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Gardella Honors House

The Gardella Honors House is one of the most unique features of the University Honors Program. An intimate study and “hangout” space for all Honors students, Gardella fosters community and identity for students enrolled in the University Honors Program. Incoming Honors Students are given a key to Gardella at a special ceremony following First Year Convocation, and Honors students can use Gardella throughout their time at Detroit Mercy. A number of formal and informal Honors events are also held in the Gardella Honors House, including students’ thesis defenses.

Gardella Historical and Present

History of Gardella

The Gardella Honors House is a thirty-six by fifteen foot structure is located in the northwest quadrant of campus between Briggs and the School of Architecture. Originally known as Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, the structure was a gift from Mrs. and Mr. George A. Gardella, president of Food Associates of Michigan Inc. The chapel was dedicated on June 13, 1963, immediately before the university’s commencement ceremony that year.

In 2006, with permission from the Gardella family, the chapel was converted into the Gardella Honors House. Funds were raised from private donors to renovate and furnish the space.

Today the Gardella Honors House is a beloved space on campus for members of the University Honors Program. You will also see the Gardella Honors House represented in the logo for the University Honors Program, which was created in 2016.

For more on the history of Gardella, see this article from Detroit Mercy’s Archives and Special Collections.