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"Because of my very, very high regard for Hope College, no degree -- earned or honorary -- will mean more to me than the one I received from this outstanding institution," President Ford said at a convocation held in his honor.
President Ford was no stranger to Hope College. From 1949 through 1973 as a Congressman whose district included Holland, he made annual visits to Hope to discuss foreign and domestic issues with students and faculty. He frequently hosted students and faculty at his Congressional office in Washington, D.C. In 1971 he delivered the keynote address and cut the ribbon celebrating the opening of the DeWitt Student and Cultural Center.
"We acknowledge with gratitude to God, President Ford's service to our country," said Hope College President James E. Bultman. "We are grateful for the affection he showed toward Hope College during his distinguished career, first as a Congressman, later as President, and in recent years as Statesman."
In 1977, just months after losing his presidential election bid to Jimmy Carter, Ford was back on the Hope campus, giving students an opportunity to ask questions of a man who less than a year earlier had been directly affecting the course of U.S. history. Students lined the Pine Grove sidewalk to shake his hand. Electing to speak from the floor instead of a podium, the former chief executive said his visit "was like coming home."Photo Gallery
Nyenhuis (photo left) and Trustee Ekdal J. Buys (photo right)
1987 -- President Ford Enjoys a Light Moment with
Gerald R. Ford, the 38th President of the United States (1974-1977) died December 26, 2006 in Rancho Mirage, California at the age of 93. He was laid to rest on the grounds of his presidential museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.