The nation’s pioneer land-grant university, Michigan State University, celebrates more than 160 years of land-grant vision and values on Founders Day.
On Feb. 12, 1855, the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, now known as MSU, was founded to provide a practical education to all citizens regardless of social class. It was a bold experiment that revolutionized higher education, and MSU became the first institution of higher learning in the United States to teach scientific agriculture.
The U.S. needed more institutions like MSU during the mid-19th century to educate its people to become farmers, engineers, educators and scientists — those who would help build a strong nation. On July 2, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, allowing for the creation of land-grant colleges. MSU is the model for the land-grant system across the country.
Today, true to MSU’s land-grant mission and its position as a top global research university, Spartans work to advance the common good with an uncommon will.