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Mackinac College was a private liberal arts college which opened on Mackinac Island, Michigan, in the fall of 1966 and closed four years later in 1970.[2]

Mackinac College
Mission Point buildings 1969, conference center & library, Mackinac Island.jpg
The Clark Center for Arts and Sciences (left) and Peter Howard Memorial Library (right) were constructed for use by Mackinac College.
MottoTo learn how to learn, to live, and to lead.
Active1966 (1966)–1970 (1970)
PresidentSamuel Douglas Cornell, Ph.D. (1965-1970)
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Location, ,
Coordinates: 45°51′05″N 84°36′20″W / 45.851391°N 84.605424°W / 45.851391; -84.605424
Colorsblue and green[1]

In 1964, journalist Peter Howard of the Moral Re-Armament (MRA) movement, proposed the idea of turning the MRA camp at Mackinac Island, which stood unused for a large portion of the year, into a college campus.[2] His proposal was to use a school "to train youth to take on the key places in nations, to get the right young men instead of the wrong ones into places of influence in public affairs."[2] The school was granted a charter in 1965.[2] Optical physicist S. Douglas Cornell resigned from his position as Executive Officer of the National Academy of Sciences to become the school's president.[3][4] The MRA deeded its headquarters on the island and the Old Mission House, to Mackinac College.[5] The first class was admitted in 1966 and consisted of 113 students.[6]

During its operations, Mackinac College had a liberal arts focus (unlike the MRA's College of the Good Road which focused on teaching ideology of the MRA), and joined in with the "radical critique of traditional higher education" which was happening in the 1960s, although the MRA was generally strongly opposed to most of the ideals of the 1960s counter culture.[2] Students participated in the creation of the curriculum,[7] but were not allowed to date.[8]

The school closed in 1970, four years after opening.[9] The American School Board Journal cited the reasons for the closure as being "familiar": the high costs of setting up the campus and programs, a smaller enrollment than planned and a lack of alumni to fund endowments.[7]

After closing, the campus was sold to Rex Humbard who reopened it in 1972 as a bible college under the same name.[8] The campus was later turned into a hotel, Mission Point Resort.[10]


  1. ^ The Blue Book of College Athletics. Rohrich Corporation. 1968.
  2. ^ a b c d e Sack, Daniel (2009-12-08). Moral Re-Armament. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 183–186, 219. ISBN 9780312293277. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Susan F. Cornell And T. E. Wilkes, Will Be Married; Couple Active in Moral Re-Armament Work Become Engaged", New York Times, p. 97, October 31, 1965, retrieved January 31, 2014
  4. ^ "Funeral Notices", Arizona Daily Star, p. A21, November 23, 2010, retrieved January 31, 2014
  5. ^ Adie, Madeline Okerman (2012). The Straits of Mackinac. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 58–. ISBN 9780738591896. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  6. ^ North, Tom (2011). Mackinac Island. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 49–. ISBN 9780738584492. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  7. ^ a b Bruce, William George; Bruce, William Conrad (1970). The American School Board Journal. National School Boards Association. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  8. ^ a b Associated Press (Oct 26, 1972). "Beachhead for Old Time Religion". The Argus-Press -. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  9. ^ "Moral Re-Armament Cuts U.S. Operations", New York Times, p. 30, August 10, 1970, retrieved January 31, 2014
  10. ^ Porter, Phil (August 1998). Mackinac: an island famous in these regions. Mackinac State Historic Parks. ISBN 9780911872699. Retrieved 31 January 2014.

Further readingEdit

  • James R Nesteby (1970), Quasi-; brief on ideology, San Diego: Next City Pub., p. 395, OCLC 64943