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Ferris State University

Ferris State University is an institute of higher learning whose main campus is located in Big Rapids, Michigan in Mecosta County. The school was founded in 1884 by Woodbridge Nathan Ferris, an educator from New England who at one time was Governor of the state of Michigan.

Originally named Ferris Industrial School, it became Ferris Institute in 1899 and remained privately owned until 1931. Ferris became a state school in 1949 and was renamed Ferris State College. The school became a university and assumed its current name, Ferris State University, in 1987.

The first classes at Ferris Industrial School were held in what is now the Fifth Third Bank[?] building on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Maple Street.

Ferris State University now boasts eight colleges: Allied Health Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Services, Optometry, Pharmacy[?], Technology, and University. Ferris grants doctorate degrees via its Optometry and Pharmacy colleges.

As of the Fall 2002 semester, over 11,000 students were enrolled at Ferris State University, 80% of whom live on the 880-acre campus. The university's student-faculty ratio is 1:16, and all classes are taught by professionals, not graduate assistants.

As of 2003, Ferris State University was the largest employer in Mecosta County.



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