Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lights! Camera! Action! Light Up the Land! A University of Detroit 1952 Musical Production

The University of Detroit Mercy is one of the sponsors for the “Light Up Livernois” being held Friday, May 31 and Saturday June 1, 2013. The event is to celebrate local businesses and culture on Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion. Activities include a fashion show, music, and art from the neighborhood. On Saturday there will be a theater performance by the Extra Mile Playwrights. Back in 1952, the University of Detroit had a similar theme in the theatrical production entitled “Light...

Aces Wild 1927 University of Detroit Student Opera Musical Comedy

In an alphabetical browse through the theatre files of the University of Detroit, the first file that shows up is “Aces Wild”.  It was the second production by the Student Union Opera group and with the established success of theatrical director of London and New York, John Harwood and musical dance director Max Scheck, there was no doubt that it would be a critical success. James S.. Pooler, a student in the College of Arts and Sciences wrote the book...

Golden Memories for the Class of 1963, University of Detroit and Mercy College of Detroit

The good old days in 1963–gas was 29 cents a gallon, a new car cost $3,200, undergraduate tuition at University of Detroit for full 16 hour credit load was $768. In music the Beatles were just starting to take off with their first album “Please, please me” and some of the popular TV shows included: The Flintstones, Mr. Ed, The Avengers, and The Dick Van Dyke Show. At the 35th Academy Awards, the Oscar went to Lawrence of Arabia for...

Marian Day to Honor the Mother of God, 1931-1965

The first Marian Day celebration at the University of Detroit Stadium was held May 17, 1931, sponsored by the Detroit Catholic Students Conference. Nearly 16,000 people heard the Reverend John P. McNichols, S.J., President of the University of Detroit, deliver the principal address. One of the more notable speakers  to address the Sodalists in 1935 was the Reverend Charles E. Coughlin, pastor of the Shrine of the Little Flower, and noted radio speaker on the subject of “Religion as the...

James T. Callow Folklore Archive-Some Unexpected Finds

Many times when I am looking for something in the archives, I come across something that is just too good to be left hidden in some file cabinet, such is the case with these pictures. There is no indication as to who drew these, but they have notes on the back to indicate they are examples of the use of geometric designs and shapes in a culture. Can’t help it, but this mask reminds me of the helmet for the...

Finals: The Beginning of the End or Start of Something New?

My initial thought for this blog was to see how students handled the stress of final exams. As I was browsing through some old Varsity News to see how students handled finals at the University of Detroit in the past, I began to notice other things that were not necessarily about taking final exams. In 1965-66 year,  UD changed the academic calendar to tri-semester so class would run September-December, January-April and May-August. Up until 1966, UD commencement ceremonies were held...

Author! Author! Joyce Carol Oates (Smith), Instructor and Elmore Leonard, Alumni at UDMercy

At the University of Detroit Mercy you never know if the instructor in front of you or the scrawny kid sitting next to you could be a future famous writer. That was the case at the University of Detroit. Elmore Leonard earned a degree from the University of Detroit in 1950 and has written many novels, some have been made into movies that include: Get Shorty, Mr. Majestyk and 3:10 to Yuma . His most recent work includes working as...

Take me out to the ball game: University of Detroit baseball team 1895-2004

The first team to officially represent the college was in baseball in 1895. Detroit won the first game against the Polish Seminarians of Orchard Lake on May 23, 1895. Browsing through a series of articles “The Story of the University” in the Varsity News 1927-1928, some of the early games were played against the High School. Back in those days the Detroit College and the High School were under the same institutional umbrella.The games were not always played under ideal...

Read all about it! Varsity News is now available on line!

Perhaps one of the things that I have been most looking forward to is seeing past issues of the University of Detroit student newspaper “Varsity News” on line. You can now see from the comfort of you own home, every available issue from the very beginning, Vol.1, No. 1, dated January 30, 1918 to April 4, 2012. Check out what made the news on campus from the world events of World War I to the results of a university sporting...

Off to the Races! International Intercollegiate Turtle Derby

There are races like the Kentucky Derby, Indianapolis 500 and Tour de France-but the University of Detroit had the excitement of the Turtle Derby! Turtle racing began at the University of Detroit tracks in 1935 under the auspices of  Delta Pi Kappa, journalism fraternity as a local event, but within a few years grew nationwide, drawing more than 200 entries. A shortage of materials suspended the annual classic during World War II, but it was revived by the fraternity in...

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