New partnership between Eastern Michigan University and Historic Ford Estates establishes fellowship in EMU's Historic Preservation Program

by Geoff Larcom, Published May 19, 2014

YPSILANTI – An Eastern Michigan University (EMU) student will be able to study elements, such as the lifestyle, landscape and design, of two of country’s most important historic estates under a new research fellowship announced this month.

The fellowship, a partnership between EMU and the Historic Ford Estates, is open to students pursuing a Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation at EMU, and offers a stipend of $6,000 supplied by the Estates and tuition support of $6,000 from EMU per academic year, beginning this fall.

The Historic Ford Estates oversees the Henry Ford Estate in Dearborn and the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores. Together, the two estates tell the story of the Ford family and its important legacy with the automotive industry, and also bring to life the family’s interest in education, philanthropy, humanitarian efforts and more.

“This fellowship offers a student an outstanding opportunity to explore the operation of a major American estate,” said Ted Ligibel, director of EMU’s Historic Preservation program. “We are gratified and excited to begin this partnership with the Historic Ford Estates. This program aligns with the numerous other hands-on opportunities in our program.”

Kathleen Mullins, president of the Estates, said, “We are delighted to establish our first fellowship program with Eastern Michigan University’s Historic Preservation Program. We are committed to creating experiences that are focused on teaching and learning, and the fellowship program provides a unique engagement opportunity to explore a topic in depth. The resulting research will, in turn, be used to enrich the learning experience for visitors to the estates.”

The Edsel & Eleanor Ford House has been open to the public since 1978, and is launching a major initiative to deepen understanding of the estate and the Ford family. Ownership of Henry Ford Estate was transferred from the University of Michigan in 2013 and a comprehensive research, restoration and reinterpretation process is now under way.

Fellows will spend two consecutive semesters researching one of a variety of topics that fit the area of study and emphasis of the student.

Fellows will also participate in the larger Historic Ford Estates community to gain an understanding of the daily operations of an historic site. This might include involvement in meetings, events, programs and planning initiatives.

"We are very honored and appreciative of this opportunity provided by the Historic Ford Estates, which will provide a unique environment for our graduate students to broaden their educational horizons in one of the preeminent historic sites in the country," said Jeffey Kentor, associate provost and associate vice president for graduate studies and research at EMU. "We hope to expand this relationship in the coming years into additional educational and research opportunities.

Interested students will submit a research proposal and other materials this summer. For more information, contact Miriam Cady at, or Nancy Bryk at

For more information on the EMU Historic Preservation Program, please visit

Details on the Historic Ford Estates can be found at:


Geoff Larcom


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