Mackinac Island’s Short-lived College, 1966-1970
Did you know Mackinac Island once had its own college?
It only lasted four years, from 1966-1970.
It began as a camp for the Moral Re-Armament movement. But business and enrollment were not going well and it closed down. In 1964, MRA member Peter Howard thought the facilities would be best used as a college.
A charter was granted in 1965 and the buildings were deeded to Mackinac College. 113 students kicked off the new 1966 fall season. On campus were classrooms, conference center, dining rooms, dorm rooms, kitchen, labs, library, studio, and theater.
One of the supposed downfalls of the college was the administration’s opposition to any student who embraced the 60s counter-culture: flower-power, peace & love, sit-ins, love-ins, hippies, fashion, and (supposed) drug use. They didn’t restrict or enforce their beliefs, but were against them. Plus, they did not allow the students to date which caused dissension and sneaking around.
Finally it closed in 1970, blaming the high costs, small student body, and no funding from alumni, since there barely were any.
In 1972, Reverend Rex Humbard bought the property and turned it into a bible college.
Rex also purchased the Stonecliffe land on the west end of the island in an attempt to make it more of a “fun” area, with a bowling alley, entertainment center, and downhill skiing.
Lack of funds and numerous lawsuits forced the bible college to close in 1973. The campus was re-organized and turned into a tourist resort – Mission Point Resort which it remains to this day. Humbard finally sold the property in 1977.
MACKINAC ISLAND COLLEGE
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