Ferris State University 1974-1975
Memories of David Ullian Larson
Ferris State College/University is in Big Rapids, Michigan. They offered a B.S.
program of instruction in Trade and Technical Education. No other school did. So
I was a commuter student from Lansing, Michigan. Take out any map and you'll see
the road distance is about 100 miles between the two.
So off I'd go three days a week. Fifty miles west. Turn right. Fifty miles
north. Turn off the engine. Go to class through the day. After the last class,
get in the car and repeat the process in reverse. Quite a routine. I did this
for the Winter and Spring Terms.
My credit load was 25 term credits each term. I did great graduating with a
mana cum laude B. S. in 1975.
The State of Michigan had a scholarship program competition which I won. So
I paid no tuition. Just fees. I couldn't afford most of the books. But that was
nothing new to me. I just read the books in the library or borrowed from another
student and read during class. I can recall reading six chapters of a book in
the book store. Let that be a lesson. You don't have to buy all the books to get
The instructors/professors are not clear in my memory. I do recall
requesting independent study and doing a great instructional module for
technical education students. The concept was based on the Steinbeck novel
Grapes of Wrath. So read the book or watch the movie. And come away with the
strong feeling that an updated occupational education is essential to
maintaining family stability. If only Rose 0 Sharons' husband had gone through
with the technical training he was always talking about as advertised on the
inside of a match book cover. But no. Wow. What a powerful novel and what a
powerful lesson to learn
I worked hard to get all the required courses and appropriate electives
worked into a commuter schedule. But speech, a required course, just didn't seem
to fit. Then I remembered taking a University of Maryland night school course in
speech at Zweibrucken, Germany. I checked on the U of M transcript, showed it to
my admissions counselor, Keith Bancroft, and wammo. My speech requirement was
fulfilled by a course I had taken eleven years earlier. You just never know how
things will work out.
I paid my cap and gown fee the first day on campus since it had to be paid
two terms before graduation. And graduate I did. My memory of the school is so
minimal, I am shocked. But the hectic nature of that period of my life probably
explains a lot. You see, while I was attending FSU, I was also working as a
teaching technician, full time, at Lansing Community College.