University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) is a private, Roman Catholic co-educational university in Detroit, Michigan, United States, affiliated with the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and the Sisters of Mercy. Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D., is the president. With origins dating from 1877, it is the largest Roman Catholic university in Michigan. UDM is one of the 28-member Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in the United States. Located across three campuses in Detroit, the school offers more than a hundred academic degrees and programs of study, including liberal arts, clinical psychology, business, dentistry, education, law, engineering, architecture, nursing and allied health professions.

UDM was ranked in the top tier of Midwestern regional universities in the 2015 edition of the U.S. News & World Report "Best Colleges" rankings[4] and has been for over a decade. In athletics, the University sponsors 19 NCAADivision I level varsity sports for men and women, and is a member of the Horizon League.


University of Detroit Mercy's origin dates back to 1877 with the founding of Detroit College by the Society of Jesus, under the leadership of John Baptist Miège, S.J. The college developed into the University of Detroit, and in 1927 Fr. John P. McNichols, S.J., the then president of U of D, established a second campus. In 1941, the Sisters of Mercy opened Mercy College of Detroit. In 1990 these two schools consolidated to become University of Detroit Mercy.

Colleges and campuses

UDM comprises seven colleges and schools:

The University has three campuses in the city of Detroit:

  • The McNichols Campus is located at 4001 W. McNichols Road, on the southeast corner of McNichols Road and Livernois Avenue, in northwest Detroit (near the University District, Pilgrim Village and Palmer Woods neighborhoods). The majority of the University's undergraduate and graduate programs are offered on this campus, as well as the University's main administration and athletic facilities like Calihan Hall. It is also the location of all six student residence halls.
  • The Riverfront Campus is home to the School of Law in downtown Detroit at 651 East Jefferson (across from the Renaissance Center).
  • The Corktown Campus, at 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, has housed the School of Dentistry and Dental Clinic since 2008.

Aside from UDM's own campuses, the University offers undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs at Macomb University Center[5] in Clinton Township, Mich. and at the Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) University Center[6] in Harper Woods, Mich. UDM has also partnered with Aquinas College and St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich. to offer a Nursing prelicensure program.[7]

A former campus at 8200 West Outer Drive in Detroit was home to Mercy College of Detroit from 1941 until consolidation in 1990. As part of University of Detroit Mercy, the Outer Drive Campus hosted UDM's Dentistry Clinic starting in 1997. UDM agreed to sell the Outer Drive Campus to WCCCD in 2003, and the UDM School of Dentistry and Clinic moved to the Corktown Campus in January 2008.[8]

Law clinics

In 1965 University of Detroit's Urban Law Clinic was one of the first in the country. It is one of the few law schools in the country requiring a practicum course for all students. It has received numerous awards, most recently the ABA Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access with Meritorious Recognition in 2012 and the ABA Law Student Division’s Judy M. Weightman Memorial Public Interest Award in 2006.[9]

Courses selected for the clinic component bring students in contact with the disadvantaged and disenfranchised, giving all law students at Detroit Mercy first-hand experience of social problems relevant to their specialization. In 2003 the clinic acquired a 28-foot long mobile law office, perhaps the first such facility in the country.[10] In 2012 a downtown building was purchased and renovated for the clinic, bringing the clinic closer to the court buildings. At that time the clinic courses were serving over 1000 clients a year.[11]

UD law students must take one regular, semester-long "clinic" course that places them in contact with the underrepresented in an area of their choice, with options covering most specializations. The courses provide them with the skills and knowledge requisite for their clinical work, together with guided reflection and individual contact with the professor, including a comprehensive final interview.[12]

Following are the clinic courses offered at Detroit Mercy, all of which fulfill the student requirement.

  • Immigration Law Clinic. This serves immigrants seeking family sponsorship or Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, or advancing Violence against Women Act Petitions. Students represent clients in U.S. Immigration Court; other court experiences are the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
  • Veterans Law Clinic. Students argue before the Department of Veterans Affairs for disability benefits for veterans.
  • Criminal Trial Clinic. This prepares students for all aspects of defense in misdemeanor cases, including courtroom appearances and plea bargaining.
  • Juvenile Appellate Clinic. Students argue cases before a panel of attorneys pre-trial and may be asked to argue the case in the Michigan Court of Appeals. Most cases deal with child protection or delinquency.
  • Appellate Advocacy Clinic, State Appellate Defender's Office (SADO). SADO was founded to give "legal representation to indigent criminal defendants in post-conviction matters."[13] Students prepare briefs to be delivered before the Michigan Court of Appeals or the Michigan Supreme Court, and may deliver their brief first in "mock arguments" before a panel of attorneys.[12]
  • Intellectual Property Law Clinic. Inventors without the resources to defend themselves before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office can get help from the law students, supervised by patent attorneys. To be eligible for this clinic students must possess an undergraduate degree in some scientific field.[12] In conjunction with the University of Windsor, the course qualifies students in both U.S. and Canadian patent law, the first certified program in that dual area.[14][15][16]

Greek life

Fraternities and sororities (in alphabetical order)


The University of Detroit Mercy sponsors 19 NCAA Division I-level varsity sports teams. Men's and women's Detroit Titans teams compete in each sport in the Horizon League, except where noted below:

• Tennis

  • Track and field (indoor)
  • Track and field (outdoor)

The University also sponsors eight intramural sports.

In 2014, the women's golf team won the Horizon League Championship for the second straight season. The men's cross country team also claimed its first ever Horizon League Championship. The men's lacrosse team won the MAAC Championship in 2013.

In partnership with WADL-TV, the Detroit Titans launched its own 24-hour network, the Titan Classic Sports Network, in September 2014.[2]


The men's basketball team has consistently contended for the Horizon League title. On April 12, 2008, UDM hired Ray McCallum as Men's Basketball Coach.[18] McCallum is a veteran of more than 20 years in college basketball, most recently as assistant head coach at Indiana University.

McCallum's predecessor Perry Watson led a successful program at Detroit's Southwestern High School before coming to UDM after some years as an assistant coach at the University of Michigan and maintained strong recruiting ties within the city's public league. Watson guided Detroit Mercy to 10 winning seasons, three league titles, two NCAA Tournament appearances and an NIT Final Four during his 15 years with UDM. The Titans' two NCAA appearances also included victories over St. John's and UCLA. Between 1997-98 and 2000–01, the Titans had four straight 20-victory seasons.[18]

Dick Vitale, ESPN's most well-known college basketball commentator, was the University of Detroit men's basketball Head Coach for four seasons (1973–1977) before becoming the school's Athletics Director for 1977-78. The following year he left to coach the Detroit Pistons. In his final year as a college head coach in 1977, "Dickie V." led the Detroit Titans to a school record 25 victories and the Round of 16 in the 1977 NCAA Tournament before losing to Michigan, 86-81. Vitale rolled up a 78-30 career record as head coach of the Titans. Vitale went on to coach the Detroit Pistons before beginning his broadcasting career with ESPN in 1979 and was the color commentator for the first college basketball game carried by the new network. As its lead college basketball analyst, he helped make the network an integral part of the game's popularity. An author of six books chronicling his love affair with basketball, Vitale received the Basketball Hall of Fame's Curt Gowdy Media Award (1998), won the NABC Cliff Wells Appreciation Award in 2000 and was inducted to the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.[2] In 2011, UDM named its basketball court at Calihan Hall in his honor.[2]

Highlights from the Detroit Titans athletic teams include the recent appearances by the men's and women's basketball teams in the 2011-12 postseason. The women's basketball team participated in the WNIT Tournament for the first time ever and finished with its first 20-win season (20-14) since 1997 when the team made its only NCAA Tournament appearance. The men's basketball team captured the 2011-12 Horizon League Championship and reached the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in its history and first since 1999.[21] The University was the host institution for the 2008 NCAA Midwest Regional and 2009 NCAA Final Four men's basketball tournament at Ford Field in Detroit.

All home basketball games feature the Titan Pep Band.


Detroit Titans football was played from 1896 to 1964. The team staked a claim to college football's national championship with a 9-0 record in 1928. Gus Dorais, coach of the Titans from 1925–42, was inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954. He also coached the NFL's Detroit Lions.

Notable people

University of Detroit Mercy and its predecessor institutions have graduated or employed many notable people over the years. See the main article for some examples:

Photo galleries

McNichols Campus

Corktown Campus (School of Dentistry)

Riverfront Campus (School of Law)