Wayne State University

Announcement of passing of Dr. John P. Oliver, former Vice President for Research

It is with deep regret and sadness to announce that Dr. John P. Oliver passed away yesterday, October 3, 2016.

Dr. Oliver had a long and distinguished career at Wayne State University. He joined Wayne State University in 1959 as an assistant professor of chemistry. He later held various academic administrative appointments including associate dean, research and development in the College of Liberal Arts; interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts; founding dean, College of Science; deputy vice president for Academic Affairs; vice president for Research; and director of the Institute for Manufacturing Research. He was named professor emeritus in 2011. Dr. Oliver retired from Wayne State in 2010, but was a frequent visitor to campus throughout his retirement.

Dr. Oliver received his B.A. in chemistry from the University of Oregon and his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Washington. He built a distinguished career in research in the field of organometallic chemistry with more than 120 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and numerous chapters and scientific reviews. He mentored a large number of undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students and visiting faculty during his career, including the direction of 38 Ph.D. students.  His research had support from major funding agencies including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Petroleum Research Foundation, and the Research Corporation.

A celebration of Dr. Oliver’s life will take place on Saturday, October 8, 2016 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the A. J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Home located at 32515 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak, Michigan 48073. The funeral home is located on the west side of Woodward a few blocks south of 14 Mile Road.  

Contributions in memory of John P. Oliver, Ph.D. can be made to the Wayne State University Department of Chemistry or the National Audubon Society.

He will be deeply missed by his many colleagues and friends that he made throughout his long career at Wayne State University. He was very committed to and loved this university, and he will not be forgotten. Our heartfelt condolences and sympathy go out to his family, friends and colleagues.