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Campaign Priority - Programs and Faculty

Our Goal: $25,000,000

Priority on Programs


Unique educational experiences such as Face on Design, which unites Engineering and Health Professions students to create products for disabled veterans and others, provide young men and women special insight into their fields of study. Educational experiences through service learning in the city of Detroit also lead students to discover the value in helping others. Detroit Mercy students gain a better understanding of spirituality by participating in retreats, mission trips and campus service. Study abroad opportunities provide insight into the global economy as they open up the minds of students to the complex international community and help them develop a new perspective of the world.

Higher education is not just reading textbooks and listening to lectures. Detroit Mercy programs provide the forum where academics can be applied to the real world. The University strives to develop not just minds, but the whole person.

Richard and Penny PersianiWhen Richard and Penny Persiani heard a group of Detroit Mercy Dental students were raising money for a trip to Central America to help Guatemalans who don’t have access to dental care, they knew they had to contribute.

After all, Richard has been making trips like this for more than 20 years and he knows the importance of the work that must be done in the remote corners of the world.

...Why do they do this? It goes beyond the fact that it’s the right thing to do. “Thanks to University of Detroit Mercy, I have a skill set a lot of people don’t have and because of that we are able to help these kids.”

That’s why when the couple heard about the upcoming trip to Guatemala that Detroit Mercy Dental students are hoping to take, they donated to help make it happen. They know how life-changing work like this can be.

To support this mission trip to Guatemala, visit

Get to know: Richard ’73 and Penny ’66 Persiani, making a world of difference

Program Support Needed

Program support for these activities is needed in the following areas of the University:

Expendable Program Support


School of Architecture


College of Business Administration


School of Dentistry


College of Engineering & Science


College of Health Professions


School of Law


College of Liberal Arts & Education







Perhaps the most important factor that contributes to a university’s reputation is the strength of its faculty. University of Detroit Mercy has been successful in finding the best educators from around the world, but it seeks something more. The uniqueness of a Jesuit and Mercy education is the way instructors interact with students. Professors are mentors, urging students to think for themselves and put ideas into historical, ethical and sociological context. The faculty ensures curriculum is not simply theory, but it is enhanced by community service and ethical messages. That way programming deepens and strengthens the way students learn and act upon this knowledge.

Endowed professors and chairs are associated with the world’s best universities and colleges. They are elite faculty positions and are awarded to distinguished professors who cherish them. Endowed chairs represent prestige, leadership and profound responsibility. To endow a chair, funds are raised, restricted and invested to generate annual income that augments the salary for the distinguished professor. A permanently endowed chair ensures that funding will always be available to continue the important work conducted by the chairholder.

By funding faculty positions, the values of University of Detroit Mercy’s Jesuit and Mercy mission will be a permanent legacy. The chairholder helps set the direction for the department and assists in determining curriculum, electives, internships and senior projects. During students collegiate years, their instructors and the chairperson of the department play pivotal roles in their lives. Often they convey a worldview that will determine the students’ outlook and path in life.

Connecting motivated students with passionate instructors is at the very heart of University of Detroit Mercy’s mission.

Our funding goals for endowed chairs are:

Endowed Chairs


Fully Endowed Chairs

4 @ $2,000,000




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