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Ford School students attend J. Ira Harris Lecture in New York, meet Secretary of Commerce

February 22, 2016

On Thursday, February 11, the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy hosted the J. Ira Harris Lecture, made possible with generous support from friends of J. Ira Harris (BBA ‘59, LLD Hon ‘12), in honor of his 75th birthday.

At the Andaz 5th Avenue in New York City, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker delivered the J. Ira Harris Lecture to an audience of 150 of Ira and Nicki Harris' friends and family, proud University of Michigan alumni, and a group of exceptional Ford School students. More than sixty tuned in online to the invite-only event.

In her remarks, Secretary Pritzker first spoke to her long-time friendship with Mr. Harris. On the occasion of Secretary Pritzker's 25th wedding anniversary, Mr. Harris officiated her wedding vow renewal--dressed in his University of Michigan robes and academic tam.

Next, Secretary Pritzker outlined the Department of Commerce's plans for "commercial diplomacy," to influence policy in markets around the world. You can read the secretary's full remarks here: 

Fifteen Ford School students met with Secretary Pritzker, Mr. and Mrs. Harris, Professor Barry Rabe, and Dean Susan M. Collins for an hour before the lecture. Mr. and Mrs. Harris generously provided for these students' travel and lodging. 

View the event in our video library:

View social media and pictures from the event on Storify:

View an album of photos from the event on Flickr: