The Morrill Act: A Look at 150 Years of Learning, Discovery and Engagement

  • Northwest Ordinance

    Northwest Ordinance
    The Northwest Ordinance required that states from the Northwest set aside two townships to support higher education institutions. This legislation became the precedent to the Morrill Act (Sherwood, 2004).
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    University Land Grant Institutions Timeline

  • Ohio University Established

    Ohio University Established
    Ohio University became the first institution formed after the passage of the Northwest Ordinance. It became the first institution founded in the Northwestern Territory (Ohio University History, 2012).
  • Jonathan Turner’s Plan

    Jonathan Turner’s Plan
    Jonathan Turner created and presented “A Plan for a State University for the Industrial Classes”. In the plan Turner mentioned the importance of college agricultural education for interested individuals. These ideas later resonated in the 1860s (IFAS, 2007).
  • Michigan Establishes First School of Agriculture

    Michigan Establishes First School of Agriculture
    The Michigan Agriculture society pressured the state to form a college of Agriculture. The Michigan Legislature establishes the Agriculture College of the State of Michigan (now Michigan State University). This college brought awareness and support to the idea of educating students in agricultural studies (IFAS, 2007).
  • Morrill Attempts Introduction of Land Grant Bill

    Morrill Attempts Introduction of Land Grant Bill
    In 1857 Justin Morrill, a Vermont representative and farmer introduced a land grant bill after concerns that the recent agricultural colleges wouldn’t receive a great amount of support. President Buchanan vetoed the bill citing economic conditions and land speculators for his reasoning (IFAS, 2007).
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Established

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Established
    Looking to recover from the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln leads a push and establishes the U.S. Department of Agriculture (National Archive, 2012).
  • The Homestead Act

    The Homestead Act
    The Homestead Act, granting 160 acres of public land to anyone who would improve and occupy it, directly contributed to the importance of land grant institutioins (National Archives 2012).
  • The Pacific Railway Act

    The Pacific Railway Act
    The Pacific Railway Act, facilitating construction of the trans- continental railroad. This act was part of major growth West (NASULGC).
  • Morrill Act Passed

    Morrill Act Passed
    Morrill act passes. The act granted each state 30,000 acres of public land for each Senator and Representative under apportionment based on the 1860 census. Proceeds from the sale of these lands were to be invested in an endowment fund which would provide support for colleges of agriculture (Brubacher & Rudy, 2008).
  • Iowa State - First Land Grant Institution

    Iowa State - First Land Grant Institution
    Iowa State becomes the first institution founded after the passage of the Morrill Act. This made Iowa State the first official co-educational land grant institution in the United States (First Land Grant).
  • Hatch Act

    Hatch Act
    The Hatch Act provided for an agricultural experiment station at each land grant college. The purpose of the act was to promote research, promotion, production and distribution of products that enhanced a prosperous agricultural industry. This expanded the scope and importance of agriculture in relation to college (NASULGC, 1995).
  • Second Morrill Act

    Second Morrill Act
    A second Act was established in 1890. This act assisted with the land grant institutions by giving institutions “direct annual infusions” of federal aid. Additionally, states either had to demonstrate that race or color was not a factor for admission to these institutions, or establish separate land grants for black colleges (NASULGC, 1995).
  • Historically Black Land-Grant Institutions

    Historically Black Land-Grant Institutions
    Although the Morrill Act of 1890 was passed to further fund those 1862 institutions, it contained a history-making provision: that states practicing racial discrimination in admissions to 1862 schools could not share in the additional funds provided by the 1890 act. Delaware State College and North Carolina Agriculture and Technology State University began one year later in 1891, the first two Historically Black Land-Grant Institutions, to follow the Morrill Act (National Archive, 2012).
  • Adams Act

    Adams Act
    The Adams act, sponsored by Henry C. Adams of Wisconsin, enhanced the Hatch Act by appropriating $15,000 more to the agricultural experiment stations. It also requested more original research be done in that area (Rosenburg, 1964).
  • Smith-Lever Act

    Smith-Lever Act
    The Smith-Lever Act established Cooperative extension as a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the various land grant institutions. The purpose of this program is to use research knowledge and education to assist in agriculture, food and the environment (IFAS, 2007).
  • National Youth Administration Created

    National Youth Administration Created
    Congress creates the National Youth Administration to enable college students to earn money by performing educationally useful tasks and to continue their studies (APLU, 2012).
  • The Bankhead-Jones Act

    The Bankhead-Jones Act
    The Bankhead-Jones Act added to the annual appropriations for land-grant institutions. To stimulate growth during the Great Depression, It increased the amount given to land grant institutions to $8,100,000 (IFAS, 2007).
  • The Bankhead-Flannagan Act

    The Bankhead-Flannagan Act
    The Bankhead-Flannagan act furthers the development of cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics. It increased the amount of funds that were available for that program. It also In 1945, Congress passed the Bankhead-Flanagan Act which recognized 4-H as one of nine Extension responsibilities and gave Extension Service additional public support. Through this Act, Congress authorized nearly $8 million of a total appropriation of over $12 million for furthering 4-H (APLU, 2012).
  • The Land-Grant Endowment Funds Bill

    The Land-Grant Endowment Funds Bill
    This Land-Grant Endowment Funds bill protects federal and private endowments from “unilateral federal action” to deflect them from the purposes for which they were granted (APLU, 2012).
  • Hawaii Land Grant

    Hawaii Land Grant
    The University of Hawaii is given land-grant status. The University is given a $6 million endowment due to the lack of federal land to establish an endowment, establishing a new precedent. (APLU, 2012)
  • U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Report

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Report
    The Commissioin report recommends that federal funds only be given to public institutions that do not discriminate based on race, color, or religion (APLU, 2012).
  • The Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1963

    The Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1963
    This recognizes federal responsibility for assistance to colleges and universities through grants and loans for the construction of academic facilities (APLU, 2012).
  • The Higher Education Act of 1965

    The Higher Education Act of 1965
    The Higher Education act funds numerous higher education programs. The most notable of these programs is student aid (APLU, 2012).
  • The District of Columbia Post Secondary Education Reorganization Act

    The District of Columbia Post Secondary Education Reorganization Act
    This piece of legislation awards land-grant status to Federal City College, which is now the University of the District of Columbia. This established the precedent for federal trust areas to be allowed participation in the land grant system (Sherwood, 2004).
  • Todd Felts is Born

    Todd Felts is Born
    Todd Felts is born in North Carolina. Mr. Felts, nearly 38 years later, becomes an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, a land grant institution. Along with Angelo Geter, who lives near where Todd was born, creates this timeline for a graduate class in higher education at Drexel University. The two of them have never met, as the class is entirely online.
  • Education Amendments of 1972 (Public Law 92-318)

    Education Amendments of 1972 (Public Law 92-318)
    Under this legislation the University of Guam, Northern Marianas College, the Community Colleges of American Samao and Micronesia and the College of the Virgin Islands secure land-grant status (APLU, 2012).
  • US Dept of Education Established

    US Dept of Education Established
    The U.S. Department of Education is established (NASULGC, 1995).
  • Angelo Geter is Born

    Angelo Geter is Born
    Angelo Geter is born in South Carolina. Nearly 26 years later, Mr. Geter works as an Academic Learning Specialist at Clinton Junior College. His school is a two-year, historically black, private school founded in 1894, just three years after North Carolina A&T University. Along with Todd Felts, he creates this timeline for a graduate class in higher education at Drexel University. The two of them have never met, as the class is entirely online.
  • Federal Government Begins Direct Lending

    Federal Government Begins Direct Lending
    The federal government begins “direct lending”. This program enables colleges and universities to provide loans using federal funds directly to students, and thereby avoiding private lenders and streamlining the process (APLU, 2012).
  • Reauthorization of 1965 Higher Education Act

    Reauthorization of 1965 Higher Education Act
    President Bush signs the Higher Education Act Amendments, reauthorizing the 1965 Higher Education Act (APLU, 2012).
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act

    Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act
    This act granted land-grant status to 29 Native American colleges. The bill authorized a $23 million endowment for them to be built over the course of 5 years. The colleges are to also receive interest payments from the endowment each year. (IFAS, 2007). In addition, the legislation authorized a $1.7 million challenge grant program for higher education programs in agriculture and natural resources, colleges, and $50 K per school for higher education (National Archive, 2012).
  • Farm Bill

    Farm Bill
    Reauthorizes grants to upgrade agricultural and food sciences facilities at 1890 land-grant institutions. In addition, the Farm Bill aslo requires Smith-Lever 3(d) special emphasis extension funds to be awarded competitively (National Archives, 2012).
  • 150th Anniversary of Morrill Act

    150th Anniversary of Morrill Act
    This day will mark the 150th Anniversary of the Morrill Act, which granted each state 30,000 acres of public land for each Senator and Representative under apportionment based on the 1860 census. Proceeds from the sale of these lands were to be invested in an endowment fund which would provide support for colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts in each of the states (Sherwood 2004).