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March 28, 1997 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-28

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10 The Michigan Daily Friday, March 28, 1997

.> ....




We didn't have
time to spend our
times in protest
and rallies and
things of that


By Jeffrey Kosseff Daily Staff Reporter

That time in
my life was not
a very fun time.
My fondest
memory is that
it's over."
- Rep. Lynn Rivers
(D-Ann Arbor)

While University
alumni are notorious
for bleeding maize and
blue in the football
stands, Wolverine spir-
it has also found a
place in the political
Politically active
University alumni are
numerous. Their activ-
ities outside of class
ranged from captain-
ing the football team to
taking an. activist in the
Black Action Move-
ment to a mother rais-
ing children while
attending classes.

These same people became the 38th U.S.
president and two of Michigan's three U.S.
Notable alumni include former President
Gerald Ford, House Minority Leader Richard
Gephardt (D-Mo.), Rep. Lynn Rivers (D-
Ann Arbor), Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-
Holland), Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-
Detroit), U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-
Tenn.), Rep. Dale Kildee (D- Flint), former
Kansas Sen. Nancy Kassebaum, former U.S.
Sen. Don Riegle, Los Angeles Democratic
mayoral candidate and California state Sen.
Tom Hayden and Doug Ross, a front runner
for the Democratic nomination for Michigan
governor and Clinton's former assistant sec-
retary of labor.
There are many more former alumni on the
federal, city state level.
The Michigan Connection
University alumni use the Michigan con-
nection tnw fo to ts, meet col-
leagues da 'ties tothe old days in
Ann Ar
"Thelisn net on tat I always was
proud to list n bi rapical material that
I was a the U of M," said
President Ford,
Tom Hayden who graduated in
1935. "It was a
plus in any con-
versation as to
what your acade-
mic background
was. Being a grad-
uate of the U of M
was a big plus in
the political
President Ford
is not the only
politician who
proudly reflects on
his time in Ann
f Arbor.
Kildee said th
University is eveh
wellknown in Pakistan, where he worked for
one year.
"I would say I'm from (the University 9f
Michigan, and they would say, 'Oh, fA
Arbor,"' Kildee said. "It gives you a great ac
tional credibility. I always put on my camp"
literature that I have a Masters from Michiga.
I met a lot of interesting people at the
University, and some later became involvedin
Love for the University is a nonpartisasue
in the U.S. House.
"After two years there, I really lVO thw
school," Hoekstra said. "I'm a proud al mus."
Some alumni said the "Mrhigan
Connection," the network of hundredsbd thou-
sands of University alumni, has affected their
hiring process.

Michigan graduates, and almost the entire
Michigan delegation has a relation to a
Michigan graduate."
Kilpatrick said that judging from her experi-
ence in the federal and state legislatures, alum-
ni connections are far-reaching.
"You'll find us all over," Kilpatrick said.
"Michigan graduates hold top jobs in most
careers, including politics."
The Michigan Experience
University alumni say their memories vary
from wonderful to not-very-wonderful.
"That time in my life was not a very fun
time," Rivers said. "My fondest memory is that
it's over."
Rivers does not look back distastefully at
her time at the University because she had a
few bad professors or overcrowded classes -
she was married with children while she
worked toward her degree. Because of this
responsibility, she was
not able to be active inr
student political groups'
and other campus orga-
Rivers said acade-
mics at the University
were beneficial to her
later on in life.
"I took a civil liber-
ties class that was very"
interesting," Rivers }n-
said. "1 enjoyed all of
my time in class."
Like Rivers,
President Ford said his
classes helped attract
him to the world of
"I was always inter-
ested in history and
political science," President f54rTsaid 'hat
exposure was a stimulant to my getting into
politics whes l go* through law school'.
But it was the Gre4jt'epressioh that prevent-
ed President Fordfro enjoying the full
University experience.
"Vhen I was at the U of Mg. I was too
bu ing ny'way thrcigitg school to
ha a ctive interest in partisan politics

His experience at the
University was missing one
thing, he said.
"I wish we had won a nation-
al championship while I was
here," Rep. Ford said.
Like many of his political colleagues, Re
Ford said his University education was not ty
While he was a first-year Law studen
Rep. Ford spent most of his time "trying1
get ahold of the law school experience." B
during his next year at the University, h
schedule became a lot more hectic whenI
managed his father's 1994 campaign for t
Tennessee congressional seat that he curren
ly holds.
"My interests in politics reach far back
elementary school," Rep. Ford said. "Politi
runs in the blood."
Hoekstra, who received a master's in bu
ness education from the University, said t
University's broad curriculum gives studen
an advantage in life.
"Having a solid unde
graduate and gradu
degree gives you an orien
tion to life," Hoekstra sa
p "It gives you a broader vie
of the world."
Hayden, who is curren
ly running for mayorc
Los Angeles, w(
extremely active duri
his.time at the Universil
In 1960, he served
Editor-in-Chief of T
Michigan Daily and w
involved with many st
dent movements.
Hayden gained nation
attention by his foundi
of the Students for
Democratic Society a
his participation in protests at the 19
Detocratic National Convention
Chicago. Hayden's actions with othi
young activists at the convention led to I
charges in the highly publicized trial of t
Chicago Seven.

- Gerald Ford
Former U.S. President
p. Kildee said that during his time at the
p- University, John Kennedy's presidency
sparked a great amount of political involve-
nt, ment.
to "There was a great deal of hope that gov-
ut ernment could work," Kildee said.
is But Kildee said political involvement at the
he University had not yet reached its peak.
he "There was always some interest in civil
nt- rights, but much more came after I graduat-
ed during the Vietnam war," Kildee said.
to Hoekstra said that when he attended the
ics University, there was not a lot of political activ-
si- "I wouldn't classify it as very politically
he active," Hoekstra said. "But in general, col-
nts leges are less politically active now."
ate Words of Wisdom
id. Politically active University alumni said
ew getting involved in politics on and off cam-
pus is not difficult while attending the
nt- University.
of "There's a lot to be active with," said Rep.
as Ford, who is 26-years-old and recently grad-
ng uated from the University's School
ty. of Law. "There are just so many
as issues that effect our generation.
he Just be active."
as Rivers, who was a member of
u- the Ann Arbor Board of Education
and the Michigan State House
ual before being elected to the U.S.
ng House in 1994, said that it is not
a only easy to get involved at a local
nd level, but that involvement in
68 local politics can lead to bigger



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