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The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of MichiganThe Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan

2011 Ford School graduates celebrated at commencement ceremonies, open house

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The 2011 University of Michigan commencement activities brought a long-awaited glimpse of spring to Ann Arbor, and opened the doors to a bright future for six Ford School PhD, 98 masters, and 57 undergraduate students.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder spoke to graduates at the University of Michigan's main commencement ceremony the morning of April 30. That evening, the Ford School hosted its own celebration in Rackham Auditorium with over 800 graduates, family members, and friends.

The 2011 Ford School Charge to the Class was delivered by U-M alum and Ann Arbor native Robin Wright, a distinguished journalist, analyst, and author. Wright is a currently a Joint Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. During her address, Wright shared stories from her 40-year career in international journalism, reporting often from some of the most dangerous, conflict-ridden parts of the world. Wright described the fears she felt doing that work, and told graduates to embrace and then challenge their own fears to forge impactful careers.

At the Ford School's commencement ceremony, the community also recognized the outstanding contributions of John Chamberlin as the founding director of the Ford School's Bachelor of Arts program, established in 2007, and Mary Corcoran as the founding director of the Ford School's interdisciplinary PhD program, established in 2001. Chamberlin and Corcoran will transition from their leadership roles at the close of the current academic year.

As a warm-up to the official commencement activities, hundreds of family and friends flocked to Weill Hall on Friday, April 29 for an informal celebration of our graduates' achievements. Attendees at our third annual Graduation Open House mingled with faculty and staff and enjoyed refreshments throughout the building.