Bon voyage, and best wishes to the graduating class of 2014
"You are not just graduates of a great university," Senator Carl Levin told the Ford School's centennial graduating class. "You are graduates of a school of public policy, which implies that you—your ideas and passions, your hard work and drive and grit—can help shape the policies that government adopts."
Senator Levin, who gave the keynote speech at the Ford School's centennial commencement ceremony, spoke about the difficult challenges policymakers face, and the rewarding nature of the work.
"To accept the responsibility of influencing public policy is to accept the responsibility to advocate for what may be unpopular at the moment," he told graduates, reflecting on President Gerald R. Ford's decision to pardon Richard Nixon after Watergate, and the principled decisions of many other politicians and policymakers. "Advocating for an unpopular position means acknowledging the real challenges we face. Whether it's Afghanistan or health care reform or the budget, anything worth doing risks the possibility of failure…."
Watch the commencement ceremony video.
Download a copy of Senator Levin's remarks.