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UDM Varsity News – Jalen Rose honored as academy bd. meets on campus

March 24, 2011

By: Michael Martinez

March 23, 2011 Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh administered the oath of office to seven members of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy’s board of directors Friday in UDM’s student center.

“I’m ready for this challenge,” said board president Jalen Rose, the former basketball star who is co-founder of the academy. “It’s time to roll up my sleeves and get to work, and I’m excited to help influence so many children in a positive way.”

UDM will be involved in Rose’s high school academy in a number of ways. For one, students who graduate will automatically be accepted at the university.

In addition, students will have the opportunity to take classes and be involved in activities on UDM’s campus throughout their high school years.

In addition to swearing in the board members, Pugh presented Rose with a Spirit of Detroit award in recognition of his efforts in the city.

“A lot of people are rich, famous and well known, but they keep it all to themselves,” Pugh said. “(Rose) tells kids that the path to all of that is through education, and that spirit is the spirit of Detroit.”

Rose said the award is meaningful.

“That was an ultimate surprise,” he said. “I’m very humbled and honored. I love this city so much, and I’m happy to be able to give back.”

Following the ceremony, the board held its first public meeting in anticipation of the academy’s September opening.

Board members unanimously approved resolutions outlining academy policies to be implemented beginning in September.

The most notable detailed the academy’s plans to draw in students. The academy will accept applications March 18 – May 31 from any student who wishes to enroll.

The inaugural class will consist of 120 incoming high school freshmen from Detroit. If the number of applications exceeds 120, a random selection lottery will be held on UDM’s campus in June.

The board is anticipating a lottery because of the extensive coverage the academy has received, members said.

Board member Timothy Gale will oversee a lease negotiation with public charity Operation Graduation.

The academy will lease a building in the middle of Comstock Park at 15000 Trojan Street, near the intersection of the Lodge and 8 Mile Road.

Owned by Operation Graduation, the JRLA will absorb all building expenses in addition to paying rent.

Board member Diane Manica was approved to oversee the educational service provider agreement and negotiate the leasing of employees to the academy. Manica, who serves in the UDM education department, said the partnership with UDM will be important to the academy’s success.

“This was a very important first step,” she said. “We wanted to have (the first meeting) at UDM to show a clear demonstration of the partnership between UDM and the JRLA.”

She said all three university campuses plan to offer internships with the academy and will work closely with the students.

“We’ll do whatever we can to have activities on campus so that the students and their parents feel comfortable here,” she said.

Manica said her role on the board of directors is special.

“In all of my career I’ve never been in on the ground floor of a school starting up,” she said. “It has reignited my passion for education. This is what I love.”

The next JRLA board meeting will take place Monday, April 25.