University of Vermont

The Honors College

UVM and the Promise of the Morrill Land-Grant Act - Faculty Seminar 2012

Summer 2011 Faculty Seminar

In 1862, President Lincoln signed into law the Morrill Land-Grant Act, creating the structure for the land-grant college and university system in the United States. The core purposes of the Act were to expand access to higher education for the working classes and to support the application of scientific research to the pursuit of progress in everyday life. Vermont Congressman Justin Morrill, the measure's primary sponsor, described those goals:

"This bill proposes to establish at least one college in every State upon a sure and perpetual foundation, accessible to all, but especially to the sons of toil, where all of needful science for the practical avocations of life shall be taught, where neither the higher graces of classical studies nor that military drill our country now so greatly appreciates will be entirely ignored, and where agriculture, the foundation of all present and future prosperity, may look for troops of earnest friends, studying its familiar and recondite economies, and at last elevating it to that higher level where it may fearlessly invoke comparison with the most advanced standards of the world."

From August 13-15, twenty UVM faculty members representing five different colleges and schools participated in the 2012 Honors College Faculty Seminar, whose focus was the future and legacy of the Morrill Act, on the occasion its sesquicentennial anniversary. The group, lead by Professor Cherie Morse, of the Department of Geography and the Center for Research on Vermont, and Dean Thomas Vogelman, of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, explored the storied history of UVM - the land grant institution of the State of Vermont--and some of the remarkable outreach, education, and research programs underway at the university today. The rich conversations of the three days have prompted the group to continue their discussion of the potential promise of the land grant mission in the future.

Last modified October 15 2012 01:33 PM