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 recordings of the 2020 alumni conversation, "Black Lives Matter Movement: From Understanding to Action" and the 2021 panel discussion, "Leading through crisis."

2023 Ford School Spirit Day 

2023 Worldwide Ford School Spirit Day - Connection! Community! Celebration!

Let’s connect as a community - one dedicated to the public good - to celebrate our #FordSpirit at the 13th annual Worldwide Ford School Spirit Day. 

President Ford raising his hands in celebration with a maize and blue Ford School logo design

Wherever you are in the world, you are invited to join in the fun on July 13. Here are some ways you can participate: 

  • Attend an in-person gathering in Ann Arbor, Chicago, Detroit, Petoskey, Toronto, or Washington, DC. (Details below.) 
  • Share your spirit with other Fordies from around the world on zoom. (Details below.) 
  • Wear your best Ford School and/or maize and blue gear. Make sure to wear it at an in-person gathering or over Zoom too! 
  • Mark the occasion by posting photos of your celebration on social media using #fordspirit and tagging @FordSchool. 

Register now! 

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


Homecoming 2023 weekend is a special time in Ann Arbor. This year's homecoming game is scheduled for September 23, 2023, when Michigan takes on the Scarlet Knights. Buy your tickets in a special Ford School section and make your plans now to come back to Ann Arbor! 

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. Save the date for our next Ford School Reunion in fall 2024! View photos from the most recent reunion, which took place October 4-5, 2019 and included a masterclass with former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The Centennial Reunion 

The Ford School celebrated 100 years of policy impact, 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. Learn more about the centennial celebrations.


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