The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation fosters increased awareness of the life, career, values and legacy of America’s 38th President. It does so through activities designed to promote the high ideals of integrity, honesty, and candor that defined President Ford’s extraordinary career of public service. The Foundation promotes the ideals, values, commitment to public service and historical legacy of President Gerald R. Ford and further promotes greater civic engagement and recognition of integrity wherever it exists in the public arena. It supports permanent and changing exhibits designed to promote historical literacy; conferences; educational outreach and other programs, both scholarly and popular, including at the Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum.
The Board of Trustees of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation are elected to three-year renewable terms. The Board members provide the stewardship necessary to carry out the mission of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation. Trustees include but are not limited to: Ford Family members; former members of Gerald R. Ford’s Administration; close friends of the Fords; and those men and women who have distinguished themselves in their professional and personal lives through similar ideals, values and commitment to public service as Gerald R. Ford.
Gerald R. Ford served as captain of the University of Michigan football team, in the U.S. Navy, in the U.S. House of Representatives, as the 40th U.S. Vice President and as the 38th U.S. President. For his years of dedication and commitment to his country, several organizations have honored his legacy by bestowing naming honors including onto buildings, a US Postal Service postage stamp, a US Navy aircraft carrier and NCAA Leadership Award.
Gerald R. Ford’s official biography which was also published in the U.S. Congressional Tribute book following the funeral services for Gerald R. Ford.
Following his birth in Omaha, NE, Gerald R. Ford spent his childhood in Grand Rapids, Michigan; he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout; attended school at the University of Michigan and Yale Law School; served in the U.S. Navy throughout World War II including onboard the USS Monterey CVL 26 in the Pacific Theater; served West Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives; was appointed Vice President and became the 38th President of the United States while leading the nation with Integrity at the Helm following the Watergate Scandal, a Cold War with U.S.S.R.; slumping economy and America’s conclusion to the War in Vietnam. View the timeline for more details on his incredible journey throughout life.
Betty Ford’s official biography.
Following her birth in Chicago, IL, Betty Ford took dance, tap and ballet classes; attended Bennington College School of Dance in Vermont and the Martha Graham School of Dance in New York City; met and quickly became engaged to a young Gerald R. Ford, Jr.; attended a Republican campaign rally following their wedding; moved to Washington, D.C. to raise their children; became First Lady; publicly spoke out about her breast cancer and sought to raise awareness on screenings and treatments for all women; openly supported the Equal Rights Amendment; campaigned with her husband throughout 1976; and following treatment of addiction to alcohol and prescription medication she helped establish the Betty Ford Clinic for the treatment of chemical dependency at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California. View the timeline for more on her lasting legacy.
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public a rich body of archival materials on U.S. domestic issues, foreign relations, and political affairs during the Cold War era. Current holdings include 25 million pages of memos, letters, meeting notes, reports, and other historical documents. Also there are one-half million audiovisual items, including photographs, videotapes of news broadcasts, audiotapes of speeches and press briefings, film of public events, and televised campaign commercials.
Permanent exhibits are the core of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. They allow visitors to participate in history, not just view it, while reviewing the highlights of the lives of President and Mrs. Ford. In addition to the permanent exhibits, a succession of temporary exhibits draw upon the rich holdings of the entire Presidential libraries system, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives, and others. The Museum also offers approximately 19,000 items connected to the Fords.
With construction completed in the spring of 2016, the DeVos Learning Center became the learning hub of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. This multi-million dollar addition, supported by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, provides state-of-the-art learning space for students visiting the Museum. Here, learners of all ages will engage in interactive and meaningful programs that seek to instill the qualities of President and Mrs. Ford: character, integrity, public service, and civic education.