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Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy site dedication

September 18, 2003 0:52:15
Kaltura Video

Gerald Ford and Paul O'Neill highlight the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy site dedication. September, 2003.


[ Applause ]
[ Silence ]
>> Rebecca Blank: Good morning.  I'm Rebecca Blank, dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and I'm pleased to welcome you to today's site dedication activities.  Let me begin by introducing the others who are here on the stage this morning.  We're always honored when President Ford comes to visit and I was delighted that he could be here today.  For the students in the audience who were likely born around 1985, let me simply say that he served as the 38th President of the United States from 1974 to '76.  We're proud to claim him as a University of Michigan graduate.  I'm also very delighted to have Paul O'Neill as our keynote speaker today.  Paul most recently served as Secretary of the Treasury for the first two years of the George W. Bush Administration, although he also played an important role in the Ford Administration and he'll be more fully introduced a little later in the program.  Regent Martin Taylor is representing the University of Michigan Board of Regents.  And I also want to recognize the other Regents in the audience, Andrea Fischer Newman, Kathy White, Dave Brandon, Andrew Richner, and Olivia Maynard.
[ Applause ]
Also joining me on stage are Mary Sue Coleman, the President of the University of Michigan, and Paul Courant, the Provost of the University of Michigan.  I'm proud to note that Paul is also a member of the Ford School faculty and both of them have been key supporters of the Ford School's growth and its development.  I want to extend a special warm welcome to two members of the Ford family who are with us today, as well.  We are very, very glad that Mrs. Ford could join us on this important day and that the Ford's son, Jack, is also here.
[ Applause ]
One of the more important people here today is the architect of our new building, Robert A.M. Stern.  Robert Stern is a world-renowned architect and he and his staff have been working with us on designing and detailing a wonderful new building.  Thank you for coming, as well.
[ Applause ]
We are gathered here today to dedicate the site for the Ford School's new building.  It's appropriate that we do this in the Rackham Building.  This building has played an important role for the predecessor organizations to the Ford School here on campus.  Rackham House, the Bureau of Government Library that was a resource to the students of the Institute of Public Administration, and Rackham was the location of the Institute for Public Policy Studies for many years.  Those institutes, which were the forerunners to what is now the Ford School, are an important part of our identity and it's good to connect to them as we take this major step forward.  In the four years since the school was named in honor of President Ford, we have seen many changes.  We've launched our PhD program, expanded our Masters Program, and are in the midst of designing an Undergraduate Program.  We've hired new faculty, added two major new research centers to the Ford School, and have greatly expanded the number of activities and speakers and public events that we host.  These expanded activities have helped the school become more visible nationally and internationally and helped to bolster our reputation as one of the top public policy schools in the country.  The name, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, has been important to the success of these efforts.  It's given us a much clearer identity than we had in the past.  When we say we are the Ford School, it instantly identifies us as a school of public policy located at the University of Michigan.  It links us to a man whose record of public service and integrity is a model for all of us.  We're proud of our accomplishments but we're eager to continue moving forward.  The new building will enable us to do that.  Today we are housed in three buildings that are spread across Central Campus.  Space is tight.  Our classroom space is in such demand that we schedule courses from 8:00 in the morning until 10:00 at night on some days.  A single couch in the hallway passes for the student lounge.  We have no space for public events but are always borrowing facilities elsewhere on campus.  And while the tight space may make a contribution to the strong sense of community that has always been a hallmark of the Ford School, it also constrains our ability to serve our students, to expand research facilities, and to interact in a sustained way with the larger policy-making world.  Our new building to be located on the northeast corner of Hill and State Streets, will give the school much needed room for expanded activities and wonderful visibility on campus.  As several people have said, it's the best un-built space currently available to the University.  We thank the Board of Regents for placing us in this prominent location and we accept the responsibility that it brings us to be one of the foremost schools on campus and in the country.  We are grateful to President Coleman, Provost Courant and other University officials who have helped us reach this point.  I want to thank the University for the financial support it's providing to the new building.  I also want to thank Robert Stern, our architect, who has done a marvelous job of giving physical reality to our aspirations.  He's designed a building that will enable us to interact effectively as a community, expand our educational programs, provide space for public discussion, and yet still feel comfortably at home.  I invite all of you as you leave this event to take a look at the building renderings and the floor plans that are all on display out in the lobby.  The new building is a clear statement by the University of the importance that it attaches to public policy education.  We're in the midst of raising the funds that will enable us to begin construction.  We've raised nearly four million towards our goal of 15 million in private giving.  In addition, we have a commitment of one million to enhance the interior of the building once it is constructed.  I want to express our gratitude to the individuals who have already stepped forward and made gifts to the building.  They share our vision of what public policy education at a premier public university can be and we are deeply grateful for their support.  Our thanks go to Martin and Susan Allen, the Annenberg Foundation, the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford, Lyman and Beverly Hamilton, the James and Mary Hudak Family, Sydney and Bill Osterman, Ramey and John Reeker and an anonymous donor.  In addition to these donors, I want to acknowledge the work that our volunteers are doing to make this building a reality.  I am grateful to the Committee for the Ford School for its ongoing work in support of the school.  I'm also deeply appreciative of our alumni led by the Alumni Board and the role that they're playing in helping us move forward with the building.  Finally, I want to thank the faculty and the students of the Ford School.  They are aware daily of our need for more and better space and I want them to know that I appreciate their support and their patience and we all look forward to the day when we pack up our books and our computers and move into that new building.  My thanks to everyone here today for the support that you provide to this school.  As we begin the next phase of our journey as a school, I want to reaffirm our commitment to being among the very best public policy schools in the nation.  With your help, the Ford School at the University of Michigan will continue to be a place that offers outstanding education for leadership and public policy analysis and management whose faculty excel in research that brings scientific attention to public policy concerns, and where we as a community can gather to debate key issues relating to the public interest and the common good.  The University of Michigan has been fortunate in having good leaders throughout its history.  Mary Sue Coleman continues that tradition, bringing to her job as president a long-standing commitment to public education and a deep understanding of what it means to be a public university.  She is engaged by and thoughtful about the issues that confront the University and the state and she has a well-developed interest in the role that public policy education can play in helping to resolve these issues.  I'm very pleased to introduce President Coleman.
[ Applause ]
>> President Mary Sue Coleman: Let me join Dean Blank in welcoming our Regents, faculty, students, staff, and alumni who are joining us for the site dedication of the wonderful new building.  I want to extend my own welcome to President Ford, his wife Betty, and his son Jack.  We're delighted that all of you could be with us today.  I want to thank the supporters of the University of Michigan that will make this new building possible.  What a honor it is to have President Ford back on campus.  His 72-year relationship with our University represents almost half of the entire history of the institution.
[ Applause ]
I was very proud to assume the presidency of a university with a school that bears the name and houses the library of a former President of the United States, and I'm even more proud of the Michigan traditions that he has taken into public life.  President Ford is a great example of the ideals of the Ford School.  He assimilated the theory and history of public policy and economics and transformed his education into the reality of public life.  Our faculty and students strive for that ideal every day and we are especially fortunate to have excellent professional schools in business, law and the health sciences to compliment the theoretical and practical study of public policy that takes place every day in the Ford School.  The true genius of the University of Michigan can be found in this interplay of expertise among specialists in many fields and it has allowed the Ford School to produce graduates of the highest caliber who proceed to distinguished careers.  The example of President Ford, the excellence of our faculty, and the generosity of our supporters, has allowed public policy to flourish at this great public university and what better place to study public policy than at a public university.  Even as public universities across our country are dealing with the results of an economic downturn, we are committing to continuing to provide access to outstanding academic programs at the University of Michigan.  President Ford is a splendid example of the way a public university can nourish the ambitions of a hard working student.  He remembers that tuition was about $100 when he was a student [laughter], but he also remembers how hard it was to scrape together those $100 during the depression.  President Ford recently summarized our aspirations beautifully.  He wrote, "A university after all is both a preserver of tradition and a hotbed of innovation.  So long as books are opened, we tell ourselves, minds can never be closed".  President Ford, I pledge to you that we will continue to live those words in the Ford School of Public Policy and throughout our University.  We have so many reasons to be grateful to you and I'll return to highlight some of those a little bit later in the program.  Thank you.
[ Applause ]
>> Regent Martin Taylor: Thank you President Coleman, President Ford, Mrs. Ford.  I'm very pleased and honored to represent the University of Michigan Board of Regents in welcoming President Ford today.  We are truly honored to have you here sir.  On behalf of my colleagues on the Board of Regents, I welcome all of you who have joined us to mark the dedication of the site of the Ford School's new building.  In 1999 the Board of Regents voted unanimously and with great enthusiasm to name the School of Public Policy for President Ford.  We said at that time that President Ford honored us by giving us his name and we pledge to honor him through the excellence of the school.  Students and faculty fulfill that pledge every day in the work they do to improve government and to develop effective policies.  Today as we dedicate the site for the new building, we begin fulfillment on another part of that pledge, creating a facility that will provide the Ford School with a home from which it can continue and enhance its role as an effective actor in the policy-making world.  The Board of Regents is proud of the Ford School's record of growth and accomplishment.  We join the faculty, students and alumni of the school in anticipating even greater success when it has a home of its own.  Again, thank you President Ford.
[ Applause ]
>> Rebecca Blank: Thank you Regent Taylor.  I am pleased to be able to introduce Paul O'Neill to you this morning.  Mr. O'Neill, who served as Secretary of the Treasury for the first two years of the current Bush Administration, has an impressive record of public service and experience in the private sector business world.  Perhaps this was the path he envisioned for himself as a young man when he received an Undergraduate Degree in Economics, and then a Masters Degree in Public Administration.  With that preparation, he served in several positions in government including the Veterans Administration and later as Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Ford Administration.  He has matched public and private sector interests and also served as President of the International Paper Company and Chairman and CEO of Alcoa.  Throughout his career, he has taken lessons from one world and applied them to another.  He's been a risk taker.  For instance as many of you remember, as Secretary of the Treasury he visited Africa to explore economic conditions in the company of the U2 singer Bono.  I'll venture to guess that he learned quite a bit from that trip that might not have been the standard trip that Secretaries of the Treasury take abroad.  Paul has had many opportunities to explore the consequences of policy decisions and has never been hesitant to give his opinions about those policy decisions.  It's wonderful to have him here today to share his insights into policymaking.  Secretary O'Neill.
[ Applause ]
>> Paul O'Neill: Thank you, Becky.  It's a great pleasure to be here with President Ford, Mrs. Ford, Jack, distinguished guest, President Coleman.  Whenever I can do anything for President Ford, I'm eager to do it.  In fact as a habit of mine after I left the government, when I had an opportunity to speak to audiences, the thought that always ran through my mind before I spoke was whatever you do make sure that President Ford would be proud of you.  This is truly a great American and it's a fitting tribute to this great American that we gather today to dedicate the building site for the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.  It's the beginning of a tribute for the ages, because the real tribute to Gerald R. Ford will be the people in this and future generations who graduate from this school to carry forward the values that have provided the foundation for his life and work.  There is no more meaningful legacy than a legacy of values.  Policy and program ideas and debates that loom large for a year, for a decade, or even for a generation are in the sweep of history, transitory.  Values are enduring.  President Ford often remarks on the values he learned in his youth.  And I quote "tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time" [laughter].  I think what the last part of that really means is honor your mother and father by showing respect for them.  In August 1974 after his swearing in, President Ford made brief remarks because of the circumstances of that occasion, the best remembered line is and I quote again, "my fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over".  I was there that day and some of you were, as well.  The line that struck me then and stays with me now says this and I quote again, "I believe that truth is the glue that holds government together, not only our government but civilization itself.  That bond, though strained, is unbroken at home and abroad."  And then President Ford declared his intent when he said "In all my public and private acts as your President, I expect to follow my instincts of openness and candor with full confidence that honesty is always the best policy in the end".  So there you have it.  Your students will be a tribute to President Ford if you teach them to seek the truth and to have the courage to tell it.  And I must say it's very tempting to stop there, remembering the dictum that talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.
[ Laughter ]
But also to note that if you suggest to people that there are five principles that they should build their life on, that there's a temptation for them to think three out of five ain't bad.  But there are a few other things I think we're saying on this occasion that I draw from my experience with President Ford and from my observations of private and public life as we find it at the beginning of this new century.  Let me create an image for you.  This is January of 1976 and it's a time when the President's budget and program go to the Congress, and this scene is set in State Department auditorium that's maybe somewhat larger than this, and the room is full of reporters and people from the media from around the world with banks of cameras on raised platforms and hundreds of reporters.  And President Ford was there, and he had across this long stage the members of his cabinet and those of us who worked closely with him in the formulation of policy, and on that occasion for the first time since President Truman was president, President Ford introduced his budget and policy program to this audience and then opened himself up to questions on anything in the federal budget and program policy that anybody from anywhere around the world wanted to talk about.  And it speaks directly to an important thing that students here need to follow President Ford's example.  President Ford was able to do that because while he had those like myself to advise him and to provide facts to him, the Ford Program Policy and Budget was truly President Ford's.  He could seriously answer any question in any detail you wanted to know it.  Not only about what he thought the federal government should do, but how that policy fit into a better future for our nation.  And there's a lesson in that that it's truly important if one would lead, that it's important to constantly seek and understand better the facts and the context that those facts exist in.  I know no president who did this part of the job better than Gerald R. Ford.  He truly thought about everything that he proposed.  He was flexible to consider other ideas and facts when they were superior to what he had, but he knew why he was for some things and not for others.  This is something we desperately need to teach people who would do not only public service, but private service as well.  The other lesson to draw out of this particular setting is the humility and the lack of arrogance of Gerald R. Ford.  In truth he didn't need anyone else on the stage with him that day, but he had us there so that he could let the light shine on us a little bit.  Even to the point when he knew the answer to some of the questions that were asked of him, he would turn and say wouldn't you say a few words about this subject, knowing full well that he could have easily handled the questions, but wanting to give some recognition to people who worked with him.  This is a generosity of spirit that real leaders have.  And the notion of a lack of arrogance, humility in a great leader is a character that President Ford brought to everything that I saw him do.  He did not lead by intimidation.  He led by the strength of his character and his openness to the best of ideas.  Going forward if I may, I will tell you one of the qualities in our society that is in short supply that this school will help to fill, I hope, is capability of real leadership.  And what I mean by real leadership is hopefully, clearly differentiated from pandering or figuring out where the front of the crowd is in order to race around to be in front of it.  Today I think we need leaders who have a vision of a world that's far better than the one we have today, because I don't think we've arrived at the top of the potential of humankind.  And in order to do that, I think our students and those who are creating a foundation for their own work, need to be encouraged not to only manage well what already exists but to go beyond.  And if I could give you an example of what I have in mind, let me say briefly about Social Security as an example.  It is a system that has served us well, but it can't continue as it is.  It is a simple mathematical certainty that Social Security as it is, is unsustainable.  Now in that regard, it would really be helpful if we could have truth telling about that subject.  It is not a debatable proposition and so one of the things we need our young people to do is to call things what they are.  Social Security today is unsustainable.  But I'm not one who believes that the future needs to be less than the past or less than today.  In fact, I believe it's possible because of the great wealth-creating capability we have in this country today, that it is not only possible to fix Social Security, it's possible to improve on what we have known as Social Security for the generation ahead by making what we do into a wealth-creation program instead of an income-transfer program.  In order to that, we need to amortize the cost, probably over a 20-year period of time, but we need a leadership that will appeal to a better future and to creating that better future instead of dodging the issue until we have no choice.  In the same sense, I think it is very important, and again, this draws on what we saw with President Ford, leaders of the future need to know about the rest of the world.  President Ford was a president that understood global affairs and he brought his instinct of a better world for people to the issues that confronted him in his time.  Our new leaders need to understand, I believe, that while we can win wars with munitions, we can only win the peace with the deployment of superior ideas.  And I say all those words together and intend them each to have meaning.  Good ideas are only good ideas if they come into force.  A good  -- in fact, what you might consider to be a good idea that doesn't get deployed is the same as no idea at all and so I may be drawing a little bit on what Dean Blank said about the trip that I made to Africa, you know, we need to understand that our future I think substantially depends on our picking up the mantel of responsibility that would cause all human beings to have the prospect of a meaningful life.  And again, I think it's possible for us to do that in a much better way than we have done in the past by setting out clear objectives that are measurable and acting swiftly to cause a change in the human condition.  And I would give you an example, one that has a lot of appeal to me that I've been talking about and working on some.
There are arguably a billion people in sub-Saharan Africa who don't have clean water.  It is in some ways, the most fundamental of human needs to have clean water and this is not a problem that requires the inventions of new unknown things.  We know how to drill wells in the ground.  We know how to channel a natural springs into concrete catch basins so that people can have clean water and it's something I think, as an example, that we need to dedicate ourselves to show that there is more to the United States than being good at deploying military might, but that we can accomplish great things that make a huge difference in the lives of people.  For example, in a place like Ghana where there are 21 or 22 million human souls, half of them have no clean water.  By the World Bank Millennium Goals their objective is for half the people to have clean water by 2015.  And for myself when I see that expectation, my mind goes to the question what about the other half?  Just in that one country.  When I think it's fairly clear that for $2,500 it's possible to drill a well that will serve 1000 people, and if you do an extension of the arithmetic, it argues that for $25 or $50 million worth of well-directed results oriented money, in a period of 24 or maybe 30 months, the half of the population in [inaudible] without clean water could have it.  And doing that kind of a demonstration I think would show that we should not accept goals that are less than what we're worthy of.  That we need to task ourselves.  If you can imagine that for $50 million, so many millions of people could have clean water and that this is something that could happen across all of Africa and all of the world, Latin America and Asia where people don't have clean water.  I think we could begin to show what our capacity is, and what our capability is for building a world where every human being has the potential of a meaningful life.  These same kind of ideas are, I think are applicable in education.  I'm a great fan of President Bush's idea that no child should be left behind.  But while I was there I encouraged him one other idea from my local experience and working on education, that we should say no child left behind but we should say one other thing with it -- one at a time.  I think we make a great mistake.  It may be entertaining to have the endless fights that we do in our communities about school vouchers and the charter schools, and for me they're okay, but in a way, they're beside the point because what really matters is that one child at a time.  And I must tell you, I think it's fairly clear that if we dedicated ourselves to the proposition of one child at a time, and we did systematic assessment from the time children are three and a half or four years old of how they were progressing and then we fashioned interventions that were appropriate to those individual children, it would not be very long before every child in the United States and hopefully every child in the world would achieve this goal.  You know, I think it's important to know what your goals are.  For me the goal for humankind in the area of education is that by the time children are 10 years old, they should have the building blocks of reading, and writing, and computation that meets a standard.  If they never saw the inside of an organized public education institution again, but had access to library resources and say the internet that it would be possible for them to learn as much as any human being ever learned about anything.  That's a worthy standard.  We need students coming from this school who are dedicated to the proposition that the world can be markedly better in their generation.  Not generations and generations from now, but with an inquisitiveness and an assertiveness and a humility, how they can make the world a better place faster, of following the lead of what we saw from Gerald R. Ford in his time.  And I believe this, that with such students, we can change -- we can bend the arc of human history toward our better angels and that will be a deserving tribute to Gerald R. Ford.  Thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
>> President Mary Sue Coleman: Thank you, Paul, for those very thoughtful words for us today.  We are so pleased that you could join us for this momentous occasion.  It is now my privilege to introduce President Gerald R. Ford who will present his own comments.  We have so much for which to thank him as a nation.  We thank him for healing our country at a critical moment in history.  As a world, we thank him for assuming the responsibility for leading one of the superpowers of the globe during a time of precarious relationships, and as a people, we thank him for his principle stands on social issues.  Recently, President Ford chose to take a stand on a controversial issue that sits at the heart of our University and which affects our entire nation.  He wrote a strong opinion piece for the ^ITNew York Times^normal in which he supported the position of our University regarding affirmative action and admissions.  To make his point, President Ford related a story from his days as a member of our football team.  In 1934, the team had one black player and had a game scheduled against a southern team.  He saw raw prejudice displayed and the reported refusal of the opposing team to play the Michigan team if the black player were allowed on the field.  The ugly confrontation over that game made a significant impression on him and in his op-ed piece, he asked, "I wonder how different the world might have been in the 1940s, in the '50s, in the '60s.  How much more humane and just, if my generation had experienced a more representative sampling of the American family."  President Ford, I looked at the official team photograph for that year and I saw you stood very tall directly next to that black player.  We are so proud that you stood up for him and that now you've stood up for all of us on this issue.  You are a living example of the best that the University of Michigan can offer.  President Ford, I thank you and I invite you to the podium.
[ Applause ]
>> President Gerald R. Ford: Please sit down, won't you.  Thank you very much, President Coleman.  I'm delighted to have my wife, Betty, and our son, Jack Ford, here.  They honor me by being present, and I thank both of them for their contribution to our family and our family life.  Jack and Betty.  I thank President Coleman for her comments and I am deeply grateful for the comments made by Dean Blank.  That incident she related, Willis Ward was an outstanding Olympic high jumper, and a great football end and a very important and integral part of our offense.  He and I developed a very personal relationship and traveled together whenever we went with the football team.  Willis later became a state judge and had a very enviable record in the law for many, many years, but I treasured his personal relationship more than anything I can indicate.  I thank the Board of Regents for their willingness to support the Ford School.  I thank all associated in that effort, and I look forward to the day when we can raise sufficient amount of money to build a beautiful, beautiful building that will emphasize the programs and policies of the Ford School.  I really enjoyed yesterday spending about an hour with probably a 150 Ford School students.  Very acute questions.  Their questions were better than my answers, but that's what I expect from a good student body like that.  I will forever be most grateful to this great University for giving me the opportunity to get a good education.  I can vividly recall walking into the proper office back some 70 years ago with $200 in my pocket.  $100 to go for the tuition.  The other $100 to survive as long as I could.  We had no football scholarships in those days.  Our coach Harry Kipke got me a job over at the University Hospital where three hours a day I waited on tables of the interns -- medical interns, and helped to clean up the nurse's cafeteria.  But with that compensation I was able to buy my food and pay $4.00 a week for a joint rooming house room on the back end of the third floor and we had to walk down from the third to the fourth to go to the bathroom, so those were not easy times.  But let me say with deep conviction as I look back over that 70-year period, how lucky I was to have the kind of first-class education that gave me the assurance as I went through those 70 years to sit down and negotiate with Mau Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and Juda [assumed spelling] -- the little short fellow.
[ Laughter ]
And how fortunate it was that I had the background and the capability to negotiate with the two French Presidents, and with three British Prime Ministers, and with Sadat from Egypt, and Rabin from Israel.  The background and solid education that I got from this great University gave me the capability to actually perform my responsibilities first in the Unites States Congress and secondly, in as Vice-President and President.  So I'll say to the Regents of the past and the current Regents, and President Coleman, how grateful I am that this University gave me the background, the practical understanding of how to act so that I could have a career later that I never envisioned, over a period of some 70 years.  So, you're all so nice to be here today and I am so deeply grateful to the proper authorities for the establishment of the Ford School and the development of what we'll eventually have.  It'll be a beautiful building for the school, the students, the faculty, and all others.  I thank you each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for this great institution for which I owe so much.  Now I thought it was pretty nice last Saturday.
[ Applause ]
Out of curiosity, I watched every minute of it [laughter], but I was proud not only that they had better players, better equipment, better rules and then they carried on the tradition in that great Bowl down there on the campus.  What a thrill.  I congratulate the team and I wish them the best in the weeks ahead.  Thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
>> Paul Courant: Thank you, President Ford, for those comments, and we're deeply honored that you and Mrs. Ford, and your son Jack, have joined us today to dedicate the new site of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.  And I also want to thank you, Secretary O'Neill, for your comments which remind us about what the education that we provide here is for.  I'm Paul Courant, Provost to the University of Michigan.  As Provost it is my pleasure often to celebrate this University's remarkable talent for bringing together excellent scholars from many disciplines to create new knowledge, and to convey and deploy that knowledge in service to our students and to the broader society.  The Ford School is exemplary of the University in this regard.  In addition to being Provost, I am a Professor of Public Policy at the Ford School.  I've been a faculty member in what is now the Ford School for over 30 years.  During that time my colleagues have created a curriculum and programs and research and outreach that embody a view of public policy and public service that is rational and caring.  We try to use the best of the academic world to strengthen the public service and the public interest and our lives as academics are immeasurably enriched by that experience.  I don't know how to express how pleased I am that our school is now named after President Ford.  I was already a faculty member here when he assumed the presidency at one of the most critical moments in our history.  Put simply, he saved our country and he restored to American politics the civility and quality that exemplified his decades of leadership in the House of Representatives.  President Ford, we were grateful to you then and our University is profoundly grateful that you are allowing us to thank you again with this living monument of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
[ Applause ]
On an earlier visit, I remember President Ford telling us how he sat on the steps of the Michigan Union when he first came to our campus and was somewhat overwhelmed by the setting.  I know that feeling well because I had the same feeling when I arrived here as an assistant professor some years later.  In time, others will have that feeling when they come to Michigan and pause on the trek up State Street to sit on the steps of the building that will bear President Ford's name.  Our passion at the University of Michigan is excellence in research, in teaching, and in sports.  I mention this last item because I think you all are aware, and if you weren't before you are now, of President Ford's background as a football player.  In addition to his preparation in economics, surely football contributed to his successful career in politics.  After all, success in football, like success in politics, requires the application of intelligence, training, teamwork, will and skill, to the solution of difficult problems and in an environment that is not always benign [laughter].  President Ford's career shows clearly his mastery of these techniques at the highest level.  I thank you all for your participation today.  I hope that you can join us here at 1:30 for a panel discussion entitled "The Buck Stops Here: White House Decision Making from Gerald Ford to George W. Bush".  Again, thank you for being part of today's activities.
[ Applause ]
[ Silence ]