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Marygrove Awards Reverend Edwin Rowe the 2017 Honorary Degree and Elizabeth Walters, IHM, as Theresa Maxis Award Recipient

DETROIT, MI, May 2, 2017—Marygrove College will award an honorary degree and the prestigious Theresa Maxis Award for Social Justice at its commencement exercises on Saturday, May 13.

Educator and peace activist Elizabeth Walters, IHM, will be honored with the Theresa Maxis Award for Social Justice, and Detroit community leader and social justice advocate Reverend Edwin A. Rowe will receive the Honorary Degree Doctor of Humane Letters.

Commencement, featuring addresses by Rowe and Marygrove graduates Fareeda A. Rahmaan and Kaylin Reynolds-Dowdell, begins at 11 a.m. on the campus of Marygrove College and is open to the public.

Walters, a 25-year educator and IHM Sister for 55 years, is one of the founders of Detroit Cristo Rey High School. She has organized nearly 100 domestic and international peace teams, serving in Detroit, Haiti, Gaza and the West Bank, Mexico, Egypt, the Sinai Peninsula, and elsewhere. Sister Elizabeth is currently an adjunct professor for the Social Justice Department at Marygrove College; the outreach coordinator for the IHM sisters Justice Peace and Sustainability Office; grant writer for Crossroads of Michigan; and a coordinator at Detroit’s Crossroads Sunday Soup Kitchen.

Rowe has served the United Methodist Church for nearly five decades, spearheading efforts to create several non-profit and social service organizations including the Pontiac Light House and Women’s Survival Shelter, the Detroit Activities Center for the Developmentally Disabled, the Detroit Interfaith Hospitality Ministry, and many others. He is the recipient of many awards including the NAACP’s Ida B. Wells Freedom and Justice Award; the ACLU’s Bernard Gottfried Award; Detroit News’sMichiganian of the Year Award; and United Community Housing Coalition’s Housing Activist of the Year Award, to name a few.

Rahmaan, who will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science, is currently Lead Customer Service Director for the Michigan District, where she guides a team of 10 directors in 10 of the organization’s Michigan facilities. She has served as Customer Service Director for Sava Senior Care, received several awards—including the 2017 Marygrove Science Department Award and the Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Award—and volunteers for Brightmoor Neighborhood Alliance, a community revitalization organization.

Reynolds-Dowdell, who will receive her Master of Arts in Social Justice, is the four-time recipient of Marygrove’s Trustees Scholarship, has received the Maria Kostecke Murphy Scholarship, made the Dean’s List four times, has been inducted into the Marygrove College Honors Program and the National Society of Leadership and Success, and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. She is a Marygrove Legacy Family member and the fifth in her family to earn a degree from Marygrove College.





Founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) in 1905, Marygrove College is an independent liberal arts college and a Catholic institution of higher learning. The College’s commitment to the city of Detroit comprises an institutional mission and vision for developing urban leaders. The main campus is situated on 53 wooded acres in northwest Detroit.


8425 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI 48221