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President, Eureka Vacuum Cleaner Company

Honorary Doctor of Laws



Background information is quoted from the University of Detroit student newspaper, The Varsity New, October 12, 1927, pp. 1-2. Two articles provided information, "Fifty Years of Progress Mark U. of D. History" and "Faculty Honors Detroiters at Civic Banquet." The University of Detroit's golden jubilee marked the semi-centennial anniversary of its foundation. On June 1st, 1877, Father John B. Miege, S.J., accompanied by four Jesuits, came to Detroit for the purpose of founding an education institution to be known as "The Detroit College." Having purchased, for $23,000, a small tract of land on East Jefferson avenue, the priests fitted up the two-story house which was situated on the property. Every Alumnus was asked by Fr. John P. McNichols, S.J., rector, to vote for members of the Alumni who should receive the honorary degrees which the University would bestow during its Golden Jubilee Celebration. "On such an occasion as the Golden Jubilee," Father McNichols said, "it is only fit and right that the University should confer certain honors upon those among its Alumni who have distinguished themselves in various fields of life and in their services to their University." The University of Detroit conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws upon fourteen Detroiters and others at the civic banquet. Those honored by the University included Senator James Couzens, Walter O. Briggs, chairman of the board of director of the Briggs Manufacturing Co., Fred Wardell, president of the Eureka Vacuum Cleaner Co., Fred Fisher, president Fisher Body Co., and Charles Fisher, one of the directors of the General Motors Corp., all whom were granted their degrees because of "their contributions to the industrial advancement of Detroit." Others honored were John and Michael Dinan, who donated to the university the present law building on the old campus and gave the site for the new stadium on the new campus; James Fitzgerald, executive secretary of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Detroit received the degree because of his charitable and social activities; Judge Richard C. Flanigan of Norway, recently appointed to the State Supreme bench, for his "distinguished service in law." Prominent members of the university's alumni also were recipients of the degree because of achievement in their respective fields of activity. They were: John P. Scallen, attorney; Dr. William E. Keane, physician; Thomas F. Chawke, attorney; Judge Vincent M. Brennan of the Circuit court; William R. O'Reagan, advertising; B.A. Seymour, real estate, and Peter J. Monaghan, attorney and dean of the University's law school. Jubilee Celebration, University of Detroit, October 11, 1927.

University of Detroit

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