Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy 2014 Commencement

Date & time

May 3, 2014, 5:00-6:45 pm EDT
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. The Charge to the Class will be delivered by U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI).

Graduation Events

Ford School Commencement Rehearsal (required, for all graduates)
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.
Rackham Graduate School, Rackham Auditorium

University Graduate Exercises
Friday, May 2, 2014
11:00 a.m.
Hill Auditorium

Ford School Graduation Open House
Friday, May 2, 2014
3:00 PM – 5:00 p.m.
Weill Hall

University Commencement
Saturday, May 3, 2014
10:00 a.m.
Michigan Stadium

Ford School Commencement
Saturday, May 3, 2014
5:00 PM – 6:45 p.m.
*Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. Plenty of seating is available.
Graduating students: please be at Rackham Auditorium by 4:15 p.m. on May 3. If you are driving to campus please plan to be looking for a parking spot by 4:00 p.m. The Fletcher Street, Thayer Street, Church Street, and Palmer Structures are the four closest parking structures.

In accordance with Rackham rules, students who graduate during the academic year (i.e., the previous December, in April/May, or the following August) will be eligible to participate in the Ford School's Commencement ceremony and walk across the stage. This includes Ford School students receiving BA, MPP, MPA, or PhD degrees. Barring a request for an exception, these are the only students who will be eligible to participate in the ceremony.

Ford School Commencement Rehearsal
Commencement rehearsal will be held Wednesday, April 23th from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Rackham Auditorium. If you plan to participate in the Commencement ceremony, please plan to attend rehearsal. You will receive important information designed to make our ceremony a well-run, memorable event for families and friends. Also, the class photos will be taken during this time.

Academic Attire
Academic attire is required for the Commencement ceremony. 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.

The Ford School has some academic attire for loan on a first-come, first-serve basis. You will be required to sign each item out with the understanding that you'll return the borrowed items after commencement. The robes, hats and hoods will be available for pick-up from the Office of Student and Academic Services from Tuesday, April 22 - Friday, April 25 during business hours.

Information for commencement guests

The doors will open at 4:30 p.m. for the Ford School Commencement Ceremony. Plenty of seating is available.

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:

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

To attend the Ford School Open House, the Hill Street Parking Structure and the Thompson Street 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 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 Rackham Auditorium are the Maynard Street, and the Liberty Square structures. For a map of Ann Arbor public parking structures please visit 

Note: More than 350 Blue spaces are currently not available on the medical campus due to construction. Many of these parkers have relocated to the Palmer, Fletcher or Thayer structures. These structures now fill earlier and to capacity.

Important U-M contact information

University Commencement Hotline: 734-647-6037
Campus Information Center: 734-764-4636