Former President Gerald R. Ford (left), with President Lee C. Bollinger and Henry Kissinger. Kissinger delivered the keynote address at the ceremony. Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services
President Lee C. Bollinger and Gov. John Engler. In opening the naming ceremony, Bollinger noted that serendipity may have been at work many years ago, as Gerald R. Ford was born the year before the founding of the now-named Ford School of Public Policy and moved to Grand Rapids the year of its founding.
A naming is rare, Bollinger said, and with this naming we accomplish a blending of relationships that have continued over decades. A persons character is significant in public policy, he noted, and while policy-making has many components, who the person is is important. We are fortunate to enter this relationship with President Ford.
Engler cited Ford as a hard worker, a distinguished leader among leaders known for his integrity, whose advice is still sought. Fords tenure marked a time of healing for the country, and the naming of the School for Ford is appropriate for a unit that will train future leaders. This adds to the Universitys sterling reputation, the governor said. I cant think of a better legacy for Ford. Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services
Dean Rebecca Blank and Gerald R. Ford. Blank, in her second year as dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, shared the excitement of the directions in which the School is going, including building domestic and international policy programs, reaching out to the citizenry and policy officials, creating state and local policy centers, and recruiting new faculty.
We celebrate being named for a man who represents what public policy is all about, she said. We have much to learn from him; his name is much to live up to.
Blank also cited recent gifts to the School totaling $6.6 million that provide a start on the Schools $30 million fundraising goal. Between the gifts and state support, she said, the School will be an important player in the policy world. Blank also is the Henry Carter Adams Collegiate Professor of Public Policy and professor of public policy and of economics.
Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services
Provost Nancy Cantor noted that the naming ceremony provided an opportunity to celebrate the growth and maturation of the school, which is an exemplary model. Public policy is interdisciplinary, she noted, and only large research universities can bring together programs such as the U-Ms. Ford is an ideal model for practicing public policy, she noted, because he listened to different voices. Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services
Public policy may seem a nebulous term to many, Lewis noted, but it really is a collective responsibility of people and of government to care, to make a difference. Ford understood and practiced the fine art of policy-making and continued after he left office. He is a model for us and this is a turning point for the School.
There has been much invested by students past and present, who have made contributions in a variety of settings, she added. As I return to the workforce I am looking forward to the future of the school. Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services