Detroit Mercy is Urban

In mid-2019, Assistant to the President for Mission Integration Catherine Punsalan-Manlimos was appointed to succeed John Staudenmaier, S.J., former assistant to the president for Mission and Identity.

Punsalan-Manlimos' new Office of Mission Integration (OMI) will continue to reinforce the importance of Detroit Mercy's Catholic, Mercy and Jesuit identity with students, faculty, staff and alumni.

What does "urban" mean for Detroit Mercy?

Imagine that Detroit Mercy had the magic to lift up its entire 75-acre McNichols campus — its buildings, its faculty and staff, students and programs — and replant it in ... maybe, Wixom. Imagine that this magic landed the McNichols Campus with no transit damage to laboratories, classrooms, residence halls, etc. — how would it be different?

This is not an idle question; it points to the influence of place on everything we do. This thought experiment suggests that if we kept everything the same, except the neighborhood, everything would be radically changed anyway. How would the move to Wixom influence the ethnic and economic makeup of the student body? How would it affect fundraising? How would we write our recruitment advertisements for students?

On Sep. 1, 2015, the "Live6 Alliance" announced its original three stakeholders: The Kresge Foundation, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and University of Detroit Mercy. Why was this press conference held on Detroit Mercy's campus? Because people are comparing Live6 to the early stages of the Midtown Detroit development 10 years ago. Live6's key stakeholders see unmistakable evidence of an extraordinary rebirth of the vitality of its part of the city.

Make no mistake, the University still educates its students to be street-smart and city-alert. We recognize that cities can be dangerous. Our 16 clinics not only train students in our professional graduate programs to work, under faculty supervision, with real people, the clinics also open our students to urban violence and concentrated poverty. By doing so, Detroit Mercy says, "no graduate should leave Detroit Mercy unaware of the tensions of U.S. urban life today." We have worked on this for many years and are proud of it. 

However, with our engagement in the transformation of northwest Detroit, we are adding a second educational commitment. We do not just care for and about the wounds of urban violence, we are not just a field hospital, we are also a midwife clinic, assisting in this great rebirth.

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    Exploring the City

    University-managed websites:

    Detroit Mercy digital near-neighbors in Detroit resurrection:

    • Transportation Riders United. The mission of Transportation Riders United (TRU) is to improve transportation access and mobility in Greater Detroit. Their purpose is to:
      • Inform and educate the public and officials about the importance of public transportation options.
      • Promote discourse on local, regional, and state developments relating to transportation.
      • Improve public transportation Promote alternatives to highway expansion.
    • Model D Newsletter
    • Places to go and things to do in Detroit and various cool resources and activities in the “the D.”

    • Detroit Mercy Feature: Remember the Titans: UDM Reaches Out to Its Neighbors

    • Downtown Detroit Partnership. DDP partners with the City of Detroit on public space maintenance programs, marketing activities and event support. DDP also initiates information exchange, advocacy and networking opportunities on behalf of the downtown business community. The leadership of the DDP engages business, government and civic leaders in developing initiatives to strengthen downtown Detroit as the vibrant, diverse and economically healthy urban core of Southeast Michigan.