May 03, 2016

University of Detroit Mercy will hold its annual Commencement ceremonies on May 13 and 14, 2016.

All three Commencements ceremonies will take place in Calihan Hall on the McNichols Campus. In total, the University will graduate approximately 1,500 students during the three ceremonies.

Friday, May 13, School of Dentistry Commencement at 9:30 a.m. – Dr. Marko Vujicic, PhD, Managing Vice President, Health Policy Resources Center, American Dental Association, commencement speaker

Vujicic is responsible for overseeing the ADA’s policy research activities. Prior to joining the American Dental Association in 2011, he was Senior Economist with The World Bank in Washington D.C. where he directed the global health workforce policy program. He was also a Health Economist with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. He is a visiting assistant professor at Tufts University in Boston. Vujicic obtained his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor’s degree in Business from McGill University in Montreal.

Friday, May 13, School of Law Commencement at 5 p.m. – Anthony Asher of Sullivan, Ward, Asher & Patton, P.C.  (B.S.S. ’61, J.D. ’65), commencement speaker

A Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa, will be given posthumously to George J. Asher, for whom the Asher Law Clinic Center is named. The son of Syrian immigrants, Asher left high school after his parents died to support his family. After helping raise his brothers and sisters, he entered law school at Detroit Mercy Law. He died in 1963 of complications of hemophilia, just months before finishing his degree.

His brother Anthony, who was a first-year law student at the time George died, became a managing partner in the Southfield-based firm of Sullivan, Ward, Asher & Patton, P.C. Anthony (B.S.S. ’61, J.D. ’65) made the generous gift to the University that helped purchase and renovate the building that houses the legal clinics. Anthony will be the commencement speaker.

Saturday, May 14, Undergraduate/Graduate Commencement at 1:30 p.m. – Margaret Auer ’65, former Dean of Libraries and Instructional Technology, commencement speaker; Sara Francis Zawacki, McAuley School of Nursing, Valedictorian

Delivering the valedictory address at the undergraduate and graduate commencement will be Sara Francis Zawacki.  Recently she was named the Valedictorian for the Class of 2016.  For that honor, a student must demonstrate academic excellence by achieving a 3.7 or higher GPA, University involvement, service and leadership. The Dearborn native boasted a cumulative GPA of 3.98 in UDM's demanding nursing program and has been a vibrant piece of the Detroit community. In 2015, she was named the recipient of the Ford Community Corps Partnership Grant for her role with Rx for Reading Detroit, a non-profit literacy initiative that works to expand access to high-quality children's books and support families in reading with their children.

The commencement speaker will be Margaret Auer ’65, former Dean of Libraries and Instructional Technology.  She worked as a dean for 34 years and for the University since 1961, typing catalog cards in the early days to help pay for her tuition.

Heading the library, Auer was responsible for management, planning, personnel, and budget of the McNichols Campus Library, School of Dentistry Library, Instructional Design Studio, University Archives and Special Collections as well as the UDM nursing collection at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich.

For friends and family who are unable to attend the McNichols Campus Commencement ceremony, UDM offers a live video stream of the event. Watch online here. The video will begin streaming at 12:45 p.m.

The 2016 graduates of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry also shared a message on this major milestone in their lives. Congratulations to all graduates!