Celebrating the Classes of 2024

Congratulations, graduates!

Commencement 2024

On Sunday, May 5th at Hill Auditorium, the Ford School will celebrate the 186 students who have earned PhD, MPA, MPP, or BA degrees in public policy.

In many ways, our Commencement will feel a lot like the ceremony that the Ford School has hosted for its graduates for decades: celebratory, heartfelt, personal, and optimistic about the future leaders we’re sending off into the world.

And yet we’re all aware that this academic year has been hard in many ways. We’ve studied, taught, and worked all year under the shadow of the violence in the Middle East, and felt the escalating tensions here on campus.

Our staff and faculty have worked hard to plan our 2024 Commencement ceremony in that context–with input and support from other campus leaders and student organization leaders.

Our commencement program each year reflects both the traditions of the Ford School and the voices of the students. Our keynote speaker is selected each year by the dean; the graduating students elect the faculty speaker and the speakers that represent each Class. This year’s musical accompaniment will be provided by members of the Community High School Jazz Band. Each graduate’s name will be read as the student crosses the stage. We’ll close with refreshments, photos, and community on the plaza just outside of Hill Auditorium.




Charge to the 2024 Class

Garlin Gilchrist II, the Lieutenant Governor of Michigan, will lead the charge to the class at our May 5th commencement.

Watch live

Remote video URL

Safety and security

This event is for members of the Ford School community and invited guests. All graduates, staff, faculty, and guests will need to present wristbands in order to enter Hill Auditorium for the ceremony.

Graduating students and Ford School community members have been provided a form to register their guests, and will be expected to pick up the wristbands to distribute to their guests ahead of the ceremony. 

Please take careful note of this list of prohibited items, which includes purses, umbrellas, containers, video cameras, and more. Guests will be refused entry if they are in possession of any of the items listed, or will have to leave items unguarded on the steps of Hill Auditorium. Please be sure to read the list carefully and leave any prohibited items in your car or at home.

All attendees at our ceremony will pass through weapons detectors. These machines will be staffed by University of Michigan campus police officers.


Protest, speech, and disruption

Our ceremony is a celebration of the accomplishments of our 186 graduating students, including the 76 undergraduates whose high school graduations were derailed by the COVID pandemic in the spring of 2020.

The University of Michigan has a longstanding commitment to free speech and free expression.

We know that our community members will bring their full selves to Hill Auditorium, including their passionate convictions, fears, and hopes. We will see and hear differences on display, as graduations in general are often sites of free expression and peaceful protest. Whether taped to mortarboards or articulated on stage, each of us might hear viewpoints with which we disagree and that might feel painful, especially at a celebratory event.

It is important to note that while we respect the right to free expression, we also understand and respect that peoples’ reactions to the speech of others can be deeply personal. Freedom of expression also means that individuals who object to the use of some language or symbols at an event like this one might choose to vacate our space–perhaps temporarily–so that they will not be exposed to expressions that offend or hurt them. Video monitors will be in the lobby of Hill Auditorium so that those who chose to step out of the ceremony for any reason can see when they might want to step back in.

Across campus and at the Ford School ceremony as well, deans and directors will generally be patient with lawful disruptions. If protests significantly impede the program, leadership will take steps to de-escalate and address the interruption.

Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are antithetical to everything we stand for as a University of Michigan community and as the Ford School. We ask that all graduates and attendees take care to account for the humanity and perspectives of others.

We’ll see our differences on Sunday, and we will also see and hear the values we share: a commitment to the public good, a generous sense of belonging, and the imperative in a diverse society to seek and recognize the humanity in others.

Join us at the Ford School graduation reception following the ceremony

Graduates, family, and friends are warmly invited to gather on the front plaza of Hill Auditorium for light refreshments immediately following the Ford School Commencement ceremony.


More celebrations


#FordSchool24 graphics for grads

Fordies, friends, and family: Bring the festivities to your social media feeds and more! Download these custom graphics to mark the moment. Use #FordSchool24 and tag @FordSchool on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter/X, and Instagram.
View our #FordSchool24 graphics

There are many different ways to stay engaged

  • Keep your contact information up-to-date. Fill out your graduation check-in survey. Having your most recent contact information means you won’t miss out on Ford School news, events, and updates. Each time you move and/or change jobs, you can update your contact information by filling out a form linked on that page.
  • Join the LinkedIn group. Connect with over 2,500 Ford School alumni and continue to  grow your Ford School network!
  • Plug into our resources for continued learning and growth. As an alum, you may still access some of the Ford School’s professional and educational resources, such as FordCareers. You may register as an alum in FordCareers and/or learn more about the career resources available through the U-M Alumni Association. 
  • Maintain your connection through the U-M Alumni Association with your family of 650,000+Wolverines. Check out the career resources, access to alumni clubs and alumni communities, or whatever interests you by visiting alumni.umich.edu. 
  • Become an Alumni Admissions Ambassador and help recruit the next class of the leaders and best. Alumni Admissions Ambassadors attend recruitment fairs, make phone calls to admitted students, and/or share Ford School recruitment materials with friends, colleagues, and family members who are prospective students. 
  • Send in job and internship opportunities with your organizations—as you get settled in your jobs—to [email protected]. Make your fellow Fordies your colleagues!
  • Follow the Ford School on social media.

And don't forget, as a new grad, the U-M Alumni Association also welcomes you to a family of 650,000+ fellow Wolverines. Check out their website for information on accessing alumni community career resources and networking opportunities.



.. there is no way we can go forward except together and no way anybody can win except by serving the people's urgent needs. We cannot stand still or slip backwards. We must go forward now together."

Gerald R. Ford (AB '35, HLLD '74), 38th President of the United States


Forever, and always, Go Blue!