This is Marygrove College, an Urban Leader
Marygrove College was established in 1905 as St. Mary College in Monroe, Michigan, by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHMs), and was moved to Detroit Ein 1927. The current vision of leadership has its roots in the leadership and courage shown by the IHMs in those early years of the 20th century. In an era when opportunities for women were limited or non-existent, the IHM sisters took the bold step of founding an educational institution of higher learning for them.
Marygrove’s cultural DNA is rooted in pioneering movements of that sort, which have expanded the horizons of its students and made clear its legacy of urban leadership. Other examples of courageous leadership permeate its history in Detroit. Some highlights of its legacy follow.
In 1968, Marygrove embraced the growing African American population in Detroit and committed to recruit 68 African American women into its predominantly white school.
In the 1970s, under the leadership of Dr. Raymond A. Fleck, Marygrove rededicated itself to the Detroit community by firmly rejecting recommendations that it relocate to the suburbs.
In 1990, after two years of merger discussions with the University of Detroit and Mercy College, Marygrove made the significant decision to remain independent, reaffirming its commitment to the City of Detroit and students from the city and environs.
In 1998, Marygrove founded the GRIOT program - designed to increase the number of African American male teachers working in K-12 schools in the Detroit area and nationwide.
In 2001, Marygrove established the Institute for Detroit Studies, the only institute of its kind, as an outgrowth of its leadership in planning the city’s tri-centennial. Through its Defining Detroit series, the city’s history, industry, unique attributes and future are probed by experts. Defining Detroit is free and open to the public to encourage dialog.
In 2004, because of its tradition of quality teacher education, Marygrove College received grants from the Skillman Foundation to operate its Good Schools Initiative in selected Detroit Public Schools to publicly identify, recognize and reward schools that apply the Good Schools indicators and have plans to improve their performance.
In 2005, the Skillman Foundation also selected Marygrove to be the site of its YES for PREP program, a collaborative program sponsored by the YES (Youth Education Services) Foundation and Marygrove College. The long-term strategy of the program is to increase the number of potential leaders among low-income students in Detroit, Highland Park or Pontiac.
In 2006, the entire campus community committed itself to a strategic plan that envisions its students, academic offerings and the institution as fostering Urban Leadership.
Fostering Urban Leadership
Marygrove’s Urban Leadership vision is rooted in this legacy of innovativeness, quality and dedication. As we look to the future, Marygrove is committed to:
Developing urban leaders. This means something special for students as it provides them the opportunity and preparation to:
- apply classroom knowledge in an urban laboratory through practical application in the community
- take leadership positions in America’s urban centers
- foster the return of graduating Marygrove students to the City of Detroit
Serving as an institutional leader. This provides Marygrove the opportunity to:
- convene forward-thinking political, economic, social, and cultural leaders to explore and positively contribute to a vibrant city
- strategically partner with corporate and community leaders to improve the City of Detroit for businesses,
residents, students and the region
- create a new model of an engaged urban institution that attracts positive attention in other American cities