Marygrove College to Recognize Distinguished Alumni & Distinguished Alumnus of Tomorrow at September 15 Award Ceremony


Renée Ahee
Phone: 313-927-1438

Marygrove College to Recognize Distinguished Alumni & Distinguished Alumnus of Tomorrow at September 15 Award Ceremony

DETROIT, MI, September 11, 2017—Marygrove College will award five alumni with the Distinguished Alumni Award and one student with the Distinguished Alumni of Tomorrow Award at the institution’s annual Distinguished Alumni Award Ceremony on Friday, September 15, at 7:00 p.m., in the Marygrove Theatre. This event is free and open to the public.

The recipients of these awards are Barbara Stanbridge, IHM (’63); Catherine Haven Rohlman (’72); Christine Kennedy (’72); Sylvia Colding Manlove (’82 and ’91); John Meulendyk (’97); and Dursey Wade, Jr., who will be honored with the Distinguished Alumni of Tomorrow Award.

Barbara Stanbridge, IHM, founded CHANGE Human Resource Development, a consulting and training firm. In addition to serving on the Detroit Cristo Rey Board of Trustees and on the founding board of Detroit’s Our Lady of Guadalupe School, she has served as president of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and was named one of the 95 most powerful women in Michigan by Corp! magazine in 2002.

Catherine Haven Rohlman began working on The Little Black Book series with Bishop Ken Untener of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw in 1999. Despite Untener’s untimely death in 2004, Catherine continues to produce new Little Books for the Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter seasons. More than three million copies of the series—now printed in English, Spanish and Vietnamese—are distributed worldwide annually.

Christine Kennedy is an adjunct professor at Carlow University and a consultant with the Pennsylvania Early Intervention Technical Assistance network. In her four and a half decades of service on behalf of those with special needs, Christine has served the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, ACHIEVA, the Council for Exceptional Children: Division for Early Childhood, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and many more.

Sylvia Colding Manlove served Marygrove College as director of admissions and dean of student affairs from 1978 to 1997 before moving to Arizona. Until her retirement in 2011, she worked for the Maricopa Community College District in Tempe, Arizona in numerous capacities. In addition to receiving countless leadership awards, Sylvia has served the Interim House Shelter Board in Detroit, the American Heart Association, the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, and many others.

John Meulendyk holds degrees in biology, chemistry, dentistry, public health administration, osteopathic medicine, Catholic pastoral ministry, Lutheran theology, and general theological studies. He has been a teacher, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, a dentist, an anesthesiologist, a preventive medicine specialist, and a pastor. In 2013, John co-founded the Leadership Academy of Integrative Compassionate Care at Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dursey Wade, Jr., is the recipient of the John E. Shay, Jr., Scholarship, The Briggs-Fisher Foundation’s Annual Scholarship for Urban Leadership, and the prestigious Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Award. In addition to tutoring his peers in math, leading Bible studies, and serving The Gentlemen’s Round Table as vice president, Dursey also works with students at University High School Academy and Gesu Middle School in Detroit.



Founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) in 1905, Marygrove College is an independent liberal arts college and a Catholic institution of higher learning. The College’s commitment to the city of Detroit comprises an institutional mission and vision for developing urban leaders. The campus is situated on 53 wooded acres in northwest Detroit.


8425 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI 48221

Web site:

Marygrove College to Transition to a Graduate Educational Institution in 2018


Renée Ahee
Phone: 313-927-1438


Bob Berg of Van Dyke Horn
Phone: 313-872-2202

Marygrove College to Transition to a Graduate Educational Institution in 2018
Transition Marks New Era for Historic Detroit College

DETROIT, MI, August 9, 2017—Marygrove College today announced that, beginning in January 2018, it will offer Master’s degree programs and close its undergraduate programs. The college will continue to serve as a vibrant institution and an anchor in the Fitzgerald neighborhood, remaining open and operational with a reduced faculty and staff.

At the start of the Winter 2018 semester, the college will refocus its efforts and educational mission on graduate education and graduate professional development while maintaining its historic commitment to advanced education and the community. Undergraduate studies will close to allow Marygrove to remain viable for the future.

Marygrove President Elizabeth Burns, MD, said, “Regrettably, Marygrove has experienced the same enrollment and financial issues as many liberal arts colleges across the country and the state. Vigorous marketing and recruitment efforts have failed to provide sufficient revenue from our undergraduate programs to continue operations as usual. A recent analysis found that Marygrove is not sustainable in its current business model. And undergraduate enrollment is projected to be lower than last fall.”

In recent years, Marygrove enrollment peaked in 2013 with more than 1,850 graduate and undergraduate students. In Fall 2016, total enrollment had fallen to 966.

“Given the downward trend in Marygrove enrollment, and the plight of other liberal arts colleges, the Marygrove Board of Trustees determined that transitioning the college to a graduate-only institution was the best course of action,” Dr. Burns said. “Marygrove is pleased that our students and our community will continue to benefit from the quality education the college has been delivering since it was founded as St. Mary’s College in Monroe in 1905 and brought to Detroit 90 years ago. Our commitment to help our students remains firm.”

The college has notified incoming and returning students of the planned Winter semester transition and will assist them to identify alternative colleges and universities that offer their program. Students who are registered for Fall will receive assistance from academic advisors and financial aid counselors to develop an individualized plan that will allow them to successfully transfer and ultimately achieve their dream of a college degree.
Dr. Burns said that the Higher Learning Commission is in the process of re-evaluating the institution given its changed circumstances.

Marygrove is also assisting affected faculty and staff with their career transition.

Kay Benesh, president of the Marygrove Board of Trustees, said, “The Board of Trustees voted to continue with strong graduate studies and professional development because grad studies are sustainable and in demand. It was also critical for Marygrove to remain the mainstay of this northwest Detroit community and an active partner with our neighbors in growing this community. Marygrove will proceed with our February performance of the Marygrove Theatre of “I Will Speak for Myself,” a play representing the voices of African American women throughout history, and the Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series, now in its 30th year, with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead in April, among other community-oriented programs.”

Sister Mary Jane Herb, IHM, president of Marygrove’s sponsors, the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary congregation, said, “The decision to reduce the academic program was a difficult one, but one that will enable Marygrove College to maintain a presence in Detroit. It is our sincere belief that the campus will continue the rich heritage of education, being a beacon of hope for students into the future.”

Dr. Burns added, “We know of no other college in the country that has made this type of transformation, a transformation not unlike our historically bold moves to educate women when it wasn’t fashionable, to bring 68 African American students to Marygrove in 1968 with the 68 for ’68 initiative, to create one of the nation’s first Master in the Art of Teaching (MAT) degrees, a distance-learning curriculum to help teachers to advance in their careers, and to commit to an urban leadership strategic vision.

“Marygrove is grateful for this opportunity to reinvent ourselves to remain viable for the future, thanks to our funders and donors who believe in our mission, our sponsors, the IHM sisters, and the decades of students who’ve chosen a Marygrove education. We have seen our alumni make a positive impact on our world by living the ideals known here as the three C’s: competence, compassion and commitment. Marygrove is committed to continuing that legacy.”




Founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) in 1905, Marygrove College is an independent liberal arts college and a Catholic institution of higher learning. The College’s commitment to the city of Detroit comprises an institutional mission and vision for developing urban leaders. The campus is situated on 53 wooded acres in northwest Detroit.

8425 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI 48221

Web site:

5 days In July: Reflections on Rebellion-Symptoms, Synergy and Solutions

1967The Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion and Marygrove College’s Masters in the Arts of Social Justice Program are pleased to present 5 Days in July: Reflections on Rebellion-Symptoms, Synergy and Solutions, a panel discussion reflecting on the causes of the 1967 rebellion in Detroit and addressing issues fifty years later in communities discriminated against because of race, religion, gender or economic status.


Eric Campbell is Editor of Riverwise. Riverwise is a community-based magazine created by a team of authors, writers, photojournalists, parents, grandparents, students, organizers, activists, artists, educators and visionaries.  Riverwise is working to create media that reflects local activism and the profound new work being done in and around Detroit neighborhoods.  Eric is our moderator for the panel discussion.

Elena Herrada is a Detroit Community Activist leader and Director of the Oral History project of Fronteras Norteñas organization.

Dr. Jacqueline El-Sayed is the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Marygrove College.

Malik Yakini is the Founder and the Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network.

This event will be held at:

Marygrove College
8425 W. McNichols Ave.
Detroit, MI 48221
Denk Chapman Hall in the Madame Cadillac Building

Thursday, July 27, 2017

7-8:30 PM

Light refreshments will be served.  Free and open to the public

MG Grad Rachel Thompson Talks Music, Feminism, and Role of Detroit’s Seraphine Collective in Metro Times

IMG_20170721_091041If you forgot to grab a hard copy of last week’s Metro Times, which inclues a cover story featuring longtime Seraphine Collective member and Marygrove College graduate Rachel Thompson, you can still check it out by clicking on the link below!

Original photo credit: Doug Coombe

Marygrove Professor, Author, and Theologian Dr. Michael Martin Talks Mysticism, Christ, Art, and Poetry in NYC: July 25

Marygrove College professor, author, and theologian Dr. Michael Martin will join the City & Michael Martins faceKingdom New York on July 25 for an evening conversation about mysticism, Christ, art, and poetry.

Connolly’s Pub & Restaurant
3rd floor
121 W 45th St.
New York, NY 10036

For more information on the event:

This event coincides with the launch of Dr. Martin’s new journal “Jesus the Imagination,” which you can follow here:

Marygrove’s Kids Camp Begins June 26!

Kids Campp
Marygrove College is pleased to announce that it has opened enrollment for its new six-week Summer Kids Camp for children ages seven to twelve years old.  Camp begins June 26.

“Marygrove’s summer program is unique and exciting,” said Assistant Director of Admissions, Recruitment, and Enrollment Annemarie Nguyen, “not only because students will spend much of their summer on a real college campus, but also because our program successfully strikes a balance between academics and summer fun.”

In addition to game play, swimming, and inclusive spirituality sessions, students are given the opportunity to pursue their interests by choosing from a variety of courses including French, Arabic, dance, art, and athletics.

Summer Kids Camp, which runs from June 26 to August 4, brings students to the college’s campus five days a week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost for the six-week program is $699 and includes lunch, snacks, and day care from 8 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 4:30 p.m. for those who need it. A $200 deposit is required.

For more information about Summer Kids Camp, contact Annemarie Nguyen at (313) 927-1250 or

The Forgotten Child: A Reading and Book Signing Event with Dr. Donald Levin

Donald levinTomorrow, former Dean of Faculty and Emeritus Professor of English Dr. Donald Levin will celebrate the publication of his newest novel, The Forgotten Child, at the Lawrence Street Gallery.

Purchase your copy, have it signed, and listen to the author read from his work!

Saturday, June 10
2 – 4 p.m.
Lawrence Street Gallery
22620 Woodward Avenue
Ferndale, MI

TONIGHT: The Institute of Music and Dance Presents a Marygrove String Ensemble Concert

cello-1606337_960_720Institute of Music and Dance Presents: A Marygrove String Ensemble Concert

June 01
6 p.m.
Liberal Arts Building
Marygrove College Theatre

This concert, led by Music Director and Conductor Anida Margariti, will feature the music of Handel, Mozart, Vivaldi, Piazzolla, and others. Admission is free.

For more information, contact Judith Molina, (313) 927-1306