Dr. Antoine Garibaldi arrived at the University of Detroit Mercy in 2011 with plans to turn around a sharp drop in enrollment at the oldest and largest Catholic university in Michigan. Garibaldi, the first civilian to preside over the university, refined the history, profile, and potential of the institution, founded in 1877, and focused on adjoining one of Motor City’s most esoteric areas. Garibaldi dates back to 1967 with the delegation of authority in the area adjacent to the university district, famous for its 1920s stone and marble mansions. That year, the Blacks set fire to parts of their city, igniting countless racism. The rebellion caught headlines around the world.
In turn, the whites ran away. Over the years, the escapes they caused also counted some wealthy blacks. The Catholic school, which once put children in the pipeline to Detroit Mercy, moved from the city to the suburbs as a result of the merger of Detroit University and Mercy College in 1990.
“many [of] The alumni said, “You should move,” Garibaldi said, talking about the Jesuit and Sisters of Mercy managers and faculty appeals that took place on campus at the time. “They said,’No, we don’t go anywhere. This is where we started. This is our community.”
Today, it resonates as a legitimate rebellion of Garibaldi, 70. He sought to reaffirm what the Detroit Mercy leaders (95% of the current 6,000 student enrollments now have some financial support) claimed at the time.
Garibaldi has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was the largest freshman registration in 12 years on campus. This has dropped 31% from $ 41,000 to $ 28,000 per grade, thanks to what he called a “tuition reset” in 2018.
“It was a bold decision,” says Garibaldi. “It’s a serious topic to discuss the amount of loans students have nationwide. The amount of a master’s degree — not to mention the doctoral degree — a serious problem. Raise their prices from the market. I can’t continue. “
Garibaldi has won another victory. Among other things, praised by Detroit companies and members of the grassroots community, these achievements include:
• The University of Detroit Mercy campaign earned $ 114.6 million, surpassing its initial goal of $ 100 million a year before its planned end date.
• Tripled university donations, which boasted $ 89 million in 2021.
• Be one of the three campuses used for the CASE Education Funding Award for Educational Progress and Support for Overall Performance.
• Over $ 51.5 million was spent on new construction and facility renewals across all three Detroit campuses. I bought a fourth campus in Novi, Mississippi, 30 miles away.
• The 40,000-square-foot student fitness center, built in 2012, was built on the McNichols campus for the first time in 42 years.
• Built the $ 3 million Detroit Mercy College of Health Profession Annex, built in 2017. This has doubled enrollment in university programs for doctor assistants, one of the health care professions that has surged in recent years.
• In collaboration with the Kresge Foundation, we have established the Live6 Alliance, an economic development organization in northwestern Detroit, covering some of the city’s iconic Livernois Avenue and Six Mile Road.
“The front and back photos show what it really looks like, and what it looks like today,” says Garibaldi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Live6 Alliance. “Without a beautiful campus and surrounding area, we wouldn’t be able to hire students. If we think we’re in a part of a town where it’s not safe to go, we can’t bring them back.”
Garibaldi looks at collaborations between the University of Detroit Mercy and other people invited by businesses, the Detroit Police Department, and universities to have the opinions they need.
Campus neighbors exercise on outdoor tracks, access the library, and host non-university rallies on campus. “Placemaking is an important part of this,” said Garibaldi, adding that the Detroit Mercy School of Architecture helped the blueprint for the Live6 project. “The university’s involvement in this is to be a conduit for the people in this neighborhood. We are not trying to control anything.”
Realize the vision
This is Garibaldi’s signature style in the view of Dr. Lauren Blanchard, President of Downtown Houston University. Blanchard met Garibaldi while attending Xavier University and still considers him a mentor. “He was always planting one foot now and in the future. He had this keen eye and worked with campuses and communities to reach a particular vision …” says Blanchard. increase. “He realizes that vision.”
Dr. Percy Pierre, a former president of Prairie View A & M University and now a professor of engineering at the University of Maryland, said: He loves people. Pierre is a friend and classmate of Garibaldi’s older brother who was watching him grow up in New Orleans. “He has a strong commitment to doing good for society and has the talent to accomplish it,” says Pierre, a former Deputy Secretary of the Army.
Garibaldi’s sense of community and his position within it dates back to his childhood. His mother was a housewife. His father was a stevedore and railroad porter of pedigree that began when railroad mogul George Pullman hired a former slave to serve whites in a separate transport system sleeper.
Some of Garibaldi’s eight brothers were classroom teachers. According to Garibaldi, his own history as a classroom teacher can be obscured by his seemingly prominent work. He co-authored the 1983 groundbreaking “A Nation at Risk” US Department of Education report and co-edited “The Education of African Americans.” He has “declined teacher production in Louisiana,” “recruiting and retaining teachers with a particular focus on minority teachers,” “black colleges and challenges for the future,” and “success of African-American men.” Education and Motivation for. “
The last book arose from his special concern about the well-being of black boys and men. While Garibaldi, a full-time graduate student in Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota, was also the head of the National Urban League Street Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota since 1973, some of these challenges were very high. It was obvious. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Howard University.
“We have experienced a serious crisis in our country, not much different than it is today,” says Garibaldi. “Street Academy was one of the best experiences of my life. It was an opportunity to work with young men and women. Many of them were very cheerful. Their suspension and expulsion were theirs. Not because they were doing bad things, but because they weren’t challenged and supported by their families. “
While a student at Howard, Garibaldi volunteered at a Catholic school without a male teacher. He taught 5th grade social studies and had his first job after his graduation. (He transferred from the Catholic University Theological Seminary to Howard and entered at the age of 14.)
Having such a front-line experience still helps him.
“I go to school and meet the principal,” says Garibaldi. “When they know that I have taught and prepared a teacher in the classroom, they understand that I know what it takes to make a good student.”
What is happening in classrooms in countries that are often stratified by race, income, region, etc. could be one of the future topics of Garibaldi’s research and public dialogue. Garibaldi’s work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals over the years.
Garibaldi is the last graduate of several colleges, including his hometown Xavier and Gannon in Erie, Pennsylvania. But he hasn’t completely retired.
“I have a lot of lists of things I want to do,” says Garibaldi. The first of these is the start of writing a memoir of the last 21 years on Detroit Mercy and his previous work in Ganon on July 1st. He also taught classroom management at Xavier, where he was Vice President of Academic Affairs.
“I want to write about it from a leadership perspective,” he says. “I want to tell people how I got these institutions back into financial position.”
He wants to infuse his guidebook with a biography of how he attended his hometown of Jeanne d’Arc, grew up in church, and enrolled in a seminary to foster a desire for justice not only in education but in other areas as well. I think.
He visits New Orleans from time to time, but remains a resident of Detroit. Garibaldi is the new Honorary Chairman of the University of Detroit Mercy and teaches Educational Psychology. He manages his duties as a councilor for nine Detroit organizations, including Brother Rice High School. He is for nine educational institutions, including Georgetown University, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, and Michigan Independent University.
“I’m not going to stop,” he says.