University of Michigan
News for faculty, staff and retirees

December 15, 2018

Statement from James Hackett

October 31, 2014

Statement from James Hackett

Topic: Athletics

Thank you President Schlissel.

I appreciate those kind remarks. I would like to make a few specific comments.

First, I'd like to thank Dave Brandon for his commitment to Michigan.

The athletic department is in good financial condition, we have new varsity sports that will continue to make Michigan a destination for aspiring student athletes, and he worked hard to modernize U-M athletic facilities.

Dave was a teammate of mine in the '70s and I knew him during my business career in Michigan.  I have a tremendous amount respect for him and thank him again for an extraordinary commitment to this university.

My time as a student at Michigan introduced me to two people who would become lifelong heroes of mine. Early on, there was Bo Schembechler, and the other was President Gerald Ford whom I met later in his life after he had retired from public office.

Both of them would be quite certain that the future of Michigan is not in doubt. They would be reminding all of us of the legacy of extraordinary performance in the classroom and on the field and how that unique combination puts us in a rare position.

As we gather for Homecoming weekend, and honor our shared history, I hope fans, former players, students and my fellow alumni can come together in support of our teams.

This is a time for alumni to remember what has been special in their lives because of this university.

This university is here for students. They are not just temporary residents of the Big House, rather it's their house. We are first here for them.

Michigan has a stellar record of extraordinary performance academically and athletically and our potential is not in question here.

I am humbled to help during this interim period to keep our momentum as a great institution.  

Thank you and Go Blue.