Alumni events

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Ford School gatherings

Each year, the Ford School and its alumni host events around the country (and even the world) to gather, network, and socialize. Whether hearing about a Ford School faculty member's latest research, connecting with a current student to share career advice, or socializing with fellow alums, Ford School gatherings are a great way to stay connected.

See additional upcoming Policy Talks and events; all alumni are welcome. Most of our public events are live-streamed on Facebook and Twitter.

Annual alumni events

Worldwide Ford School Spirit Day 

Worldwide Ford School Spirit Day brings alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends together to celebrate their Ford School spirit the Thursday before President Ford's birthday (July 14). Browse the photos from Worldwide Ford School Spirit Day activities from all over the world in 2019201820172016201520142013, and 2012, and watch a recording of the 2020 alumni conversation, "Black Lives Matter Movement: From Understanding to Action" and the 2021 panel discussion, "Leading through crisis."

Screencap of Spirit Day panel, displayed on a Macbook in front of a maize gradient background

Recent event

Worldwide Ford School Spirit Day 2021: Leading through crisis

The 2021 Ford School Worldwide Ford School Spirit Day event provided an opportunity to catch up and connect with fellow alumni and members of the Ford School community. Panelists Ali M. Berri (MPP ‘21), Stacy Dean (MPP '92), Portia Hemphill (PhD '15), and Alberto Rodriguez (MPA/MA '93) highlighted the work of Ford School alumni during the pandemic and their leadership across a variety of policy areas.
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Policy event and networking reception in DC

Each winter, the Ford School travels with its MPP and MPA students to Washington, DC, so students can attend a series of alumni and employer panels to learn more about policy-relevant careers in our nation's capital. As part of the trip, a student-alumni networking reception is held in the evening for alumni in the DC area to hear from a Ford School faculty member or other invited guest, and to network with current students and each other.

The 2020, Professor John Ciorciari, director of WDC and IPC, delivered The Path Forward in Afghanistan.

Kaltura Video
John Ciorciari: The Path Forward in Afghanistan
Image styled as a neon sign with text that says: Trivia and networking for alumni and graduate students, January 13. Part of the January graduate student career expo

Due to the pandemic in 2021, the Ford School did not host this annual event in Washington, DC. Rather, Graduate Career Services planned a three day virtual career expo for graduate students January 12-14 and as part of it, a trivia and networking night for alumni and students to test their Ford School knowledge, while networking and socializing with each other. Alumni shared their professional insights and tips with students and also had the opportunity to connect with one another. Read more about this year's January Graduate Student Expo here

To be involved in the DC trip as a panelist or table host, contact Elisabeth Johnston at

Additional events


Check back for Homecoming 2022 details in the coming months!

Ford School reunion

Every five years, the Ford School hosts an all-school Reunion for alumni to gather at Weill Hall to reconnect with each other and re-engage with the life of the School. The most recent Reunion was held on October 4-5, 2019. Activities included a State of the School with Dean Michael Barr, sessions with faculty, staff, and students on a range of topics such as the Ford School in Detroit and Leadership Across Your Career, and a master class with former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The Centennial Reunion 

The Ford School celebrated its Centennial Reunion, one hundred years in the making, October 31-November 1, 2014 with a commemorative Policy Talks lecture with Steven Levitt, Open House, Deans' Panel, and tailgate and football game at the Big House. Alumni, faculty, staff, and Ford School friends enjoyed two memorable days, which served as the culmination of the Ford School's centennial year celebration. Click here for a recap of the weekend's festivities.