Jerome G. Manis obituary

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News
Photo of Jerome .


Dr. Jerome G. Manis, Western Michigan University professor emeritus of sociology, died Feb. 23. He was 95.

Manis joined the faculty in 1952 and retired in 1975 after 26 years of service to the University. Survivors include his wife, Laura, associate professor emerita of counseling.

Soon after arriving on campus, Manis led development of WMU's graduate program in sociology. That effort began with a Master of Arts in 1958 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1966, which was one of the University's first doctoral programs.

Dr. Jerome Manis

Manis served as chair of the sociology department's Graduate Program Committee from 1965 to 1972 and from 1976 to 1878. In addition, he founded WMU's Center for Sociological Research and directed it from 1956 to 1972. The center served as a basis for the U.S. Office of Education doctoral traineeship grant that initiated the University's doctoral program in sociology.

An active researcher, Manis was interested in a wide range of topics, including mental health, substance abuse, urban communities and the problems of migrant workers. He received research grants from agencies such as the National Science Foundation and Public Health Service as well as the U.S. Office of Education.

Manis wrote or co-wrote four books and more than two dozen monographs and scholarly articles. He also began a faculty exchange program with Japan and taught and conducted research through the Fulbright program in the Philippines, Singapore, Israel, Taiwan and what was then Yugoslavia.

His professional activities included service as chairman of the psychiatric sociology division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, vice president and program chair for the North Central Sociological Association and president of the Michigan Sociological Association.

A former staff sergeant in the Air Force, Manis had been living in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he was active in Democratic politics. He earned a bachelor's degree from Wayne State University, master's degree from the University of Chicago, and doctoral degree from Columbia University.


Private services have been held. Memorial gifts may be made to the Kokua Council, c/o Harris Methodist Church, 20 S. Vineyard Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96813.