Roger Wilkins Tribute
The Michigan in Washington Program remembers former MIW Advisory Board Member (2005-2012) and UM alumnus Roger Wilkins, who died March 26, 2017 in the Washington, DC suburb of Kensington, Maryland. Among his many accomplishments: Assistant Attorney General under LBJ; Pulitzer-Prize-winning editorial writer for The
Washington Post during Watergate; civil rights leader; and, George Mason University professor. (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/27/us/roger-wilkins-died-civil-rights-advocate.html.)
Mr. Wilkins was an ardent Michigan alumnus, and he told this story to a group of MIW students. It was the day of President Gerald R. Ford's funeral at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC. Mr. Wilkins stood outside the cathedral on the sidewalk on Wisconsin Avenue, Northwest, braving the cold with other mourners. As the funeral procession left the cathedral, Mr. Wilkins whipped open his outer jacket as the Ford family's vehicles passed. He beamed at them as he displayed the University of Michigan sweatshirt he wore under his heavy coat. The Ford family members smiled, laughed and waved at him as the cortege proceeded down the avenue.