The renovated historic Federal Building in downtown Grand Rapids, which expanded Ferris State University’s Kendall College of Art and Design campus, will now be named the Woodbridge N. Ferris Building. The university’s Board of Trustees approved the name at its meeting on Friday, May 10, in Big Rapids. The change honors university founder Woodbridge N. Ferris.
Ferris founded the Big Rapids Industrial School on Sept. 1, 1884. The school was renamed Ferris Industrial School in 1885, Ferris Institute in 1898, Ferris State College in 1963 and Ferris State University in 1987. In addition to founding the university, Ferris was elected governor of the state of Michigan in 1912 and 1914, and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1922. He died in office on March 23, 1928. The university’s emphasis on career-oriented degrees stems from Woodbridge Ferris’ original vision of a school dedicated to real-world, experiential education.
The Woodbridge N. Ferris Building recently received LEED Gold certification and won a Governor’s Award, from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, for the preservation and renovation of the historic facility that was originally dedicated in 1911. Through public-private partnership, the university invested about $28 million into the renovation project to expand the Kendall campus into 91,000 square feet of additional classroom, office and studio space.
Ferris President David Eisler said naming the building in honor of the university’s founder deepens the institution’s already strong commitment to working together with the city of Grand Rapids and the region.
“Given the success of this marvelous partnership and understanding the importance of the history and tradition of our institutions, naming the historic Federal Building for the founder of our university is a great symbol of our commitment to the City of Grand Rapids and West Michigan generally,” Eisler said.
In recognizing the contributions of its current president, the board voted to extend Eisler’s contract by one year after completing his annual assessment. His five-year contract now extends through June 30, 2018. The board’s increase of the president’s salary by 2.25 percent is consistent with increases this year for other administrative personnel.
Board Chair Gary Granger cited Eisler’s commitment to the university and the continuity of leadership he has provided to Ferris.
“The board feels very fortunate to have a relationship with a president so dedicated
to the success of Ferris State University. We also feel fortunate that we have a long-term
relationship that will continue for many years to come. The board fully supports Dave’s
leadership,” Granger said.
In other news, trustees approved:
In other news, trustees accepted:
The next scheduled full meeting of the trustees is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 4 in Grand Rapids. The full board will meet at 11 a.m. following committee meetings at 10 a.m. The trustees are scheduled for a special meeting, via conference call, on Tuesday, July 9.
Last updated: 08-15-2013