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Celebrating our foundation
150 year anniversary of the Morrill Act
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
(A regular column by WSU President Elson S. Floyd)
In the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law a piece of legislation that would ultimately transform public higher education in the United States. Named for the Vermont lawmaker behind the idea, the Morrill Act granted every state 30,000 acres of federal land for each member of its Congressional delegation.
The intent of the act was to provide an incentive to the states to create institutions of higher education that would extend the teaching of agriculture, mechanical arts, military sciences and the "classics” to men and women from all walks of life. It would lay the groundwork for the democratization of public higher education all across our nation, marking for many Americans their first true hope of obtaining a meaningful education for themselves and their posterity.
.... As our state’s land-grant institution, Washington State University now has a long and unbroken heritage of providing an education to first-generation college students as well as many other students from underrepresented populations.
Please click on the following link to read the full Perspectives column.