Campus News

UGA student-led event marks Morrill Act’s 150th anniversary

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences to celebrate ‘150 years of the Land Grant Legacy: Past, Present and Future’

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Student Government Association will host a panel discussion and barbecue celebrating the university’s legacy as a land-grant university on April 11 from 6-8 p.m. at the Chapel and Herty Field.

The event marks the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which provided states with funding and direction to found land-grant universities and strengthen agricultural and engineering education at the newly founded institutions. UGA became a land-grant institution in 1862.

“This year we mark the 150th anniversary of the land-grant university system,” said Scott Angle, dean of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, in an editorial written to honor the 150th anniversary. “We celebrate the advances the act provided. Today the U.S. has a safe, secure food supply, a well-educated population, vibrant centers of innovation and discovery; and hands-on local education enriches citizens’ lives.”

State Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, UGA ROTC commander Lt. Col. Kurt Felpel, Georgia 4-H Director Arch Smith, Angle and Brahm Verma, a faculty member from the department of biological and agricultural engineering, will participate in a panel discussion on the impact of UGA’s mission as a land-grant university.

Their discussion will be moderated by Bob Izlar, director of the UGA Center for Forest Business at the Warnell School of Forest and Natural Resources.

Agricultural communication and education student Anna McIntyre, one of the event’s organizers and SGA senator representing CAES, hopes the event will give students who are unfamiliar with the mission of land-grant universities a better understanding of UGA’s outreach mission.

The event also will include a video featuring Morrill Act celebrations at other land-grant universities.

State dignitaries, like Rep. Terry England, R-Auburn; Rep. Chuck Williams, R-Watkinsville; and Sen. Frank Ginn, R-Danielsville, will also be on hand.

CAES student volunteers will host a barbecue dinner, open to faculty, staff and students, at 6 p.m. on Herty Field before the panel discussion begins at 7 p.m.

The anniversary of the Morrill Act is July 2, and other organizations on the UGA campus are planning events, to be announced at a later date. The Office of the Vice President of Public Service and Outreach will release a website celebrating the act on April 16.