Moonshadow, Black Studies Dept. Creative Writers Group, University of Detroit

moon1The University  of Detroit produced a number of student publications outside of the student newspapers such as the Tamarack and Varsity News. Some of the more creative writings have been published in SIC and Dichotomy, which you can see on our Special Collections page, but there were others such as Moonshadow.

Moonshadow was open to contributions from any and all writers. Poetry, short stories and essays could be submitted to the University of Detroit, Black Studies Department. In this particular 1978 issue there are contributions from David Rambeau, Allen Adkins, and Marice Greenia Jr. and two students, Lisa Caldwell (12 years old)and Desiree Junior (11 years old), from Brooks Middle School.

Maurice Greenia Jr. is currently a member of the UDMercy Library staff. Besides being a poet, he is also an artist and we have digitized some of his works of art on our Special Collections page.

This is the only issue we have of this publication. There were four previous issues and I have no idea how many more issues were published. If anyone has the other issues I would love to hear from you.




Pat Higo, Archives and Special Collections Librarian



Memorial Services at University of Detroit

The most prominent building on the McNichols campus of the University of Detroit Mercy is the Tower. Dedicated in 1927 during the University’s Golden Jubilee celebration, at the base is a marble tablet inscribed with the names of twelve former students who died in the service of their country in World War I. The heroes to whom the University paid tribute to: Lieutenant Thomas Gerald Kennedy, Private Russell William McBrearty, Lieutenant William J. Wilkinson, Sargeant Thomas Abbot Abrey, Cadet John R. Des Champs, Private James M. Williams, Seaman Roger S. MacNamara, Private Lionel Esslin, Private Edward Burns, Private Charles Harrison, Private Louis Mans, and Private Alfred Fuller.

Memorial Day Service May 29, 1951

A description on how these men gave their lives can be found in the October 12, 1927 issue of the Varsity News.

Having fun at the flash mob dance-a video to archive

flashmob2One of the concerns of archivists today is how to preserve access to the information with all the different formats that have been coming out. Technology changes so quick, how do we preserve the media and still be able to see it long after the machines that played it have died? This little video of a UDM flash mob dance is not in the archival collection in any form, yet it would be something that should be in the archives in some way. So far there is no standard procedure to have any of the university news, whether it be in print or other media, to be preserved in the university archives.

I have reel-to-reel tapes (audio and film), VHS and audio cassettes, vinyl records and floppy drives; who knows how long it will be before no one will be able to see or hear any of it because there is nothing to play the media. In fact I have thousands of these old keypunch cards used to create a database for the Callow Folklore Archive many, many years ago. Pretty sure there is no machine on this campus to read these now. Any one have some creative ideas on what to use them for now?



The ancient cultures got it right-they put their history in stone!

If you ever get a chance to take part in a flash mob-DO IT! I had a lot of fun participating in this flash mob dance.flashmob3

Pat Higo, Archives and Special Collections Librarian

Golden Memories for the Class of ’64

commencement64aIs this UD’s youngest graduate? Well, no not really. Not sure how much this little girl remembers that back in June of 1964, she was on hand to help her father, Peter Verkon, receive his Bachelor of Engineering diploma from the President of UD, Rev. Laurence V. Britt S.J.

For the graduates of 1964, it was the year President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “War on Poverty”, the first appearance of the Beatles on “Ed Sullivan Show”, Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove” premiered and Karol Wojtyla becomes archbishop of Krakow, Poland (who then becomes Saint John Paul II in 2014). The average yearly income was $5,880, first class postage stamp was .05 cents and a gallon of gas was .25 cents. It would also be the year you could put that gas into the first Ford Mustang with a base price of $2,368.



Ad in Varsity News, April 21, 1964













What kind of memories will the class of 2014 have on their fiftieth anniversary? Will the internet just be an old fashion way of communicating? Will we ever win the “War on Poverty?” So much has changed in the last fifty years-who knows what can happen in the next fifty!


Some Unique Items in the Archives

In the archives, we try to keep at least three copies of everything like yearbooks, student newspapers, and just about any publication put out by the university. However, there are those items that are a one time thing and will never get duplicated.

Here are a sample of some of those items:stein1 stein2


There may be lots of mugs with the 1957 Spring Carnival on it-but this one has a special designation: it has the President of UD name and the amount the Spring Carnival raised, $45,000.



In 1966, Malcolm Carron S.J. was inaugurated as president of the University of Detroit. This is the medallion he wore for the inaugural ceremony. Each of the schools are represented on one of the discs: College of Arts and Sciences 1877, College of Engineering 1911, School of Law 1912, Evening College of Commerce and Finance 1916, College of Commerce and Finance 1922, The Graduate School 1927, School of Dentistry 1932, Colombiere College 1959, and School of Architecture 1964. As one can tell from this historical artifact, the university has gone through a lot of reorganization since it was produced.medal1

And then there are these basketball shoes. Maybe they are not as unique as the mug and the medallion, but they are special in that they belonged to Frank O’Donnell (Class of ’41). Frank was a close friend of Bob Calihan, the name should be familiar, that is who Calihan Hall is named after. From the story told by Frank’s daughter, Bob Calihan was offered a place on the varsity basketball team, but not Frank. Bob said if they didn’t take Frank, he was not going to come to UD; they took Frank and they both turned out to be very productive players on the basketball team. They remained close friends and we even have the letters Frank received in support for Calihan’s nomination for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. BBshoes

So many stories in the archives-I wish there was a way they could all talk about what they experienced.

Pat Higo, Archives and Special Collections Librarian


The case of the missing mascot: UD 1919 football team picture


On occasion I find some item on ebay that I think would be nice to have in the university archives. There was a posting for a “Large 1931 Press Photo University of Detroit College Football Team”. Did a little digging around because the uniforms did not look like the kind they wore in 1931. There was a listing on the back of the picture of the members of the team and I recognized one of the names “Walter (Tillie) Voss. A check through the UD history book had him listed with the 1917 football team. The library page has many of the old football programs on line, and by luck there was a 1921 football program that also had the 1919 football team picture. Thinking it would be nice to have a picture of the team that I would not have to get through the football programs, I went ahead an put my bid in to purchase it. (UD ended its football program in 1964.) I was the only bidder, and it was promptly shipped.

When it arrived, I thought something was not quite right about the picture. I could not put my finger on what it was that was wrong until I went back and looked at the photo that I had originally found in the football program. This is the original picture from the football program-can you spot the difference?


Aside from the fact that the background was lightened and there is a slight change in how people posed, somebody got blocked out. Sitting on the bottom row under the football ’19, there is a little guy missing. Dolan, in the original picture, is listed as the “mascot”.  For whatever reason, his appearance in the team photo didn’t seem important enough to keep in the picture. In fact someone would have had to take some extra effort to blacken his image out and draw in the hand holding the football. Even in the listing of the “1931″ picture, his name is not listed. I doubt there is anyone around that could explain why the mascot was deleted from the picture. Did he do something really bad that got him blacked out? I guess we will never know.

Pat Higo, Archives and Special Collections Librarian

Before there was Jeopardy! General Electric College Bowl

The 50th Anniversary of the game show Jeopardy! reminds me of an earlier game show that would pit knowledgeable people against one another to answer questions. In 1962 the University of Detroit would compete against Northeastern College of Boston on the nationally televised G.E. College Bowl.  Representing U of D: Dennis Gannon (senior, history major), Regina Stefaniak (sophomore, math major), Bob Pearl (junior, political science major) and John Hussey (senior, College of Arts & Sciences; originally he was listed as a backup person, unable to determine major from news article). bowl1

U of D won the first round against Northeastern 285-100. The school won a $1,500 scholarship as a result of their victory. One of the questions that the UD students got wrong: “What famous figure recently restated the quotation ‘He who is not with me is against me, etc.’?” Northeastern of Boston buzzed first and guessed “De Gaulle” Wrong. UD had a chance to answer-they guessed “Kennedy”. WRONG! Correct answer: Pope John XXIII. Hmmmmmmmmmm, a Catholic college got that wrong! The more observant studio audience drew a laugh.bowl2

The second round was against Brooklyn University. UD lost that round 240-110. Even though they lost, they still added another $500 to the scholarship fund.

The College Bowl program ended in 2008, and that is too bad. As a person who is not that much into sports, these team battle of the brains was much more interesting to me. Somehow the team work of “Family Feud”, while may be more entertaining, does not quite measure up in intellectual quality.

Pat Higo, Archives and Special Collections Librarian



1950 Spring Carnival at University of Detroit

I know I have already posted a couple of stories abut the Spring Carnival, but with the never ending winter we have had this past year, another one might help chase away the winter blues.

The first spring carnival in 1949 was such a success, it became an annual affair for several years. The first spring carnival raised $23,000 for foreign student relief, the second spring carnival raised more than $30,000 toward building the student center. The fairs were held at the State Fair Coliseum in late April or early May. In that time period, the academic schedule ran through the end of May and commencement was held in June.spring1

In addition to the rides and booths for games and refreshments, a dance was held and a king and queen of the spring carnival were crowned. In 1950, nationally famed crooner Mel Torme made an appearance and crowned Bob Fitzpatrick and Sally MacInnis as the king and queen of the spring carnival.kqspring50

As I write this blog-it is still snowing out, but March is not yet over and this is Michigan. The weatherman is forecasting 60 degrees by opening day of Tiger baseball. If the Tigers are playing, spring can’t be far now.


April update: Tiger won opening game! YEAH! Predicting some freezing rain tonight–BOOOO!

Pat Higo, Archives and Special Collections Librarian


Page 16 of 25...10...1415161718...