Building Portraits

The portraits displayed throughout the building show notable individuals throughout our history, including deans, professors, and alumni.

James T. Barnes Banner

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Location

    First Floor - Career Services hallway
  •  

    Learn More

    Artist: C.J. Fox

    As a young man, Mr. Barnes was a messenger for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and one of the first employees of the Federal Housing Administration in the 1930s. He later founded James T. Barnes & Company mortgage banking firm, which became one of the largest privately owned mortgage company in the country. He was Chair of the University of Detroit Renaissance Campus (as the law school campus was then known) Campaign in 1973-1976. After his death at the age of 65 in 1978, many friends of Mr. Barnes contributed funds to establish a memorial in his honor: The James T. Barnes, Sr. Memorial Scholar Award is given annually to a faculty member at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. In 2015, Mr. Barnes children, James T. Barnes Jr. and Christine Barnes Krichner, expanded the fund to include a scholarship for students.

  •  

    Faculty Scholar Awardees 1980-present

    Location: First Floor - Atrium

    Faculty Scholar Awardees

    • 2022      Stephen Wilks
    • 2021      Julia Belian
    • 2020      Nicholas Schroeck
    • 2019      Kyle Langvardt
    • 2018      Gary Maveal
    • 2017      Khaled Beydoun
    • 2016      Karen McDonald Henning
    • 2015      Cristina Lockwood
    • 2014      J. Richard Broughton
    • 2013      David Koelsch
    • 2010      Pamela Wilkins
    • 2009      Pamela Wilkins
    • 2005      Browne Lewis
    • 2004      Lee Goldman
    • 2003      Pamela Lysaght
    • 2002      Patrick Keenan
    • 2001      Harry Hutchison
    • 2000      Alan Saltzman
    • 1999      Lawrence Dubin
    • 1998      Laura Hirshfeld Hollis
    • 1997      Richard Myers
    • 1996      Lee Goldman
    • 1995      Lois Fielding
    • 1994      Stephen Safranek
    • 1993      Harry Hutchison
    • 1992      Howard Abrams
    • 1991      Alan Saltzman
    • 1990      Lawrence Dubin
    • 1989      Lee Goldman
    • 1988      Stephen Mazurak
    • 1987      Barry Furrow
    • 1986      Joan Heifetz Hollinger
    • 1985      Richard Seid
    • 1984      Howard Abrams
    • 1983      Daniel Lazaroff
    • 1982      William Downs
    • 1981      James O'Fallon
    • 1980      Peter Linzer
Acting Dean Merle E. Brake Banner

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Location

    Second Floor - Hallway to the right of center stairway

  •  

    Learn More

    Artist: John S. Coppin

    Dean Brake was a University of Chicago law graduate and a professor of law at University of Detroit from 1925-1957. He served as Acting Dean from 1941-1946, while Dean McKenna served in the Army in WWII. 

Dean Phyllis L. Crocker Banner

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Location

    Second Floor - Hallway to the right of center stairway
  •  

    Learn More

    Artist: Henry Heading

    Gift of the 2020-2021 Student Bar Association

    Dean Crocker was the first women to serve as Dean at Detroit Mercy Law. She became Dean in July 2014 and retired from the position in July 2021. Dean Crocker is a nationally recognized authority on the death penalty. 

Rev. William F. Dooley, SJ Banner

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Location

    First Floor - Hallway on other side of double doors to left of entry

  •  

    Learn More

    Artist: Unknown

    Father Dooley was the ninth University of Detroit President from 1911-1915, and founder of the School of Law. Father Dooley died at the age of 43 having served only four years as president.

Judge Thomas J. Foley (BA 1947, JD 1950) banner

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Location

    First Floor - Hallway off Atrium

  •  

    Learn More

    Artist: R.L. Bruce

    Judge Foley served on the Wayne County Circuit Court from 1965-1990. He received his undergraduate degree from University of Detroit in 1947 and his JD from University of Detroit School of Law in 1950. During WWII he served as a pilot in the US Navy. As a judge he served as Chair of the State Judicial Tenure Commission.

Dean George S. Hosmer banner

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Location

    Second Floor - Hallway to the right of center stairway

  •  

    Learn More

    Artist: Unknown

    Gift of Judge William J. Giovan

    Dean Hosmer was the first dean of University of Detroit School of Law from 1912-1921. Dean Hosmer received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, read for the bar at Griffin and Dickinson, wand was admitted to the bar in 1878. He became a judge in the Wayne County Circuit Court in 1888 and held that office until 1921 when he died at the age of 66. He received an honorary degree from University of Detroit in 1916. The painting that hangs in Detroit Mercy Law is a copy of the original painting that hangs in the Prismatic Club of Detroit.

Professor William Kelly Joyce, Sr. (JD 1923) Banner

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Location

    First Floor - Hallway off Atrium

  •  

    Learn More

    Artist: Unknown

    Gift of Clarence R. Charest 1951

    Professor Joyce taught Latin and Greek at University of Detroit High School from 1921-1930, and taught at the law school from 1931-1965. He also taught in the Evening College of Business until 1950. During World War I he served with the US Navy’s Atlantic Fleet near France. In the 1950s and 1960s he was a judge on the television program Traffic Court.

Philip J. McElroy (BS 1925, LLB 1929, LLM 1930, and LLD 1932) banner

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Location

    First Floor - Career Services hallway

  •  

    Learn More

    Artist: J Giordano

    Mr. McElroy taught physics at University of Detroit from 1925-1941. He established his law office in 1948, located in the Fisher Building in Detroit. In 1965 another University of Detroit graduate, Dennis J. Pheney, Sr. '63, joined him and they practiced together until Mr. McElroy’s death in 1993 at the age of 89. Mr. McElroy was active in his communities, serving on boards of the Michigan State Bar Association for 62 years and the Novi Civic Improvement Association. For more information on the McElroy Lecture Series, visit the law school website.

Dean Daniel J. McKenna banner

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Location

    Second Floor - Hallway to right of center stairway

  •  

    Learn More

    Artist: John S. Coppin

    Dean McKenna was the first full-time dean at the law school, serving in that capacity 1932-1955.  He received his law degree from Harvard Law School. He served in the Army during WWII, during which time Merle E. Brake served as Acting Dean.

Dean Peter J. Monaghan, Sr. (BA 1899) banner

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Location

    Second Floor - Hallway to right of center stairway

  •  

    Learn More

    Artist: John S. Coppin

    Dean Monaghan practiced law from 1902 to 1942, including while serving as dean from 1926-1932.  At the University’s Golden Jubilee celebration in 1927, Dean Monaghan, along with former Dean Scallen, was one of sixteen prominent citizens to receive a Doctor of Laws degree from University of Detroit. After serving as dean, the University was one of his clients at Monaghan, Crowley, Clark, and Kellogg.

Judge Denise Langford Morris (JD 1982) banner

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Location

    First Floor - Atrium

  •  

    Learn More

    Artist: Henry T. Heading

    Judge Langford Morris '82, the first African American elected to the bench in Oakland County, has served as a judge on the Oakland County Circuit Court since 1992. Prior to becoming a judge, she served as an Assistant US Attorney (Civil Division) in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and as an Oakland County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. Judge Langford Morris served on the University of Detroit Mercy Board of Trustees and serves on the Detroit Mercy Law Dean’s Advisory Board. 

    Judge Langford Morris’s portrait is the first of a woman and of an African American to grace the law school walls. Four student groups commissioned this portrait:  The Black Law Student Association, Women’s Law Caucus, Law Review, and the Student Bar Association.

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Frank Murphy banner

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Location

    First Floor - Hallway off Atrium

  •  

    Learn More

    Artist: H. Chalmers Cooper

    Justice Murphy served as US Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan (1919-22), as a judge on the Recorder’s Court where he presided over the Ossian Sweet trial (1923-30), Mayor of Detroit (1930-33), Governor of Michigan (1936-38), Attorney General of the United States (1939-40), and US Supreme Court Associate Justice (1940-49). He also taught as an Adjunct at University of Detroit School of Law. The Honor Society at Detroit Mercy Law is named for Justice Murphy.

Judge James L. Ryan, Sr. (BA 1952, JD 1956) banner

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Location

    First Floor - Atrium

  •  

    Learn More

    Artist: Unknown

    Judge Ryan served as a Justice of the Peace (1963-66), Judge on the Wayne County Third Circuit Court (1966-75), Justice on the Michigan Supreme Court (1975-85), and Judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (1985-2010).  He taught as an Adjunct at Detroit Mercy Law.

Judge John P. Scallen, Sr. (BA 1907, JD 1911)

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Location

    First Floor - Atrium

  •  

    Learn More

    Artist: John S. Coppin

    Judge Scallen served as Assistant Dean and Acting Dean from 1921-1926. At the University’s Golden Jubilee celebration in 1927, Judge Scallen, along with Dean Monaghan, was one of sixteen prominent citizens to receive a Doctor of Laws degree from University of Detroit. Dean Scallen was elected to the Record’s Court and served as a judge of that court from 1930-1968. He was active in civic life, serving as President of the University of Detroit Alumni Association, a life member of the NAACP, a member Roundtable of Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, and founder of the Manresa Layman Retreat. 

Henry H. Tarrant (JD 1922) banner

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Location

    First Floor - Career Services hallway

  •  

    Learn More

    Artist: Richard Lewis

    Henry H. Tarrant was the first African American graduate of the law school in 1922. Born in rural Alabama, he moved to Detroit as part of the Great Migration around 1919. He enrolled at University of Detroit School of Law in September 1919 at the age of 27 and worked as a clerk at the US Post Office throughout law school. He practiced law in Detroit for the next sixteen years.  During the 1920s as racial violence was prevalent across the country and in Detroit, Mr. Tarrant was active in organizations that sought racial equality and justice, including the Harlan Law Club. You can learn more about Mr. Tarrant here.

Rev. Henry Wirtenberger, SJ banner

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Location

    Second Floor - Hallway to right of center stairway

  •  

    Learn More

    Artist: Unknown

    Father Wirtenberger was a Professor of Economics and Dean of Commerce Night and Law from 1939-1956. After serving at University of Detroit, he became the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He later co-founded the University of the Pacific (Universidad Del Pacifico) in Peru. His last appointment was as a Professor of Philosophy and Business Ethics at Loyola University-Chicago.