Post Graduation

Ford's college diploma


Gerald Ford graduated from the University of Michigan in the spring of 1935. After receiving, and declining, offers to play for several professional football teams, Jerry committed himself to working towards getting into law school, the path he had aimed for at the beginning of high school.


Initially desiring to attend law school in Ann Arbor, Ford found himself deeply in debt following graduation and would need a job to supplement any additional classes. He approached Harry Kipke about possibly working as an assistant coach for the football team. “Jerry,” he said, “I couldn’t pay you more than one hundred dollars.” Ford’s path to law school seemed blocked, but Kipke called him a month later and told him that Ducky Pond, the Yale head football coach, was in Ann Arbor to recruit an assistant. Lunch was arranged between Jerry and Pond, and the former received an invitation to New Haven to meet with other coaches.


Upon visiting, Ford liked the atmosphere of the Yale campus, and Pond offered him $2,400 to be an assistant line coach, with the catch that he also had to coach the boxing team in the winter. It was enough money to be able to pay off his debts and start saving for law school, so even though he had no experience with boxing, he could not possibly turn down the opportunity. He took a crash course at the Grand Rapids YMCA the summer before heading to New Haven. In the fall of 1935, he left Michigan behind to start a new chapter of life on the east coast.