April 28, 2017
2017 Spirit Award Honorees

Each year, University of Detroit Mercy honors one alumnus from each school and college during the Alumni Achievement Spirit Awards. This year, the 2017 Spirit Awards were held Student Center Ballroom on the McNichols Campus, April 28.

The recipients honored this year were Michael J. Brenner (College of Business Administration), Charles E. Lucas (College of Engineering & Science), Mary Maurita Sengelaub (College of Health Professions), John P. Hayes (College of Liberal Arts & Education), Rainy Hamilton (School of Architecture), Carl E. Misch (School of Dentistry) and Charles R. Rutherford (School of Law).

Michael J. Brenner, University of Detroit ’67 – College of Business Administration

BrennerChief financial officer, executive vice president, Related Companies

Brenner joined Related Companies in 1996, and is responsible for overseeing Related’s accounting, treasury, information systems, risk management and human resources functions. The firm has a $15-billion portfolio of high-end residential, commercial, affordable housing, office and mixed-use projects across the United States.

Previous to Related Companies, he worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers for almost 20 years. There, he rose from general practice partner in the Detroit office, to chairman of its National Real Estate Industry Group, to managing partner of the Detroit group, to managing partner of Industry Programs and Client Satisfaction Initiatives.

Brenner has maintained his relationship with the University as a speaker and Advisory Board member. In 2010, he was inducted into the CBA Hall of honor. Additionally, he works in the community with St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center, the Greater Detroit Chamber of Commerce, The Detroit Urban League and Detroit Mercy’s College of Business Administration.

Charles E. Lucas, M.D., University of Detroit ’59 — College of Engineering & Science

LucasProfessor of Surgery, Wayne State University

Lucas is well known for his work in the field of shock, trauma and acute care surgery. After graduating from University of Detroit, Lucas earned his medical degree from Wayne State University, where he completed his surgical training and became board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care.

He joined WSU in 1967 as an instructor in surgery and has been a full professor since 1975, receiving several honors, including the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Trailblazer Award. Over his career, Lucas has trained more than 4,000 medical students and 500 surgical residents. He has contributed to the surgical literature by co-authoring more than 350 articles, many of which are regularly cited and have led to improved patient care.

Additionally, he has written nearly 500 peer-reviewed articles and has shared his expertise at more than 800 formal presentations at medical events around the world. He has served on many national organizations and is currently vice chairman of the American College of Surgeons Foundation.

Mary Maurita Sengelaub, RSM, University of Detroit ’49 — College of Health Professions

MauritaRetired chief nurse executive, Catholic Healthcare Association

Sr. Maurita was called to a career in nursing before she heeded the call to religious life. After graduating from St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Grand Rapids, Mich., she joined the faculty there, taking her first vows as a Religious Sister of Mercy in 1948. While teaching, she completed a Bachelor of Science degree; she took her final vows in 1951. As a Sister of Mercy with a nursing degree and a master’s degree in hospital administration, Sr. Sengelaub has been a pioneer, visionary and inspiration to colleagues in the Catholic health ministry for more then 60 years.

Sr. Maurita was on the Provincial Council that decided to keep Mercy College of Detroit in the city, opened Mercy High School in Farmington, Mich., and strengthened the 27 hospitals and healthcare facilities in the Detroit Province during a time of great change in the industry. Her commitment to healthcare led to appointments across the United States and Australia, working as an administrator of individual facilities and helping to create large hospital systems. She is recognized as a groundbreaker in the U.S. Catholic healthcare ministry.

John P. Hayes, Jr., University of Detroit ’71 — College of Liberal Arts & Education

HayesRetired President/Owner, Third Avenue Media, LLC

A veteran broadcaster, Hayes has been a leader in the radio industry in the United States and Canada, and an owner and investor in a significant European media company. Hayes has extensive experience in radio station management and ownership in North America and Europe. He is known for his innovations, transparency with advertisers and ethics in the radio industry.

Hayes began his career in film production in 1971, and moved to radio in 1972 as a sales rep at a Buffalo, N.Y., FM radio station, where he advanced to sales manager, then general manager in 1975. His reputation as a radio turnaround leader took him to Seattle, then to NBC in San Francisco in 1979. He is credited with being at the forefront of the album rock and adult contemporary formats in those years. Eventually, NBC moved him to New York as general manager of the company’s flagship station, WNBC, in 1984. Hayes is credited with reviving a failing group of radio stations owned by Fairmont Communications in seven major U.S. markets before forming his own company, Alliance Broadcasting, in 1989. Alliance was sold to what is now known as CBS Radio in 1996.

He next joined his partner in Alliance as a media specialist for Goldman Sachs International, and moved to London. While there, he became a director and owner of Orbus, a Luxumbourg-based holding company whose assets included an outdoor company in France and Spain, as well as the leading young adult French radio network, Skyrock. From 2001 to 2009, Hayes was president, Radio, of Corus Entertainment, the largest radio station operator in Canada, where he is credited with a transformational turnaround in ratings and profitability. In 2009, he became CEO and owner of Third Avenue Media, an investment vehicle for radio station acquisition, based in New York. He has recently retired.

Hayes has long maintained his relationship with University of Detroit Mercy, and in 2016, he was a guest speaker at the Institute for Leadership and Service event.

Rainy Hamilton, Jr., University of Detroit ’78, ’79 — School of Architecture

HamiltonFounder/owner, Hamilton Anderson Associates

Hamilton established his own Detroit-based architectural firm in 1993, and has expanded over the years to include more than 65 employees. Hamilton Anderson is “dedicated to improving the built environment through creative, contemporary design” using “intuitive curiosity and thoughtful execution to create inspiring contextually responsive solutions.” This work can be seen locally in projects like the North Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit, at Wayne State, Eastern Michigan and Michigan State universities and around the world.

Hamilton is also involved in civic matters of design, having served on the Michigan Board of Architects and the Michigan Board of Land Surveyors. In 2001 he became the first African-American to serve as the president of the Detroit Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Hamilton has received the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects Detroit Chapter and is a member of the AIA’s College of Fellows — both awards are given to members with significant, long-standing achievements.

Carl E. Misch, D.D.S., M.D.S., Ph.D., University of Detroit ’73 — School of Dentistry

MischFounder/former president, Misch Implant Institute

Misch’s mark on the field of dentistry is far reaching. Misch was the founder of the Misch International Implant Institute, a one-year continuum for implant education, with locations around the world. He was a specialist in implantology, and developed the Misch Bone Density Classification and Misch Key Implant Positions, which are standards throughout the field for diagnosis and treatment planning. He was been awarded 14 patents related to implant dentistry and was a co-inventor of the BioHorizons Maestro dental implant system.

A noted educator, Misch taught at the Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry, Detroit Mercy Dental, University of Michigan School of Dentistry and the School of Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He was the director of the Oral Implantology Residency Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and wrote more than 250 scientific articles and six books. He also maintained a private practice as an implant surgeon and related prosthetics for more than 30 years.

In his career, he trained more than 4,500 dentists in the hands-on yearly forum in implant dentistry. In 2014, Misch was the winner of the American Dental Association’s Board of Trustees Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Misch passed away earlier this year at age 69.

Charles R. Rutherford, University of Detroit Mercy ’53 ’57 — School of Law

RutherfordPresident, Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society, retired of counsel, Dykema Gossett, PLLC

Rutherford received his J.D. in 1957, after earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. In addition to being an engineer licensed to practice in Michigan, Rutherford has been an intellectual property and commercial attorney for 60 years. His engineering expertise, which he shared as an instructor at Detroit Mercy’s College of Engineering & Science, factored into his success as a patent attorney primarily focused on the mechanical, hydraulic, electrical, medical and general engineering fields.

In 1984, he retired from the United States Air Force, Judge Advocate General Department with the rank of colonel. Rutherford has served the community through organizations like the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and the Rotary Club. His major contributions to the legal profession have been recognized by the Catholic Lawyers Society and Detroit Mercy Law.

Since 2015, he has been president of the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society, which collects and preserves documents, records and memorabilia pertinent to Michigan’s highest court.

For more information, see the Spirit Awards website or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 313-993-1540. View the photo gallery of the evening online and check out the honoree remarks on our YouTube playlist.