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Honors Convocation

The University’s website notes that “University Honors Convocation is an annual event that celebrates the academic excellence and leadership of University of Detroit Mercy students.”  This seems to be somewhat of a general statement that may be found on any honors convocation website but there is much more depth to the purpose of this event at Detroit Mercy.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Pamela Zarkowski, J.D., M.P.H., says that the honors convocation is a great opportunity for the faculty, students, family members, donors, and university administrators to celebrate the academic accomplishments and dedicated service of our students.  These are students who, when benchmarked against the academic, leadership, and service standards of the university, show that they are exceptional.  The Honors Convocation acknowledges each student’s hard work to achieve their potential, their willingness to share their time and talent to improve the community, and recognizes the values that they model for their student peers.  The students have demonstrated they can be the future rising stars of their profession and change agents in their communities where they will work and live.  Their dedication and service has helped them individually build a strong foundation integrating the university’s values with the Jesuit and Mercy charisms that will serve them for the rest of their lives.  

When asked why it is important for the university to hold an honors convocation, Dr. Joseph Eisenhauer, Ph.D., Dean, College of Business Administration wrote: “The annual Honors Convocation is an opportunity for the University and its individual colleges and schools to recognize and reward our students with scholarships and awards for outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and community service.  It strengthens our institution by bringing our finest students, their families, faculty, staff, and administrators together to celebrate shared values that include intellectual, spiritual, ethical, and social growth.  In doing so, this event not only testifies to the tremendous success of our students, but also inspires all members of our University to continually pursue excellence as servant-leaders in the Mercy and Jesuit traditions.  Indeed, the donors who fund scholarships—many of them alumni and alumnae—are often present at Honors Convocation to meet and congratulate their scholarship recipients, who are, in turn, able to meet and thank their benefactors.  In the process, the donors become role models for our current students, encouraging them to become loyal and generous alumni and alumnae who will contribute to the success of future generations.  And as the honors, awards, and scholarships are recorded on the recipients’ résumés, they send a signal of notable accomplishment to prospective employers, helping to ensure that the honorees stand out among their peers in the job market; in that respect, the Honors Convocation also assists students in transitioning to professional careers.”

The content in the individual Honors Convocation booklets in this collection vary from year-to-year.  In perusing the collection, information can be found on the mission of the university, the criteria for each honor, awards, awardee names, university-wide and college/school specific awards, honor fraternities and societies with member names, and quotes of encouragement. The university is pleased to honor its students, to celebrate with them, and to make this information available.

Margaret E. Auer, B.A., M.S.L.S.

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