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We are truly blessed in our wonderful Upper Peninsula to have multiple universities that offer various levels of college degrees. Following is a brief review of just four of these great educational institutions that we are truly fortunate to have here in the U.P.
Northern Michigan University
NMU was founded in 1899 in Marquette and now offers four year and advanced degrees in approximately 180 subject areas. In 1963, Northern Michigan College was designated a university serving the diverse educational needs of upper Michigan. During this time, enrollment increased significantly, due in large part to the 1957 opening of the Mackinac Bridge, linking vehicle traffic between the Upper and Lower peninsulas. As a result, the campus expanded rapidly, roughly to the size it remains to this day. There are approximately 9,000 students at NMU today. Accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Health Sciences and Professional Studies. Graduate education was inaugurated in 1928 when courses at the master’s degree level were offered in cooperation with the University of Michigan.
Michigan Technological University
MTU was founded in 1885, and Michigan Technological University offers highly regarded educational programs in a variety of science and math related fields, including engineering, physics, chemistry and others. In addition, they also offer a select number of humanities and business related major fields of study. These additional fields of study include English, history, marketing and accounting and others. The great university is internationally noted for its engineering degrees and is located in Houghton, in the western end of the Upper Peninsula. At the present time, they have a current enrollment of approximately 7,000 students.
Lake Superior State University
LSSU is located in the eastern end of the Upper Peninsula, in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, near the bridge border crossing into Canada. Lake Superior State University was established in 1946 to address the needs of returning World War II veterans and to provide educational opportunities to the people of the Eastern Upper Peninsula. This historic campus also includes several buildings which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. When this college was originally started in 1946, it was a part of Michigan Technological University. At that time it was often referred to as “Soo Tech.” The original class consisted of approximately 300 students. The college received autonomy from MTU in 1970 and was known as Lake Superior State College until 1987, when the institution was granted university status. LSSU offers undergraduate and graduate degrees to more than 3,000 students. There are nearly 50 degree programs provided by LSSU that include a great mix of liberal arts and technical study fields.
Finnish immigrants founded this school, originally named Suomi College, in 1896, and Finlandia is the only private university in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Finlandia University was originally founded by Finnish Lutherans. Still today that Lutheran influence can be felt on Finlandia’s campus as it is one of 26 colleges and universities in the United States affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). At this time, there are approximately 500 students who attend Finlandia, located in the western end of the Upper Peninsula in Hancock. The college offers associates and bachelor’s degrees in various art, science and business majors, including degrees in art and design, business, liberal arts and health sciences.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Surrell is the author of “The ABC’s For Success In All We Do” and the “SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet” books. Requests for health topics for this column are encouraged. Contact Dr. Surrell by email at email@example.com.