On this day in 1859, the state Legislature granted Adrian College its charter. The site of the college had originally been Leoni, located east of Jackson, where the Wesleyan Methodist Theological Institute was founded in 1845. However, the location proved disagreeable to the religious organization, as the town of Leoni had earned a reputation for drunken debauchery, even earning the nickname “Whiskey Town.” At the same time, the town of Adrian, located 40 miles away, was looking to start its own college. Moving the Wesleyan Methodist Theological Institute to Adrian appealed to both groups.
These days, Adrian College is home to 1,650 students who choose from more than 40 majors and pre-professional programs. Notable alumni include Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and former Congressman Mike Rogers.