News Release

Author Lois Leveen Visits UDM to Speak on New Book "The Secrets of Mary Bowser"

University of Detroit Mercy invites students, staff, faculty, and members of the public to a fascinating Black History Month program about Mary Bowser, a Union spy who posed as a slave in the Confederate White House during the Civil War.  

Lois Leveen, award-winning author of  "The Secrets of Mary Bowser" will be speaking at UDM's McNichols Campus on Tuesday, February 12 from 7-8:30 pm. in Commerce and Finance #209. Her novel interweaves historical events and real people in introducing readers to little known aspects of this amazing women.

"We're delighted to host a program about Bowser, who as a young African American woman took extraordinary risks to change the course of American history, said Rosemary Weatherston, director of UDM’s Women's and Gender Studies Department and associate professor of English.

“Her story isn't just edifying, it's inspirational, especially for UDM students who are thinking about how they can make a difference when it comes to important present-day causes."

This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant it has received from Poets & Writers Inc. Detroit. It is being co-sponsored by UDM’s College of Liberal Arts and Education, Departments of English and History, and African American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies Programs.

You can hear Leveen on two recent radio broadcasts.  She appeared Feb. 7 on The Craig Fahle Show (beginning about 1/3 into the show). And she appeared on the show Livewire, which you can listen to in the audio player below.

A question-and-answer session and a book signing will follow Leveen's talk. Barnes and Noble at UDM will have copies of The Secrets of Mary Bowser available for purchase.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact Rosemary Weatherston at

Release date: February 05, 2013

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The University of Detroit Mercy is Michigan's largest private Catholic University, with more than 100 academic majors and programs. Sponsored by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and the Sisters of Mercy, the University has campuses located in downtown and northwest Detroit.

UDM is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities and the largest of 17 Mercy institutions of higher education in the United States. For the 15th consecutive year, University of Detroit Mercy is listed in the top tier of Midwest regional universities in the 2016 edition of the U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges."