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Spring 2008

Inside View

• UDM encourages employees to "Live Where They Work"
• UDM honors alumni Elmore Leonard and Thomas G. Denommee
• Law school launches national tour to provide pro bono assistance to veterans
• UDM in top tier again in 2008 "America's Best Colleges"
• Athletics adds three new sports to its Division I lineup and hires new men's lacrosse  coach
• Updates from the Schools and Colleges

UDM encourages employees to “Live Where They Work”

New benefit program provides incentive for UDM faculty and staff to purchase homes in Detroit 

University of Detroit Mercy President Gerard L. Stockhausen, S.J., unveiled a new benefit for UDM faculty and staff, the Employee Homeownership Program. This new initiative will offer financial incentives to employees if they choose to purchase a home in the surrounding neighborhoods of UDM’s three campuses.

As part of the program, the University will offer a $5,000 down payment to qualifying employees that are buying a home in one of the three University neighborhoods. JVS, a Southfield-based non-profit human service organization, will partner with the University to help employees secure an additional $5,000 from HUD. JVS will also offer classes to help buyers financially prepare to purchase a home and maintain their investment.

The campus housing areas included in the program are: McNichols Campus from Wyoming, to the Lodge Fwy., to Linwood and 8 Mile Rd.; the Corktown Campus from Grand Blvd. to the Lodge Fwy., to Michigan Ave.; and the Riverfront Campus from the Lodge Fwy. to E. Lafayette Blvd. to Brush St., to Woodbridge St. to Orleans St.

University of Detroit Mercy has continued to offer students a quality education with a strong commitment to the city of Detroit through community outreach and partnerships. This program strongly reflects the urban University’s mission in creating more of a “sense of community” for its employees.

“This benefit is a win-win for the University, our employees and the communities we serve,” says President Stockhausen. “Over 130 years ago, we made an important commitment to the city of Detroit, and initiatives like this are important in continuing UDM’s investment in our city’s growth.”

A Detroit resident, President Stockhausen also chairs the Board of Directors of University Commons, a community development organization in northwest Detroit comprised of neighborhood associations, Livernois Avenue businesses, Marygrove College and UDM.

UDM honors alumni Elmore Leonard '50, and Thomas G. Denomme '61

leonard_denommeElmore Leonard ‘50, and Thomas G. Denomme ‘61, were honored at the University of Detroit Mercy’s Ignatian Circle Dinner on Friday, Sept. 28 in the Fountain Lounge of the Student Center Building, McNichols Campus.

Leonard (pictured above, first photo, with wife Christine '48, and President Gerard Stockhausen, S.J.), an internationally acclaimed author, is the recipient of UDM’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. He is recognized for his five decades of written work, encompassing 43 novels as well as screenplays and short stories.

Denomme (pictured above, second photo, with wife Barbara '62, and President Gerard Stockhausen, S.J.), former vice chairman and chief administrative officer of Chrysler Corporation, is the recipient of the University’s Founders Award. He is recognized for his support of higher education in the tradition of UDM’s Jesuit and Mercy founders.

Law school launches national tour to provide pro bono assistance to veterans

Tour kicks off in Detroit; School asks pro bono attorneys around country to assist veterans on federal benefits issues 

gordon_rvThe University of Detroit Mercy School of Law has launched a nationwide tour of its Mobile Law Office (MLO) which will provide free assistance and/or representation to thousands of low-income veterans on federal benefits issues throughout the United States. The tour officially kicked off in Detroit Feb. 7 at the law school.

UDM is the only law school in the country with an MLO, a recreational vehicle that has been outfitted as a law office. For the national tour, General Motors has donated a specially designed, state-of-the-art RV that follows ADA accessibility guidelines, including a wheel-chair lift, oversize bathroom and same-level floor throughout the coach.

Through the MLO, volunteer attorneys and UDM law faculty and students counseled and/or otherwise assisted over 800 people during the past year. The MLO has made numerous stops at regional senior centers, churches, and other similar facilities, as well as regular stops at facilities where veterans congregate.

“When we started our Veterans Clinic, we were overwhelmed by the response and the requests for assistance from veterans both in Michigan and around the country,” says School of Law Dean Mark Gordon. “Our veterans deserve the best care available, and with the nationwide launch of our MLO, our Veterans Clinic will be able to help additional low-income veterans seeking federal benefits assistance.”

To maximize the reach and impact of the national MLO tour, a number of local attorneys and legal support groups will be assisting low-income veterans in a pro bono capacity in each city. During the tour, the law school will provide training on federal benefits issues to attorneys around the nation who are willing to donate time to assist veterans on a pro bono basis. The law school is also asking additional law firms and attorneys across the country to volunteer providing pro bono assistance to veterans.

“These veterans have given more than we can ever repay,” says Gordon. “The School is ready to give what it can, and we know that many other attorneys and groups are doing the same. We hope that by drawing attention to those who are already helping, we will also encourage those who have not yet stepped forward to answer the call as well.”

Post-Newsweek Stations, Inc. is the television sponsor of MLO events in six major markets: Detroit, San Antonio, Houston, Orlando, Miami, and Jacksonville. After the kickoff in Detroit, the tour’s first stop was in San Antonio, Texas on Feb. 13 at the American Legion Alamo Post #2 and at Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid. Numerous other stops continued throughout February and March and will continue throughout the year.

UDM in top tier again in 2008 “America’s Best Colleges”

best_collegesFor the seventh consecutive year, University of Detroit Mercy is listed in the top tier of Midwestern Master’s Universities in the 2008 edition of the U.S.News and World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges.”

In the “Great Schools, Great Prices” listing of the magazine, UDM was also ranked third in its category once again. According to U.S.News, this ranking highlights the best financial value as it relates to a school’s academic quality.

In the yearly guide, UDM is ranked one of the top 25 schools in its category.

“We are pleased to once again be recognized in the top tier of our peer institutions,” says UDM President Gerard L. Stockhausen, S.J. “The University’s unique combination of high academic quality at a good value with a diverse student body makes UDM an ideal choice for students as evidenced by the record number of new students attending the University over the past few years.”

Athletics adds three new sports to its Division I lineup

Men’s and women’s lacrosse and men’s tennis will hit the fields and courts in 2008-2009 

UDM will introduce three new varsity teams—men’s and women’s lacrosse and men’s tennis—beginning in 2008-09. The sports expansion will increase Detroit’s intercollegiate program to 19 teams next year.coach

UDM will hire head coaches for the new teams in the near future, allowing time for the coaches to recruit student-athletes to fill out their rosters while also planning the other elements involved in launching their programs. These will be the first new teams at UDM since women’s golf debuted in the fall of 2004.

“These three particular sports are clearly the best fit for UDM and will benefit both our Athletic program and the University,” says Keri Gaither, UDM athletic director. “Lacrosse is a great spectator sport, and it’s truly an emerging sport at the high school level. There has been a great and enthusiastic response from the Metro Detroit lacrosse community as reports got out that we were considering adding the teams. Coupled with the new multi-purpose turf field that was recently completed on campus, lacrosse seems like a sport where we can flourish. There has also been a greater demand from students regarding tennis for men.

We are hoping to break ground on campus this summer for a new tennis complex that will benefit both our men’s and women’s varsity programs.”

UDM will be the only Division I university in Michigan to field varsity lacrosse teams. The new Titan men are investigating membership in Lacrosse America (formerly known as the Great Western Lacrosse League). Current members of that conference are Air Force, Bellarmine, Denver, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Quinnipiac. The new Titan women hope to play league games against Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State and Vanderbilt as UDM is currently seeking membership in the American Lacrosse Conference. South Carolina (2009) and Florida (2010) are already confirmed as future members of the latter conference. Each of those leagues receives an automatic bid to the NCAA lacrosse championships.

Updates from the Schools and Colleges

Architecture: A team representing the National Architectural Accrediting Board, the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, visited the School in March. As part of its exit interview, the team will notify the School of criteria met.  A final report will be issued in early summer.
Business Administra­tion: The CBA’s chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma has been named one of the organization’s Premier Chapters for the seventh consecutive year. As a result of attaining this status, the UDM chapter is eligible to participate in the national scholarship program, and chapter inductee Cassandra Moran has been named a Beta Gamma Sigma Scholar for 2007-2008.

Engineering & Science: A new $50,000 Phase II grant from the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) will help advance UDM’s intercollegiate entrepreneurship program, to be proposed as a minor in the summer of 2008. So far, four new courses have been developed and piloted:Interdisciplinary Design, Entrepreneurship and Service (IDEAS), Innovation and Creativity, Front End of Innovation, Product Entrepreneurship. These courses, along with several others, will serve as the core for the proposed minor.  

Health Professions/McAuley School of Nursing: A new track in graduate nursing, clinical nurse leadership, has been approved, and is being started with the Trinity Health System and is in discussion with several other health systems. The expansion of the McAuley School of Nursing graduate program through this interdisciplinary collaborative model will respond to the current nursing leadership shortages identified by health systems administrators in the Detroit area and in the state of Michigan, and is supported nationally by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Liberal Arts & Education: Alumni are invited to participate in UDM’s Italy Study Abroad program scheduled for summer 2009. Did you ever want to learn Italian; revel at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and stand before his Pieta in the Vatican; walk in the coliseum; see the world-famous paintings of El Greco, Goya and Velázquez?