Western Michigan University is a major public university located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It was founded in 1903, and was originally known as the Western State Normal School. With a student body of roughly 25,000 students, Western Michigan University is the 4th largest university in the State of Michigan. It's ranked by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching among the elite public institutions in the nation designated as "research universities with high research activity". U.S. News & World Report's yearly college and university rankings include WMU as one of the nation's top-100 public universities.
Western Michigan University has one of the largest aviation programs in the United States and one of WMU's main expansion projects includes a new aviation campus in Battle Creek, Michigan along with extensive building renovation on the main Kalamazoo campus. The aviation program is generally ranked in the top 3 in the United States.
Along with the world-renowned College of Aviation, there are 8 other colleges that make up the Western Michigan University system, including the Haworth College of Business (the sixth largest college of business in the country), the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the College of Fine Arts, the College of Health and Human Services, the Lee Honors College, and the Graduate College, combining for more than 250 degree programs.
The 1,200 acre campus is actually a collection of five campuses in and around Kalamazoo including West Campus (usually referred to as the main campus - which includes the College of Arts and Sciences, Haworth College of Business, College of Education, College of Fine Arts, and the Lee Honors College along with most of the administrative buildings and residence halls), East Campus (mainly historical buildings), Oakland Drive Campus (the College of Health and Human Services and the WMU Army ROTC program), Parkview Campus (the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences) and of course, the College of Aviation which has it's own campus. With over 150 buildings spread out over 5 campuses, there is a lot to take in.
In athletics, Western Michigan teams are known as "The Broncos" and their colors are brown and gold. Their main rival is Central Michigan University which is located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Most of their teams are in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) with the exception of hockey. Although not known for their athletics programs, they have had several alumni turn professional in various sports including current Green Bay Packer, Greg Jennings.
Some other notable alumni of Western Michigan University include Tim Allen, John Offerdahl, former NFL star and founder of Einstein Bros. Bagels, Luther Vandross, former mayor of Detroit Dennis Archer, Dave Dombrowski, General Manager of the Detroit Tigers, along with several politicians and high ranking business leaders. Also of note, The College Republicans at Western Michigan University were voted "Best College Republican Chapter in the Country" in 2006.
Although not as well known as the "Big 3" universities in Michigan, Western Michigan University offers a very good education at a more affordable price than some of the more well known universities. For more information including student reviews of the school, be sure to check out the links below.