Adam's Practice Press Release
By Adam Hauptman (September 2010)
University Park, PA – Anticipating the sesquicentennial of the historic Morrill Land-Grant College Act of 1862, Penn State will host a scholarly conference on “The Legacy and the Promise: 150 Years of Land-Grant Universities,” June 22-24, 2011, on the University Park campus.
“In addition to scholars presenting papers on aspects of the history of the land-grant college movement, we are equally interested in scholars, administrators, and leaders who can address issues related to what the future may hold for land-grant universities,” said Roger L. Geiger, Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at Penn State and co-chair of the conference with Roger L. Williams, Executive Director of the Penn State Alumni Association and Affiliate Associate Professor of Higher Education.
Interested presenters are invited to submit proposals for papers dealing with either the history of land-grant universities or their contemporary challenges. Proposals should go to Professor Geiger at firstname.lastname@example.org. Publication of selected papers is anticipated for the 2012 issue of Perspectives on the History of Higher Education, which Geiger edits.
The conference is being supported by a number of Penn State entities: The Office of the Provost, the Penn State Alumni Association, the Center for the Study of Higher Education, the Higher Education Program, the College of Education, the College of Agricultural Sciences, and Penn State Outreach.
The Land-Grant College Act, introduced by Senator Justin Morrill of Vermont, became law on July 2, 1862, with the signature of President Abraham Lincoln. It sought to promote collegiate education in the practical fields of agriculture and the mechanic arts (engineering) and to place them in institutions of equal standing with those teaching the liberal arts. It also invested public resources—in this case federal land—to extend college access to the “industrial classes,” thus providing educational opportunity to a wider segment of the population, mobilizing public support for higher education, and contributing to national economic growth.