Madonna University News

Mike Ilitch

Mike Ilitch’s Generosity Lives on at Madonna

February 13, 2017

LIVONIA, Mich. – While Mike Ilitch was a major force in the rebirth of Detroit and the revitalization of the Red Wings and Tigers, he also found it in his heart to support Madonna University Crusader athletics. Mike and Marian Ilitch made a substantial gift to underwrite a state-of-the-art baseball field, which was dedicated in the Fall 2005, and aptly named Ilitch Ballpark.

“Even though I was not part of the stadium process, Mike’s reach is felt even beyond his gift,” said Crusader Athletic Director Scott Kennell. “In my time at Madonna I’ve gotten to know Mike’s son Chris both personally and professionally and Mike’s legacy lives on through his children. The stadium continues to provide a first-class playing surface for our student-athletes and will continue to do so for years to come.”

Many members of the Detroit Tigers organization joined the Ilitches at the dedication, including Dave Dombrowski, Willie Horton, Gates Brown and Jim Price.

The facility, which was designed by Grissim Metz Andriese Associates of Northville, Michigan, is the first on-campus baseball field to be built at Madonna University.

Constructed by Midwest Landscape Group, Inc. of Commerce, Michigan, Ilitch Ballpark is an engineered field, built with sport bluegrass turf and pro style infield dirt, which is an exact replica of the playing surface used by the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. The playing surface has widely been recognized as the best collegiate surface in the state of Michigan.

Ilitch Ballpark has been home to eight conference championship clubs and has hosted the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference tournament in 2005, 2006 and 2008-11. Since the construction of the on-campus field, Madonna has posted a 164-43 overall record in home contests for an impressive .788 winning percentage.

“The Madonna University baseball program is very thankful and blessed to be able to play on such a great surface,” said Crusader Head Coach Ted Falkner. “Every player, past, present and future, is fortunate to have the opportunity to not only represent Madonna on the baseball field, but to do so on campus at a top-notch facility. Without the Ilitch’s gift, who knows where Madonna baseball would be playing today.”

In 1990, many years before Ilitch’s donation that made the new ballpark possible, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree, in recognition of his commitment to the international campaign against hunger, his outstanding service as a partner in education with Madonna University, and for his Christian spirit demonstrated as a community leader and benefactor.

Mike Ilitch will forever be remembered by Madonna University faculty, staff and students as a humanitarian, a business leader and a lover of baseball. In particular, Crusader baseball coaches, players and fans will be reminded of his incredible generosity each time they go to Ilitch Ballpark.

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Ephemeralities Art Show

"Ephemeralities" Art Show Opens Friday

February 1, 2017

LIVONIA, Mich. – An impressive schedule of exhibitions is planned for the Madonna University Art Gallery this year. The first exhibit of the winter semester kicks off this Friday, Feb. 3 with Tommy Wilson's ephemeralities show of paintings. The opening reception runs from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to stop by, and meet the artist and see his work. The exhibit, which runs through Feb. 24, depicts familiar structures of our local urban landscapes with breathtaking truth and beauty.

The Madonna Exhibit Gallery is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. For more information contact Gallery Director Robin Ward at or 734-432-5509.

Born in Chicago, Wilson currently is an exhibiting artist residing in the metro Detroit area. He received his bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Eastern Michigan University and a master’s degree in painting from Wayne State University.

After a successful career in art direction and graphic design, Wilson transitioned into the fine art arena in 2009. Currently, his work is exhibited in select solo, two-person, and juried shows in the Midwest. He works primarily with oils but has explored mixed mediums. His current focus is on the environments. His landscape and urban-scape paintings explore the stories of social identity belonging, and place.

Photo: Across the Way, by Tommy Wilson

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MLK Celebration

More Than 200 Attend Madonna MLK Celebration

January 24, 2017

LIVONIA, Mich. – Despite the chilly, wet, and sometimes icy conditions, more than 200 people participated in Madonna University’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration and Candlelight Vigil, Monday, January 16.

The turnout for this year’s event was the largest ever with more than 175 members of the Madonna community including students, faculty, staff and another 40 guests. Hosted by Terri D. Slaughter, the University’s chief diversity officer, it featured a keynote address by Madonna President, Michael Grandillo, Ph.D., in which he connected the values of the civil rights movement to the Franciscan values of the institution.

The event included the premiere of a video created by Madonna’s Technology Learning Services in which Madonna students recited parts of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech with King’s voice in the background.

The celebration ended on a high note with a rousing and inspirational performance by the Detroit Edison Public School Academy choir and a prayer by Sister Nancy Jamroz, the co-director of Madonna’s Center for Catholic Studies and Interfaith Dialogue.

Slaughter said the MLK Celebration and Candlelight Vigil served as an electric kick-off for a week of thought-provoking and inspiring programs and service projects at the University.

About Madonna University, a Felician Sisters-sponsored ministry: Liberal arts education, career preparation and service-learning have been the hallmarks of Madonna University since 1937. Madonna offers more than 100 undergraduate and 35 graduate programs in the areas of arts and humanities, business, education, natural and social sciences, and nursing and health, as well as the Graduate School. Michigan’s most affordable, independent, Catholic university, Madonna welcomes students from diverse backgrounds. Learn more at



Madonna College of Education Earns Seven-year Accreditation

January 11, 2017

LIVONIA, Mich. – Madonna University’s College of Education recently was granted an initial seven-year accreditation, the longest possible, by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). 

The Council determined that Madonna’s undergraduate and graduate teacher education degree programs met all five standards for accreditation, with no areas for improvement. “This is a wonderful testament to the dedication and hard work of the faculty and staff in our College of Education,” said Madonna University President Michael Grandillo. “The dean, professors and staff, in the College, all share a true passion for education and they pass that on to their students as they prepare them to teach the next generation of learners.” 

The next accreditation visit to Madonna University by CAEP will be Fall 2023. 

About Madonna:  In 1954, Madonna received approval from the Michigan Board of Education for teacher certification. The College of Education has been continuously accredited since 1972, when it was first accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). More than 6,800 educators across the country call Madonna University their alma mater. The Michigan Department of Education consistently gives Madonna’s teacher education programs exemplary status. The two-newest graduate programs – Education Specialist and Higher Education and Student Affairs – will help meet the needs of working teachers by enhancing their teaching skills or preparing them for leadership and administrative roles. Follow this link for more information about Madonna University’s teacher education programs

About CAEP: The Council advances excellence in educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning.

Previously, Madonna University was accredited by NCATE through 2016. In 2013, CAEP became the single national accreditor for educator preparation and adopted a new generation of educator preparation standards that moved beyond inputs.