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The walls of the original Old Main rise behind Abraham Lincoln giving a rooted sapling to a young student. In 1862 Lincoln signed into law the Morrill Land-Grant Act, which provided federal support for institutions of higher learning where "the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts." In Lincoln, Poor saw a symbol of hope and faith in the promise of higher education.