New ministry director settles in at UDM

If you don’t know who Anita Kleug is yet, it probably won’t take long for you to hear about what she is doing in the community. 

The new director of University Ministry is already making a name for herself both on campus and in the Detroit beyond.

Raised in Texas, Kleug came to the Midwest as a student at Marian University in Indianapolis. There, she was a pre-med biology major, but found her true passion through staying active in the community.

“I was very active in student government. I was an RA, I was in ministry and many other things,” Kleug said. “I think that’s where that desire to be active in my community and ministry, and my interest in how a university functions, started.”

Following college, Kleug spent a year doing mission work in a girls’ orphanage in Bolivia, where she realized she no longer wanted to pursue medical school.

“I wanted to do something else,” Kleug said. “Not just something that used my faith background, but something that also allowed me to work for those who need help and those who were not as fortunate as I was growing up.”

Following her time in Bolivia, Kleug got into parish ministry working with kids in high school. During this time, she also worked to receive her masters in theological studies from the University of St. Thomas.

Most recently, Kleug spent time in Kenya on another mission trip before beginning at UDM in late July. 

“My love for learning about different cultures and different faiths has brought me to Detroit,” Kleug said. “I like the fact that I am in a place where I am able to be a part of the building stage. This community allows everyone the chance to take part in the growth and building process.”

Sister Beth Finster, assistant director of University Ministry, has taken notice of Kleug’s energy and work ethic. 

“I think she’s doing a great job,” Finster said. “She’s very energetic, she has wonderfully good ideas, she works hard, she asks good questions – pretty much everything we could ask for from someone in her position.”

One of Kleug’s biggest messages is that of inclusion and tolerance, especially through faith. 

“Anita is extremely big on including everyone in all of the work we do here,” Finster said. “The ministry is open to all students here at the university, not just the Catholic students. We want everyone to feel welcome no matter who they are.”