Betty Ford became the first first lady to receive an honorary degree from the University.
She was honored Dec. 19, 1976, when she delivered the graduation address at Winter Commencement in Crisler Arena. “Your style and substance have earned the admiration of a nation,” read her citation from the Board of Regents.
Joining the first lady were President Ford and three of their children: Michael, Jack, and Susan.
Ford told U-M President Robben Fleming that her new degree was the second nicest titles she had ever received. “The first was Mrs. Gerald Ford,” she said.
The first lady made numerous other visits to U-M with her husband, a graduate of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.
Sources: Chicago Tribune; Los Angeles Times; U-M Board of Regents proceedings
Photo: U-M News and Information Services records, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan