Ferris State College
This college was founded in 1884 by Woodbridge N. Ferris as the Big Rapids Industrial School, renamed Ferris Institute in 1895. His objective was to provide low-cost practical training for all with a real desire to study, regardless of lack of previous formal education. The school began with rented quarters and thirteen students. The first courses were commerce and college preparatory work. Programs in trade-technical work, pharmacy, and teacher training followed. A pioneer school of its kind, Ferris became a state college in 1949. By action of the legislature in 1963, it was renamed Ferris State College.