UDM Campus Connection

May 10, 2011

Workers on tower
Tower repair workers on mobile scaffolding, May 11.

Clock Tower repair work underway

(Submitted by David Vandelinder, director, Facility Operations & Construction Management)

Since the birth of the McNichols Campus in 1926, one unique structure has literally stood above the rest.  Designed to function primarily as a chimney for the Powerhouse, the Clock Tower was dedicated as a memorial to University men killed in World War I.  The names of these soldiers can be found in the bas-relief at the north base of the Tower.  In the 1970s, the Clock Tower was used by the University's ROTC program for rappelling training.  Back then, it was common to see ROTC students climbing up and down the outside of the tower.

Over time, Michigan weather has taken its toll on our 203-foot Clock Tower.  Part of UDM's FY2011 Deferred Maintenance & Capital Improvement budget has been dedicated to the Tower's restoration. Repairs include cutting out and re-pointing deteriorated mortar joints, repairing spalled or shifted stones, sealing bell timbers, resetting loose tile, removing trees and other growth, cleaning the Tower and repairing a large hole, which appears to be from a lightning strike.  The goal is to ensure the University's landmark remains structurally sound, safe and maintained for future students to form memories around.

"Like" UDM's Common Read on Facebook

UDM's "Common Read" is designed to introduce first-year students to the academic and intellectual culture of UDM through a common reading experience. The 2011 Common Read selection is The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. This well-received work is a memoir, a celebration of life and a testament to the power of childhood dreams. It is also a book of life lessons.

Everyone in the University community is encouraged to read The Last Lecture and to join the conversation about it this fall.  Also, please "like" the Common Read fan page on Facebook to receive updates and help promote the common reading experience.

UDM featured in the news

UDM was spotlighted in news media this week as part of two stories. UDM's School of Architecture Dean Stephen Vogel and the School's Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) were featured in the May 9 Detroit Free Press article, "Activists: Detroit streams, once turned into sewers, could have new life."  The article highlights the DCDC work planning the restoration of Bloody Run Creek in Detroit as part of a new green environment.  The work is funded by a $450,000 donation from the Kresge Foundation.

Also, former University basketball star Earl Cureton never gave up on getting his degree since leaving in the 1970s to pursue a successful NBA career.  Read about his inspiring family story in the Detroit Free Press article, "Ex-Finney, UDM star Earl Cureton gets college degree 30 years later," and the WXYZ-TV news story.

Jesuit MBA Cares

Every spring, MBA students from 27 Jesuit colleges and universities across America plan a National Day of Service.  Last month, UDM's MBA Graduate Advisory Board members joined with high school students from inner-city Detroit and members of the Greening of Detroit organization to plant 200 trees in a neighborhood near the University.  The Greening of Detroit is a non-profit resource agency that partners with government agencies, corporations and foundations to assist neighborhood groups, churches and schools to reforest Detroit.

MBA group planting trees
Professor of Business Administration Gregory Ulferts (second from left) with MBA students, April 9.

Thumbs Up!

As members of the Detroit American Chemical Society, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Mark Benvenuto and Chemistry Storeroom Manager Meghann Murray volunteered at the Rouge River Water Festival, May 5 in Dearborn, to speak to hundreds of area children about water quality and how we can help to reduce acid rain by driving more effectively and minimizing energy use in our homes.

Incoming UDM President Antoine Garibaldi gave the keynote address and was awarded an honorary degree by Gannon University, May 7 in Erie, Pa. during the institution's May Commencement ceremony.  Garibaldi served as Gannon's president from 2001 to 2010.

Associate Professor of Biology James Graves gave the presentation, "Enteric bacteria and biodiesel glycerol byproduct in undergraduate research," co-authored by students Tone Shamon and Vincent Vuljaj, at the spring meeting of the Michigan Branch of the American Society for Microbiology, April 9 at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids.

Professor of Business Administration Mary Ann Hazen participated in the sessions, "Best practices in teaching leadership" and "Getting your management education work published," during the North American Management Society Conference, held in March in Chicago.

Michael Witkowski, associate professor of Criminal Justice, spoke with 50 at-risk high school students in an after-school SAT prep program, May 5 at Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) in the Ramparts section of Los Angleles.  His talk, "Careers in criminal justice and making social justice possible," emphasized the positions available in policing, courts and corrections and what the students would need to succeed in these fields, including academic success and gang avoidance.  Witkowski's daughter Christine Witkowski is a director of the HOLA program.

UDM Vice President for Academic Affairs Pamela Zarkowski delivered the commencement address at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry's 2011 Commencement Ceremony, May 6 in Ann Arbor.

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More University news and event information is available online at www.udmercy.edu/news_events/.