Congratulations, 2018 graduates!

May 14, 2018
A group of 2018 graduates at Commencement

University of Detroit Mercy held commencement ceremonies on May 11 and 12, 2018, and welcomed more than 1,500 students to the University’s alumni ranks.

The weekend festivities began with the School of Dentistry commencement the morning of May 11 at Calihan Hall on the McNichols Campus. The commencement speaker was William J. Giovan '58, whose father was a graduate of the first School of Dentistry class in 1935. Giovan 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.

Fr. Tim with 2018 graduateIn the evening, the School of Law also held commencement at Calihan. The speaker this year was Michael J. Talbot '71, 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 headed 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. 

On Saturday, May 12, Calihan Hall was filled with thousands of family members, friends and colleagues who endured a rainy day to watch their loved ones complete their academic journeys.

This year’s commencement speaker was Nancy Greening Kennedy '83, who is an accomplished businesswoman, a vigorous community volunteer and a purposeful philanthropist. After graduating from University of Detroit in 1983, 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. 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. Detroit Mercy also honored Kennedy with the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Delivering the valedictory address at the undergraduate and graduate commencement was Christen Kimberly Kemp, who graduated from the College of Health Profession’s McAuley School of Nursing. Read her full story here!

Congratulations to all graduates for achieving your academic goals!

Commencement Photo Galleries

A full house packed at Calihan Hall for Commencement

McNichols Campus Commencement Speakers

Class of 2018 Valedictorian Address – Christen Kemp

McNichols Commencement Keynote – Nancy Kennedy

Commencement Remarks – President Antoine M. Garibaldi

Detroit Mercy Dental Commencement Speakers

Detroit Mercy Dental Keynote – Judge William J. Giovan

Dental Hygiene Class Address – Mona Fakhoury

Dental Class Address – Khashayar Khash and Holly Malinowski