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Woodbridge Nathan Ferris Resource Site

Woodbridge Nathan Ferris (1853-1928) was an educator, humanitarian and a statesman. He was educated at Spencer Academy and Oswegeo Free Academy in New York and attended the University of Michigan. In 1884, Woodbridge Ferris founded the Big Rapids Industrial School which later became Ferris State University. He also served as Governor of Michigan and a United States Senator.

Ferris State University is unique in its founder. Very few public universities are named after the individual who founded them. Also, not all founders of schools have ships named after them and served on all levels of government. The following link will take you to activities relating to the materials found on the site. These activities are appropriate for a classroom setting or homework assignment. These activities are designed for the FSUS 100 classes.

Additionally, the University Archivist is available for classroom presentations on Woodbridge Ferris and the history of the university.

Contact: Melinda McMartin Isler, University Archivist
Telephone: (231) 591-3731

Photo of WNF 150th poster

Ferris Funeral Video

A newsreel film of Ferris's funeral in 1928 has been digitized as part of the Reuther Library's Virtual Motor City project. Click here, and look for Record 13_21.