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Famous alums

Actors, judges, editor and flight director among them

By Natalie DeBoer
On December 3, 2008

Visiting author Elmore Leonard isn't the university's only famous graduate.
Here are a dozen other notables who attended UDM (or its predecessors, the University of Detroit and Mercy College):
* Keegan-Michael Key is best known for his portrayal of Barack Obama on "MADtv." He has also appeared in "Chocolate News," "Reno 911," the movie Mr. 3000 and other productions. He attended the university in the early '90s and was a member of Phi Kappa Theta fraternity.
* Bill Bonds, an Emmy-winning television anchorman, ruled the Detroit airwaves in the 1970s and 1980s. He worked for channels seven and two and was known for asking his subjects tough questions and offering blunt opinions. (He also inspired the character Kent Brockman on "The Simpsons.")
* Greg Mathis - the television judge - is a graduate of University of Detroit Mercy Law School. He began his political career as an unpaid intern at Detroit city hall and was elected judge of the 36th District Court in 1995 before landing a syndicated television show.
* Neal Shine, for whom The Varsity News lab is named, was the editor and publisher of the Detroit Free Press. He started as a copy -boy in 1950 and worked his way up the ranks.
* Thomas E. Brennan, who graduated in 1953 from the law school, served on the Michigan Supreme Court from 1967 to 1973, and founded Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
* Maura D. Corrigan also graduated from the law school. She is on the Michigan Supreme Court and served two terms as chief justice.
* Frank J. Kelley was Michigan's longest serving attorney general. His 37-year tenure earned him the nickname "Eternal General."
* Glynn Lunney, a 1958 graduate with a degree in aerospace engineering, was NASA flight director during the Apollo and Gemini missions and managed the Space Shuttle program before leaving in 1985.
* Allison Payne has been an anchor at WGN in Chicago since 1990. She graduated with a liberal arts degree. Payne's first television job in Michigan was at WNEM-TV in Saginaw.
* Marlena Peleo-Lazar is chief creative director for McDonald's in the United States. Lazar graduated in 1972 with degrees in media studies and English.
* Ted Marchibroda was drafted in 1953 to play in the NFL. He has coached for the Baltimore Colts, the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens. Marchibroda is now an analyst for the Colts pre-game show.
* Amy Yasbeck is a film and television actress. She has had roles in The Mask, Pretty Woman, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and many other films and TV shows. She is the widow of actor John Ritter.

 

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