Ferris State is distinguished by its strong heritage of opportunity and career-oriented approach to education where theory meets practice, along with unique degrees that are not available at other universities in the state, region or nation. More than 180 programs, ranging from associate to doctoral degrees, are offered through eight degree-granting colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Services, Engineering Technology, Health Professions, Kendall College of Art and Design, Michigan College of Optometry, and Pharmacy.
The majority of Ferris' offerings are tailored with a specific occupation in mind and align directly with many occupations that are expected to experience growth across the country through 2016. The University has at least 140 degrees that align directly with in-demand occupations in the categories of business, finance and management; administrative and clerical; computer science and engineering; social service; education and training; health care practitioners; health care technology and support; protective service; and construction, production and repair.
Ferris State has the fewest number of large classes among Michigan's 15 public universities, with only 1 percent of classes having more than 50 students. This allows for more direct contact with faculty, more hands-on learning and experimentation and greater student engagement. More than 50 percent of Ferris classes have fewer than 20 students, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 16-to-1. Full-time tenure-track faculty with experience in their respective fields teach the majority of classes, providing real-world relevancy to the learning environment. Advisory boards also contribute to ensuring current and relevant curriculum is taught which produces graduates with hands-on skills that allow them to be productive employees from the first day of employment.
More than any institution in the state, Ferris State has reached out to Michigan community colleges creating partnerships on 19 campuses and expanding online offerings. Ferris State enrolls the largest number of off-campus students at the Applied Technology Center through its partnership with Grand Rapids Community College.
The completion of a new facility to house Ferris' Michigan College of Optometry, new student housing, classroom renovations and improvements to Ferris' largest dining facility add to the vibrancy of the University's 880-acre campus, which already boasts FLITE, a state-of-the-art library; the Granger Center, a building with visible mechanical systems, such as geothermal heating and cooling, for HVACR students; and the National Elastomer Center, a specialized center for studying plastics and rubber technology.
Ferris State is the only university in Michigan named after its founders, Woodbridge Nathan Ferris (two-term Michigan governor and U.S. senator) and Helen Gillespie Ferris. It was founded in 1884 as the privately-owned Big Rapids Industrial School and provided opportunity for people who might otherwise have become lumberjacks, farm laborers and food processing workers, instead offering paths to lives of greater possibility. Ferris did not become a state institution until 1950, undergoing several name changes until becoming Ferris State University in 1987. The Ferris State philosophy of a practical, hands-on approach to education that enables students to learn practical skills for new jobs in a changing world still resonates today
The 2013-14 season will signify the arena's 39th year of operation and the facility is named in honor of former FSU President Dr. Robert L. Ewigleben. While at Ferris State, Dr. Ewigleben helped establish the sport of hockey and coordinated its progression to the NCAA Division I level during his tenure (1971-84).
The facility, which is located on the southwest end of the FSU campus, underwent a 3.3 million renovation project in the summer of 2008. New slabs for the main and half ice sheets along with new dasher boards and seamless tempered glass panels were installed. The installation of new flooring around the rink and upgrades to the locker room were also implemented.
The arena features an ice surface measuring 85 by 200-feet with a corner radius of 28 feet. The arena is attached to the 39,300 square foot Ewigleben Sports Complex and the Student Convocation Center, both of which form the nerve center for Ferris State Athletics. With an official seating capacity of 2,493, the arena features a half-size rink for recreational use, three dressing rooms with direct access to the ice surface, a multi-purpose wing, and the Bulldog Room lounge for game activities.
In an on-going effort to maintain the quality of the Ferris State hockey program, the arena's interior was painted in September 1995 to enhance its appearance. In the 2003 summer, artwork was added around the arena's interior and in 2007, a display paying tribute to the Ferris State All-America selections was placed above the northeast side entrance.
The facility was expanded with the construction of a 4,560 gross-square-foot Bulldog varsity hockey locker room annex as part of the Ewigleben Ice Arena Remodeling Project. The carpeted hockey locker room, located on the Ewigleben Ice Arena's west side, was officially dedicated on January 17, 1999. The state-of-the-art locker room features 30 individual lockers, a study lounge with computers, film study room, equipment room, training and stick room, coaches' offices, and a sauna.
The centerpiece to the Ice Arena is an expanded, attractive common lobby area, which is connected to the 2,400-seat Student Convocation Center and Jim Wink Arena. Both facilities together encompass approximately 42,000-square feet of space. The lobby features a ticket office, two concession areas, a pro shop, and a skate rental room.
Other Ewigleben Ice Arena improvements include a renovated and enlarged 1,620-square foot press box along with a renovated locker room facilties for the Big Rapids (Mich.) High School hockey program. Two new scoreboards were installed at both ends of the ice rink in late November 1999 and the bleacher seats were replaced midway through the 2000-01 season.
The multi-purpose Ewigleben Ice Arena also serves as host for numerous university and community events.
Rink Size: 200 x 85
Directions: The Robert L. Ewigleben Ice Arena is located on FSU's Sports Drive adjacent to West Knollview Drive. From U.S. 131 expressway, take the Perry Street exit (139) east and upon reaching State Street turn right and go south. The Robert L. Ewigleben Ice Arena is enclosed within the Sports Complex, located on the west side of South State Street on the hill.