Events for alumni & friends

Stay actively engaged through networking and events with Ford School alumni and friends.
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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 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 2023, 2022, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 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."

2024 Ford School Spirit Day 

The Ford School logo, July 11, and "50", and a black and white photograph of Gerald and Betty Ford.

Ford50: Commemorating an exceptional presidency

Wherever you are in the world on July 11, you are invited to join in the fun, share your #FordSpirit, and take part in the Ford50 festivities! Here are the ways you can participate:

  • Attend an in-person gathering in Ann Arbor, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, or Washington, DC. RSVP by July 10. (Details below.) Enjoy refreshments and snag some Ford50 swag too, including buttons for the Wear one, Share one button contest. Don’t see a gathering where you are located? Reach out to [email protected] to coordinate one in your city!

  • Wear your best Ford School and/or maize and blue gear. Make sure to wear it at an in-person gathering!

  • Mark the occasion by posting photos of your celebration on social media using #fordspirit and tagging @FordSchool. 

This year’s celebration is especially meaningful as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Gerald R. Ford being sworn in as the 38th president of the United States at a time of great division and turbulence. 

Register for a Spirit Day near you! 

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 [email protected].

Additional events


Homecoming weekend is a special time in Ann Arbor. See how we celebrated in 2023, with a Policy Talks with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimodo and a special reception for new Ford School Dean, Celeste Watkins-Hayes. Details for 2024 Homecoming will be posted in early 2024.

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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Sep 13 2024

Ford School Reunion

12:00-6:00 pm

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