Ford Vision



The Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service exists to enhance student awareness, understanding, and appreciation of life’s public dimensions. It strives to develop leaders and engaged citizens who understand the competing and conflicting interests of our world and the ability to advocate for the greater good.


The Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service will enable every student to engage as leaders in public policy and service, from grassroots advocacy to political office, regardless of chosen profession. Beginning with the foundation of a liberal arts education, the Institute draws on its core values of excellence in teaching, challenging internship opportunities, and instilling a foundation of ethical and meaningful service to one’s communities to achieve this end.


The Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service serves as a bridge between the classroom and real world. It supports the transition of our students as they begin to apply their studies to long-term career and life goals. To this end, its fundamental objectives are to:

  • Actualize the integrity and ideals expounded by Gerald R. Ford throughout his career and service to people across the world,
  • Develop leadership skills to achieve collaborative relationships in a world of competing interests,
  • Provide students diverse opportunities to broaden their thinking and understanding of our global society through dialogues and internships with local, regional, national and international entities in public policy and service,
  • Experience the opportunities, challenges, and satisfaction of providing service to one’s communities,
  • Enhance our understanding of historical and current events through interaction with other students, faculty, colleagues, the community, guest lecturers, and visiting scholars,
  • Engage in meaningful research that will inform the policy and service communities, and
  • Enhance our understanding of the contributions made by Gerald Ford and how the Institute can continue his legacy of egalitarian leadership.