May 02, 2017

University of Detroit Mercy will hold its annual commencement ceremonies on May 12 and 13, 2017. All three commencement ceremonies will take place in Calihan Hall on the McNichols Campus. See the Commencement website for more information. #udmgrad2017

School of Dentistry Commencement

May 12, 9:30 a.m.

Lee E. Rouse, D.D.S., dean of the Howard University School of Dentistry, former president of the American Dental Education Association, commencement speaker

RouseDr. Leo E. Rouse serves as senior scholar-in-residence at the American Dental Education Association, Chair of the ADEAGies Foundation Board of Trustees and Liaison of the ADEA Council of Deans. He is Professor and Dean Emeritus of the Howard University College of Dentistry. Dr. Rouse received a Doctor of Humane Letters Honorary Degree from the Western University of Health Sciences in May 2014.

School of Law 104th annual Commencement

May 12, 5 p.m.

Chief Judge Denise Page Hood, U.S. District Court, commencement speaker

HoodDenise Page Hood is the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. She received a B.A. from Yale University in 1974 and a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1977. She was assistant corporation counsel to the Law Department of the City of Detroit, Mi., from 1977 to 1982. She then held several state judicial positions, first on the 36th District Court of the City of Detroit from 1983 to 1989, then on the Recorder's Court from 1989 to 1992, and lastly on the Third Circuit Court for Wayne County from 1993 to 1994. On March 9, 1994, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan vacated by George E. Woods. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 15, 1994 and received her commission on June 16, 1994. She became Chief Judge in late 2015.

Five members of the Class of 1967 will lead the commencement procession as golden jubilee anniversary graduates. The Motor City Brass will accompany graduates Clare Sawicki and Ryan VanOver as they perform the national anthems of Canada and the United States, respectively. Detroit Mercy Law Dean Phyllis L. Crocker and University President Antoine M. Garibaldi will offer remarks, as will graduate Michael Valenti, who was selected by his classmates to speak on their behalf. Graduate Vivian Ntiri will lead the Prayer Inspired by St. Thomas More. Edward Lennon (’88), President of the Detroit Mercy Law Alumni Association, will close the ceremony by welcoming the Class of 2017 to the Alumni Association.

Detroit Mercy Law Baccalaureate Mass

The Class of 2017 and their families will join the Detroit Mercy Law faculty and administration to celebrate the School’s Baccalaureate Mass on Thursday, May 11, at 5 p.m. The mass will be held at Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church, adjacent to the School of Law. Members of all faiths and traditions are welcomed and encouraged to attend. Rev. Gilbert Sunghera, S.J., Associate Professor of Architecture at Detroit Mercy, will preside.

Undergraduate/Graduate Commencement

May 13, 1:30 p.m.

James Padilla, retired chief operating officer of Ford Motor Company, honorary degree recipient

PadillaJames “Jim” Padilla joined the Ford Motor Company in 1966, starting as a quality control engineer. In 1976, Ford promoted him to management in product engineering and manufacturing.  He later earned promotions to director of engineering and manufacturing for Jaguar Cars, director of performance luxury vehicles, and president of South American Operations.

Padilla became group vice president for Global Manufacturing and Quality and president of North and South America Operations before being named president and chief operating officer of the company. He retired in April 2006. Padilla will receive an honorary degree during commencement.

KohSehie Olivia Koh, Biochemistry, Minor in Business and Leadership, valedictorian and commencement speaker

Delivering the valedictory address at the undergraduate and graduate commencement will be Sehie Olivia Koh.   She organized the Boys 2 Men service project through the Ford Community Corps Partnership. Through Boys 2 Men, more than 300 volunteers worked with boys, ages 6 to 16 at the Christ Child House orphanage in Detroit. Boys 2 Men provided the boys with services such as tutoring for reading, writing and speaking and workshops on topics like etiquette and hygiene. The project also gave the boys an opportunity to do volunteer work and attend a career fair.

Koh is president of the Pre-Dental Association, serves on the board of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, is a presidential ambassador and a past winner of both Detroit Mercy’s Phenomenal Women Award and the student talent show. She is also a co-founder of Detroit Mercy’s annual charity fashion show, which benefits Christ Child House, Matrix and other charities.

Koh was born in the United States, but moved to South Korea with her family when she was 11.  While her parents moved back, she has been living in the United States on her own since the age of 18.  Her parents hope to watch her graduate online from South Korea.