Beyond the Classroom

Part of the liberal arts experience requires the education to expand beyond the classroom. Ford students participate in Institute sponsored events around the state and across the country. Our many "friends of the institute" help our students to become in engaged in the world around them helping to bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world.

2013 Senior Trip to Washington, D.C.

Thirteen seniors from the Ford Institute visited the District April 6-9 as part of their Ford Senior Colloquium. The trip included visits with legislators, an insider's view of the Supreme Court and C-SPAN, and discussions and networking with alumni. Read more

2012 Senior Trip to Washington, D.C.


Washington Times


5/6/12 – 5/9/12 – The Ford Institute’s Class of 2012 embarked for the nation’s capital the day after graduation.  Students were greeted by alumni residing in DC during a special dinner.  The agenda of the trip featured meetings with Google’s government affairs office; Brett Decker, ’93, the editorial page editor of the Washington Times; and the leadership of C-SPAN.  The students also met with Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow and observed both the Senate and the House of Representatives in session.  Additionally, students were allotted free time to explore the monuments, museums, and restaurants of their interest while also checking out potential jobs and graduate school.  Thanks to John Hunter, ’69, for his help in organizing this trip.

Group at CSPAN


2011 Trips to Grand Rapids


Throughout the fall of 2011 the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids opened its doors to students of the Ford Institute.  Whether it was listening to speakers or exploring exhibits, students learned more about public service as well as the institute’s namesake.  Fordies were able to interact with dignitaries including former Vice President Dick Cheney, retired U. S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, and former Secretary of State and White House Chief of Staff James Baker III.  The Ford Museum also took students on a behind the scenes tour of the facilities. 

Students Johanna Schulte, Marissa Cloutier, and John Fleming with President Ford's daughter Susan Ford Bales and Ford Institute Director Al Pheley.
Students Johanna Schulte, Marissa Cloutier, and 
John Fleming with President Ford's daughter Susan 
Ford Bales and Ford Institute Director Al Pheley.


2010 Trip to Lansing

State Bar

Michigan Supreme Court

Seal of the State of Michigan

3/24/2010 - As part of the Ford Institute's efforts to build networks between our students and members of the Albion College family, 11 members of the Ford Institute spent the entire day in Michigan's capitol, meeting with lawmakers, congressional staffers, lobbyists and more. The students also had a private session with Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly in the Hall of Justice. Shortly after our meeting with Chief Justice Kelly, the students sat down with Janet Welch '71, who currently serves as the Executive Director of the State Bar association of Michigan. She and some of her staff spoke with students interested in law school and offered up strategies to law school entrance and passing the bar. She and her staff also offered valuable advice to the Ford students about what to expect in a career in law, and how to maneuver obstacles many young law students face entering into the field.

Lansing trip 2010
Pictured L-R: Drew Miller, Andrew Kercher, Chris Samelak, Mariah Hill, Daniel Gremore,
Paige Narins, Abigail De La Rosa, Kelly Houk, Jeff Ahee, and William Armstrong


2010 Senior Trip to Washington D.C.

Seal of the U.S. House

Seal of the U.S. Senate

FCC Logo

3/17/2010 - 3/20/2010 - The Ford Institute's Class of 2010 in conjunction with their PBSV 397 Senior Colloquium course embarked for the nation's capitol to meet with members of congress, staff in the executive branch, and alums in the D.C. area. Highlighting the trip was a meeting with the Commissioner of the FCC Robert McDowell, he discussed issues of internet regulation and net neutrality, and the recently adopted Broadband Deployment Plan. The students also met with Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, with additional stops at U.S. Representatives Dave Camp and Mark Schauer's offices. The students and Director Pheley also attended a dinner with alumni in the area at Buca di Beppo on Dupont Circle.

2010 Seniors Louis Kraus, Jeff Vos, and Charles Green on the steps of the capital building