The Ford School Centennial

In 1913, Jesse S. Reeves, chairman of the University of Michigan political science department, proposed an academic program dedicated to training future leaders in city government. In a letter to U-M President Hutchins, Reeves wrote: "I believe that the University has a distinct opportunity, not only in offering a public service to the people of the state…but in leading the way in the training of municipal experts."

A year later, the political science department launched a program leading to a Master of Arts in Municipal Administration — the nation's first systematic public service training program with a municipality focus.

Throughout 2014, we celebrated and reflected on the history, evolution, and future of one of the world's premier schools of public policy.

Check out the Centennial Timeline for a fun journey through the Ford School's first 100 years!

Our Centennial events

The Centennial Reunion and Community Celebration – October 31-November 1, 2014 – Ann Arbor, MI

A major celebration of the Ford School's centennial was held during University of Michigan Homecoming Weekend. Activities included featured panels, keynote speaker, reception, tailgate, football game and opportunities to network with alumni, faculty, staff, students, and guests.

More about the Centennial Reunion

Alumni Speaker Series "Fordies Under 40" – Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 – Ann Arbor, MI

An alumni speaker series to demonstrate the breadth and impact of alumni careers across sectors. Funding was made available for student organizations to host a featured alumni speaker for both a substantive policy talk and a career-related session. Participating alums will also be interviewed for an interactive "careers map" on the Ford School website highlighting the ways in which alumni are putting their Ford School degree to work around the globe.

Worldwide Ford School Spirit Day – July 10, 2014

Spirit Day is an annual, alumni-led series of social gatherings, held wherever Ford School alumni and students are living and working. This year we raised our glasses to toast the Ford School's 100th!

Honoring Ned Gramlich and the Importance of Policy Research – Ford School & Federal Reserve Bank – May 30, 2014 – Washington, DC

Partnering with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington DC and with generous support from the Trehan Foundation, this one-day conference brought together leading practitioners of public policy analysis to illuminate current issues in the spirit of Ned Gramlich's guiding principle: that good analysis is essential to making and implementing good policy.

The Centennial Commencement -- May 3, 2014, Ann Arbor, MI

Our annual commencement ceremony—always a highlight for faculty and staff as well as graduates and their families—featured the school's centennial milestone and was keynoted by U.S. Senator Carl Levin.

Poverty, Policy, and People: 25 Years of Scholarship and Training at Michigan– April 2014 – Ann Arbor, MI

This two-day academic conference showcased the strength and breadth of contributions to poverty research of the University of Michigan Program on Poverty and Public Policy. The conference highlighted the intellectual leadership of the National Poverty Center's Director Sheldon Danziger in increasing the diversity of poverty research across disciplines, areas of study (including immigration, mobility and family formation), as well as diversifying the corps of researchers. The conference included a high profile Citi Foundation Lecture by current University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca M. Blank.

Annual Student DC Trip – February 6-7, 2014 – Washington, DC

This event included two days of employer/alumni career panels and networking activities. Networking includes an evening speaker, followed by reception for students, DC-based alumni, employers, and guests.

"War on Poverty" 50th Anniversary – January 8, 2014 – Washington, DC

January 8, 2014 marked the 50th Anniversary of the 'War on Poverty' launched by President Lyndon B. Johnson. That speech inspired a series of historic bills and acts establishing many of our nation's best efforts to turn the tides of poverty. With the Russell Sage Foundation, the Ford School's National Poverty Center released an edited volume assessing the impact of these programs, and the significant work that remains, at a major event in Washington, DC.