Detroit Mercy Commencement Ceremonies set for May 11 and 12

April 23, 2018

Detroit Mercy President Dr. Antoine Garibaldi presents a student with a diploma.Detroit Mercy will hold its annual commencement ceremonies on May 11 and 12, 2018. Commencement ceremonies will take place in Calihan Hall on the McNichols Campus.


Share Your Commencement Memories and Congratulations on Social Media! 

This year, when sharing photos and congratulatory comments on social media, make sure to include the hashtag #detroitmercy2018 so we can display your posts on-screen in Calihan Hall and the Student Fitness Center before the event! Posts will be displayed from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

This year, the May 12 ceremony will include more than 1,175 graduates. Of this, 17 will receive their doctoral degrees; 447 will receive master's and specialist's degrees; and 700 will receive their bachelor's degree. Approximately 87 percent of graduates are from Michigan.

School of Dentistry Commencement
Commencement Speaker: Judge William J. Giovan

The Detroit Mercy Dental Commencement Ceremony will place from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, May 11, 2018, in Calihan Hall on the McNichols Campus. A reception hosted by the Alumni Association takes place at the Fisher Fountain immediately following the ceremony. 

William J. Giovan will serve as the commencement speaker for the School of Dentistry. He is a retired judge with more than 40 years of service in four judicial offices, including 33 years on the Wayne County Circuit Court, where he eventually became chief judge. After leaving the judiciary, he served as a member and chair of the first Wayne County Ethics Board. Giovan received his undergraduate degree from the University of Detroit in 1958. He was active in extracurricular pursuits and was named to the 1958 All-America Collegiate Fencing Team. He is a member of the University of Detroit Sports Hall of Fame.  Today, Giovan serves occasionally as a visiting judge and a mediator and arbitrator in legal disputes. Judge Giovan’s father was a member of the first graduating class of University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry in 1935.

School of Law 105th annual Commencement
Commencement Speaker: Michael J. Talbot, Chief Judge, Michigan Court of Appeals and Court of Claims

Michael J. Talbot, chief judge, Michigan Court of Appeals and Court of Claims, will be the commencement speaker at the School of Law Commencement.The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law will celebrate the graduating class of 2018 at the Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 11 at 5 p.m. in Calihan Hall on the McNichols Campus of the University of Detroit Mercy.

The commencement speaker this year is Michael J. Talbot, chief judge, Michigan Court of Appeals and Court of Claims. During his tenure, Talbot presided in nearly all levels of Michigan courts, assisted in the development of procedures for the Court Claims and heading an intervention into Detroit’s 36th District Court in the midst of the city’s historic bankruptcy. He also served on the Judicial Tenure Commission and helped guarantee victims a place in court and a voice at sentencing.  Off the bench, Talbot has chaired the Detroit Archdiocese Board of Review dealing with abusive and errant Roman Catholic priests, was past chair of the Archdiocese Board of Education and serves as a trustee of Madonna University, Sacred Heart Seminary, and the Archdiocese Endowment Fund.  Since taking the bench in 1978, he’s played key roles both in the courtroom at all levels and in reforming court operations as an administrator. In court, Talbot has heard of heart-wrenching cruelty and pain in criminal cases, while off the bench he has exercised politically deft surgery to resuscitate a sclerotic court to work more efficiently for the people it serves.

He is “an extraordinarily talented jurist, and unlike most judges he has superior administrative abilities,” said retired Michigan Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. who selected Talbot to set up the Court of Claims and to drive the 36th District Court reform.

Talbot said his career was shaped by willingness to “say ‘yes’ to opportunities, to new experiences, and the chances to learn and grow. Talbot grew up in Livonia where his father Joseph, an automotive purchasing agent, served on the charter commission and his mother Betty, was district court administrator.

Members of the Class of 1968 will lead the commencement procession as golden jubilee anniversary graduates. The Motor City Brass Quintet will accompany alumna Clare Sawicki (’17) as she performs the national anthems of Canada and the United States. Detroit Mercy Law Dean Phyllis L. Crocker and University President Antoine M. Garibaldi will offer remarks, in addition to graduate Ryan Mardini, who was selected by his classmates to speak on their behalf. Graduate Aysha Allos will lead the prayer inspired by St. Thomas More. Edward Lennon (’88), president of the Detroit Mercy Law Alumni Association, will close the ceremony by welcoming the Class of 2018 to the Alumni Association.
Detroit Mercy Law And Dentistry Baccalaureate Mass
The Class of 2018 and their families are invited to join their fellow graduates, Detroit Mercy Law and Dentistry faculty and administration for the Law and Dental School Baccalaureate Mass. Held at Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church, adjacent to the law school, this Mass offers a moment of quiet reflection and thanksgiving for your educational journey at Detroit Mercy Law and School of Dentistry, and an opportunity to ask for God’s blessing as you begin your career. Members of all faiths and traditions are welcomed and encouraged to attend. Rev. Gilbert Sunghera, SJ will preside.
Graduates attending baccalaureate wear their graduation academic regalia, including hoods and gather by 4:30 p.m. at the law school in the first-floor hall opposite the SBA office. Graduates and guests may park in the Larned parking lot.

Undergraduate/Graduate Commencement
Commencement Speaker: Nancy G. Kennedy ’83, Businesswoman, Volunteer and Philanthropist and recipient, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa

Nancy KennedyThe commencement ceremony for undergraduate and graduate programs is Saturday, May 12, at 1:30 p.m. in Calihan Hall. This year’s commencement speaker is Nancy Greening Kennedy, who is an accomplished businesswoman, a vigorous community volunteer and a purposeful philanthropist. After graduating from University of Detroit in 1983, Mrs. Kennedy worked as an accountant with Arthur Andersen. She left that firm after five years when she and her husband, John, also an alumnus, purchased Autocam Corp. In the 25 years they owned the company, the Kennedys expanded it into a major international enterprise with facilities on four continents, 2,000 employees and more than $300 million in sales. Mrs. Kennedy continued her impressive career by devoting more time to volunteering and supporting educational and Catholic programs in Grand Rapids and the surrounding area. She has held leadership positions at Catholic Charities, St. Andrew’s School, Catholic Central High School and St. Mary’s Hospital. She brought her business acumen to the Diocese of Grand Rapids’ Finance Council and serves on the boards of the United Way, the Frederick Meijer Gardens Foundation and the Foundation for Catholic Education. The Kennedys have been honored many times for their community work, including by this University, which named them Spirit of Detroit Mercy Alumni Achievement Award recipients in 2015. They continue to fund educational and Catholic institutions through the John and Nancy Kennedy Family Foundation and Mrs. Kennedy is especially proud of the way the couple’s four grown children have followed in their footsteps, devoting their time and talents in service of their communities. In recognition of her success in business, and her dedication as a volunteer and philanthropist, University of Detroit Mercy is honored to present Nancy Greening Kennedy with the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Delivering the valedictory address at the undergraduate and graduate commencement will be Christen Kimberly Kemp, who will graduate from the College of Health Profession’s McCauley School of Nursing.

For more information about commencement ceremonies, please see the Commencement website for more information