Summer update from the Ford School Alumni Board

June 20, 2019

Greetings Ford School alumni, 

Summer has FINALLY arrived in Ann Arbor! It has been a busy time at Weill Hall--the semester came to an end, the Ford School celebrated commencement, and the Alumni Board held its annual Spring meeting.

As your elected Alumni Board chair, I want to provide an update to you on what we learned, accomplished, and discussed during our Spring meeting, held April 4-5, 2019. 

Throughout the two days, we listened to updates from the Ford School on the new Weiser Diplomacy Center, the close of the Victors for Michigan campaign--the Ford School shattered its goal of $23 million and raised $47 million--and upcoming events happening at the Ford School. The Ford School will be bringing to Weill Hall a variety of speakers in Fall 2019. Check for dates and times and make plans to attend or watch the live webstreams!  

In our role as a service board to the Ford School, we spent some time discussing how our efforts can support the school in its initiatives (and you can too!). For example, one of our board committees (focused on student career and professional development) is thinking creatively how it can utilize fellow alumni to build pipelines at employment organizations of interest to our students. Additionally, this committee is encouraged to and encourages you to send job and internship postings from your organizations for students to [email protected].

This past January, another committee, the alumni engagement/visibility committee, planned an event for alumni with Professor Luke Shaefer and his colleague Sam Hammond from Niskanen Center in DC around the topic of policy and poverty. This event was well-received and the committee is hoping to plan future events such as these that engage you in intellectually stimulating policy conversations. Additionally, this committee is organizing our annual Worldwide Ford School Spirit Day events in a city near you on July 11. If you are interested in hosting in your city, please contact Elisabeth Johnston

As a board, we are exploring the new U-M Alumni Association online community and how it can be a useful tool in connecting Ford School alumni. If you are currently using it, I welcome your feedback on it and ideas on how we can best use it to engage our alumni. 

This fall, we will celebrate a Ford School Reunion, October 4-5, 2019 in Ann Arbor! Come back! Get together with friends! Share your policy wisdom with current students! Go to the Big House! Two days of activities, including the opportunity to purchase football tickets, are being planned for you. Check your mailboxes in early July for a postcard with details on what to do and how to register. Related, if you can’t make it back to Ann Arbor, you can still be a part of the Reunion by participating in our Reunion Alumni Giving campaign. All funds raised will go towards student support and if we hit a participation goal, we will unlock a match from the Ford School Committee!

If you know of an outstanding alum, I encourage you to nominate them for the Neil Staebler Distinguished Service Award. Award nominations close on July 1 at 5 p.m. EST and the award recipient will be recognized at our Reunion in October. 

In closing, I, along with the Alumni Board vice-chair, Ingrid Tighe enjoy our roles in serving on the board and working to involve and support alumni in the life of the Ford School. As fellow alumni, we welcome your thoughts and engagement!

Go Blue,

Olushola Samuel BA '10

Alumni Board chair