’s board of visitors. During her tenure at Wayne State University Helen served on the College Faculty Council and the College Accreditation and Presidential Selection Committees. She advised both undergraduate and graduate students, including doctoral candidates. Helen had high expectations for her students as well as herself. If students wanted to do research with her, they had to be passionate about teaching. Helen encouraged many undergraduates to publish research and helped build their confidence (Alumni Magazine article "Teacher of teachers" July 2014).

Helen received a scholarship to attend Wayne University in 1937 from a local business group. The scholarship paid her tuition of $100 per year. Helen earned her undergraduate in education, while commuting to school by streetcar from home. Helen did her student teaching in Detroit Public Schools and graduated in 1942 with a B.A. in Education. Helen received her M.A. from the College of Education in 1947.  During that time, Helen taught at a laboratory school, which served as a model for educators visiting from across the country. One of those visitors later offered her a doctoral fellowship at Columbia University’s prestigious Teachers College in NY, where she enrolled in 1950. Finally, in 1956, having received her doctorate in teacher education, Helen joined the College of Education as an associate professor, and gradually worked her way to full professorship in Teacher Education.

Among her numerous honors and citations, Helen received the Wayne County Artistic Excellence and Community Commitment Award in Nov. 1994, and was selected as Member of the International Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2000 Helen received both the National Ladies’ Auxiliary Woman of the Year Award from the Orchard Lake Schools, and the WSU Distinguished Alumna Award.

In addition to giving her time and passion, Helen gave back to the WSU College of Education by creating the Helen Suchara Endowed Scholarship. She had said she received an education and became a successful professor because of the people in her life. Now the Helen T. Suchara scholarship continues to give a new generation of education students the same opportunity she had—to make Wayne State their university.

Visitation Friday, August 4, 2017 from 2-8 p.m. at the Dearborn Chapel of Voran Funeral Home 23701 Ford Rd. In state Saturday 9:30 a.m. with a 10:00 a.m. Mass of the Resurrection to follow at St. Florian Catholic Church 2626 Poland St. Hamtramck, MI 48212. Interment St. Hedwig Cemetery. Please share memories and/or leave condolences on Helen’s guestbook.