Michael True

President of the Board of Directors


profile of michael true

Michael True, former president of the IPRA Foundation, was the author of ten books, including “An Energy Field More Intense Than War: The Nonviolent Tradition and American Literature” (1995) and “Frontiers of Nonviolence,” with Chaiwat Satha-Anand (2001), as well as and essays, reviews, poems in scholarly and general periodicals, including Commonweal, New Republic, The Progressive, Friends Journal, Harvard Divinity Bulletin.

Emeritus Professor Assumption College, he completed a doctorate in American literature at Duke University and was a Fulbright scholar in India 1997-98 and 2003-04.  A native of Oklahoma, he was a former president of the Center for Nonviolent Solutions, Worcester. An NEH Fellow, 1976-77, and twice a Fulbright Scholar, he taught at twenty colleges and universities, including Duke University (where he completed a doctorate in American literature), Columbia University, Clark University, Colorado College, WPI, University of Hawaii, Nanjing University (China), Utkal University and University of Rajasthan (India).

Michael was active in the nonviolence branch of IPRA, lectured across the world on nonviolence and was a devoted friend of Elise Boulding.

Michael’s was also Co-Founder and Board Member, Center for Non-Violent Solutions, Worcester, MA.  www.nonviolentsolution.org


Worcester MA - Michael Daniel True, lover of life, died April 28, 2019 at 85, in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was born in Oklahoma City on November 8, 1933, third son to Agnes Murphy and Guy Herbert True. He came to Worcester in 1965 to teach in the English Department at Assumption College. Mike was a teacher, writer, and life-long activist who loved life, music, good food, conversation and, most of all, his family.

Mike leaves his wife of 61 years, Mary Pat (Delaney) True; six children, Mary Laurel (Patrick), Michael (Kerry), John (Mary Julie), Christopher (Angelica), Elizabeth (Brian), Anne (Laurie); ten grandchildren, Jonathan, Juliann, Shannon, Laurel, Daniel, Alison, Elizabeth, Liam, Brigid, and Emmett; four great-grandchildren and 34 nieces and nephews. He is pre-deceased by his two brothers, Robert and Herbert True; sister in-law, Betty Anne; nephew, Michael Anthony True; brothers in-law, Edward Lanpher and Michael Delaney.

Mike earned his B.A. in English from Oklahoma University, his M.A. in English from University of Minnesota and his Ph.D. in American Literature from Duke University. He was a professor at Assumption College for 33 years where he taught American Literature and Peace Studies before retiring in 1997. He also taught courses at Clark University, WPI and The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester as well as over twenty colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. Mike was a prolific writer, authoring 12 books, numerous essays, reviews and poems that appeared in scholarly and general periodicals such as op-eds in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. He co-founded the Worcester County Poetry Association in 1971 and The Center for Nonviolent Solutions in Worcester in 2009. He was former chair, International Peace Research Association Foundation, and former co-chair, Consortium on Peace Research, Education, and Development. Mike was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, and twice a Fulbright Scholar in India.

Mike and Mary Pat spent 54 years in their beloved home on Westland Street in Worcester. He adored the people, architecture, parks and history of this City. Mike was a central figure in Worcester's peace and social justice community leading the way to opening dialogue and inspiring peacemakers, young and old, to continue his beloved city's long tradition of activism. He was deeply committed to making known the city's nonviolent history and wrote and lectured often about Worcesterites who contributed to American progressive movements. He invited writers, poets, and activists to speak at Assumption College and other community venues, very often Mike and Mary Pat would host these visitors in their home. He spent many Tuesday afternoons assembled with Catholic Workers and other activists at Lincoln Square holding signs to oppose "endless wars" and promote non-violent peacemaking. His boundless energy and unbridled optimism that change was possible through activism led him to many places around the world including Europe, South America, China and India where he gave lectures and engaged with community members in nonviolent action and peacemaking.

The family would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Maria (Bernie) Del Rosario for her compassionate care of Mike.

A celebration of Mike's life took place on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 1:00 PM in Washburn Hall at Mechanics Hall, 321 Main Street, Worcester. There was a peace vigil and march to Mechanics Hall at Lincoln Square that began at 12:30.  Memorial gifts may be made to the Center for Nonviolent Solutions, 901 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602.