News Release

UDM Celebrate Spirit! … and Grand Opening of new Student Fitness Center

Each year, University of Detroit Mercy faculty, staff and students gather in Calihan Hall for the annual "Celebrate Spirit!" event. This longstanding tradition is a symbol of the beginning of the new academic year for students, faculty and staff and will include a worship service for all faiths, picnic lunch, student organization fair and grand opening of the UDM Student Fitness Center.

The Mass of the Holy Spirit service will take place on Thursday, Sept. 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at Calihan Hall, led by Rev. John Staudenmaier, S.J., director, Office of Mission and Identity.  Following the program, the University community will gather for the official grand opening of UDM’s new Fitness Center (east of the Engineering building) at 1:00 p.m. with tours inside, a student organization fair with games and activities around the Fisher Fountain and a picnic lunch sponsored by Chrysler Group LLC.

"Celebrate Spirit!" gathers the entire University community together to rededicate everyone to UDM's mission, to renew friendships, and to welcome new friends. The yearly event is part of a religious tradition that dates back to the great European universities in the Middle Ages who celebrated the new school year. 

As part of the prayer service, guest speaker Pediatric Emergency Physician Karen Schneider, RSM, M.D. will discuss her work at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, MD. where she teaches and practices, but four times a year, in a unique partnership between her work as a medical professor, she takes pediatric residents to third-world countries.  As a Sister of Mercy for the past 29 years, she believes “Saving children’s lives is not just a job, it’s my life’s mission as a Catholic nun,” she said.

The grand opening of the 40,000 square-foot Fitness Center features a two-court gymnasium for recreation and intramural sports such as basketball, volleyball, badminton and floor hockey; an elevated three-lane track; a group exercise room; men's and women's locker rooms and restrooms; a lobby and student lounge; and a convenient pit stop with healthy snacks.

This event’s activities are open to the entire University of Detroit Mercy community. All are encouraged to attend and receive inspiration as we recommit ourselves to living the UDM Mission in the city of Detroit. For more information, please visit

Release date: September 05, 2012

# # #

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 12th consecutive year, UDM was ranked among the top tier of Midwestern master's universities in U.S.News & World Report's "Best Colleges," 2013 edition.