Founded in 1903, Western Michigan University has about 19,000 undergraduates on its Kalamazoo campus, immediately adjacent to the eponymous liberal arts college. Known for its aviation flight science, ranked #3 in the nation, Western has strong engineering programs, as well as strong programs in creative writing, engineering management technology, experimental atomic physics, geology, integrated supply management, jazz studies, medieval studies, occupational therapy, paper engineering (related to chemical engineering – they are working on new ways to make paper – doesn’t this sound interesting!?), sales and business marketing, and speech pathology. Western is one of only eight colleges in the nation with accreditation in all four the disciplines of dance, music, theatre and art, and the School of Music has its own music library. The School of Dance teaches all dance disciplines, ensuring that students are versatile enough to be employed in a dance company that could require many different styles. The average class size at Western is about 32 students.
Western was founded as a teacher’s college, and is now a top 10 producer of teachers and educators in the nation. The business program has strong connections with the Kellogg’s headquarters, which is located in nearby Battle Creek, and recruiters from Chicago, about 2 1/2 hours west, regularly visit Western.
The Lee Honors College is one of the oldest honors colleges in the nation, and is well known in the region. Students with a 3.6 unweighted GPA and a 26 or higher on the ACT are considered.
Western’s 19,000 undergraduates are involved, participating in 400 student organizations, and cheering for the Division I sports teams. The football team regularly plays in Bowl games, and the basketball team made the NCAA tournament in 2014. The attractive, walker-friendly campus has no major streets or roads through it, and many of the buildings are new or newly renovated.
My tour guide was an international student from the Dominican Republic, majoring in industrial engineering. He told me that professors were approachable and he was enjoying his experience at Western Michigan. Western has been listed among the top 100 public universities for 24 years in a row.
Evelyn visited in February, 2015. You can see all of the photos from my visit to Western here.