University of Detroit Mercy to open new Novi campus, expand health programs

Michigan’s largest Catholic university also prepares to begin significant enhancements to its flagship McNichols campus in November

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NOVI — The University of Detroit Mercy will open a new campus in Novi that will house its expanded graduate and health education programs, the Jesuit- and Mercy-run university announced Oct. 7.

The university’s purchase of a 40,000-square-foot facility at the intersection of 12 Mile and Meadowbrook roads “comes at an important time for the university and the community as demand for healthcare graduates grows,” Detroit Mercy said in a statement. 

The new campus also will allow the school space to grow its programs in the future, while providing a suburban location closer to many students’ homes and workplaces, the university said.

Video courtesy of the University of Detroit Mercy

“Detroit Mercy’s acquisition of this new campus will allow the university to expand academic programs in the health professions and other fields in which we are strong and that are in demand,” Detroit Mercy president Antoine Garibaldi, Ph.D., said. “In addition to this campus’s proximity to several medical centers, Detroit Mercy will now be able to expand its 14 decades-long and Detroit-based Jesuit and Mercy education to a larger population in the metropolitan area while simultaneously building on our three campuses in the city of Detroit.”

Michigan’s largest Catholic university also is in discussions with local health care partners to discuss possible new graduate programs, and the university plans to use its Novi campus to host continuing education classes for working professionals, including those in the dental field.

Detroit Mercy’s main campus on McNichols Road in northwest Detroit also will undergo significant upgrades, the university said. 

The clock tower at the center of campus overlooks a fountain on a fall day. Along with its new campus in Novi, which will house expanded graduate and health programs, Detroit Mercy also is launching a large-scale renovation of its McNichols campus.

In December 2019, Detroit Mercy completed the largest fundraising campaign in its history, raising $115 million, which the institution will use for campus improvements, academic programs and to bolster student financial aid. 

The multi-year, multi-million-dollar McNichols campus renovation will begin in November and will “significantly change” the face of Detroit Mercy’s flagship campus, the school said. 

The project will begin with a renovation and expansion of the Student Union, followed by demolition of the existing Fisher Administration Center and Reno Hall. Plans also call for expanded green space, a Center for Excellent in Teaching and Learning, and upgrades to nearly every building on campus. 

“Even more importantly, this initiative will eliminate 100,000 square feet of building space and reduce the institution’s deferred maintenance costs by more than $43 million, as well as improve overall efficiency and sustainability through reduced maintenance costs and facility usage,” the university said in a statement when the project was announced in February.

A statue of the risen Christ is pictured on the University of Detroit Mercy’s McNichols campus.  

The significant investment will make Detroit Mercy a more attractive option for prospective students, Garibaldi said, as well as improve campus life for current students. In 2017, the university also announced a tuition “reset” that lowered undergraduate tuition from $41,000 to $28,000 per year, and a similar reset for some graduate programs in 2019.

“This project will enhance our McNichols Campus and attract high-achieving students to our university, while at the same time help support the economic and redevelopment efforts taking place in our community,” Garibaldi said in February. “We hope other urban communities throughout the country view our success as a model that can be replicated and help spur enrollment growth.”

In addition to the main McNichols campus, Detroit Mercy also operates a law school on East Jefferson in downtown Detroit, and a dental school in Corktown. Certain classes are also offered at the Macomb University Center in Clinton Township and other locations throughout the state.

In August, the dental school unveiled a newly renovated entrance that includes a three-story glass atrium, terrazzo floor and stained-glass windows from a chapel originally built in 1941 on Mercy College of Detroit's campus. 

The Fisher Administration Building on the university’s McNichols campus, built in 1966, will be demolished while other buildings on campus will be renovated during a multi-million-dollar, multi-year upgrade to Detroit Mercy’s flagship campus.

The new Novi campus will be housed at the former South University building and will feature classrooms, student common areas and access to local medical centers. 

The University of Detroit Mercy was formed in 1990 as a merger between the former Mercy College of Detroit, founded in 1941 by the Sisters of Mercy, and the University of Detroit, founded by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1877. It continues to educate students in both the Mercy and Jesuit traditions, including several priests and sisters on its faculty and staff. 

In 2015, Detroit Mercy announced its Catholic Education Grant, which has resulted in more than $2.7 million in scholarships being awarded to more than 470 students from Archdiocese of Detroit high schools.

Today, the university boasts more than 100 academic programs, educates 5,100 students and has 17 Division 1 athletic teams. It has been ranked in the top 20 percent of all universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report and the Wall Street Journal.