Adrian College Takes Risks, Uses Business-Model Strategy To Turn Dark Days Into Rosy Future

Ann McClure's picture

On a sunny September day, the area of campus Adrian College calls “the mall” is alive with students hurrying across manicured lawns toward classes, a modern library or the terraced patio of the student center.

The mood is energetic and vibrant, as the college this fall has welcomed its largest-ever incoming class of 650 students and total enrollment of 1,755 students.

“What I connected with was a sense of growth here on the campus and in the programs,” said Taylor Knapp, a freshman from East Tawas. “I’ve heard it said that Adrian is undergoing a renaissance of sorts and you can see it.”

It’s a stark contrast to what a freshman would have seen in 2006 when Adrian College had a total of 840 students, buildings with leaky roofs, cracked sidewalks that couldn’t be repaired and a $1.3 million budget deficit.

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