Steeped in liberal arts: Richard and Linda Dyer step up with second CASL scholarship

Dick and Linda Dyer with Sarah Yahfoufi

Biochemistry student Sarah Yahfoufi, center, enjoys a U-M football game with Dick and Linda Dyer. Yahfoufi, who graduates Sunday, is the first recipient of the four-year Dick and Linda Dyer Scholarship.

Richard (Dick) (’64 B.S., ’64 CERT) and Linda Dyer (’65 CERT) have a simple philosophy. “Our philosophy is best expressed as ‘Let your life speak,’” said Dick. “Life is a gift that is best shared.”

Dick and Linda grew up in Dearborn and graduated from Dearborn Public Schools. Dick went on to earn his degree in mathematics and teaching certificate from UM-Dearborn. Linda graduated with a B.A. in English from UM-Ann Arbor in 1961 and later earned her teaching certificate from UM-Dearborn.

Now retired in Amherst, New Hampshire, the couple finds meaning in giving back to their alma mater. They first established the Richard and Linda Dyer Scholarship in 2010 to provide $5,000 per year for four years to one Dearborn Public Schools graduate enrolled in UM-Dearborn’s College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters (CASL).

“The idea for our liberal arts scholarship was inspired by a desire to give back to the university and the community that nurtured us. Our own liberal arts educations provided us with the flexibility to seize new opportunities as they arose and enhanced our ability to go about the business of living,” Dick said. Linda added, “We believe that learning continues for a lifetime, making existence more meaningful and more appreciated, and we wanted to help that along by supporting a student through a scholarship.”

Sarah Yahfoufi, a biochemistry major, was awarded the Richard and Linda Dyer Scholarship in 2013. Like many students, Sarah was eager to put her energies into her studies, but was also concerned about putting financial pressure on her parents and incurring substantial debt. She used the scholarship funds to pay for tuition that was not covered by other financial aid awards.

“This scholarship has played a significant role in my future plans. It not only granted me financial security, it also granted me a great deal of time to focus strictly on my education and volunteer work that will help me get even closer to achieving my ultimate goal of becoming a surgeon,” said Sarah.

The scholarship had another effect on Sarah—it reinforced her beliefs in the philosophy of giving back.

“Ultimately, the Dyers reminded me of my passion to go out and pursue a career that would help me give back to my own community, and other communities in need, in the best way that I can,” she said. “I cannot thank them enough for the gift of generosity and security they have provided me, and the gift of amity that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”

The Dyers and Sarah—who have gotten together several times over the past four years—will reunite this Sunday at commencement. Sarah will graduate and Dick will give remarks. “As Sarah is about to receive her undergraduate degree, we are proud to have been a part of her university experience,” Dick said.

And as Sarah graduates, the Dyers already are thinking of their next step. They will sponsor another four-year scholarship this fall to support an incoming CASL freshman that is a graduate of Fordson High School—Dick’s alma mater.

“We know how much the education we received at UM-Dearborn has meant to our lives,” Dick said. “Sponsoring another scholarship is a way of passing on our good fortune to today’s generation.”

If you would like to make a donation to the Richardand Linda Dyer Scholarship visit the link or contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 313-593-5130.

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