Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy 2009 Commencement

Date & time

May 2, 2009, 5:30-7:00 pm EDT


Bryan Stevenson

The Charge to the Class will be delivered by Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative. His representation of poor people and death row prisoners in the deep south has won him national recognition. He and his staff have been successful in overturning dozens of capital murder cases and death sentences where poor people have been unconstitutionally convicted or sentenced. His efforts to confront bias against the poor and people of color in the criminal justice system have earned him many national awards including the National Public Interest Lawyer of the Year, the ABA Wisdom Award for Public Service, the ACLU National Medal of Liberty, the Reebok Human Rights Award, the Olaf Palme Prize for International Human Rights and the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Award.

Stevenson is on the Board of Directors of several organizations, including Partners in Health, Open Society Institute & Soros Foundations Network, Winrock International U.S. Programs, and Penal Reform International. He is a defense attorney and a Professor at New York University School of Law.

Information for Persons with Disabilities

If you are a person with a disability who may need an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact 734-615-3893 or [email protected] before or on April 13, 2009 to request your accommodation.


Ford School students receiving BA, MPP, MPA., or PhD degrees by Summer 2009 are eligible to participate. In addition, students enrolled in joint degree programs who wish to participate in graduation with their entering class may do so.

Graduation Event Logistics

Event Location Date/Time Commencement Rehearsal Rackham Graduate School April 22, 10am Rackham Graduate Exercises Hill Auditorium May 1, 1pm Ford School Open House Joan and Sanford Weill Hall May 1, 3:00–5:00 pm University Commencement Michigan Stadium May 2, 10:00am Ford School Commencement Rackham Graduate School May 2, 5:30pm

Ford School Commencement Rehearsal

Wednesday, April 22nd
Rackham Auditorium

If you plan to participate in the Ford School Commencement ceremony please plan to attend rehearsal. The class photo will also be taken during this time. Dress is casual. The Office of Development and Alumni Relations will be providing lunch.

Ford School Open House

For the first time, the Ford School will be hosting a Graduation Open House here at Weill Hall on Friday, May 1 from 3:00–5:00 pm. All students, family, and friends are welcome to come and meet the faculty and staff of the Ford School and tour the classrooms, public spaces, and suites of Weill Hall, which opened its doors just two years ago. Light hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be offered.

Parking is at a premium around campus and especially during commencement weekend. Please allow ample time to find parking.

On May 1 - May 3 parking without permits is available in all university parking structures and surface parking lots requiring a university blue parking pass. To attend our Open House the surface parking lot adjacent to Weill Hall (entrance on Oakland Street) and Hill Street Parking Structure are closest to Weill Hall; both provide handicapped parking. The UM parking structures on Thayer Street, Fletcher Street, Church Street and the Palmer Commons structure are closest to the Rackham Auditorium and provide handicapped parking. For more information on university parking please visit

Paid parking is available in a number of public lots around town as well. The public parking structures closest to the Rackam Auditorium are the Maynard Street and the Liberty Square structures. For a map of Ann Arbor public parking structures please visit


Standard graduation announcement may be purchased at Ulrich's or the Michigan Union Bookstore. Personalized announcements take up to two weeks to print.


Diploma Information: In order to receive a diploma, students must apply to graduate through Wolverine Access. Diplomas are mailed approximately 8–12 weeks after graduation to the address specified by the student when he/she applies to graduate online through Wolverine Access. Students who have a hold (financial or other) on their account will not receive a diploma until the hold has been resolved. PhD graduates attending the Rackham Graduate Exercises will receive their diplomas at the program.

For more information about diplomas, or to order additional copies of a diploma, please visit and search for 'diploma.'

Academic Attire

Graduates participating in any University of Michigan commencement ceremony must wear academic attire. Masters and PhD students are responsible for purchasing a robe, hat, tassel and academic hood. The color of the hood for public policy is teal. Undergraduate students are responsible for purchasing a robe, hat and tassel. These items are available at the Michigan Union Bookstore or Michigan Book and Supply.

Day of Commencement

Please be at the Rackham Auditorium by 5:00 pm. If you are driving to campus please plan to be looking for a parking spot by 4:30 pm. The Fletcher Street, Thayer Street, Church Street and Palmer Commons Parking Structures are the four closest structures.


Accommodations in and around Ann Arbor for commencement weekend require reservations well in advance. For a list of hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts in the Ann Arbor vicinity please visit


For more information or questions regarding Commencement please call the Office of Communications and Outreach at (734) 615-3893.

Important Contact Information:

University Commencement Hotline

Campus Information Center

Diploma and Transcript Office