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  • July 06: New Detroit Mercy president Donald Taylor begins tenure

    Wednesday July 06, 2022
    President Taylor, center, looks at a tablet on his desk in the Student Union, with a Detroit Mercy IT member assisting.

    The Donald Taylor era at Detroit Mercy began on Friday, July 1, as the University’s new president received his ID card, moved into his new office in the Student Union and continued to meet new colleagues.

    Learn more about Taylor’s vision for the University in an article that was featured in the Spring 2022 edition of Spiritus magazine.

    President Taylor, center, looks at a tablet on his desk in the Student Union, with a Detroit Mercy IT member assisting.

    The Bold Vision of Donald Taylor

    University of Detroit Mercy’s 26th president is eager to get to work.

    Donald Taylor has been on what he calls “a listening tour” since late February when he was appointed Detroit Mercy’s 26th president.

    Several campus visits, often accompanied by his wife, Lechia, have included tours of the McNichols, Novi, Riverfront and Corktown campuses, one-on-one and group meetings with members of the leadership team, staff, students and faculty.

    “I’m learning,” Taylor said in March. “You’ve got to really learn about the culture of the institution before you can lead it. I’m doing this now so that I can hit the ground running on July 1.”

    He likes what he’s hearing and learning.

    Detroit Mercy’s strong commitment to social justice, led by its founders the Religious Sisters of Mercy and the Jesuits, the strength of many of its programs, the deep emotions the University evokes and, most important, the University’s current trajectory, show that Detroit Mercy has broad support from students, alumni, employees and the community.

    “This institution has an outstanding reputation and a long, storied tradition of excellence,” Taylor said.

    That’s part of what led him to seek the position after serving his first presidency at a private, 2,100-student Catholic university near Philadelphia.

    Taylor comes to Detroit Mercy with nearly 30 years of higher education leadership experience. Since 2014, he has served as president at Cabrini University in Pennsylvania.

    He helped lead Cabrini through its transition from a college to a university two years later, creating schools of Education; Business, Arts and Media; Humanities and Social Sciences; and Natural Sciences and Allied Health, each headed by a dean. The new University’s first two doctorates, in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, were also instituted under his leadership.

    In his tenure, four academic centers of excellence were created at Cabrini that focus on immigration; urban education; domestic violence and early childhood education; and global business. Donor funding supports two of them.

    During Taylor’s tenure as president, Cabrini ranked among the top 40 Most Transformative Colleges in the nation by Money Magazine, an indicator that showcases schools whose alumni report high levels of success. In 2019, the university was also ranked as one of the Best Northern Universities by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges Edition.”

    Donald Taylor, right, and wife Lechia outdoors on the McNichols Campus of Detroit Mercy.President Donald Taylor, right, and wife, Lechia.

    Identifying the needs of the community, Taylor partnered with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to provide scholarship support for DACA students in a first-of-its-kind agreement. He also created educational pathways for students to attend Cabrini by establishing nearly two dozen additional partnerships with K–12 schools (dual credit), institutions of higher education (4+1 degrees), and educational nonprofits across the region, the nation and the world.

    A native of Memphis, Tenn., he understands the transformative potential of education. It was instilled in him by his hard-working, blue-collar parents.

    He and Lechia are the first in their families to attend college and both have siblings who did not graduate from high school, but later earned their GEDs. Lechia is a nurse and certified case manager. They have a son, Seth.

    “We know the value of education and how it transforms lives and what doors it opens,” he said in his 2014 inauguration address at Cabrini.

    He earned a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Memphis and was a research scientist in the biomedical sciences early in his career. He joined the faculty at Benedictine University near Chicago, where he served as director of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program, William Scholl Endowed Professor in the Health Sciences, inaugural dean of the College of Science, and provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

    “I’m a scientist by training,” Taylor said. “I like solving problems.”

    On his listening tour, he hears some opportunities for this institution.

    “When you think of Jesuit and Mercy institutions nationally, you think of Marquette, Boston College, Xavier, College of Saint Mary, and Georgian Court University, to name a few,” he said. “We should be on that level.”

    He sees room for growth in several areas, many of which involve Detroit Mercy becoming more thoroughly embedded in metro Detroit. There are opportunities to help the University shape programming to create graduates who have the skills identified by local businesses and civic institutions.

    He says the University should continue to look for unique ways to create programming, possibly online, for micro-credential certificates for those already working in careers. He would like to see more community-based research projects in which students and faculty work with local organizations and foundations to identify needs and solutions. Allied health programming could significantly increase building on the strong relationship that already exists between the University and the healthcare community.

    Individual members of the Detroit Mercy community will also have an important role to play, he says. Taylor will call on students, staff, faculty and alumni to live the Detroit Mercy mission through service. Building a strong volunteer workforce of people with skills from arts and healthcare to business and the sciences would help spread the Detroit Mercy mission through service.

    Increased enrollment is another goal.

    “But it can’t be growth for the sake of growth,” he said. “It has to have a targeted focus.” That target might be first-generation students, which makes up about a third of Detroit Mercy’s student population.

    And then there is the question of making sure campus life is vibrant and active, with modern facilities for learning and for residential students and event programming that creates a buzz among students, staff and faculty. Athletics is one area where he sees the possibility of creating community: Strong athletics lead to strong school spirit.

    So how do these things happen? As might be expected, Taylor has a process. Securing resources, promoting the vision, communicating University priorities and urging people to think more entrepreneurially are the first steps.

    Then, he says, the University community has to take a hard look at what it can give up.

    “I will be asking people to do more things,” he said, “and they can’t do them on top of what they are doing now. We have to determine what we should stop doing.”

    Taylor knows this is a bold agenda, but he believes the University is on the right trajectory.

    “This institution has made tremendous strides,” he said. “Everything is in place to take the next step to be the university of choice for metro Detroit and beyond.”

    By Ron Bernas. Follow Detroit Mercy on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Have a story idea? Let us know by submitting your idea.

  • July 06: Detroit Mercy service-learning project provides care packs for people in need

    Wednesday July 06, 2022
    Three photos of Detroit Mercy PA students, wearing masks, packing care packs from inside of a classroom in the College of Health Professions.

    For more than six years, Nour Lyon and her husband have been distributing care packs with useful items to members of the unhoused community. 

    “I always felt helpless walking by homeless people in Detroit or driving around and I thought, ‘what can I have ready to go to give them?’” Lyon ’12, an assistant professor in the Physician Assistant Program, said. “I didn’t always have cash on me, and I thought that this would be something good and beneficial to give them.” 

    “I really enjoyed some of the conversations that I would have with some homeless people and to just be able to have something to give them, it felt really good so we tried to tailor what to put in these packs based on things most people might need.” 

    Last year, Lyon received a microgrant through the University that helped fund her care pack initiative and this spring, she received a Ford Community Corps Partnership (FCCP) grant which assists in funding her project and turns her PA class into a service-learning course.  

    A service-learning course requires you to include a service activity within the course along with finding a community partner, so Lyon chose The NOAH Project (Networking, Organizing, and Advocating for the Homeless) as her community partner. 

    Lyon got her PA students involved in her project, who have said that it has changed their lives for the better. The students help assemble the care packs at Detroit Mercy and distribute them to the surrounding community while participating in clinicals in metro Detroit. 

    “The gratitude is palpable and heartwarming, and as much as you know that you might’ve helped them, they definitely helped you more,” said Madelyn Bastin, a fifth-year senior enrolled in Detroit Mercy’s accelerated Physician Assistant program. 

    “Although these care packages are limited in what they provide, connecting with this population brings the community together, allowing us to rebuild Detroit step-by-step,” added Katelyn Sheena, a second-year graduate student in the PA program. 

    The contents in these care packs are essential items that people need every day. They include water bottles, granola bars, fruit snacks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, Band-Aids, T-shirts and socks. 

    “Not only do my classmates and I live all over the metro Detroit area, but we do a majority of our clinical rotations in some pretty underserved communities,” Bastin said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve passed someone in need while leaving the clinic or the hospital before and thought, ‘Oh I wish I had something to give them.’” 

    It’s also helped give many students perspective outside of the classroom. 

    “It pushes many students to step out of their comfort zone, connect and give individuals hope during their time of need,” Sheena said. 

    Nour LyonNour Lyon ’12

    Now that Lyon has teamed up with The NOAH Project, they plan to find out what the unhoused people would prefer in their care packs. 

    The University’s commitment to serving and helping people in and around the communities of metro Detroit has been beneficial in helping the project grow. 

    “It’s great that the University gives opportunities for us to do these things, it’s really nice,” Lyon said. “The people are still there that taught me like Father Tim (Hipskind). I graduated 10 years ago and it’s the same network of the same people, so it’s really nice that they foster that sort of activity on campus.” 

    “Throughout my time at Detroit Mercy, the University has consistently emphasized the importance of serving the underserved,” Bastin said. “While most can understand the value of this, it’s quite another to witness the need firsthand.” 

    Lyon feels strongly about giving back with how she’s been blessed in her life. 

    “I like serving, I like doing things for others,” Lyon said. “I think it helps me step back and realize how fortunate I am, so I either try to volunteer my time or do stuff like this that brings a good balance into my life.”

    Three photos of Detroit Mercy PA students, wearing masks, packing care packs from inside of a classroom in the College of Health Professions.

  • July 06: Spring 2022 edition of Spiritus available online

    Wednesday July 06, 2022

    The Spring 2022 edition of Spiritus is now available online!

    Content includes a message from outgoing President Antoine Garibaldi, a story on President Donald Taylor, alumni features, news and notes and photos from 2022 Commencement.

    Read the full magazine online.

    President Donald Taylor, right, and his wife Lechia on the McNichols Campus of Detroit Mercy. Text reads, Spiritus, Spring 2022, The Magazine for University of Detroit Mercy, Meet Detroit Mercy's Next President.

  • June 27: Thank you, President Garibaldi

    Monday June 27, 2022
    President Garibaldi stands at a podium inside of the Student Fitness Center, with two blue University of Detroit Mercy Build A Boundless Future banners, one on the podium and one as a large backdrop behind him.

    The University held a dinner on June 17 to celebrate and honor President Antoine M. Garibaldi for his 11 years as leader of the institution.

    The celebration dinner at the Student Fitness Center featured more than 200 people, including alumni, colleagues, community leaders, students and friends.

    Garibaldi began his term as leader of Detroit Mercy in 2011 and is the 25th and first lay president of the University of Detroit Mercy. He finishes his term as president on June 30.

    Full photo gallery of the event.

     

    President Garibaldi stands at a podium inside of the Student Fitness Center, with two blue University of Detroit Mercy Build A Boundless Future banners, one on the podium and one as a large backdrop behind him.

    President Garibaldi stands in the center of seven people, flanked on each side by three women, with all seven people smiling inside of the Student Fitness Center.An overhead shot of 200 people having dinner at tables inside of the Student Fitness Center.President Garibaldi, standing, talks with three people who are sitting at a table. Several people can be seen in the background of the Student Fitness Center.President Garibaldi, on the left, embraces a woman, with both of them smiling. Several people are in the background of the Student Fitness Center.

    President Garibaldi shakes hands with Tom Page, with another man standing behind them. A big blue University of Detroit Mercy banner hangs in the background of the Student Fitness Center.Six people stand inside of the Student Fitness Center with a blue University of Detroit Mercy backdrop behind them.

     

  • June 27: Sterling silver University of Detroit Mercy rings available

    Monday June 27, 2022
    Two versions of a silver University of Detroit Mercy ring are featured with the University of Detroit Mercy, Build A Boundless Future logo underneath.

    Detroit Mercy, in partnership with Miner’s Den Jewelers, has a special offer available for alumni and friends. Inspired by President Antoine Garibaldi, women and men’s sterling silver Detroit Mercy logo rings are available exclusively at Miner’s Den in Royal Oak. In addition, 20% of all proceeds from each sale will be donated to the University.

    Men’s sizes are available for $225 plus tax and women’s for $140 each plus tax. A portion of all sales goes to support Detroit Mercy. You can order your ring in person or over the phone by calling 248-585-6950. Production time is approximately three weeks after the order is placed.

    Miner’s Den is located at 3417 Rochester Road in Royal Oak.

    Two versions of a silver University of Detroit Mercy ring are featured with the University of Detroit Mercy, Build A Boundless Future logo underneath.

  • June 27: Rocket Mortgage Classic announces field for 2022 PGA event

    Monday June 27, 2022
    Nine PGA Tour golfers are featured on a red graphic for the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

    Detroit Mercy will once again host alumni and friends at the 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic on July 28-31 at Detroit Golf Club.

    Prices for general admission range from $60-$80 per ticket. For an exclusive experience, you can join Detroit Mercy in a private cabana/suite near the 17th green, including food and open bar for only $500. A portion of the ticket price for the cabana/suite is a tax-deductible gift to Detroit Mercy Student Scholarships. In addition, Detroit Mercy’s new president, Donald Taylor, will be in attendance.

    Nine PGA Tour golfers are featured on a red graphic for the Rocket Mortgage Classic.Some of the top-tier players committed to the tournament this year are as follows:

    • Will Zalatoris — Runner-up at both the U.S. Open and PGA Championship this year, Zalatoris has top-eight results in six of his last eight major championships. Last year’s PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year and the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, he has quickly developed a reputation for playing well on the TOUR’s grandest stages and most difficult courses. The World No. 12 is currently eighth in the PGA TOUR’s 2021-22 FedExCup standings, and has eight top-10 finishes in 18 tournaments this season.
    • Tony Finau — The long-hitting two-time PGA TOUR winner and World No. 17 has represented the United States on its last two Ryder Cup teams. Last season, he finished No. 11 in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup standings after winning THE NORTHERN TRUST, a playoff event. He has 10 runner-up finishes on the PGA TOUR in the last four-plus seasons and five top-eight results in majors within the past three years (third at the 2019 Open Championship, T5 at the 2019 Masters, T8 at the 2020 U.S. Open and 2021 PGA Championship, and T10 at the 2021 Masters).
    • Justin Rose — The PGA TOUR’s most decorated Englishman is preparing to make his Rocket Mortgage Classic debut. Rose counts the 2013 U.S. Open among his 10 PGA TOUR victories and was the TOUR’s FedExCup champion in 2018. Internationally, the former World No. 1 won the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, has represented the European team in five Ryder Cups and owns 11 other global titles.
    • Jason Day — The Australian and former World No. 1 owns 12 PGA TOUR victories, including the 2015 PGA Championship and THE PLAYERS Championship in 2016, and has played in four Presidents Cups representing the international team. He is set to make his third consecutive start in the Rocket Mortgage Classic, having placed T14 last year.
    • Cameron Young — Playing in his first full PGA TOUR season and set to make his Rocket Mortgage Classic debut, the 25-year-old is currently No. 17 in the PGA TOUR’s 2021-22 FedExCup standings and No. 32 in the world. This season, he has five top-three finishes, including a T2 at The Genesis Invitational – the only non-major tournament this season to field the world’s top 10 players – and a T3 at last month’s PGA Championship. He and Zalatoris were teammates at Wake Forest from 2015-2017.
    • Matt Kuchar — The American veteran who has played in four Ryder Cups and five Presidents Cups has also won nine PGA TOUR titles, including the 2012 PLAYERS Championship. The 1997 U.S. Amateur champion is set to play in his first Rocket Mortgage Classic.
    • Rickie Fowler — A Rocket Mortgage ambassador and a five-time PGA TOUR winner, Fowler has played on four Ryder Cup teams and appeared in three Presidents Cups and represented the United States in the 2016 Olympic Games. Fowler has played in the Rocket Mortgage Classic each year it has been held, with his best finish a T12 in 2020.
    • Kevin Kisner — The four-time PGA TOUR winner is No. 31 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Two weeks apart in March, he was runner-up (to World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler) at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and recorded a fourth-place finish at THE PLAYERS Championship. He has played in every Rocket Mortgage Classic, finishing third in 2020 and T8 last year.
    • Cam Davis – The Australian defeated 54-hole co-leaders Troy Merritt and Joaquin Niemann in a five-hole playoff to win the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic, earning his first career PGA TOUR victory in his 71st start. He has played in every edition of the Rocket Mortgage Classic and has three top-10 finishes this season.
    For tickets and more information.
  • June 27: President Garibaldi featured in WXYZ Detroit’s Spotlight on the News

    Monday June 27, 2022

    On Sunday, June 26, President Antoine M. Garibaldi was featured in WXYZ/Channel 7’s Spotlight on the News program in Detroit. Garibaldi was interviewed by Chuck Stokes, reflecting on his 11 years as leader of the University of Detroit Mercy.

    Spotlight on the News, now in its 57th season, is Michigan’s longest-running weekly news and public affairs television program. It airs every Sunday at 10 a.m. on WXYZ-TV/Channel 7 in Detroit.

    Spotlight on the News.

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Monday June 27, 2022

Lecturer in Economics Joseph Weglarz recently discussed the state of the economy and inflation on the Mildred Gaddis Show, broadcasted on KISS-FM (105.9). Weglarz was a guest on the show on May 29, 2022 and spoke for 45 minutes.

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