1951 : Northwestern Michigan College Holds First Classes

September 17, 2023 all-day

The first day of classes at Northwestern Michigan College was Sept. 17, 1951.

“In every way, the Northwestern Michigan College is a people’s college. It was conceived in a regional desire for education and is being financed from the pockets of the poor and rich alike.” Source : Traverse City Record-Eagle, September 17, 1951.

Geographically isolated from Michigan colleges and universities, the Grand Traverse region decides to create its own — from the ground up, grassroots-style. When NMC’s founders are told that the population was too small to have a college, they lobby to get the legislation changed. When no building is immediately available, NMC opens its doors in borrowed facilities at the airport terminal building – with donated materials and volunteer labor. At its opening, NMC has 65 students and a staff of six.

For more information, see NMC Timeline

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