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Former U.S. Congressman David Bonior donates personal papers to Wayne State University's Walter P. Reuther Library

February 19, 2003

David Bonior, former U.S. Congressman, officially donated his papers today to the Walter P. Reuther Library of Wayne State University during an event featuring university officials, friends and media.

Recently appointed a university professor of labor studies in Wayne State's College of Urban, Labor and Metropolitan Affairs (CULMA), Bonior brings to the Reuther Archives 987 boxes of papers and materials chronicling a career of public service spanning 26 years and five U.S. presidents. Before his 2002 retirement, 10 of Bonior's recent years in national politics included service as the Democratic Whip, the second ranking Democrat in the House.

Included among the vast number of materials is information about historic relationships and events during his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Serving under five presidents from Jimmy Carter to George Walker Bush, and playing key roles in national and international events, Bonior is also interested in the contents of the papers. "I recall numerous friendships both professionally and personally that were developed during my years in Congress, and I also remember tense and exciting times," Bonior said. "There may be papers reflective of my professional associations with our former presidents, members of both the Congress and Senate including former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and current speaker Dennis Hastert," Bonior added.

Commenting on the donation of the papers, Alma H. Young, CULMA dean and Coleman A. Young professor of urban affairs, expressed gratitude on behalf of the university and the College of Urban, Labor and Metropolitan Affairs. "We are very pleased to receive David's papers and serve as the official repository site for such historically significant material representing his years of service and dedication to the public.

"Many of our collections at the Reuther Library," Young continued, "highlight the labor movement locally and nationally, a cause that certainly was, and is, reflective of David's public life while serving the people of Michigan. We are proud and honored to serve as the custodians of his papers."

Bonior's papers will be organized and cataloged over the next several months and ultimately join the vast holdings of the Walter P. Reuther Library which currently consist of 1,700 collections, 20,000 books, 2 million photographs and more than 26,000 sound recordings and moving images. The Reuther Library operates within the College of Urban, Labor and Metropolitan Affairs.

Since 1975 the Archives has been located in the Reuther Library, a building donated to Wayne State University by the UAW in honor of the union's former president and labor leader Walter P. Reuther. The facility is home to the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, one of the largest labor archives.

Wayne State University is a premier institution of higher education offering more than 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 31,000 students in metropolitan Detroit.

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