Albion College was established in 1835 in Albion, a peaceful city in southcentral Michigan, and is the first private college in the state to have a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. It is a four-year college of liberal arts, affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The college provides the bachelor's degree for 27 academic majors, including English, French, geological sciences, German, history, philosophy, physical education, physics, political science, public policy and psychology. It also offers concentrations and pre-professional programs, and special programs such as a week-long intensive academic program, women's and gender studies, and off-campus events. The Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (FURSCA), established by the college, helps students pursue independent study in their areas of interest. It provides students with research grants, fellowship programs, and funds for travel. The Ferguson Center, at Albion College, was named for its founder and benefactor, William C. Ferguson, former CEO of NYNEX. It combines technology and curriculum for the benefit of student learning and teacher modeling. A state-of-the-art riding facility, The Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center was built on 340 acres of rolling land within the college campus, and offers on-site boarding, training and lessons, equestrian management internships, equestrian-related pre-veterinary studies, and Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) varsity-level competition in hunt seat. In addition, the college has residence halls, seven national sororities, six national fraternities, nine religious organizations, 10 community service organizations, and an interdisciplinary analytical laboratory. Albion College is a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association; the nation's oldest collegiate athletic conference, Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA), and Michigan Campus Compact.