Each year, University of Detroit Mercy chooses an alumnus from each of its Colleges or Schools to honor as someone who has excelled in his or her profession, demonstrated outstanding leadership in work and devoted himself or herself in service to the larger community. Award recipients reflect the University’s mission of excellence and service and bring pride to their alma mater.
This year, the University will celebrate seven honorees at a special ceremony Friday, April 24, in the Ballroom in the Student Union. We will introduce the award winners on this blog before the event. If you are interested in attending the event, you can purchase tickets at udmercy.edu/awards.
For 2020, the College of Engineering & Science will honor Clifford C. Cook ’69, ’70, retired senior vice president, Marathon Petroleum Company, LLC.
Cookgraduated from University of Detroit in 1969 and immediately went to work for Marathon Oil Company as a refinery engineer in Detroit. He earned a second degree from U of D then served as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1971-75 when he returned to Marathon, this time in Texas.
He worked at Marathon in various aspects — crude oil trading and acquisition, crude oil supply, operations planning, product supply, distribution and planning — at sites as diverse as Findlay, Ohio, to London, England. He retired in 2012 when he formed Maize and Blue Consulting, which he ran for a few years before retiring again.
He has been active in business and oil industry organizations including the American Petroleum Institute and Society of Petroleum Engineers and Tau Beta Phi. He is on the University of Findlay Board of Trustees, the St. Michael’s Education Foundation and the Board of Advisors for Detroit Mercy’s College of Engineering & Science.
The other men being honored this year are:
- Joseph Coriaty ’78, School of Architecture, Managing Partner, Frederick Fisher & Partners
- Henry G. (Hank) Durkin ’73, College of Liberal Arts & Education, retired Technical Account Manager, Microsoft
- Eric J. Hespenheide ’75, College of Business Administration, retired Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP
- Vernon R. (Ven) Johnson ’86, School of Law, Owner and Founding Member, Johnson Law PLC
- Richard Persiani, D.D.S. ’73, M.S., School of Dentistry, Affiliate Professor, Detroit Mercy Dental
- Derk Pronger ’94, College of Health Professions, Chief Operating Officer, Munson Medical Center