Spirit of Detroit Mercy 2018

2018 Alumni Achievement Awards

Each year, the University honors one alumnus from each of its schools and colleges for an Alumni Achievement Spirit Award. These honorees are leaders in their fields and have made their marks in other ways, too.

Spirit Award Winners

The 2018 Spirit Awards were honored at a special event on Friday, April 27 in the Student Center Ballroom. The recipients of this year's Spirit Awards are:

John M. Everly, ’65, ’67 — College of Business Administration

John M. Everly, ’65, ‘67Upon graduating from University of Detroit, Everly joined the sales department of Boyer Campbell and returned to his alma mater to earn his MBA. In 1972, he established Everly Associates to market powertrain components to the automotive market. In 1984, he became part of a turnaround of Chicago-based Jernberg Forgings, increasing sales from $28 million to $120 million during his eight years as vice president of Sales and Marketing. He returned full-time to Everly Associates in 1992; this year the company marks its 46th year in operation.

Everly was awarded the John Conti Distinguished Letterman Award from University of Detroit Mercy, is a College of Business Administration Hall of Honor member and a member of the Shrine High School Hall of Fame.

“I attended University of Detroit beginning in fall of 1961 on a football scholarship. As part of the recruiting process, my parents and I went to dinner with the coach and team chaplain, Fr. Huetter, who said to me “John, you belong here. If you come to the University of Detroit you will earn an excellent degree and I will mentor you, so when you leave here you will leave a good man.” Fr. Huetter not only mentored me but also became a lifelong friend to me, and later my family. Another gift from my University of Detroit experience was the chance to meet my partner — and the love of my life — Mary Sue, at a Titans basketball game in 1963.”


Randal T. Murphy, ’59 — College of Engineering & Science

Randal T. Murphy, ‘59 Murphy joined the Manufacturing Development staff at General Motors after graduation, later moving to Ex-Cell-O Machine Tools, Inc. In 1965, he joined Lear Corporation as a design engineer. He stayed with the company for 32 years, holding a number of positions from vice president of Product Engineering to president of Lear’s Chrysler and BMW division. Over his career, he was awarded 12 U.S. patents for seating innovations, which earned him the nickname “Mr. Seat.”

Murphy holds memberships in the Society of Automotive Engineers, the American Society of Body Engineers and is a lifetime member of the Automotive Hall of Fame. He was elected to the Engineering Hall of Fame at Wayne State University and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Automotive & Transportation Interiors Magazine.

“Without the University of Detroit Mercy engineering education, I may never have had the opportunity to achieve the career successes for which I’m being honored. The University was convenient — I could commute; it was affordable; the co-op program aided with expenses as well as exposure to real-world engineering experience. Most important, it gave me the tools to pursue a career in engineering.”


David F. Claeys, ’99, ’03— College of Health Professions

David F. Claeys, ‘’99, ‘03After a lifetime in the healthcare industry, Claeys was recently named president of the 632-bed Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn. He had served as interim president of the institution and in various roles for 12 years at Beaumont Hospital, Troy.

Claeys began his healthcare career as a patient transporter at Mt. Clemens General Hospital and, after completing his Physician Assistant degree at Detroit Mercy, worked in other metro Detroit hospitals as a respiratory therapist and on the cardiothoracic surgical staff, along the way earning a bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration from Detroit Mercy. He joined Beaumont Hospital, Troy in 2005 as a PA, and held other administrative positions before being named vice president and chief operating officer.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Claeys also serves his local community, working on governmental and foundation boards in Macomb County.

"I always enjoyed the culture of the campus and the relationship the faculty had with the students. The school was always focused on me being successful in the classroom and my career. I also loved the school's dedication to service and helping the community." 

Thomas E. Page, ’71, ’76 — College of Liberal Arts & Education

Thomas E. Page, ’71, ‘76Page began his law enforcement career with the Detroit Police Department but it was while he was with the Los Angeles Police Department that he helped create the curriculum and standards now used by officers in all 50 states and many other countries to enable them to detect and apprehend alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers. He was the first chair of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Drug Recognition Expert Section, and chaired the first International Alcohol, Drugs and Driving Training Conference. He has been recognized as an expert by courts in 21 states, has presented internationally on law enforcement issues and continues to serve the law enforcement community as a consultant and expert witness.

After retiring from the LAPD, Page returned to his hometown of Detroit, to promote urban bicycling and the resurgence of the city. He received the Sierra Club's Green Cruiser of the Year Award in 2017, given to the person who has done the most to promote bicycling in southeast Michigan. Page has been the recipient of numerous commendations during his law enforcement career and his community service earned him the City of Detroit’s Distinguished Achievement Award and the Detroit City Council’s Spirit of Detroit Award.

“In ways I couldn't have anticipated, my liberal arts education at the University of Detroit/Detroit Mercy provided me with the knowledge, the skills, and the passion to develop a law enforcement program that actually saves lives. My professors inculcated in me the understanding that ethics, that character, that morality do count, and are the keys for living a worthwhile life.”


Louis 'Gino' Rossetti, ’59 — School of Architecture

Louis "Gino" Rossetti, ‘59Gino Rossetti has been a practicing architect since 1956, beginning his career as vice president of Design at Giffels & Valet. In 1969, Rossetti founded Rossetti Architects, now Rossetti. Among many career honors, he was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. He has received gold medals from AIA Detroit as well as the Michigan MSA. Rossetti Architects was awarded Firm of the Year in 1992 and in 1999 he turned the reins over to his son, Matt. During his career, Rossetti served on various professional and nonprofit boards including University of Detroit Mercy’s.

“I am very proud to have graduated from University of Detroit for both its academic curriculum as well as the religious studies I was fortunate to receive. My time there led me to develop and maintain friendships throughout all these years with great people who also attended the University. The Jesuits provided me with not only my education, but the ability to grow my confidence and progress my leadership skills. I was elected to the Board of Trustees for University of Detroit in 1977; this offered an opportunity for me to give back to the University during its financially troubled years. Lastly, the School of Architecture, including deans, professors and fellow students, gave me the skills and tools needed to pave the road to my success.”


Mary Sue Stonisch-Monahan, D.D.S., ’87 — School of Dentistry

Mary Sue Stonisch, D.D.S., ‘87 Recognized as a leader in the field of cosmetic dentistry, Stonisch is one of just 36 women dentists in the world to be accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. It’s a certification claimed by fewer than 400 dentists worldwide and one she’s held for almost two decades. She is also one of the first dentists in southeastern Michigan to specialize in aesthetic dentistry.

Stonisch is also an innovator, and holds three patents for her SMILE-NOW peel and stick dental templates, which allow dentists and patients to see the end results of treatment in a matter of minutes. Stonisch wrote Smile Fitness, an easy-to-read, step-by-step guide to oral health and common dental dilemmas and its companion the Smile Fitness Workbook.

Stonisch is committed to sharing her expertise through lecturing and mentoring across the country. She is also dedicated to mission work and recently led a team that traveled to Africa to provide dental care for people in underserved areas.

"I was so fortunate to be able to live at home and get a world-class education right in my own back yard," Stonisch said. "Detroit Mercy Dental gave me the hands-on training which allowed me the confidence I needed to open my own practice upon graduation."

The Honorable Gregory E. Mathis, ’88 — School of Law

The Honorable Gregory E. Mathis, ‘88 Judge Greg Mathis is a familiar face across this country thanks to his syndicated courtroom reality series “The Judge Mathis Show.” He is also devoted to social justice, having opened a community center in Detroit that, in partnership with his nonprofit agency Young Adults Asserting Themselves, has helped thousands of young people with career, business start-up and job opportunities.

He has long blended career with public service, having worked for the Detroit City Council and Rev. Jesse Jackson’s PUSH Excel, and for four years was a District Court Judge. He has served on the national board of the NAACP and the Morehouse School of Medicine. He has been a reality TV star for nearly 20 years, dispensing justice with his unique brand of humor.

"The education I received from University of Detroit Mercy's School of Law provided me the preparation and work ethic which inspired me to make a difference in the lives of society's most marginalized citizens," he said.




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