CLAE Alumni


Sept. 29 to Oct. 1

Thank you to all students and alumni who came out to support Detroit Mercy's Homecoming celebration this last weekend! Students and faculty were able to connect with one another through two exciting days filled with food, fun and celebrations.

Titan Slam group image featuring visiting alumni, students, Department of Performing Arts Chair Greg Grobis and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Education 
Titan Slam group image featuring visiting alumni, students, Department of Performing Arts Chair Greg Grobis and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Education.

Spirit of Detroit Mercy Alumni Achievement Awards

Sept. 29, 2022

Peleo Lazar

Each year, University of Detroit Mercy chooses an alumnus of each of its Colleges or Schools to honor as someone who has excelled in his or her profession, demonstrated outstanding leadership in work and devoted himself or herself in service to the larger community. Spirit Award recipients reflect the University’s mission of excellence and service and bring pride to their alma mater.

Marlena Peleo-Lazar was born and raised in Detroit. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Radio-TV from University of Detroit before being recruited by Leo Burnett, an American advertising executive and founder of the Leo Burnett Company, Inc. to be a copywriter. Rising through the ranks, Peleo-Lazar served as a senior vice president and a global creative director from 1975 to 1997, working with notable Brands such as Procter & Gamble and Kellogg's. After her 22 years of service with Leo Burnett, she took a position with the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather/Chicago as their executive creative director & managing partner; working on such accounts as Sears, Kimberly Clark, Illinois Lottery and Unilever.

Peleo-Lazar has a history of brand building and creating award-winning creative campaigns. Serving as the chief creative officer for the McDonald’s Corporation, she was responsible for implementing and developing McDonald's most business building and creative award-winning campaign in history—I’m lovin’ it. Today, Marlena acts as a brand, marketing and creative advertising consultant for brands in addition to mentoring young professionals. She also continues to be a featured speaker at advertising and female-focused events.

Learn more about Lazar at 

Class of 2022 Commencement

May 14, 2022
College of Liberal Arts & Education celebrates the achievements of our recent graduates.

College of Liberal Arts & Education faculty and banner bearer ready for the 2022 Commencement ceremony

University of Detroit Mercy recognizes the 139th Commencement and Class of 2022. Congratulations, Titans!

2022 Spring Spiritus Magazine Cover showing President Donald Taylor and his wife

Alumni Magazine: Spiritus

Read Current and Past Editions

Detroit Mercy Alumni Blog Image

Alumni Blog

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Detroit Mercy Image of Forever Titans Portal

Forever Titans: Alumni Portal

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Notable Alumni

  • Michael Martinez ’12, Reporter, Crain's Detroit Business
  • Patrick Parsons '98, Information Technologies Consultant, Deloitte & Touche
  • David Sampson ’96, CEO of Mariners Inn
  • Keegan-Michael Key ’93, Actor, Emmy winner, Comedy Central, Key & Peel Show
  • Ryan Irwin '90, District Sales Manager, Dun & Bradstreet Corporation
  • Amy Merrill Salowitz '89, National Advertising Manager, Domino's Pizza
  • Alison Payne '85, News Anchor, WGN-TV, Chicago
  • Marlena Peleo-Laza, '72, Former Chief Creative Officer, McDonald’s Corporation
  • Terry Tyler '78, Former Detroit Pistons Basketball Player
  • Isiah McKinnon ’75, ’78, Former Deputy Mayor, City of Detroit
  • John Smyntek '72, Editor, Special Features, Knight Ridder Inc.
  • Arlyce Seibert '71,Director of Cranbrook Schools (retired)
  • Thomas Page ’71, ’76, Community Activist
  • John P. Hayes ’71, President/Owner Third Avenue Media LLC
  • Michael Cavanagh LA '62, LW '66, Justice, Michigan Supreme Court
  • Neal Shine '62, Retired Publisher, Detroit Free Press
  • Rick Sylvain ’69, Publicity and Public Relations, Walt Disney World Resort, Florida
  • Ed McNamara '59, Wayne County Executive
  • Elmore "Dutch" Leonard '50, Author/Screenplay writer
  • Jerome Horwitz, LA '42, GR '44, Scientist (discovered AZT)

Stay in touch - Send in your class notes

Have you recently been promoted, honored or published? Have you switched employers or career paths? Share the news with fellow Detroit Mercy alumni, parents, friends, faculty and staff. Send your Class Notes to

How to obtain a copy of your transcript

The University defines an official transcript as including all aspects of the student's academic coursework at Detroit Mercy.  Undergraduate, graduate and professional level coursework is included on the official University transcript.  The University does not release portions of the student's transcript and releases the full and complete document only.

Please note that transcripts mailed directly to you will say "Issued to Student" and may not be considered as official by a third party. Find all the information here:

Audit Detroit Mercy Courses

Alumni/alumnae may audit classes at or below the level of the degree awarded to them by the University (bachelor's, master's or doctorate). Registration and course fees apply, but the tuition is waived; no course credit is awarded. The class schedule is found here. Alumni audit requests are coordinated through the academic advisors in each college.

The Wall of Honor

About Wall of Honor

Since 2009, the College of Liberal Arts & Education has formally honored the civic and professional achievements of individuals who also have given their valuable time and resources to the College and the University in many different ways. Photos honoring these individuals hang on a wall of honor in the main hallway of the Briggs Building.


  • Joseph A. Berkowski, '51, university registrar and director of admissions
  • Catherine A. Caraher, Ph.D., '53, '62, professor of history, University of Detroit Mercy
  • Reverend Malcolm T. Carron, S.J., '39, president, University of Detroit
  • Michael A. Carter, Sr. ’72, ’78, managing partner of Pinnacle Construction Partners, LLC
  • Brian D. Cloyd, '73, '76, vice president, Global Corporate Relations, Steelcase Inc
  • Beuline Alexander Crawford, '65, social worker, community activist and philanthropist
  • Henry G. (Hank) Durkin ’73, technical account manager (ret.), Microsoft Corp
  • Gretchen Elliott, '66, senior vice president, mission integration, Trinity Health
  • Thomas A. Emmet, Ph.D., '54, consultant, Higher Education Executive Associates
  • Margaret A. Farley, RSM, '57,'60
  • John P. Hayes '71, president/owner of Third Avenue Media, LLC
  • Jerome P. Horwitz, '42,'44, professor emeritus, School of Medicine, Wayne State University
  • Charles S. Kassab, '54, chairman, CEO and president, Huntington Bankshares of Michigan
  • K. Noreen Keating, '63, president, Enhancing Your Nonprofit
  • Elmore (Dutch) J. Leonard, Jr., '50, novelist
  • Charles E. Lucas, M.D., '59, professor of surgery, Wayne State University
  • Marilyn Fisher Lundy, '46, president and CEO, Matrix Human Services
  • Jean Mayday, '62, director of scholarship and grants, Department of Education, State of Michigan
  • Susanne B. McMillan, '58, community activist
  • John R. Mulroy, '39, vice president of community relations, University of Detroit
  • Marlena Peleo-Laza, '72, Former Chief Creative Officer, McDonald’s Corporation
  • Peter B. Neydon, '65, president,
  • USF Holland Geraldine A. O'Grady-Pershing, '55, educator, community activist and philanthropist
  • Tom Page, '71, '76, community activist
  • L. Brooks Patterson, '61, '67, county executive, Oakland County, Michigan
  • Most Reverend Ricardo Ramirez, C.S.B, D.D., 68, Bishop, Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Reverend Robert J. Scullin, S.J., 68, former provincial, Detroit Province Society of Jesus
  • Arlyce Seibert '71, director of Cranbrook Schools (retired)
  • Frederick M. Seibert '69, '73, owner and president, Preece, Inc.
  • Neal Shine, '52, former managing editor and publisher, Detroit Free Press
  • Gilbert L. Stark Professor Emerita of Christian Ethics, Yale
  • Ronald J. Thayer, '62, consultant, Continental Dining Services
  • Michael D. Ware, '67, managing director, Advance Capital Markets
  • Milford E. Woodbeck, Sr. '33,'38, chairman, Overhead Conveyer Co., Inc.
  • Dr. James Woodruff, former president, University of Detroit

Make a Gift

Your tax-deductible donation to the College of Liberal Arts and Education to help fund scholarships, research, recruiting and other essential activities can be made online at our secure donation site. Alternatively, you can contact the Advancement Office or 313-993-1250. Thank you for supporting the College of Liberal Arts and Education.


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