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Commencement 2018

Baccalaureate Mass:  Thursday, May 10 at 5:00 p.m. at Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church in Detroit, Michigan.

The Class of 2018 and their families are invited to join their fellow graduates and the Detroit Mercy Law faculty and administration for the Law School Baccalaureate Mass. Held at Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church, adjacent to the law school, this mass offers a moment of quiet reflection and thanksgiving for your educational journey at Detroit Mercy Law, and an opportunity to ask for God’s blessing as you begin your legal career. Members of all faiths and traditions are welcomed and encouraged to attend. Rev. Gilbert Sunghera, SJ will preside.

Graduates attending Baccalaureate wear their graduation academic regalia, including their hoods, and gather by 4:30 p.m. at the law school in the first-floor hall opposite the SBA office. Graduates and guests may park in the Larned and Christ Church parking lots.

Commencement: Friday, May 11 at 5:00 p.m. in Calihan Hall in Detroit, Michigan.

The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law will celebrate the graduating class of 2018 at the Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 11 at 5:00 p.m. in Calihan Hall on the McNichols Campus of the University of Detroit Mercy. Graduates, dignitaries, and faculty are expected to arrive at Calihan no later than 4:00 p.m. Guests may begin to be seated in Calihan Hall by 4:00 p.m., and should be seated by 4:50 p.m. as the ushers stop seating guests at that time to make way for the academic procession. The graduation ceremony lasts approximately two and one-half hours. 

Commencement Speaker: Michael J. Talbot, Retired Chief Judge, Michigan Court of Appeals and Court of Claims

Michael J. Talbot, School of Law alumnus (’71) and former chief judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals and Court of Claims, will deliver the School of Law’s Commencement address. He retired on April 25 after 40 years on the bench, including four years as chief judge and 20 years serving on the Court of Appeals. Previously, Talbot served as a trial judge in Wayne County Circuit Court and Detroit Common Pleas Court, the predecessor to the 36th District Court in Detroit. 

Since taking the bench in 1978, Talbot has proven to be a dedicated advocate for the people of Michigan. At the Court of Appeals, he oversaw a successful intervention of the 36th District Court during the city’s bankruptcy and developed procedures for the Court of Claims to operate more efficiently for the people it serves.  As a member of the Judicial Tenure Commission, Talbot helped promote the integrity of the judicial process and hold state judges accountable in cases of misconduct. While leading the State Bar of Michigan’s criminal law section, he worked with state legislators to craft the Michigan Crime Victim’s Rights Act, which keeps victims well-informed of case proceedings and guarantees them the right to speak at sentencing. Given his talent as a jurist and public advocate, Talbot was recently appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board, which promotes the health, safety, and welfare of Michigan’s children and families by funding local programs and services that help prevent child abuse and neglect.

Off the bench, Talbot is a leader in the Catholic community and a strong supporter of Jesuit education. He chairs the Archdiocese Board of Education and the Detroit Archdiocese Board of Review, which addresses alleged abuse by Catholic priests. In addition, he serves as a trustee of Madonna University, Sacred Heart Seminary, and the Archdiocese Endowment Fund.  

Talbot grew up in Livonia, where his father, Joseph, an automotive purchasing agent, served on the charter commission, and his mother, Betty, was a district court administrator. He received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. From there, he pursued a career in local service in his home state and earned his J.D. from Detroit Mercy Law.

Preparation for Commencement:

The School of Law Commencement Ceremony will begin with members of the Class of 1968 leading the Commencement procession as golden jubilee anniversary graduates. The Motor City Brass Quintet will accompany alumna Clare Sawicki (’17) as she performs the national anthems of Canada and the United States. Detroit Mercy Law Dean Phyllis L. Crocker and University President Antoine M. Garibaldi will offer remarks, in addition to graduate Ryan Mardini, who was selected by his classmates to speak on their behalf. Graduate Aysha Allos 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 2018 to the Alumni Association.

Ordering Academic Regalia

Academic attire is restricted to University-approved tams, hoods, tassels, and gowns for professional schools. Graduates may order their academic regalia from Herff Jones. The last day to order a cap and gown online is Sunday, April 15, 2018. Academic attire is mailed to the address graduates list on their Herff Jones web order.  International students have their academic attire sent in care of the Student Service Center, Detroit Mercy Law, 651 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit, MI 48226. 

Accommodations for guests with disabilities

Graduates who will have guests requiring accommodated seating should contact Rebecca Simkins Nowak ( or 313-596-9409) to request accommodations. One family member is permitted to sit with those who require disabled seating. Please ask an usher for assistance upon arriving at Calihan Hall.

Handicapped parking, in front of Calihan Hall, is limited and restricted to those guests with valid handicapped stickers or license plates. 

Requests for alumni hooders

Graduates may request to be hooded by a family member who is a School of Law alumnus or alumna. Please submit your request to Eric McCloud at by Monday, March 26, 2018.

Metropolitan Detroit Motels and Hotels

Visit the Detroit Mercy Law website for information about hotels in downtown Detroit.

Baccalaureate and Commencement Participating Restaurants 


Baccalaureate Ceremony – May 10th

Restaurants within walking distance
  • Fishbone’s (Cajun)  400 Monroe Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
  • Harbor House (Seafood)  440 Clinton St, Detroit, MI 48226
  • Pegasus Taverna (Greek) 558 Monroe Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
  • Red Smoke Barbecue (BBQ) 573 Monroe St, Detroit MI 48226
 Restaurants with Specials
  • Texas de Brazil (Steak House) 1000 Woodward Ave #01B07A, Detroit, MI 48226          
    • $150 Gift card for parties of 15 people or more
  • The Whitney (American Restaurant) 4421 Woodward Ave.  Detroit MI, 48201
    • Half off of appetizers until 7pm
Graduation Ceremony – May 11th

Restaurants in the Area
  • GreenSpace Café (Vegan) 215 W. Nine Mile, Ferndale, MI 48220 
  • Lily’s Seafood Grill and Brewary ( Seafood)  711 S. Main St. Royal Oak, MI 48067
  • Oak City Grile ( American) 212 W. 6th St. Royal Oak, MI 48067
  • Benihana (Japanese/Sushi) 18601 Hubbard Drive Dearborn, MI 48216
Restaurants with Specials
  • Mr. B’s Pub 215 South Main Street Royal Oak MI, 48067
    • Drink specials until midnight
    • Inyo Restaurant (Sushi) 22871 Woodward Ave Ferndale, MI 48220
      • $5 Sushi rolls until 8pm


Mazaar Lebanese Cuisine
372 Ouellette Avenue (downtown location only) – 10% discount for students and their families on May 11, 2018. Students must bring their Detroit Mercy Law and Windsor Law student ID cards, and should let the staff know that they are graduates of the Canadian & American Dual JD Program when they make their reservation.

Vito’s Pizzeria
1731 Wyandotte Street East (Walkerville) – Free appetizer for any graduating student during the day or evening of May 11, 2018. The discount will be offered only to those students who bring their student Detroit Mercy Law and Windsor Law ID cards.

Commencement Day:

Watch Commencement Video from last year.


There is free parking for graduates and their guests in the lots accessible from the McNichols entrance to the University.  Vehicles may not drop off graduates and guests at the front door of Calihan Hall. 

Parking will be crowded. Please plan to carpool and allow for extra time to park. Handicapped parking, in front of Calihan Hall, is limited to those with valid handicapped license plates or stickers.

Guest seating

Calihan will open for guests at 4:00 p.m. No tickets are required for the ceremony, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. All guests are asked to be seated by 4:50 p.m. to allow for the academic procession to begin.

Graduate Check-in

All graduates must check in at the Calihan Hall northwest entrance by 4:00 p.m. Please wear your academic regalia.

Graduation Attire

Commencement is a formal academic ceremony. Academic attire is restricted to University-approved tams, hoods, tassels, and gowns for professional schools. Since you will be standing in line and processing, comfortable shoes are recommended.

Academic attire is mailed to the address graduates list on their Herff Jones web order. International students have their academic attire sent in care of the Student Service Center, Detroit Mercy Law, 651 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit, MI 48226. 

Reciting the Prayer Inspired by St. Thomas More

All graduates stand and recite the prayer with the Graduate Prayer Reader selected during the Graduation Fair. 

Baccalaureate and Commencement Ceremony Protocol

Graduates are asked not to not chew gum or use any electronic devices during the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies.

Given the solemnity of the occasion, please ask your guests to observe the following courtesies during Baccalaureate and Commencement:

  • Turn off all electronic devices, cell phones, and pagers.
  • Please do not bring food into the Church or Calihan Hall. 
  • No horns or balloons are allowed in Church or Calihan Hall.
  • Guests who wish to check a stroller during Commencement may do so by stopping at the Alumni and VIP check-in in the northeast lobby of Calihan Hall.

Commencement Photography

Detroit Mercy Law’s Commencement photography company is GradImages. During the ceremony, GradImages takes three photographs of each graduate: a photo with the President and two additional photos as the graduate crosses the stage. GradImages contacts each graduate after the ceremony with information about ordering Commencement photos.

During Commencement, guests on the main floor may take pictures from their places, but they may not move into the aisles, around the Hall, or into the upper sections. Guests seated in the upper sections may use cameras and recorders; they may not go down to the main floor to take photos. Graduates may return to the Hall after the Recessional for photographs as well.

Recommended Directions to Calihan Hall
4001 West McNichols Road
Detroit, MI 48221

From Metro Airport

Take I-94 East to the Lodge Freeway (M-10). Take the Lodge North to the Livernois exit. At the top of the ramp, turn right onto Livernois and proceed three-quarters of a mile North to W. McNichols (third traffic light). Turn right onto W. McNichols. The entrance is one quarter of a mile on the right.

From Downtown Detroit

Take the Lodge Freeway North out of downtown and follow the above directions from Metro Airport.

From Northwest on M-10

Driving South on the Lodge Freeway, take the Livernois exit. At the traffic light, turn left onto Livernois and proceed three-quarters of a mile North to W. McNichols (third traffic light). Turn right on W. McNichols and the entrance is one quarter of a mile on the right.

From the North on I-75

Driving South on I-75, exit Eight Mile Road and turn right off the ramp. Take Eight Mile Road West and proceed 2.5 miles to Livernois. Turn left (South) onto Livernois and proceed 2.0 miles to W. McNichols. Head East (left) onto W. McNichols and entrance is one-quarter of a mile on the right. 

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