Madonna University News

  • Sports Management

Detroit Tigers Marketing V.P. to speak at Madonna University

March 5, 2015

LIVONIA, Mich. — Ellen Hill Zeringue, vice president of marketing for the Detroit Tigers, will be the guest speaker at Madonna University’s Sport Management Night, Wednesday, March 18, at 7 p.m. in Kresge Hall.

The event, which is free and open to the public, provides the opportunity to learn about sport-related careers from Madonna faculty, students and alumni of the program. Admissions staff will be on hand to take applications and discuss the transfer process. Guests also can participate in a sports trivia game and photo booth.

A member of the Tigers organization for the past 15 years, Zeringue is responsible for all functions of the club's marketing and promotions departments. She will discuss the successful “Who's Your Tiger” campaign, as well as her role as manager of the Tiger’s branding strategy.

“For those considering a career in sport management, this is a great opportunity to hear about it from a professional,” said Michele Lewis Watts, assistant professor and director of Madonna’s sport management program.

Please register for this event at, or by calling 734-432-5339.

Launched in 2003, by Madonna University’s College of Education, the sport management bachelor’s degree program prepares students for a variety of careers in the rapidly growing and changing sports industry. Through research, theory, guest lectures, discussions with industry professionals, and practical experience, students may gain a broad understanding of the many disciplines within sport management, including ethics, finance, law, marketing, media, management, and the role of sports in culture. Students can customize their degree, by choosing a concentration in business or journalism; selecting a practicum project of their choice; and securing an internship to gain hands-on professional experience.

# # #

  • Dean's List

Madonna Students Named to Fall 2014 Dean’s List

March 4, 2015

  • New President

Madonna University names first lay president

February 11, 2015

Livonia, Mich. – Madonna University, which has been led by the Felician Sisters since its founding some 78 years ago, today announced its first lay president, Dr. Michael A. Grandillo.

Grandillo will succeed Sister Rose Marie Kujawa at the helm of the 4,200-student, liberal arts University in Livonia. He will assume the Office of President July 1, 2015, and an inauguration will be planned for the fall.

“I am humbled and honored to be called upon to serve and lead this exceptional University community,” Grandillo said. “I understand and embrace the charism and core values of the Felician Sisters and Madonna University. I am eager to continue building on our successes to ensure Catholic higher education is accessible and affordable at Madonna.”

The Honorable Michael Talbot, Madonna University Board Chair, and member of the Presidential Search Committee, was more than pleased with Grandillo’s selection. “At this historic juncture; when the University is hiring its first lay president, Dr. Grandillo is the perfect leader to take Madonna into the future,” Talbot said. “His breadth of experience across all aspects of university administration, and his deep faith and respect for the Felician/Franciscan mission and tradition will serve him and the Madonna community well.”  

With more than 35 years of higher education, Grandillo brings a wealth of experience in academic leadership, recruitment, enrollment management, public relations and advancement at a number of colleges and universities. During his career, he has participated in or led more than 30 strategic planning projects in higher education, community organizations, and government. Grandillo’s reach wasn’t limited to higher education. He was elected to the Tiffin City Council four times, and served a year and a half as council president. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown recently appointed Grandillo to his commission to screen candidates for federal appointments.

A lifelong Roman Catholic, Michael Grandillo grew up in Dayton, Ohio. He and his wife Nancy raised their children, Vincent and Gina, in Tiffin, Ohio, where they also worked with, supported and enjoyed the compassion of the Sisters of St. Francis. A Heidelberg College alumna, Nancy serves as Board Chair of Terra Community College in Fremont, Ohio. Vincent is a graduate of Hiram College and Gina is a junior at Ohio Northern University.

As a consultant with the Registry for College and University Presidents, Grandillo presently serves as interim vice president at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he leads the Foundation Board, advancement team and public outreach initiatives. Just prior to St. Mary’s, he completed a similar assignment at Bethel College in Indiana. In both situations he restored trust, transparency and teamwork to the institutions.

Prior to his time with the Registry, Grandillo served as president and CEO of Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wis. He honed his presidential leadership and fundraising skills during his 17 years as vice president for development and public affairs at Tiffin University, and another nine years as director of development at Heidelberg College.

His fundraising prowess resulted in five successful capital campaigns, tripling of the endowment at two institutions, and raising more than $80 million dollars. “I am excited to be a part of fostering an enhanced philanthropic vision for Madonna,” he said.

He began his career in admissions at his alma mater, Ohio Northern University, where he received the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award. During his tenure as associate dean of admissions at Heidelberg, undergraduate enrollment doubled.

With a bachelor’s degree in political science from Ohio Northern University, Grandillo attended the University of Dayton to earn a Master of Science in Education. In 2006, he completed a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Higher Education and Italian Renaissance History at the University of Toledo.

His research and scholarly interests are in the areas of philanthropic support of education, university history and public policy, and enhancing the collegiate experience for students and student-athletes. He has presented at numerous conferences, shared his time and talent with a number of community service groups, and as an adjunct professor, he has enjoyed teaching political science.

“Nancy and I share the University’s commitment to academic excellence, and we look forward to engaging students, in the classroom, on campus, and in social settings. We enjoy direct involvement in all aspects of student life and are particularly interested in helping to enhance an atmosphere of community,” Grandillo said.

Sister Rose Marie Kujawa announced her retirement last April. During her 14-year tenure and under her steadfast leadership, retention has improved by eight percent, the University’s first doctoral program (the Doctor of Nursing Practice) was launched, and Madonna became the first independent university in Michigan to be awarded the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She led more than $40 million in campus improvements, including construction of the school’s first stand-alone building in 40 years, and Livonia’s first LEED Certified building at the Gold Level. Her commitment to academics resulted in the growth of academic programs to 100 undergraduate and 35 graduate offerings, and her dedication to serving others compelled her to establish the Haiti Educational Leadership Program, which graduated its first seven students in May 2014.

# # #

  • Carnegie image

Madonna University Earns National Recognition for Community Service

January 23, 2015

LIVONIA, MICH. – Once again, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected Madonna University to receive the 2015 Community Engagement Classification. Madonna is among just 240 U.S. colleges and universities to be given the designation, and one of 157 schools, only two in Michigan, to be granted renewal of the honor.

Carnegie"We are honored and proud of this recognition. Engagement through service is central to Madonna's mission and identity," said Madonna University President Sr. Rose Marie Kujawa. "Our timeless Franciscan values - respect for all people, reverence for creation, peace and justice and education for truth and service - animate all that we do to prepare graduates to contribute positively in an increasingly interconnected global society."

In order to be selected, colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification, first offered in 2006. Participating institutions voluntarily submitted materials describing the nature and extent of their engagement with the community, be it local or beyond.

"Receiving this classification for a second time is an important milestone for Madonna University," said Ernest Nolan, provost and vice president for academic administration. "Our deep commitment to community engagement and public service continues despite the devastating effects of economic recession."

Madonna University’s selection recognizes the institution’s deep commitment to engagement both inside and outside the classroom, demonstrated through numerous programs and projects, including:

  • Academic Service-Learning integrates community service with course content and provides opportunities for students to apply their talents, knowledge, and skills to address community needs and pressing social issues, in partnership with local and global non-profit organizations.
  • Days of Service provide ways for students to engage in community service throughout their education at Madonna University.
  • International Service-Learning involves students in applying their academic knowledge and skills to help address global issues in countries such as China, Costa Rica, and France.
  • 9th Grade Counts! Summer Program is a partnership with The Phoenix Academy, and the Springwells Village Local College Access Network to help equip eighth grade students from southwest Detroit with the skills and resources to succeed in high school. Students participate in academic enrichment activities, and benefit from college readiness programs.
  • College Positive Volunteerism (CPV) helps youth and families plan for college and KnowHow2Go! CPV students have diverse academic interests, including broadcast and cinema arts, criminal justice, dietetics, education, nursing, and social work.
  • Ford MU Community Corps is a unique service-leadership experience supported by the Ford Motor Company Fund. Small teams of students with similar academic interests work together to address community needs. Teams develop and expand service projects in collaboration with a faculty mentor and non-profit organization professionals.
  • Alternative Spring Break programs expose students to complex social and cultural issues through community visits, experiential learning, direct service, group discussion, readings and reflection.

Each year Madonna students, faculty and staff volunteer their time and talents to benefit the community. During the 2013-2014 academic year, 1,878 students contributed 47,463 hours to the community. These numbers represent a financial contribution value of more than $1 million per year.

Madonna University also was named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education, Campus Compact, and the Interfaith Youth Core, the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships. Madonna University has received this distinctive recognition since 2006.