Category Archives: Uncategorized

When the circus came to town to U of D, August 1944

From August 7 to August 20, 1944, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus used the University of Detroit Stadium for its performances. At the time it was the only facility available in the city of Detroit that could be used.  It was an open air performance since the tragic disaster in Hartford, Connecticut, just a month earlier, had destroyed almost everything when the tent and seats caught fire. According to an article in the Detroit Times, August 8,...

Mystery of Ten Pounds of Peanuts

This is another one of those files that does not have enough information to know what is going on! There are pictures and a very brief description of a photo, but no news article to explain anything. There is just a tantalizing bit of a news press release in one photo, but a search through the student newspaper, Varsity News, comes up with nothing. So here is what information is available: “Peanuts project” April, 1963 (label on file folder)  ...

Peter Pan Restaurant

Back in the early days of the University of Detroit, Peter Pan Restaurant was a popular place to eat. It was right across from the McNichols campus on Livernois. The original owners were Nick Krametes and Speros Sassalos, better know by students as “Doc” Speros. The university’s famous undefeated football team of 1928 ate at the Pan at a long table reserved for its use. Doc would claim credit for the winning year. He told the team captain that if...

Eastwood Night at University of Detroit

Eastwood Night (which has nothing to do with the actor Clint Eastwood), was an annual dance sponsored by the Student Union,  marking the end of the school year and was usually held at a place called Eastwood Gardens. Some of the bands that played at this occasion included Louis Prima, Woody Herman and Skitch Henderson (well known dance bands back in those days!). For one year, 1948, the dance was held at the State Fair Grounds when Eastwood officials refused...

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...

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