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Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy 2011 Commencement

Date & time

Apr 30, 2011, 4:30-6:00 pm EDT


Weill Hall

The Charge to the Class will be delivered by journalist, foreign policy analyst, and author Robin Wright. Wright currently has a joint senior fellow appointment at the United States Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

About the speaker:

Wright has reported from more than a 140 countries on six continents for The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Sunday Times of London, CBS News and The Christian Science Monitor. She has also written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, and others.

Her foreign tours include the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and several years as a roving foreign correspondent. She has covered a dozen wars and several revolutions. She most recently covered U.S. foreign policy for The Washington Post.

Among several awards, Wright received the UN Correspondents Gold Medal, the National Magazine Award for reportage from Iran in The New Yorker, and the Overseas Press Club Award for 'best reporting in any medium requiring exceptional courage and initiative' for coverage of African wars. She was named journalist of the year by the American Academy of Diplomacy, and won the National Press Club Award and the Weintal Prize for diplomatic reporting. Wright has also been the recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grant.

As an author, Ms. Wright has been a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Brookings Institution, Yale University, Duke University, Stanford University, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. She lectures extensively around the United States and has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and PBS programs, including 'Meet the Press,' 'Face the Nation,' 'This Week,' 'Nightline,' the 'NewsHour,' 'Frontline,' and 'Larry King Live.'

Among her books, The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran was selected as one of the 25 most memorable books of the year 2000. She is also the author of Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam, Flashpoints: Promise and Peril in a New World, and In the Name of God: The Khomeini Decade.

Wright received her MA and BA from the University of Michigan.

Read more about Robin Wright from the United States Institute of Peace.


Ford School students receiving BA, MPP, MPA, or PhD degrees 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 Events
 EventLocation Date/TimeCommencement RehearsalRackham Graduate SchoolApril 20, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.Rackham Graduate ExercisesHill AuditoriumApril 29, 9:30 a.m.Ford School Open HouseJoan and Sanford Weill HallApril 29, 3:00-5:00 p.m.University CommencementMichigan StadiumApril 30, 10:00 a.m.Ford School CommencementRackham Graduate SchoolApril 30, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

Guests of graduates: the doors will open at 4:00 p.m. for Ford School Commencement and there is plenty of seating available. Tickets are not required.

Ford School Commencement Rehearsal

If you plan to participate in the Ford School Commencement ceremony please plan to attend rehearsal. The class photos will also be taken during this time. Dress is casual.

Graduation Announcements

Standard announcements may be purchased at three local bookstores:

  • Michigan Book & Supply
    317 South State Street
    (734) 665-4990
  • Barnes and Noble @ University of Michigan
    530 South State Street
    (734) 995-8877
  • Ulrich's Bookstore
    549 East University Avenue
    (734) 662-3201


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, cap, tassel, and academic hood. The color of the hood and tassel for public policy is teal. Undergraduate students are responsible for purchasing a robe, cap, and tassel.

Attire is available for purchase at three local bookstores:
(Please note that doctoral attire is available for purchase or to rent at the Barnes and Noble @ Michigan Union Bookstore only. Rental attire may be reserved Monday, March 7 through Friday, April 22. The Barnes and Noble Bookstore cannot guarantee gown sizes or hood colors after April 15. Rental attire should be returned by Friday, May 6.)

  • Michigan Book & Supply
    317 South State Street
    (734) 665-4990
  • Barnes and Noble @ University of Michigan
    530 South State Street
    (734) 995-8877
  • Ulrich's Bookstore
    549 East University Avenue
    (734) 662-3201


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

Ford School Open House

The Ford School will host a Graduation Open House at Weill Hall on Friday, April 29 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 five 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.

From April 29-May 1, parking without permits is available in all university parking structures and surface parking lots. To attend the Ford School Open House, the Hill Street Parking Structure and the Thompson St. Parking Structure are closest to Weill Hall; both provide handicapped parking. There is also meter parking on State, Oakland, and Monroe streets. To attend the Ford School Commencement the U-M 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 Rackham Auditorium are the Maynard Street and the Liberty Square structures. For a map of Ann Arbor public parking structures please visit

Day of Commencement

Graduating students: please be at the Rackham Auditorium by 4:00 p.m. on April 30. If you are driving to campus please plan to be looking for a parking spot by 3:30 p.m. The Fletcher, Thayer, Church, and Palmer Structures are the four closest structures. For locations of parking structures go to


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

If you are a person with a disability who may need an accommodation to attend or participate in the Ford School Commencement, please contact Jane Tyndell, 734-615-3893, [email protected] by April 22, 2011.

Important U-M Contact Information:

Graduates Guide to Commencement

University Commencement Hotline

Campus Information Center

Diploma and Transcript Office
734-763-9066 (search for 'diploma')