Among those who remembered the former U.S. leader during the daylong event was university President Mary Sue Coleman, who recognized Ford's commitment to the school before his death Dec. 26, 2006, The Detroit News reported Saturday.
"President Ford loved the University of Michigan. He loved being a graduate of the University of Michigan," Coleman said during Friday's event.
Not only had Ford received a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from the Michigan college, but had been a key player on its football team during his time there.
Also on hand was his son, Michael Ford, who echoed his father's love for the university and what it stood for.
"I feel my father's presence is here through the love of learning that has been infused in this place and the standard of excellence here," he said.