Building Portraits

The portraits displayed throughout the building show notable individuals throughout our history, including deans, professors, and alumni.

James T. Barnes Banner

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    Location

    First Floor - Career Services hallway
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    Artist: C.J. Fox

    As a young man, Mr. Barnes was a messenger for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and one of the first employees of the Federal Housing Administration in the 1930s. He later founded James T. Barnes & Company mortgage banking firm, which became one of the largest privately owned mortgage company in the country. He was Chair of the University of Detroit Renaissance Campus (as the law school campus was then known) Campaign in 1973-1976. After his death at the age of 65 in 1978, many friends of Mr. Barnes contributed funds to establish a memorial in his honor: The James T. Barnes, Sr. Memorial Scholar Award is given annually to a faculty member at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. In 2015, Mr. Barnes children, James T. Barnes Jr. and Christine Barnes Krichner, expanded the fund to include a scholarship for students.

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    Faculty Scholar Awardees 1980-present

    Location: First Floor - Atrium

    Faculty Scholar Awardees

    1980

    Peter Linzer

    1981

    James O'Fallon

    1982

    William Downs

    1983

    Daniel Lazaroff

    1984

    Howard Abrams

    1985

    Richard Seid

    1986

    Joan Heifetz Hollinger

    1987

    Barry Furrow

    1988

    Stephen Mazurak

    1989

    Lee Goldman

    1990

    Lawrence Dubin

    1991

    Alan Saltzman

    1992

    Howard Abrams

    1993

    Harry Hutchison

    1994

    Stephen Safranek

    1995

    Lois Fielding

    1996

    Lee Goldman

    1997

    Richard Myers

    1998

    Laura Hirshfeld Hollis

    1999

    Lawrence Dubin

    2000

    Alan Saltzman

    2001

    Harry Hutchison

    2002

    Patrick Keenan

    2003

    Pamela Lysaght

    2004

    Lee Goldman

    2005

    Browne Lewis

    2009

    Pamela Wilkins

    2010

    Pamela Wilkins

    2013

    David Koelsch

    2014

    J Richard Brougton

    2015

    Cristina Lockwood

    2016

    Karen McDonald Henning

    2017

    Khaled Beydoun

    2018

    Gary Maveal

    2019

    Kyle Langvardt

    2020

    Nicholas Schroeck

    2021

    Julia Belian

Acting Dean Merle E. Brake Banner

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    Location

    Second Floor - Hallway to the right of center stairway

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    Artist: John S. Coppin

    Dean Brake was a University of Chicago law graduate and a professor of law at University of Detroit 1925-1957. He served as Acting Dean,1941-1946, while Dean McKenna served in the Army in WWII. In 1957 he became a professor at the Detroit College of Law where he continued on the faculty until 1966 when he retired. 

Rev. William F. Dooley, SJ Banner

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    Location

    First Floor - Hallway on other side of double doors to left of entry

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    Artist: Unknown

    Rev. Dooley was the ninth University President, 1911-1915, and founder of the School of Law. Father Dooley died at the age of 43 having served only four years as president of University of Detroit. Despite his short tenure, Father Dooley was “one of the most beloved of the University’s early presidents.” Herman J. Muller, SJ, The University of Detroit, 1877-1997 at 82. “’He brought with him a splendid equipment of scholarship, intensity, energy and that quality that the world call comradery….Sedate professors of law, suddenly treated to the spectacle of a new head of the University and co-worker in its Law School, were amazed at his clearness, his vigor, and sobriety of thought.’”  Id. At 83. He put the law school “’on a firm foundation.’” Id. At 84.

Judge Thomas J. Foley (BA 1947, JD 1950) banner

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    Location

    First Floor - Hallway off Atrium

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    Artist: R.L. Bruce

    Judge Foley served on the Wayne County Circuit Court from 1965-1990. Born July 15, 1921 in Detroit, he received his undergraduate degree from University of Detroit in 1947 and his JD from University of Detroit School of Law in 1950. During WWII he served as a pilot in the US Navy. As a judge he served as Chair of the State Judicial Tenure Commission.

Dean George S. Hosmer banner

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    Location

    Second Floor - Hallway to the right of center stairway

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    Artist: Unknown

    Gift of Judge William J. Giovan

    Dean Hosmer was the first dean of University of Detroit School of Law, 1912-1921. Dean Hosmer received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, read for the bar at Griffin and Dickinson, wand was admitted to the bar in 1878. He became a judge in the Wayne County Circuit Court in 1888 and held that office until 1921 when he died at the age of 66. He received an honorary degree from University of Detroit in 1916. The painting that hangs in Detroit Mercy Law is a copy of the original painting that hangs in the Prismatic Club of Detroit.

Professor William Kelly Joyce, Sr. (JD 1923) Banner

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    Location

    First Floor - Hallway off Atrium

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    Artist: Unknown

    Gift of Clarence R. Charest 1951

    Professor Joyce taught Latin and Greek at University of Detroit High School, 1921-1930, and taught at the law school 1931-1965. He also taught in the Evening College of Business until 1950. During World War I he served with the US Navy’s Atlantic Fleet near France. In the 1950s and 1960s he was a judge on the television program Traffic Court.

Philip J. McElroy (BS 1925, LLB 1929, LLM 1930, and LLD 1932) banner

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    Location

    First Floor - Career Services hallway

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    Artist: J Giordano

    Mr. McElroy taught physics at University of Detroit from 1925-1941. He established his law office in 1948, located in the Fisher Building in Detroit. In 1965 another Detroit Mercy Law graduate, Dennis J. Pheney, Sr. (1963), joined him and they practiced together until Mr. McElroy’s death in 1993 at the age of 89. Mr. McElroy was active in his communities, serving on boards of the Michigan State Bar Association for 62 years and the Novi Civic Improvement Association. For more information on the McElroy Lecture Series, visit the law school website.

Dean Daniel J. McKenna banner

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    Location

    Second Floor - Hallway to right of center stairway

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    Artist: John S. Coppin

    Dean McKenna was the first fulltime dean at the law school, serving in that capacity 1932-1955.  He received his law degree from Harvard.  Prior to joining the law school he practiced law in Toledo, Ohio and was a professor of law at Marquette University and DePaul University.  He served in the Army during WWII, during which time Merle E. Brake served as Acting Dean.

Dean Peter J. Monaghan, Sr. (BA 1899) banner

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    Location

    Second Floor - Hallway to right of center stairway

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    Artist: John S. Coppin

    Dean Monaghan practiced law from 1902 to 1942, including while serving as dean, 1926-1932.  At the University’s Golden Jubilee celebration in 1927, Dean Monaghan, along with former Dean Scallen, was one of sixteen prominent citizens to receive a Doctor of Laws degree from University of Detroit. After serving as dean, the University was one of his clients at Monaghan, Crowley, Clark, and Kellogg.

Judge Denise Langford Morris (JD 1982) banner

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    Location

    First Floor - Atrium

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    Artist: Henry T. Heading

    Judge Langford Morris, the first African American elected to the bench in Oakland County, has served as a judge on the Oakland County Circuit Court since 1982. Prior to becoming a judge, she served as an Assistant US Attorney (Civil Division) in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and as an Oakland County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. Judge Langford Morris served on the University of Detroit Mercy Board of Trustees and serves on the Detroit Mercy Law Dean’s Advisory Board. 

    Judge Langford Morris’s portrait is the first of a woman and of an African American to grace the law school walls. Four student groups commissioned this portrait:  The Black Law Student Association, Women’s Law Caucus, Law Review, and the Student Bar Association.

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Frank Murphy banner

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    Location

    First Floor - Hallway off Atrium

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    Artist: H. Chalmers Cooper

    Justice Murphy had an extraordinary career.  He served as US Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan (1919-22), as a judge on the Recorder’s Court where he presided over the Ossian Sweet trial (1923-30), Mayor of Detroit (1930-33), Governor of Michigan (1936-38), Attorney General of the United States (1939-40), and US Supreme Court Associate Justice (1940-49). He also taught as an Adjunct here at University of Detroit School of Law. Our Honor Society is named for Justice Murphy.

Judge James L. Ryan, Sr. (BA 1952, JD 1956) banner

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    Location

    First Floor - Atrium

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    Artist: Unknown

    Judge Ryan served as a Justice of the Peace (1963-66), Judge on the Wayne County Third Circuit Court (1966-75), Justice on the Michigan Supreme Court (1975-85), and Judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (1985-2010).  He also taught as an Adjunct at our law school.

Judge John P. Scallen, Sr. (BA 1907, JD 1911)

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    Location

    First Floor - Atrium

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    Artist: John S. Coppin

    Judge Scallen served as Assistant Dean and Acting Dean in the years 1921-1926. At the University’s Golden Jubilee celebration in 1927, Judge Scallen, along with Dean Monaghan, was one of sixteen prominent citizens to receive a Doctor of Laws degree from University of Detroit. Dean Scallen was elected to the Record’s Court and served as a judge of that court from 1930-1968. He was active in civic life, serving as President of the University of Detroit Alumni Association, a life member of the NAACP, a member Roundtable of Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, and founder of the Manresa Layman Retreat. Dean Scallen was Gene Gargaro’s (1967) grandfather.

Henry H. Tarrant (JD 1922) banner

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    Location

    First Floor - Career Services hallway

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    Artist: Richard Lewis

    Henry H. Tarrant was the first African American graduate of the law school in 1922. Born in rural Alabama, he moved to Detroit as part of the Great Migration around 1919. He enrolled at University of Detroit School of Law in September 1919 at the age of 27 and worked as a clerk at the US Post Office throughout law school. He practiced law in Detroit for the next sixteen years.  During the 1920s as racial violence was prevalent across the country and in Detroit, Mr. Tarrant was active in organizations that sought racial equality and justice, including the Harlan Law Club. For more information on Mr. Tarrant, please see the law school website.

Rev. Henry Wirtenberger, SJ banner

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    Location

    Second Floor - Hallway to right of center stairway

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    Artist: Unknown

    Father Wirtenberger was a Professor of Economics and Dean of Commerce Night and Law, 1939-1956. After serving at University of Detroit, he became the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He later co-founded the University of the Pacific (Universidad Del Pacifico) in Peru. His last appointment was as a Professor of Philosophy and Business Ethics at Loyola University-Chicago.