University of Detroit Mercy President Reflects on His Tenure as He Plans to Step Down in 2022

Dr. Antoine Garibaldi says he tried to expand the endowment from private funders specifically to increase enrollment for first-generation students.

After more than a decade as president of University of Detroit Mercy, Dr. Antoine Garibaldi has decided to step down from his post at the end of the academic year. After taking a sabbatical, he will return to the university as a tenured professor in educational psychology. 

“Getting support from our alumni is extremely important,” says Dr. Antoine Garibaldi, the president of University of Detroit-Mercy. 

The first Black president of the university, Garibaldi has seen many changes come both to the university, its campus and the surrounding neighborhood within northwest Detroit over the past 10 years.

Listen: University of Detroit Mercy President Dr. Antoine Garibaldi talks about his decision to step down in 2022


Dr. Antoine Garibaldi is the president of University of Detroit Mercy. He says the university has accomplished what it set out to do when he became president in 2011. Garibaldi helped triple the university’s endowment. “Getting support from the alumni is extremely important,” he says, as most of that money went to support student scholarships for first-generation students. 

“We recognize that there are a lot of students out here in this community and throughout the state, as well as nearby states, who want to get a college education but their parents can’t afford it and they don’t think they can afford it,” says Garibaldi. “We decided to make a way for them.”

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