October 02, 2017

University of Detroit Mercy Homecoming 2017 was an overwhelming success as students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members gathered for two memorable days of fun.

“I think we generated a great deal of enthusiasm and energy for the campus,” said Detroit Mercy Director Alumni Relations Peggy Pattison. “Everyone who came thought it was a fabulous day.

People watch and laugh during the tug-of-war at Homecoming.“There was something for everyone, and we really highlighted that University of Detroit Mercy can shine and is a viable part of this community. I was very overjoyed with the responses, the momentum and the energy we felt on campus.”

Attendance increased 50 percent from last year with more than 1,500 people attending the various events over the two days.

“If there was one common thread, people liked the look of campus,” Pattison said. “They liked seeing a lot of activity and having the energy on campus.”

Some alumni returned to campus for the first time in years for Homecoming and enjoyed being back at their alma mater.

“This is the first time I’ve been back,” said Frelisa Walker ’93. “I wanted my daughter to see it because I’m planning on having her attend because it’s such a great school. I like being back on campus and all the great memories I had here.”

Saturday’s events kicked off with the Detroit Decades Dash 5K/Family Fun Run. More than 160 participants enjoyed the course and took part in the 1970s themed costume contest. Congratulations to Jaime Miettinen and Dash Dobar, winners of the overall 5K, and to Pamela Lumetta and Timothy Ponkowski, winners in the master's division of the Dash!

Participants in the bike ride pose for a photo.“It was great, I like how well organized it was,” Detroit Mercy Dental student Sergio Elias said of the race. “I’ve never been through the neighborhood, so it was nice to see the houses around here. I enjoyed going through the campus, too. I don’t spend too much time on this campus because I’m at the Corktown one. It was nice.”

The Uptown Bike Ride was another popular event for alumni and students. Alumnus Tom Page ’71, ’76 lead the tour, which went through the neighborhoods surrounding the McNichols Campus.

“It was great to go through the neighborhoods,” said Toni Henry ’16. “It was great to see the students getting out into the neighborhood. I don’t think a lot of students have the opportunity to do so. I would encourage students to regularly get into the neighborhoods and I think biking gives them the opportunity to do so.

“I’m really glad to see four bikes were donated to the school. Hopefully that can expand and we can get students to support businesses on the Avenue of Fashion and get off campus.”

The Tug-of-War drew a big crowd with various student organizations, alumni and even the Jesuits competing for the coveted trophy. But in the end, the Indian Student Association took home the prize!

“I enjoyed the competition,” said Nursing senior Justin Fields, whose Sigma Pi team finished as the runner’s up. “I thought it came down to the wire. It was super difficult and super competitive. I enjoyed the participation from all the organizations on campus, especially the Jesuits. I enjoyed watching them, and they did very well.

“I thought Homecoming overall was very well organized,” Fields added. “I enjoyed that they brought some new things, including the beer tent. I thought there was a really good student turnout at the event. It brought more to life to campus and I like that.”

Students take part in the tug-of-war.Plans have already begun for Detroit Mercy Homecoming 2018, and Pattison expects the event to continue to grow each year.

“This is still in its infancy,” Pattison said. “I would encourage people to keep their eyes open for next year’s information, and make it a point to come down next year because it’s just going to be bigger and better.

“The one thing I’m most encouraged about for next year is I already have groups of alumni that are starting to talk to their friends from that group to do a get-together next year for that group. So we’ve already started the momentum for next year. I would encourage everyone to keep driving that momentum.”

— By Dave Pemberton. Follow Detroit Mercy on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Have a story idea? Let us know by submitting your idea.

Check out several photo galleries from the Homecoming festivities

Detroit Mercy Homecoming Friday 

Detroit Mercy Homecoming Saturday

CLAE Homecoming Gallery

Fr. Albright’s retirement reception

Visit Day

CES Homecoming Gallery