Students, community enjoy ice cream, games in celebration of Ferris Founders’ Day

Ferris State University and City of Big Rapids officials scoop out ice cream during the Founders’ Day celebration on Thursday, Aug. 31. (Pioneer photos/Meghan Haas)

BIG RAPIDS — Music echoed across Ferris State University campus on Thursday as students and their fellow community members celebrated Founders’ Day.

Friends Julia Jackson (front) and Grace Brown, and Junior the dog, sit together on the grass of Ferris’ north campus quad to enjoy their ice cream. The community ice cream social is a popular event during the Founders’ Day celebration, according to Jody Greco, Ferris governmental relations assistant, who was working at the ice cream booth.

“Founders’ Day is a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate Woodbridge and Helen Ferris and the wonderful legacy they provided for us,” said Ferris President David Eisler. “Today is a great day to invite the Big Rapids community on our campus.”

Eisler said this is the 11th year of the event.

With booths set up all across the north campus quad, attendees could find out more about many organizations at Ferris. Students and community members also could find games, food and ice cream.

“Founders’ Day is about recognizing Woodbridge and Helen Ferris and welcoming the new students and the community to campus,” said Jody Greco, Ferris governmental relations assistant, who was working at the ice cream booth.

Klayton Vrendenburg climbs into the opening of a large inflatable ball, which was pushed toward a set of large bowling pins, at one of the different game stations set up on Thursday.

Greco said the ice cream booth is a popular site each year on Founders’ Day. She estimates 200 gallons of ice cream are scooped out during the community social event, which serves approximately 2,000 people.

Founders’ Day is a part of Ferris’ Bulldog Beginnings, a two-week long event planned with various opportunities for students to meet their peers, according to the website, Activities continue today, Friday, Sept. 1, with disc golf from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Ferris Library for Information Technology and Education (FLITE) building. More events are planned through Saturday, Sept. 9, ending with the EU Comedy Competition, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Rankin Lounge of the University Center.

Ferris’ mascot, Brutus the Bulldog, dances to the “Cha Cha Slide” with students and community members during the Founders’ Day celebration.


Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at

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