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Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award



Maureen A. Fay, O.P, Ph.D. ’66, University of Detroit Mercy President Emerita, is the recipient of the University of Detroit Mercy’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. She is recognized for her professional achievement and distinguished career in higher education, and particularly, for her visionary leadership in uniting Mercy College of Detroit and University of Detroit to form the University of Detroit Mercy.
Sister Maureen began her vocation as an educator, earning a bachelor’s degree from Siena Heights College, a master’s in English from University of Detroit and her Ph.D. in Social Science from the University of Chicago. She held faculty and administrative positions at several institutions of higher learning in Michigan and Illinois, and served as president of Mercy College of Detroit from 1983 – 1990. Through a bold vision, she was at the forefront of uniting Mercy College of Detroit and University of Detroit to preserve the future of Catholic higher education in the city of Detroit. This endeavor was accomplished through skillfully collaborating, guiding and then serving as the first president of the consolidated University of Detroit Mercy from 1990 to 2004. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the successful consolidation of the two institutions. As president of UDM, Sister Maureen also had the distinction of being the first woman president of a Jesuit university.
During her 14 years as UDM president, Sister Maureen led the University with wisdom and insight focusing on UDM’s mission – to provide academic excellence within a Catholic and urban context. Her accomplishments were numerous, including the Commission on the Future to help position UDM’s programs and plans for the 21st century; the $101.3 million Legacy Campaign; the Prioritization strategic planning process and Vision 2020 implementation; construction and renovation of facilities; modernization of the technological and physical infrastructure; and implementation of innovation programs. Her skills at strategic planning, commitment to the Detroit area, and ability to establish positive working relationships with faculty, student, alumni and the community have earned her much admiration and long-standing support.
Respected by her peers and honored for her community service, Sister Maureen is the recipient of numerous awards as well as honorary degrees from six esteemed schools: Siena Heights College, St. Thomas University, Marquette University, Xavier University, College of the Holy Cross and, most recently, University of Detroit Mercy.
Award was presented at The Ignatian Circle Dinner, September 24, 2010.

University of Detroit Mercy

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