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Mercy College Student Newspapers

From October, 1941 through April 1989, Mercy College of Detroit offered its academic population news and information through the publication of a bi-weekly newspaper. Volume one, number one of Outer Echoes, introduced itself on the front page as “… a new note” from the “… world of the Catholic College Press.” As mentioned in this introduction, the direction of the publication was to echo the dedication and devotion that defined the life of Catherine McAuley. Coming from the Outer Drive location (as noted in the newspaper’s name), Catherine McAuley’s spirit held a firm place in the scholastic achievement and social life of the students who modeled their lives on hers. 

Although the name of the newspaper changed a couple of times since it first began, the publication continued through the 1988-89 school year. Each issue has been preserved in this archive to offer readers an intimate view of life at Mercy College, and the evolution of its academic dedication to Catherine McAuley’s initial vision. Reading through each issue is a great way to travel through time and discover the changes in campus life, as well as gain a valuable perspective on the campus itself, the students, the faculty, and the curriculum. This archive is a wonderful complement to the wealth of information found in our other digital archives (e.g., the Commencement, Convocation, and Bulletins/Catalogs digital archives). 

The Mercy College Student Newspaper archive offers a student’s point of view of life on and off campus during these years. For instance, the October 12, 1963 issue of Outer Echoes tells us that to kick-off the upcoming first annual fair to be held at the College in November, Mercy students were treated to a first ever Hootenanny at the school. In January, 1970, we read that Mercy College took a bold step and updated its curriculum to forego a structured basic course of study for incoming freshmen. From this point on, students would work with advisors to find the best path for each individual to ensure that their education served as a “launching pad” to a successful career and working life. 

The 1970-71 school year also saw a change in the name of the Mercy College newspaper. From that point forward, the newspaperwould be known as Dateline. The new name seemed to reflect the many changes taking place in the school itself and in the world beyond. Those unsettled times called for the linear clarity that the new name offered. And now the paper acquired a more serious tone and offered more thoughtful editorials along with newsworthy school events.

Quietly on September 17, 1979, without much fanfare, the publication once again changed names. The second page of this issue announced that from then on, the name would be simply Mercy College News.   The goal now would be objectivity, and the publication was turned over to an independent editor hired specifically for that purpose. This new approach found its home in the basement of the Student Center where volunteer reporters were encouraged and visitors were always welcomed. 

Mercy College News ran for two years followed by a brief publication called Mercy Update. Then in January, 1984, MCD Catalyst appeared, becoming the Mercy Catalyst in mid-1986. The final publication of the Mercy Catalyst in the University archive was published in April, 1989. Soon after that, the University of Detroit and Mercy College of Detroit merged to become the University of Detroit Mercy in 1990.

 – Linda W. Papa

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