University, Community Gear Up for Annual Founders’ Day Celebration

Ferris State UniversityFerris State University invites students, faculty, staff and the Big Rapids community to celebrate its 129th anniversary during Founders’ Day on Thursday, Aug. 29.

“This is one of several events that help form the strong ‘town and gown’ bond that Ferris and Big Rapids enjoy,” said Ferris President David Eisler. “Founders Day is a chance for us to celebrate the legacy of Woodbridge and Helen Ferris, and to build upon their vision for future generations of Ferris students.”

The annual celebration will begin with an address by Eisler at 11 a.m. in the Science Building, Room 126 that will reflect on his 10 years at Ferris, areas of emphasis for the coming year and thoughts about the challenges and opportunities ahead, he said.

The day’s activities continue with the Founders’ Day Celebration from 3 to 7 p.m. in the North Quad. The event, sponsored by the Bulldog Beginnings Committee, will feature free activities such as laser tag, a giant slide, “bouncy boxing,” a bungee run, glitter tattoos and a photo booth. Ferris departments and 5-Star Registered Student Organizations will host information tables as well.

A highlight of the celebration is an ice cream social from 4 to 6 p.m., hosted by the Office of Governmental Relations and General Counsel. Five flavors of ice cream provided by Jones Homemade Ice Cream in Baldwin will be dished up by “celebrity servers,” including Ferris vice presidents Jerry Scoby and David Pilgrim, and provost Fritz Erickson; director of Equal Opportunity Matt Olovson; Office of Multicultural Student Services director Matt Chaney; Alumni Relations director Jeremy Mishler; Public Safety director Bruce Borkovich; Big Rapids Mayor Mark Warba; Mecosta County administrator Paul Bullock; Sen. Darwin Booher; city finance director John Locke; city manager Steve Sobers; Chamber of Commerce director Jennifer Heinzman; city Department of Public Safety director Andrea Nerbonne; Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell; judge Ron Nichols; community members Bob Horan, Jr. and Dolores Horan; and business owner Karl DePew.

“It is a great time for students as well as Ferris and community leadership,” said Richelle Boerma, legal secretary for the Office of Governmental Relations and General Counsel.

The event also includes a raffle for two iPad minis and a 46-inch LED television.

In case of rain, the Founders’ Day Celebration will be held in the Student Recreation Center.

Founders’ Day also kicks off the Big Rapids Riverdays festival. For a complete schedule of events, go to:

For more information on Founders’ Day and other Bulldog Beginnings events, visit:

Learn more about the university’s founders here:

Last updated: 02-11-2015