Eastern Michigan University announces election of Dara Munson ’96 as EMU Foundation Board Chair

Munson, a recipient of both EMU’s Alumni Achievement Award and Black Alumni Award, has been a part of the Foundation Board of Trustees since 2012

YPSILANTIChicago non-profit executive Dara Munson, a Cass Tech alumna and 1996 EMU Criminal Justice graduate, was recently elected as the new chair of the Eastern Michigan University Foundation Board of Trustees.

Dara Munson
Dara Munson

Dara is a recipient of both EMU’s Alumni Achievement Award and Black Alumni Award, and joined the Foundation Board of Trustees in 2012.

“Working with my colleagues on the Foundation Board and with Foundation staff is both an honor and a privilege,” Munson said, “It is especially rewarding to experience how our donor support makes a real difference for EMU students – particularly those who are first-generation college students, students from Detroit, and students of color.”

Following her graduation from EMU, Munson began her career in Detroit with the Wayne County Department of Community Justice where she worked with underserved populations, particularly youth in under-resourced communities. This ultimately led to executive roles, including senior director of United Way Southeastern Michigan, chief operating officer of the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, and president and CEO of Big Brothers and Sisters of Metro Detroit. Currently, Munson is president and CEO of Family Focus, a leading human services agency in Chicago that serves 19,000 individuals throughout 4 counties in Northeastern Illinois.

“Dara Munson’s election as foundation board chair not only recognizes her achievements both professionally and on behalf of the University, but acknowledges her honed leadership skills and the extraordinary level of commitment, energy, and experience she brings to the nonprofit world,” said William Shepherd, EMU vice president of advancement and executive director of the EMU Foundation. “She’s simply a wonderful asset for the Foundation and EMU.”

Dara Munson is one of three Black women who have assumed leadership roles at EMU, a rare occurrence for a non-Historically Black College or University institution. She joins Eunice Jeffries, chair of the EMU Board of Regents, and Ebony Walls, president-elect of the EMU Alumni Association.

“I believe the EMU community understands that we’re the right people for these roles and it’s a beautifully visible sign for our students,” Munson shared. “It’s also immensely rewarding to see that at Eastern, “diversity, equity, and inclusion” isn’t just a catch phrase, but a principle expressed in practice.”

Learn more about Dara Munson and the rest of the EMU Foundation Board of Trustees here.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

About the EMU Foundation

Founded in 1989, the EMU Foundation is an institutionally related nonprofit organization that solicits funds and manages donations on behalf of Eastern Michigan University. The EMU Foundation operates with the sole mission and purpose of providing additional financial support to students, programs and services on behalf of the University. The EMU Foundation coordinates most fundraising activities and events undertaken by individual units of EMU, supporting a variety of areas, including but not limited to student scholarships, programs, facility enhancement and development and faculty research and growth. The EMU Foundation is governed by an independent volunteer Board of Trustees that elects its own officers. For more information or to make a gift, visit emufoundation.org.

September 22, 2021

Written by:
Samantha Tansel

Morgan Mark