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Gardella Honors House

Gardella Past and Present

The Gardella Honors House is one of the most unique features of the University Honors Program. An intimate study and hangout space for all Honors students, Gardella fosters community and identity for students enrolled in the program. Incoming Honors students are given a key to Gardella at a special ceremony following First Year Convocation, and Honors students can use Gardella throughout their time at Detroit Mercy. A number of formal and informal Honors events are also held in the Gardella Honors House, including students’ thesis defenses.

History of Gardella

The Gardella Honors House is a 36-by-15-foot structure on the McNichols Campus between the Jane and Walter Briggs Building and the Warren Loranger Architecture Building. Originally known as Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, the structure was a gift from Mrs. and Mr. George A. Gardella, president of Food Associates of Michigan Inc. The chapel was dedicated on June 13, 1963.

In 2006, with permission from the Gardella family, the chapel was converted into the Gardella Honors House. Funds were raised from private donors to renovate and furnish the space.

Today, the Gardella Honors House is a beloved space on campus for members of the University Honors Program. The logo for the University Honors Program is a representation of the Gardella Honors House and was created in 2016.

For more on the history of Gardella, see this article from Detroit Mercy’s Archives and Special Collections.

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