Woodbridge Nathan Ferris (January 6, 1853-March 23, 1928) was an educator and statesman from New York. He began teaching in his late teens. Ferris later moved to Michigan, where he served as Democratic Governor (1913-1916); (see List of Governors of Michigan), and founded what is now Ferris State University in Big Rapids. Ferris also served as a Democrat in the United States Senate (1923-1928) and supported the establishment of a federal Department of Education.
Ferris was born in Spencer, New York and attended the academies of Spencer, Candor, and Oswego, and the Oswego Normal Training School from 1870-1873. He went to the medical department of the University of Michigan from 1873-1874. He was principal and superintendent of various schools in Illinois from 1874-1884. He then settled in Big Rapids, Michigan, where in 1884 he established the Ferris Industrial School (which became Ferris State University) and served as president until his death. He was also president of the Big Rapids Savings Bank and was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for election in 1892 to the 53rd Congress and for Governor of Michigan in 1904.
He was elected Governor of Michigan in 1912 and served from 1913-1916. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor in 1920 and was then elected to the United States Senate in 1922 and served from March 4, 1923, until his death in Washington, D.C. on March 23, 1928.
He is interred in Highland View Cemetery, Big Rapids, Michigan.