Michigan State University’s Agriculture Hall has a new name.
On Thursday, the building was rededicated as the Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture.
At its April meeting, the MSU Board of Trustees voted to rename the building in honor of the man who, as a United States Congressman, brought about the establishment of the land-grant university. The Morrill Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862.
As many as 40 descendants of Morrill, along with a host of MSU dignitaries, took part in the Thursday ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“This isn’t just about celebrating a legacy,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, “it’s about celebrating enduring values.”
Earlier this year, the original Morrill Hall was vacated and demolished. A wooden structure originally built in 1900, the building had suffered irreparable deterioration. As a result, it was determined that reconstruction and restoration of the facility would not be economically feasible.
The academic units that were housed in Morrill Hall have since moved to locations in Wells Hall and the Old Horticulture Building.
MSU is in the process of honoring the original site of Morrill Hall. A restoration project is underway that will include a terrace with green space, extensive landscaping; special paving, seat walls and piers that will hold commemorative plaques.