When I began this summer, my first three days were spent at the Mackinac Policy Conference, where I met many of the state’s legislative, business and community leaders. With every introduction came enthusiastic praise of University of Detroit Mercy from alumni, friends and even individuals who had not attended the University. Similarly, when I met many of our Fall 2011 first-year students and their parents at the five Summer Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR) sessions, they also told me that UDM’s outstanding national and international reputation, its excellent academic programs, and the success of its alumni had the greatest influence on their sons and daughters choosing UDM for their college education. As has been the case for more than a century, our first-year class, as well as the returning upperclassmen and professional students, are very impressive—academically and personally—and they represent a diversity of backgrounds.As you will quickly notice as you read this issue of Spiritus, UDM is truly “on the move.” Inside are highlights of several facility improvements, including major renovations to the School of Law’s Dowling Hall and the Chemistry Building on the McNichols Campus. Additionally, the groundbreaking of the new Student Fitness Center occurred on September 22. Students are very excited about the Student Fitness Center, which will be the first free-standing building that has been constructed on the McNichols Campus in more than 40 years. Phase I of the facility is expected to be completed and available to students by fall of 2012. The Student Fitness Center and the other critical infrastructure improvements on the three campuses have been possible because of the University’s fiscal soundness over the last few years and the generosity of alumni.
Since my appointment last November, I have met many alumni at several events, and I look forward to meeting many more of you at the long list of historic events and milestone anniversaries we will be celebrating over the next 12 months. For example, in 2011-12, the Engineering program is 100 years old, as is the University’s Cooperative Education program. And in 2012, the School of Law will celebrate its centennial. I hope that you will plan to attend many of the events associated with these milestones. And, please add April 13, 2012 to your calendar, which will be the day that I am officially installed as president of University of Detroit Mercy. It would be an honor to have you there. A day of events is being planned, with Mass in the morning and culminating with a Gala dinner at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit. We will share more information about the inauguration during the year.
Thank you again for your wonderful welcome to University of Detroit Mercy, and I look forward to meeting you over the next several months.
Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D.