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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

The Ford School mourns Mrs. Betty Ford (1918 - 2011)

Friday, July 8, 2011
The Ford School mourns Mrs. Betty Ford (1918 - 2011) image

The Ford School community is deeply saddened by the loss of our good friend, Mrs. Betty Ford, who passed away today at the age of 93.

Mrs. Ford's life was marked by an unwavering commitment to her family and to a number of political and cultural issues, including addiction treatment, breast cancer awareness, feminism, and more.

"Betty Ford was a gracious and generous friend of the University, as well as a warm personal friend," said University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman. "She was a wonderful partner with her husband, the late President Gerald R. Ford, and together with their children they were steadfast supporters of Michigan. We will miss her dedication and enthusiasm, and will remember the affection she showed our community."

Mrs. Ford visited her husband's namesake school a number of times over the years, and each visit left a deep impression on the students, faculty, and staff with whom she met.

"It was an honor and a pleasure to meet someone whose strength and grace have been such a positive role-model, especially for women in this country and around the world," said Dean Susan M. Collins. "She made important contributions in her own right and her work will have a lasting positive impact."

Ford School Tribute to Betty Ford

The Ford School has prepared a tribute to Mrs. Ford outside of the Betty Ford Classroom (Room 1110) in Weill Hall; we welcome you to visit the tribute through this Friday, July 15 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

A portrait of Mrs. Ford is on display next to an arrangement of peach-colored roses–her favorite flowers. We invite you to visit the Betty Ford Classroom where there are several beautiful pictures of Mrs. Ford on display. A guest book is also available for members of our community to reflect and share their memories with the Ford family.

We understand many Ford School community members are not in Ann Arbor during the summer months. We created a form on our website to extend this opportunity for you to share a message with the Ford family. We will compile all of the messages shared on this site in a memory book to be given to the Ford family. (Members outside of the immediate Ford School community are encouraged to share their condolences through the official Betty Ford Memorial website, www.BettyFordMemorial.com).

Link to the Ford School Condolences Book: http://umichfordschool.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eL1OjMKVEWha4sc

Funeral details for Mrs. Ford are posted on the Betty Ford Memorial website.

For those considering sending flowers or making a contribution in honor of Mrs. Ford, her family has requested that contributions and donations in lieu of flowers be made to the organizations found on the Contributions page of the Betty Ford Memorial website.

View WXYZ TV's segment with Susan Collins on the Ford School's reaction to the passing of Betty Ford.

Read the Michigan Daily's coverage of campus reactions to the death of former first lady Betty Ford.