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The Ford School mourns Mrs. Betty Ford (1918 - 2011)

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Ford School community is deeply saddened by the loss of our good friend, Mrs. Betty Ford, who passed away today at the age of 93.

Mrs. Ford's life was marked by an unwavering commitment to her family and to a number of political and cultural issues, including addiction treatment, breast cancer awareness, feminism, and more.

"Betty Ford was a gracious and generous friend of the University, as well as a warm personal friend," said University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman. "She was a wonderful partner with her husband, the late President Gerald R. Ford, and together with their children they were steadfast supporters of Michigan. We will miss her dedication and enthusiasm, and will remember the affection she showed our community."

Mrs. Ford visited her husband's namesake school a number of times over the years, and each visit left a deep impression on the students, faculty, and staff with whom she met.

"It was an honor and a pleasure to meet someone whose strength and grace have been such a positive role-model, especially for women in this country and around the world," said Dean Susan M. Collins. "She made important contributions in her own right and her work will have a lasting positive impact."

Ford School Tribute to Betty Ford

The Ford School has prepared a tribute to Mrs. Ford outside of the Betty Ford Classroom (Room 1110) in Weill Hall; we welcome you to visit the tribute through this Friday, July 15 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

A portrait of Mrs. Ford is on display next to an arrangement of peach-colored roses–her favorite flowers. We invite you to visit the Betty Ford Classroom where there are several beautiful pictures of Mrs. Ford on display. A guest book is also available for members of our community to reflect and share their memories with the Ford family.

We understand many Ford School community members are not in Ann Arbor during the summer months. We created a form on our website to extend this opportunity for you to share a message with the Ford family. We will compile all of the messages shared on this site in a memory book to be given to the Ford family. (Members outside of the immediate Ford School community are encouraged to share their condolences through the official Betty Ford Memorial website, www.BettyFordMemorial.com).

Link to the Ford School Condolences Book: http://umichfordschool.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eL1OjMKVEWha4sc


Funeral details for Mrs. Ford are posted on the Betty Ford Memorial website.

For those considering sending flowers or making a contribution in honor of Mrs. Ford, her family has requested that contributions and donations in lieu of flowers be made to the organizations found on the Contributions page of the Betty Ford Memorial website.

View WXYZ TV's segment with Susan Collins on the Ford School's reaction to the passing of Betty Ford.

Read the Michigan Daily's coverage of campus reactions to the death of former first lady Betty Ford.

  • /images/slideshows/ford-b/01-Betty-Ford-hosts-her-first-press-conference-as-First-Lady-in-the-White-House-State-Dining-Room.-September-4,-1974.-Photo--Courtesy-Gerald-R.-Ford-Library.jpg

    Betty Ford hosts her first press conference as First Lady in the White House State Dining Room. September 4, 1974. Photo Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library

    Betty Ford hosts her first press conference as First Lady in the White House State Dining Room. September 4, 1974. Photo  Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library
  • /images/slideshows/ford-b/02-Betty-Ford-watches-as-her-children-Steve-and-Susan-ride-on-a-glider-in-the-back-yard-of-their-home-in-1962.-Photo--Courtesy-Gerald-R.-Ford-Library.jpg

    Betty Ford watches as her children Steve and Susan ride on a glider in the back yard of their home in 1962. Photo Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library

    Betty Ford watches as her children Steve and Susan ride on a glider in the back yard of their home in 1962. Photo  Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library
  • /images/slideshows/ford-b/03-President-and-Mrs.-Ford-hug-each-other-in-the-Oval-Office.-December-6,-1974.-Photo:-Courtesy-Gerald-R.-Ford-Library.jpg

    President and Mrs. Ford hug each other in the Oval Office. December 6, 1974. Photo: Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library

    President and Mrs. Ford hug each other in the Oval Office. December 6, 1974. Photo: Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library
  • /images/slideshows/ford-b/04-Mrs.-Ford-congratulates-President-Ford-upon-his-signing-of-an-executive-order-establishing-a-National-Commission-on-the-Observance-of-International-Women's-Year.-January-9,-1975.-Photo:-Courtesy-Gerald-R.-Ford-Library.jpg

    Mrs. Ford congratulates President Ford upon his signing of an executive order establishing a National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year. January 9, 1975. Photo: Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library

    Mrs. Ford congratulates President Ford upon his signing of an executive order establishing a National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year. January 9, 1975. Photo: Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library
  • /images/slideshows/ford-b/05-First-Lady-Betty-Ford-sports-a-button-expressing-her-support-for-ratification-of-the-Equal-Rights-Amendment.-February-26,-1975.-Photo--Courtesy-Gerald-R.-Ford-Library.jpg

    First Lady Betty Ford sports a button expressing her support for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. February 26, 1975. Photo Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library

    First Lady Betty Ford sports a button expressing her support for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. February 26, 1975. Photo  Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library
  • /images/slideshows/ford-b/06-President-and-Mrs.-Ford-offer-each-other-comfort-as-they-watch-the-election-returns.-November-2,-1976. Photo: Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library.jpg

    President and Mrs. Ford offer each other comfort as they watch the election returns. November 2, 1976. Photo: Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library

    President and Mrs. Ford offer each other comfort as they watch the election returns. November 2, 1976. Photo: Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library
  • /images/slideshows/ford-b/07-President-and-Mrs.-Ford-at-the-Republican-National-Convention-in-Kansas-City,-Missouri.-August-19,-1976.-Photo:-Courtesy-Gerald-R.-Ford-Library.jpg

    President and Mrs. Ford at the Republican National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. August 19, 1976. Photo: Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library

    President and Mrs. Ford at the Republican National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. August 19, 1976. Photo: Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library
  • /images/slideshows/ford-b/08-First-Lady-Betty-Ford-answers-questions-from-the-press-prior-to-her-tour-of-the-Guttman-Institute-for-Early-Detection-of-Breast-Cancer-in-New-York.-November-7,-1975.-Photo--Courtesy-Gerald-R.-Ford-Library.jpg

    First Lady Betty Ford answers questions from the press prior to her tour of the Guttman Institute for Early Detection of Breast Cancer in New York. November 7, 1975. Photo Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library

    First Lady Betty Ford answers questions from the press prior to her tour of the Guttman Institute for Early Detection of Breast Cancer in New York. November 7, 1975. Photo  Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library
  • /images/slideshows/ford-b/09-First-Lady-Betty-Ford,-aka-''First-Momma,''-greets-the-crowd-gathered-for-a-Bicentennial-celebration.-April-21,-1976.-Photo--Courtesy-Gerald-R.-Ford-Library.jpg

    First Lady Betty Ford, aka ''First Momma,'' greets the crowd gathered for a Bicentennial celebration. April 21, 1976. Photo Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library

    First Lady Betty Ford, aka ''First Momma,'' greets the crowd gathered for a Bicentennial celebration. April 21, 1976. Photo  Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library
  • /images/slideshows/ford-b/10-President-and-Mrs.-Ford-pose-on-the-South-Lawn-of-the-White-House-with-Liberty,-their-pet-golden-retriever.-May-9,-1975.-Photo:-Courtesy-Gerald-R.-Ford-Library.jpg

    President and Mrs. Ford pose on the South Lawn of the White House with Liberty, their pet golden retriever. May 9, 1975. Photo: Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library

    President and Mrs. Ford pose on the South Lawn of the White House with Liberty, their pet golden retriever. May 9, 1975. Photo: Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library
  • /images/slideshows/ford-b/11-President-and-Mrs.-Ford-at-the-Groundbreaking-Dinner-for-Weill-Hall,-home-of-the-Gerald-R.-Ford-School-of-Public-Policy-in-Ann-Arbor,-MI.-November-11,-2004.jpg

    President and Mrs. Ford at the Groundbreaking Dinner for Weill Hall, home of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in Ann Arbor, MI. November 11, 2004

    President and Mrs. Ford at the Groundbreaking Dinner for Weill Hall, home of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in Ann Arbor, MI. November 11, 2004