Albion College's Grand Getaway

October 2 – 4, 2020

Circle the dates on your 2020 calendar now to join us for the 11th Albion College Grand Getaway at the Grand Hotel on Michigan's Historic Mackinac Island.

Signature moments of our dazzling weekend will include:

  • A Legacy Celebration of our 16th President Dr. Mauri Ditzler
  • Introduction of our 17th President Dr. Mathew Johnson and his partner, Dr. Shannon O’Neill
  • Reconnecting with classmates, faculty and current students on America’s largest front porch and more!

Plan to travel round-trip in comfort in our chartered bus from Albion to Mackinaw City! Registration found in Step 1 of the event registration.

Registration is open now through Friday, August 21, 2020!

Contact the Office of College Events with questions by email or call 517/629-1835.

More Reservation and Cost Details

This exclusive weekend event for the Albion College family is $264.57 per person, per night (including all taxes) plus a one-time charge of $8.50 per person baggage handling fee*. Of that rate, $50 per adult, per night is a tax-deductible gift to the Albion College Grand Getaway Scholarship Fund; you will receive a gift receipt from the College for your records.

Daily full breakfast service and a four-course dinner are included with your room reservation. Rooms are limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Check-in Time: After 4:00 p.m.
Check-out Time: Before 11:00 a.m.

Explanation of charges are as follows:

  • 0 – 9 years of age, complimentary, except for luggage charge
  • 10 through 17 years of age, $59 daily, per person
  • 18 years of age and over, $155.00 daily, per person
Additional Fees:

$50 donation per person, per night, plus Michigan 6% sales tax applies to all charges, including a 19.5% added charge on the per person daily room rate. There is also a 3% Mackinac Island Assessment Charge on the per person daily room rate.

A one-time charge of $8.50 per person for transfer of luggage from the dock to Grand Hotel and return taxi transportation to and from the boat docks and the Hotel is not included in the daily rate.

Grand Hotel operates on the Modified American Plan. This means that your daily rate includes breakfast and dinner. In addition to our Grand Luncheon Buffet, other facilities are available at Grand Hotel for lunch not included in the package.

The rate utilized for your meeting is a flat, run-of-the-house plan, meaning guest rooms will be reserved in priority order according to the date the reservation form is received by Grand Hotel.

For an adult staying in a guest room with one or more children, the adult will pay the single event rate, the children will be at the appropriate children's rates listed above. For any children staying in a guest room without an adult, the oldest child will be charged the single adult event rate and the remaining children will be at the additional persons rates listed above.


A deposit of one night stay will be made with your reservation. You can pay the remaining balance of your stay when you check-in at Grand Hotel. The deposit is based on one room for one night double occupancy.

Wait list:

The block of rooms being held for this event is based on estimated attendance. Please make your reservation as promptly as possible. Requests received after the block is filled will be contacted and given an option of being placed on a wait list. The wait list is not a guarantee of a room.


Tipping to any employee anywhere within Grand Hotel is not required, expected or permitted. There is tipping at the following offsite restaurant locations: The Jockey Club at the Grand Stand, Woods, The Gate House, the Pool Grill, Sushi Grand and Fort Mackinac Tea Room.


Michigan 6% Sales Tax applies to all charges, including a 19.5% added charge on the per person daily room rate. There is also a 3% Mackinac Island Assessment charge on the per person daily room rate. There is a one-time charge of $8.50 per person for transfer of luggage from the dock to the Hotel and return. Taxi transportation to and from the boat docks and the Hotel is not included in the daily rate.

In accordance with Michigan Law, all Grand Hotel guest rooms, meeting rooms, restaurants and bars are non-smoking.

For more information about the Grand Hotel, visit the hotel website.


Your reservation is subject to a 10-day cancellation policy. Reservation deposits will be refunded if cancelled 10 or more days prior to arrival, less a $50.00 processing fee. Reservations cancelled less than 10 days prior will forfeit the room deposit.

To cancel a reservation, call 1-800-334-7263. The person who made the reservation must be the person to cancel the reservation.

Before You Arrive

Before you arrive on the island, make sure you are registered with the College and Grand Hotel. Check the weather, an island in Michigan in the Fall, what could be more unknown? Review the roster of guests to see if there is anyone you want to get together with while on the island. Review the schedule to make sure you have everything you need packed ie. Shoes for biking/walking, clothes for the Pink Pony, equipment for golf, etc.

Dress Code (or Attire)

While the weekend will be casual, Grand Hotel requires evening attire every day after 6:30 p.m. Men should be in a coat and tie. Women need to be dressed in their finest—a dress, skirt or pantsuit. This policy is in effect in all areas of the hotel except the Cupola Bar, where casual dress is acceptable at any time. You may want to bring some Albion gear for the weekend to be a part of turning the Island purple! Don't have any? Check out the Albion College Bookstore online.

General Information

Albion College Student Greeters

When you arrive at Shepler's ferry docks on Friday afternoon, please introduce yourself to the Albion College students in Albion attire. We hope you'll enjoy meeting these enthusiastic greeters who are there to welcome you to the event and answer any of your questions. You will see them throughout the weekend and we encourage you to take the opportunity to hear about life at Albion today.

Hotel Check-In

You may check into Grand Hotel beginning at 4:00 pm on Friday, October 2. However, early check-in may be available by contacting the hotel directly. Unless prior arrangements have been made, rooms will be held only until 6:00 pm on the day of arrival. Please call the hotel at 1-800-33-GRAND if you plan to arrive later than 6:00 pm. When you check into Grand Hotel, you will be given a guest card that will be your access to meals and activities during your stay. Please keep this with you at all times. Most guests find it convenient to insert it in the name tag on a lanyard provided to you by Albion College.

Grand Getaway Check-In and Information Desk

After you check in at the hotel's front desk, stop by the Albion registration desk adjacent to the front desk to pick up your name tag and information for the weekend. For the remainder of the Grand Getaway weekend, the Albion College information desk will be open as listed below.

  • Friday, October 2; 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 3; 8:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


Tipping is not permitted to any employee within Grand Hotel. However, tipping is appreciated on island taxis and other Grand Hotel properties, including The Gate House, Woods Restaurant, Cawthorne's Village Inn, Sushi Grand, Fort Mackinac Team Room and the Jockey Club at the Grand Stand.

Dining at Grand Hotel

Breakfasts and dinners are included in your Grand Getaway package. These meals will be held in the Main Dining Room of the hotel. Each guest must show their guest card to be seated for the meal. Albion College will have a special section of the Main Dining Room. If you would like to sit with a specific group of people, please enter the dining room as a group and tell the host or hostess the number in your party. They will do their best to accommodate the size of your group. If you have special dietary needs, please visit the concierge desk in the Parlor to review the menu prior to dining. Grand Hotel will be happy to prepare a meal that accommodates your needs. A children's menu is also available at each meal and can be requested from your server.


Grand Hotel check-out time is 11:00 a.m. Guests will receive a detailed letter from Grand Hotel under their door on the night before you check out with outgoing luggage tags and instructions. In addition, transportation and luggage pick-up details will be available at the Albion information desk (Friday and Saturday).

Schedule of Events (tentative)

Friday, October 2, 2020

3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Art, Antiques, and Interior Design Walking Tour of the Grand Hotel

Join Grand Hotel’s Resident Historian, Bob Tagatz, for an incredible voyage of information and discovery. Bob’s passion for preserving this world-renowned hotel will be apparent from his first sentence. Bob will offer a glimpse of the intentional daily care and balance necessary to offer guests modern amenities while embracing historic integrity. He will share thirty years of experience in historic preservation. This is an experience limited to 10 guests. A unique tour you won’t want to miss!

6:30 p.m.
Grand Dinner

Albion College reserved section of the Main Dining Room

8:30 p.m.
Legacy Celebration and Dessert with President Mauri Ditzler

Location: Grand Pavilion

A joyful opportunity to toast, honor and celebrate Dr. Mauri Ditzler. A reception of lavish desserts and cordials awaits you at this celebration that is personal, meaningful and outstanding for all of us as we unite to thank him and toast his good fortune and path forward into retirement.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

8:30 a.m.
Saturday Morning Walkabout

Meet your small group at the Albion College Information Desk (leaving the desk at 8:30 a.m.) to explore the Island with faculty, staff, students and other alumni. A variety of well-known island destinations will be included in each group’s explorations. Comfortable options for distances ranging from 1-3 miles. This is a great opportunity to venture out and soak up the beauty of Mackinac Island at a pace that offers fellowship and fresh air. Plan to see sights and share with others! Let us know if you wish to be a walking tour guide this year.

10:00 – 10:40 a.m.
Town Hall Meeting and Introduction of President Mathew Johnson

Location: Brighton Pavilion

An incredible opportunity to meet our new president and listen to his vision for Albion College. Dr. Mathew Johnson will guide us through his plan for our College now and into the years ahead. The landscape for liberal arts institutions is challenging and we believe this leader has the insight, experience and fortitude to keep us at the forefront of student recruitment and alumni engagement. His savvy approach to higher education and community development grabbed the attention of our skilled presidential search team. We are eager for this time at the Grand Hotel with our 17th president.

The future is Purple & Bold!

10:45 – 11:30 a.m.
Interactive Student Panel

Location: Brighton Pavilion

Always a favorite during the Grand Getaway weekend, our current students will interact with the Town Hall attendees and in their own words express a day-in-the-life on campus. These students will leave you spellbound as they describe wide ranging interests, majors, double majors and their extensive volunteer engagement on and off campus. Each year when we wrap up the Grand Getaway, our students are equally inspired by the alumni they meet on the Island. Please plan to highlight this session as a “Must Do” on your itinerary.

1:30 p.m.
Straits of Mackinac Faculty Chat

Location: West Front Porch

While overlooking the majestic Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge, plan to take this opportunity to interact with a small group of faculty. You will hear stories about current areas of focus and research in the liberal arts. Our faculty will be eager to listen to your experiences on campus, too. A mix of looking back and looking ahead will make this session meaningful for everyone. The remarkable setting will help you recall that feeling of being curious, pausing to soak it all in, and noticing a new spark of intrigue to learn even more about campus today.

2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Art, Antiques, and Interior Design Walking Tour of the Grand Hotel

See description from Friday event at 3 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

Plan to attend our second annual GRANDx modeled after the renowned TEDx series, our Grand Getaway version will showcase remarkable Britons sharing stimulating presentations highlighting their lifelong passions. Many of these talents were cultivated and nurtured on campus. You won’t want to miss these speakers! Feel free to come and go every 20 minutes to capture messages from each speaker that will keep the essence of TEDx with “ideas worth spreading.”

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Comprehensive Campaign Celebration and Cocktails on Grand Porch

Location: West Front Porch (Alt. Terrace Room)

Lovely reception for all of our Grand Getaway guests with remarks from our 17th president and chairman of the Board of Trustees reflecting on the success of our Purple & Bold comprehensive campaign. Alumni and friends of the College have given transformational gifts to support the growth, evolution and prestige of our college over the past six years. This “moment in time” on the porch will offer the opportunity to honor the past, relish the current and forge forward with resilience and capacity to remain exemplary. Join us and feel the excitement grow as we unveil the comprehensive campaign Grand Total for the first time!

7:00 p.m.
Grand Dinner

Albion College reserved section of Main Dining Room

Sunday, October 4, 2020

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Art, Antiques, and Interior Design Walking Tour of the Grand Hotel

See description from Friday event at 3 p.m.

Travel and Transportation

Charter Bus

Let us drive you! Take advantage of this round trip, charter bus from Albion College to Mackinaw City (with a pick-up in Lansing) for the Grand Getaway event!

The bus will make two pick-up and drop-off stops on the route, Albion College, and a safe carpool lot near Lansing. Leaving these stops Friday, October 2, early morning to arrive at Mackinaw City with time for you to get acquainted with the area, to the island and ready for the first activity. We will depart Mackinaw City on Sunday, October 4 in time for you to be home for dinner. Included in the trip are individual boxed breakfast on Friday and lunch Sunday.

Registration for the charter bus is $39/person round trip and can be found in the event registration.


The helpful ferry employees will tag your luggage at the mainland ferry dock and it will be delivered directly to your room at Grand Hotel (if you choose Shepler's Ferry). Please keep your luggage claim check with you to show at the front desk of the hotel during check-in. It may take up to two hours for your luggage to arrive at your room. If you are arriving on a late afternoon ferry, you may want to keep your luggage with you. Please check your itinerary for the first event on Friday evening.


Horse-drawn taxis are the best way to get around the island when it is not convenient to walk. Taxis will meet your ferry boat at the dock to take you up to the Grand Hotel. Hotel staff can help you arrange taxis as needed during the weekend as well. Taxi fares from the hotel begin at $5.00 per person one way; all fares are payable in cash as you exit the taxi. Tipping the taxi driver is appreciated.

Transportation Ferry

Shepler's is offering a discounted rate for guests of the Grand Getaway. From either the St. Ignace or the Mackinaw City docks, your round-trip ticket will be $19/adults and $10/children (ages 5-12). Tickets can be purchased when you arrive or ahead of time online. When you arrive at the docks, simply identify yourself as a member of the Albion College Grand Getaway group. You can purchase tickets online using promo code: “ACGG20.” No coupons are required. Please go to to find the ferry schedule and/or to purchase tickets ahead of time.

COVID-19 Information

With the continuous changes in COVID-19 regulations, we will do our best to provide updated information here as it pertains to the Grand Getaway.

Health and Safety Information from Grand Hotel.

  • MSN video - Island works to make visitors feel safe