Ford School 100

January 28, 2014

The Ford School's centennial year is underway! To kick off the celebrations, we sent 2014 calendars to thousands of alumni and friends. (Didn't get yours? Please email erinren[at] for a copy.)

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'll celebrate and reflect on the history, evolution, and future of one of the world's premier schools of public policy.


Centennial Events (as of January, 2014)


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


January 8, 2014 marks 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 – from Head Start to Medicare and more. 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.

Event video and more

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

This event will include 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.

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

This two-day academic conference will showcase the strength and breadth of contributions to poverty research of the University of Michigan Program on Poverty and Public Policy. The conference will highlight 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 will include a high profile Citi Foundation Lecture by current University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca M. Blank.

Visit conference website.

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—will feature the school's centennial milestone.

The Making of Economic Policy: An Appreciation of the career of Edward M. Gramlich – Ford School & Federal Reserve Bank – June 2014 – Washington, DC

We will partner with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington DC to host a one-day conference on the Economics of Policy Making. Sessions will focus on issues such as housing policy in the aftermath of the Great Recession to honor the extensive macroeconomic policy impact of the late Edward (Ned) Gramlich, former Fed Governor, Ford School Dean and University of Michigan Provost. Over three decades of service, Ned Gramlich shaped the Ford School's mission and vision. He was also an exemplar of what it means to be a world-class policy professor and distinguished policy leader. Held at the Fed, the event will feature a public panel event with former Congressional Budget Office directors.

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'll toast the Ford School's 100th.

Amnesty & Forgiveness: Implications and Enduring Lessons – Fall 2014 – Ann Arbor, MI

Fall 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of two historic policy actions by President Gerald R. Ford – the pardon of Richard Nixon and granting amnesty for Vietnam draft evaders. Each demonstrated far-sighted leadership in the midst of crisis. The Ford School will host a half-day conference to highlight the implications and lessons of these controversial, courageous decisions.

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

A major celebration of the Ford School's centennial held during University of Michigan Homecoming Weekend. Activities include 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 will be 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.


Centennial calendar