University News

co-op deans and directors

(Left to right) Current and former deans who gathered
reccently on the McNichols Campus: Robert Penkala,
Sheryl McGriff (current dean), Estella Nicholson, Deltrinee
Moore and Robert Stromayer.

Co-op celebrates 100 years of service to students

The University of Detroit Mercy will commemorate 100 years of cooperative education on February 14, 2012  with a co-op symposium, awards luncheon, and co-op job fair. The morning symposium will begin at 9:30 a.m., awards ceremony 11:30 a.m. and job fair 1:30 p.m. UDM operates the third oldest continuous cooperative education program in the United States and the first required program in Michigan. Established in 1911, co-op was implemented into the University of Detroit Department of Engineering curriculum when third year, “pre-junior” students integrated classroom studies with “shop” every two weeks. In 1922, co-op was initiated for students in the Department of Architectural Engineering.

Over the years, the University of Detroit cooperative education division garnered United States Department of Education Title VIII funding grants to 1.) aid the development of cooperative education; 2.) develop a Midwest Training Center for Cooperative Education to provide co-op training to college administrators and employers throughout the Midwest; and, 3.) expand co-op into other disciplines. In 1978, Cooperative Education was established at Mercy College of Detroit for students in Business and Liberal Arts. The Midwest Training Center trained more than 6,000 administrators, faculty and business leaders in techniques that integrated co-op into their academic and work environments.

The co-op tradition continued in 1990 when the University of Detroit and Mercy College consolidated to form the University of Detroit Mercy.  Today, cooperative education is a required component of the Engineering, Architecture, Nursing, five-Year Physician Assistant and five-Year Master of Business Administration curriculum and strongly encouraged in most other academic areas.

UDM was recently inducted into the Cooperative Education Hall of Honor on the University of Cincinnati campus in the category of “organizations that have provided exceptional quality commitment to cooperative education over a substantial period of time, and by their example and leadership, have contributed significantly to its advancement.”

Clement J. Freund, dean of the University of Detroit College of Engineering and Architecture from 1932 through 1962 was also inducted into the Hall of Honor in 2011. Professor Donald C. Hunt, who became director of the cooperative education division in 1945, is a 2006 Hall of Honor inductee.

Original Co-op Employers*

American Blower Co.
American Car & Foundry Co.
American Pattern Works
Bryant & Detweiler Co.
Burroughs Adding Machine
Detroit Shipbuilding
Detroit Stove Works
Detroit Twist Drill Co.   
Detroit United Railway
Edison Illuminating
Federal MotorTruck
Gemmer Mfg. Co.
General Motors
Great Lakes Engineering
Harrigan & Reid Co.
Laner Machine Co.
Michigan Central RR.Co.
Michigan State Telephone Co. Michigan StoveWorks
MotorTruck Body Co.
National Twist Drill Co.
Northern Engineering Work
Packard Motor Car Co.
Park, Davis & Co.
James W. Partlan Co.
Peninsular Stove Works
Russel Wheel & Foundry Co.
A.W. Schultz
Solvay Process Co.
United States Tire Co.
W.E. Wood Co.

*Source: The University of Detroit 1877-1977, A Centennial History, Herman J. Muller, S.J., 1976.