65 SCHOOLS in MICHIGAN
Bounded by four of the five Great Lakes (all but Ontario), Michigan was an central area of dispute between Great Britain and France in the French and Indian War, thanks to its crucial navigational importance. Britain won the region, and after the Revolutionary War, France and Britain’s loss was the United States’ gain, as the Northwest Territory became one of the most productive regions in the US. Michigan’s unique geography – it is the only state broken into two distinct regions by water, and has the longest freshwater coastline in the nation – made it an important location for agriculture, forestry, mining, and fishing during the age when natural resources were the key to the American economy, but that was only Michigan’s beginning.
In the late 19th century, Michigan became the heart of America’s industrial manufacturing sector, with Detroit emerging in the 20th century as the home of the Big Three auto manufacturers. From aviation to computer technology, Michigan grew into a crucial link in the American supply chain, until major economic disruptions in the 21st century put the the state on its heels. Today, however, the people of Michigan are using all of their resources to their advantage – not only marshalling their technical and engineering know-how, but leveraging the natural beauty of the state into a major tourism economy.
Michigan’s best colleges and universities are a critical driver of the state’s future, from liberal arts colleges educating leaders and teachers, to some of the nation’s most prestigious public research universities creating breakthroughs and revolutionizing whole fields. The University of Michigan and Michigan State University are both regarded as world-class research institutions, having advanced every field from the digital humanities, to nuclear science, to business (pioneering, for instance, supply chain management and hospitality studies, two of Michigan’s main industries). Meanwhile, Michigan is home to regionally acclaimed Christian liberal arts colleges like Calvin College, Hope College, and Adrian College, as well as excellent regional public institutions like Grand Valley State and Northern Michigan State.