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2014 Commencement Ceremonies set for May 9 & 10

April 30, 2014

University of Detroit Mercy will hold its annual commencement ceremony for undergraduate and graduate students on Saturday, May 10, at 1:30 p.m. in Calihan Hall on the McNichols Campus.

The day before, on Friday, May 9, the UDM School of Dentistry will hold commencement at 9:30 a.m., and the School of Law will hold commencement at 5 p.m. Both ceremonies will also take place at Calihan Hall. In total, the University will graduate more than 1,500 students during the three commencement ceremonies.


At the annual undergraduate/graduate commencement, the University will honor valedictorian Elizabeth Grabowski, an Architecture student from Sterling Heights, Mich., who will address the audience during Saturday’s ceremony.

The keynote speaker and honorary degree recipient for this year’s McNichols Campus commencement is Fr. Gerard L. Stockhausen, S.J., Ph.D., executive secretary/chief operating officer/chief of staff and director of planning for the Jesuit Conference in Washington, D.C. Prior to this, he spent 10 years at UDM, six as president and four as provost and academic vice president.

Before his tenure at UDM, Fr. Stockhausen taught Economics for 15 years at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. During this time, he also served as acting dean and associate dean for undergraduate programs and internal operations. He spent the 1991-1992 school year as a visiting associate professor of Economics at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

Fr. Stockhausen holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan; a master’s degree in social ethics and a Master of Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California; and a master’s degree in mathematics and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Louis University. His academic areas of expertise focus on international economics, including trade theory and policy, political economics and social ethics. He currently serves as a board trustee at Creighton University and previously served on the boards of Wheeling Jesuit University, Fairfield University and Loyola Jesuit High School in Detroit.

Raised in Milwaukee, Wis., Fr. Stockhausen attended Marquette University High School before entering the Society of Jesus in 1967.


On Friday, May 9, the School of Law commencement keynote speaker is Barbara L. McQuade, the first female United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.

McQuade was appointed to her position by President Barack Obama, and began her term in 2010. During her tenure, McQuade’s office was responsible for the conviction of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on public corruption charges, the conviction and life sentence of an Al-Qaeda operative for attempting to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009, the conviction of a former Michigan Supreme Court Justice on bank fraud charges and the convictions of former employees for stealing trade secrets from Detroit automakers.

Along with other law enforcement leaders, McQuade launched Detroit One, a violence reduction strategy and community partnership. A graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan School of Law, McQuade serves on the Attorney General's Advisory Committee, and co-chairs the Terrorism and National Security Subcommittee. She also serves on subcommittees addressing civil rights and border security.


On Friday, May 9, the School of Dentistry commencement keynote speaker is William Maas, D.D.S., M.P.H., M.S., a public health dentist, who, for the past five years, has served as an advisor to the children’s dental campaign of the Pew Charitable Trusts, an effort to change state and federal policy to improve access to dental care for disadvantaged children.

In 2010, Maas retired from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he was director of the Division of Oral Health in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Prior to that, he was an assistant surgeon general, the chief dental officer of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS). While there, he was a member of the project team that prepared the seminal surgeon general’s report on oral health in 2000. As a PHS dental officer, Maas served in the Indian Health Service and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

He is a past-president of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, and earned his dental degree from the University of Michigan. His M.P.H. and M.S. in health policy and management are from Harvard University.

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