Category Archives: Uncategorized

Livernois by any other name….

There are several letters in the archives file about changing the name of “Livernois” to something else. In 1925, UD President Rev. John McNichols, inquired the City Council of City of Detroit that since the University of Detroit would be erecting a number of buildings potentially worth more than $15,000,000, that Livernois Ave. could be renamed as “Varsity Road”. In addition to the considerable amount of money being invested in the property, he listed a couple more reasons for the...

Changing habits: Sisters of Mercy

Over the past few weeks, as part of a grant, I have been sitting in on interviews with some of the Sisters of Mercy who were connected in some way with Mercy College of Detroit. In the early days, Mercy College of Detroit was not only a school for all young women to receive a liberal arts education for nursing or education, it was also a place where women would begin their education to enter the order of the Sisters...

University of Detroit Debate Program

The University of Detroit had a debate program almost from the beginning of the university’s establishment. It started out under the Philomathic Society until 1924 when the debating team was organized under the Department of Public Speaking. One of the longest running contest was for the Skinner medal. The Skinner Debate was founded in 1897 by Henry W. Skinner, a resident and citizen of Detroit, who donated $1,000 to the University of Detroit Philomathic Society, a group fostering the reading...

The President’s House at University of Detroit

Although it was called the “President’s House”, it was not the residential place where UD’s president lived. The mansion located on 1771 Balmoral Drive in the Palmer Woods district was donated to the University of Detroit in 1968 by Mrs. Alfred J. Fisher. Since there was already a building on UD campus called the “Fisher” building for administrative services, they did not want to have people confused as to which “Fisher” building that a meeting was being held. The President’s...

Grand Prix in Detroit:When UD had a prime view of the race

The first few years when Detroit held the Grand Prix, the race course route was through downtown Detroit, right past the University of Detroit Law School campus.  There were a lot of problems running Formula One cars through the narrow streets and eventually they moved the venue to Belle Isle. However, while it was held downtown, the university took advantage of its location for fundraising and public relations. It took nine months of planning for three full days of racing...

Trophies and whatever happened to the “Ideal Co-ed”?

In looking for stories to write in this blog, I would often go to a file and just look for something with pictures. The file on trophies did not have a lot, but in trying to check into one of them found a bit of a mystery. All the trophy pictures appear to be taken around the same time-mid 1930′s. The two tall ones don’t have any names or identification inscribed on the nameplate, one can only guess that they...

Golden Memories for the Class of ’65

Each year at commencement the University of Detroit Mercy welcomes back former students for a fifty-year class reunion. For the class of 1965, here are a few items they might remember: Maybe they were one of the 8500 who attended one of the last public appearances of Robert Frost at the Memorial building in November 1962.   Listen to Johnny Mathis at the 1963 Spring Carnival sing “Misty”.   Remember where they were when they heard the news that President...

Carney Latin American Solidarity Archives (CLASA) Collection

Housed in the University of Detroit Mercy Archives is a collection of documents, media and books related to the conflicts in Central America, mainly during the 1980′s. Fr. James Guadalupe Carney, who attended the University of Detroit before deciding to become a Jesuit Priest, worked extensively among the poor campesinos in Honduras until he was expelled in 1979 for his activities organizing cooperatives. Later, in 1983, he “disappeared” while serving as chaplain to a revolutionary army which had just crossed...

Mystery pictures

Often when going through the archives files, there are photos with no identification as to who, what, when, where or why the pictures were taken. Sometimes you  can make a good guess if you can identify a person in the picture or if the file has some kind of label to identify the activity. But then you get a picture like this Renaissance looking couple in a file labeled “President’s Cabinet-Group photos” In all the other photos in that file,...

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