John Duley Archives

 Michigan State University 

Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement


John S. Duley

On receiving the Inaugural National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE)

John S. Duley Lifetime Achievement Award for his engaged scholarship, including his chapter on the STEP project in the upcoming volume, Going Public


1948 Ordained as Presbyterian minister. 

1962 Comes to East Lansing as Presbyterian pastor of MSU. Works with colleges and universities to strengthen services for nontraditional students. Becomes interested in experiential learning.

1965 - 1968 Develops and leads the Student Tutorial Education Project (STEP). STEP engaged over 100 MSU student and faculty volunteers to help prepare students at Rust College, an all-Black school in Mississippi, for academic success and help the college become fully accredited.

1982 Becomes faculty emeritus.

1982 Gathers signatures for request to Congress to stop production and distribution of nuclear weapons. Ballot proposal passes; organization of Michigan Peace and Justice Network of 159 organizations follows.

1989 Founds Greater Lansing Housing Coalition.

1999 Is interviewed for and cited in Service-Learning: A Movement’s Pioneers Reflect on its Origins, Practice, and Future (T. K. Stanton, D. W. Giles, Jr., & N. I Cruz; Jossey-Bass), a pivotal volume that chronicles service-learning’s rise as a teaching pedagogy from the turbulent campus climate of the 1960s and 70s.

2001 Forms Closing the Digital Gap program, an initiative to provide low-income residents with access to computers and the Internet.

2005 Initiates the Edgewood Village – MSU CSLCE partnership afterschool tutoring program. Over 40 MSU service-learning students serve weekly. 

2007 Organizes 40th Reunion of MSU students who participated in the STEP program at Rust College. Arranges for interviews with former students and analyzes transcripts, resulting in the first ever 40-year retrospective study of the long term impacts of an experiential education program on participants’ lives. The study is being published as a book chapter: Duley, J. S. (In press). Service learning and civic engagement as preparation for a life committed to working for the common good: The Michigan State University/Rust College Student Tutorial Education Project 1965-1968. In H. E. Fitzgerald & J. Primavera (Eds.), Going public: Civic and community engagement. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press.

2008 Receives Outstanding Service-Learning Pioneer Award from CSLCE. 

2009 Receives Michigan Gov. George Romney Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors an individual who has taken his or her volunteer services to the highest level, year after year. 

2009 The John S. Duley Endowment for Service-Learning is dedicated in his honor. The Duley endowment is designed to support student-led community and civic engagement initiatives by providing funding to enhance the mission of the CSLCE. 

2012 Receives NSEE Pioneer in Experiential Education Award.

(Requests for specific publications can be made by emailing

Awards and Recognition

In recognition of the service and engagement of our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners, Michigan State University was awarded the following prestigious awards in 2014

U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Logo

2014 U.S. President's "Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll (with Distinction)"

Carnegie Foundation Logo

2014 Carnegie Foundation "Elective Community Engagement" Classification

Michigan Campus Compact Logo

2014 Michigan Campus Compact "Engaged Campus of the Year"