News Release

2012 Commencement Ceremonies set for May 11-13

University of Detroit Mercy will hold its annual commencement ceremony for undergraduate and graduate students on Saturday, May 12, at 1:30 p.m. in Calihan Hall on the McNichols Campus. UDM School of Law will hold commencement on Friday, May 11 at 5 p.m. and UDM School of Dentistry will hold commencement on Sunday, May 13 at 10:30 a.m. The Law and Dental ceremonies will also be held in Calihan Hall. The University will graduate a total of 1,540 students during its three commencement ceremonies.


At the annual undergraduate/graduate commencement, the University will honor valedictorians, Social Work Graduate Maria Ibarra-Frayre (of Detroit) and English Graduate Susan Kalkstein (New Kensington, PA). Both valedictorians are from the College of Liberal Arts & Education and will be addressing the audience at Saturday’s ceremony.

CommencementThe keynote speaker and honorary degree recipient for this year's McNichols Campus commencement is Eduardo M. Ochoa, Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education.  Appointed to the position in 2010 by President Barack Obama, he serves as the secretary's chief advisor on higher-education issues and administers more than 60 programs, totaling nearly $3 billion annually, that are designed to provide financial assistance to eligible students enrolled in postsecondary institutions.

"We are honored to have Dr. Ochoa as our 2012 commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient," said UDM President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D. "Because of his many years of higher education leadership experience, the U.S. Department of Education and we are fortunate to have Secretary Ochoa working diligently to expand access and make a college education affordable for all students."

The U.S. Dept. of Postsecondary Education supports higher education facilities and programs through financial support to eligible institutions, recruits and prepares disadvantaged students for successful completion of college, promotes the study of foreign languages and international affairs, and supports international educational research and exchange activities.

Prior to joining the department, Ochoa served for seven years as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Sonoma State University, part of the California State University system. He earned his bachelor's degree in physics, with a minor in philosophy, from Reed College in 1973. He completed his master's in nuclear science and engineering at Columbia University in New York . He also obtained his Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research.


CommencementOn Friday, May 11, the keynote speaker for the School of Law commencement is retired Judge James L. Ryan, a former Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge.  Ryan, a UDM alumnus, received his bachelor  of laws degree in 1956 from University of Detroit and in 1992 he earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Detroit Mercy.  He served for 25 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals and prior to that for 10 years as judge on the Michigan Supreme Court and nine years as a Wayne County Circuit Court judge.  He also served as Captain Judge Advocate in the United States Navy Reserves from 1957 to 1992 and as a private practice attorney from 1960 to 1966.


CommencementOn Sunday, May 13, the School of Dentistry commencement keynote speaker is Thomas J. Veryser, D.D.S., M.H.S.A., and Chief Executive Officer of Michigan Community Dental Clinics.  A 1970 alumnus of University of Detroit School of Dentistry, he has served for more than 20 years in private general practice before completing a Master in Health Services Administration at the University of Michigan. Since then Veryser has been highly involved in dental and medical healthcare consulting, working on projects to empower groups of physicians and dentists in dealing effectively with the changing healthcare marketplace, and developing dental benefit plans.

Release date: April 24,2012

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The University of Detroit Mercy is Michigan's largest private Catholic University, offering approximately 100 majors and programs in 60 academic fields. Sponsored by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the University has three campuses located in downtown and northwest Detroit.

For the 11th consecutive year, UDM was ranked among the top tier of Midwestern master's universities in U.S.News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" – 2012 edition.