Science and Engineering Center Press Release

Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 10 a.m. ET
U of D Jesuit High School Begins $16-Million STEM Center
Facility positions UDJ as a STEM education leader in Southeast Michigan
DETROIT – Construction has begun on a state-of-the-art Science and Engineering Center at the University of
Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy. When completed in August 2016, it will be the first and only high
school facility of its kind in Detroit. It also represents the largest dollar investment in science and technology
at any Michigan high school in recent years.
The four-level, 40,000-square-foot STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) center addition
to the existing high school will double the space for biology, chemistry and physics programs, and provide labs
for engineering and research, as well as for the school’s nationally recognized eco-car and robotics programs.
It also will include a dedicated classroom and laboratory for seventh- and eighth-grade academy students.
“Equipping our young men to be tomorrow’s leaders and innovators begins right here, right now in Detroit,
where we continue the 450-year-old Jesuit tradition of academic rigor and critical thinking,” said school
President Karl J. Kiser, S.J. “Every day, faith and science converge as we challenge our students to reach for
excellence while reaching out to serve others.”
Kiser noted that Pope Francis – a Jesuit – has a graduate degree in chemistry and taught in two Jesuit high
UDJ alumni from around the world attended Tuesday’s groundbreaking, including Dr. Otis W. Brawley, a 1977
graduate, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society and professor, Emory University School of
Medicine; and Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno S.J., a 2014 Carl Sagan Award recipient and 1970
graduate. The emcee was Stephen E. Henderson, a 1988 graduate, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and
editorial page editor of the Detroit Free Press.
“It is extremely likely that many future cancer breakthroughs will be developed by students entering high
school today,” said Brawley. “When we invest in science education, we give young people the opportunity to
change the world by healing others.”
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Harvey Hollins III, director of Gov. Rick Snyder’s Office of Urban Initiatives,
also attended.
“Our city and state need scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to continue to fuel Detroit’s economic
growth,” said Duggan. “I applaud U of D Jesuit’s commitment to providing young men in the City of Detroit
with access to a world-class education and the opportunity to make a difference for the rest of their lives.”
UDJ is the largest and oldest of the three Catholic high schools in Detroit. The Science and Engineering Center
is the largest addition to the UDJ campus since the main school building was constructed on West Seven Mile
Road in 1930. The original high school was built on Jefferson Avenue, near where the General Motors
Renaissance Center stands today.
UDJ enrolls 900 diverse young men in grades seven-12, with 20 percent of the student body residing in
Detroit. A third of the students receive $1.7 million annually in tuition assistance, and 28 percent of students
are non-Catholic.
Its students achieve among the highest average ACT scores (26.2 out of 36) in the state, and every graduating
UDJ senior is accepted at a college or university. Three members of the 2015 class are attending military
service academies this fall.
University of Detroit Jesuit is Detroit's oldest high school. Founded in 1877, it has educated young men to be
reflective, responsible community leaders – “Men for Others” – through academic excellence, faith formation
and community service for 138 years. It remains Metro Detroit’s most ethnically, geographically and culturally
diverse high school. Currently enrolled are 900 students in grades seven-12 from more than 70 communities in
seven counties.
For more information about the Science and Engineering Center:
The Jesuit Experience. More than an Education.
Tom Totte
VP, Institutional Advancement
+1 313.590.7975
[email protected]