Detroit Mercy welcomes new students to McNichols Campus

August 29, 2022
Students gather outside Shiple Hall to enjoy a variety of food and frozen ices during move-in day.

More than 500 incoming freshmen began their academic careers at University of Detroit Mercy with two weeks of activities, starting Aug. 21 with the University’s orientation program, Prologues, Transitions and Viewpoints (PTV).

Orientation began with freshman move-in Aug. 21-22, as first-year students moved into Shiple Hall, received their parking permits and University ID cards and began meeting their peers. First-year convocation followed on Aug. 23, where new students and their families were introduced to Detroit Mercy administrators and mingled over lunch. 

Freshmen experienced the University’s Jesuit and Mercy mission firsthand by performing service work in communities near the McNichols Campus on Aug. 24-25. The annual tradition is part of the Viewpoints portion of PTV and introduces new students to service learning and community members. 

“I think this really helps them see our mission as a University, experience it firsthand and get to know local people and their needs,” said Gail Presbey, a professor of Philosophy and director of Carney Latin American Solidarity Archive at Detroit Mercy. “We get to endeavor together on a common project, and that’s always a good way to start out the school year.” 

Students were split into groups to assist with two days of community projects enhancing northwest Detroit communities. Projects included cleaning Palmer Park, painting a house in the Fitzgerald Neighborhood, working at Auntie Na’s Village, assisting Palmer Park Preparatory Academy with back-to-school preparations and clearing lots of brush and debris. Each organization requested the help of the University to get this work done. 

“I’m going to be living here for the next four years, so I might as well help out with everything else and try to make this place a little bit better my own way,” said Tanish Devaram, a freshman from Okemos, Mich. who is studying Biology at Detroit Mercy. 

“It means a lot to me," added Johnea Johnson, a freshman Biology major from Sterling Heights, Mich. “I feel very excited to help the community and bring this place better for everybody. Everyone can feel good here.” 

When students weren’t serving the community, they were participating in a number of activities on the McNichols Campus, including an overview of Detroit Mercy’s mission, getting to know their fellow students, a performance by Detroit Mercy Theatre Company, an organization fair and tutoring workshops. 

Freshmen orientation wrapped with outdoor activities in downtown Detroit, including an evening boat cruise on the Detroit River followed by a beach party at Campus Martius.

Welcome Week kicked off the start of classes at Detroit Mercy and featured additional activities for students to enjoy from Aug. 28 through Sept. 1

Video: Detroit Mercy students volunteer during 2022 PTV

Service work news coverage: FOX 2 Detroit | WDIV

A student participates in first-year convocation by reading their program. Other students who are also reading are visible in the background and foreground.
President Taylor fist bumps a student during freshman move-in day.
A group of students and their families carry belongings from the parking lot to Shiple Hall during freshman move-in day.
Two students eat lunch while sitting on steps outside a house. Rejoice is painted over one of the boards covering a window.
A student rides his bike on the sidewalk near the Engineering Building while other students walk around campus during the first day of classes.
Fr. Gilbert Sunghera, S.J., presides over Sunday night Mass.
A student flashes the peace sign as students walk in a line down Kassab Mall to start first-year convocation.
Two students talk while standing against the railing of a boat during the boat cruise. The Ambassador Bridge's lights are visible in the background.
Students carry out bags of clothes out of a house on Detroit's west side.
A student grabs an item from someone to put in a garbage bag as other students work during PTV.
Students mingle on the streets nearby the GM Renaissance Center before the boat cruise.