Penn State — Pennsylvania's Land-Grant University

Making Life Better for 150 Years

The commonwealth chartered Penn State in 1855 for the purpose of bringing modern science to bear in making agriculture more productive and efficient. In 1863, the General Assembly designated Penn State the commonwealth’s sole land-grant institution.

In honor of the University’s ongoing contributions to the commonwealth and in recognition of Penn State’s upcoming sesquicentennial celebration, Rep. Lynn Herman, Rep. Kerry Benninghoff and Sen. Jake Corman have proposed resolutions celebrating Penn State’s designation as Pennsylvania’s singular land-grant University. On March 29, the House and Senate will vote on the resolutions.

Following are links to related stories.


  Land grant presentation to Pa. House Education Committee

Legislators in Harrisburg have been hearing from Penn State officials about how Penn State is fulfilling its land grant mission in the 21st century. Diane M. Disney, dean of the Penn State Commonwealth College; Gary Miller, associate vice president for outreach; and Ted Krichels, associate vice president for outreach, gave this presentation.

To view the presentation, click here.

Top


  Land grant presentation to Transportation Committee

Throughout May and June legislators in Harrisburg will be hearing from Penn State officials about how Penn State is fulfilling its land grant mission in the 21st century. Kevin Abbey, director of the Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies; John Mason, associate dean, College of Engineering, and John C. Spychalski, professor of supply chain management, gave the presentation.

To view the presentation, click here.

Top


  Land grant presentation to Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee

Throughout May and June legislators in Harrisburg will be hearing from Penn State officials about how Penn State is fulfilling its land grant mission in the 21st century. Dave Filson, regional director for the South Central Region, Penn State Cooperative Extension, Bruce McPheron, director and associate dean of research, College of Agricultural Sciences; and David Wolfgang, senior research associate, College of Agricultural Sciences, gave the presentation.

To view the presentation, click here.

Top


  Land grant presentation by James Thomas

Throughout May and June legislators in Harrisburg will be hearing from Penn State officials about how Penn State is fulfilling its land grant mission in the 21st century. On May 5, James Thomas, dean of Penn State’s School of Information Sciences and Technology, presented before the Senate Communications and Technology Committee. Seven more hearings are planned over the next six weeks.

To view the presentation, click here.

Top


 

Letter from Rep. Lynn Herman

This letter, written by state Rep. Lynn Herman, is intended to inform Penn Staters of Herman's efforts regarding recognition of Penn State's 150th anniversary.

Dear Friend of Penn State:

This year, 2004, marks the beginning of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Penn State’s founding, and I have been working with Penn State officials to have this prestigious occasion properly acknowledged in the State Legislature.

For the full story, click here.

Top


 

Land grant presentation by Dave DeWalle and Paul Knight

Throughout May and June legislators in Harrisburg will be hearing from Penn State officials about how Penn State is fulfilling its land grant mission in the 21st century. On May 12, Dave DeWalle, professor of forest hydrology, and Paul Knight, instructor of meteorology, presented before the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. Seven more hearings are planned over the next six weeks.

To view the presentation, click here.

Top


 

Letter from Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell

This letter is in support of the House and Senate resolutions celebrating Penn State at the land-grant university of the commonwealth.

Dear Graham:

I regret that I cannot attend Monday evening' s festivities surrounding the adoption of House Resolution 600 and Senate Resolution 209 congratulating Penn State on its founding nearly 150 years ago. It is certainly cause for celebration by all Pennsylvanians who benefit from Penn State's outstanding contributions and service to the commonwealth.

For the full story, click here.

Top


 

Land-Grant press conference remarks by
University President Graham B. Spanier

March 29, 2004
1 p.m. Land-Grant press conference

Thank you Representative Herman, Representative Benninghoff, Senator Corman, and friends and supporters of Penn State who are with us today for this celebration of the historic and vibrant relationship between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its land-grant university, The Pennsylvania State University.

For the full story, click here.

Top


 

Land-grant press conference remarks by Rep. Lynn Herman

March 29, 2004
1 p.m. land-grant press conference

Good afternoon, and thank you for being with us on this very historic day for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Immediately after this press conference, first the House and then the Senate, will adopt resolutions congratulating The Pennsylvania State University on the start of its sesquicentennial celebration and its designation as Pennsylvania’s land-grant university.

For the full story, click here.

Top


 

Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences:
Leading the land grant mission of the future

IToday (March 29), Pennsylvania legislators will vote on resolutions resolutions celebrating Penn State’s designation as Pennsylvania’s singular land-grant university. This story is just one example of Penn State's impact on the commonwealth.

On May 6, 1862, two months before Congress passed the Morrill Act that established land-grant status and funding for selected colleges and universities across the country, the founders of Farmers High School of Pennsylvania changed the school's name to the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania. That move positioned the institution -- chartered in 1855 and situated on a 200-acre tract in Centre County that would later become Penn State's University Park campus -- to be the commonwealth's focal point for land-grant education.

For the full story, click here.

Top


 

Land-Grant press conference remarks by Rep. Lynn Herman

IGood afternoon, and thank you for being with us on this very historic day for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Immediately after this press conference, first the House and then the Senate, will adopt Resolutions congratulating The Pennsylvania State University on the start of its sesquicentennial celebration and its designation as Pennsylvania’s land-grant university.

For the full story, click here.

Top


 

The impact of today’s land-grant institutions is broad and deep

Right from the start, Penn State was seen as an institution that had a duty to make life better for Pennsylvania’s citizens. This mission was formalized when Penn State became, in 1862 with the signing of the Morrill Act, one of the nation’s first land-grant institutions. On March 29 in Harrisburg, the University will celebrate its land-grant designation. We take this mission seriously, remaining deeply committed to fulfilling the Morrill Act signed into law by President Lincoln. In 1862, the United States was a nation that could barely feed itself. Today, it feeds much of the world, thanks to advances in agriculture pioneered at Penn State and other land-grant institutions nationwide. Communities, businesses, and local governments throughout Pennsylvania and across the country look to land-grant institutions for answers to vexing economic, social, and cultural challenges..

For the full story, click here.

Top


 

Legislators propose resolutions to recognize Penn State
as the commonwealth’s Land-Grant University

In honor of the University’s ongoing contributions to the commonwealth and in recognition of Penn State’s upcoming sesquicentennial celebration, Rep. Lynn Herman, Rep. Kerry Benninghoff and Sen. Jake Corman have proposed resolutions celebrating Penn State’s designation as Pennsylvania’s singular land-grant University.

For the full story, click here.

Top


 

House Resolution HR 600 honors Penn State

A resolution congratulating The Pennsylvania State University on the commencement of its sesquicentennial celebration and reaffirming its designation as Pennsylvania's land-grant university can be found by clicking here.

Top


 

Senate Resolution SR 209 honors Penn State

A resolution congratulating The Pennsylvania State University on the commencement of its sesquicentennial celebration and reaffirming its designation as Pennsylvania's land-grant university can be found by clicking here.

Top


 

Land-grant concept still guides Penn State

"Land-grant” is a term that will be seen and heard frequently during Penn State’s upcoming sesquicentennial year. But in the popular mind, it’s also one of the least understood terms in higher education, according to University President Graham B. Spanier.

"People often relate land-grant education to agricultural education, when in fact the context is much broader,” Spanier said. "Penn State was a college of scientific agriculture before Congress passed the Land-Grant Act in 1862. That legislation obligated the University to expand its curriculum to include such fields as science, engineering and the liberal arts, and gave Penn State a three-part mission of teaching, research and service that has guided it ever since.”

For the full story, click here.

Top


 

Background information about the Morrill Act

Once the South left the Union, the remaining northern states began passing a number of measures which the South had blocked prior to 1860. One of those measures was the Morrill Act of 1862, which made it possible for the new western states to establish colleges for their citizens. Ever since colonial times, basic education had been a central tenet of American democratic thought. By the 1860s, higher education was becoming more accessible, and many politicians and educators wanted to make it possible for all young Americans to receive some sort of advanced education.

For the full story, click here.

Top


 

The Land-grant tradition

Above the columns of Old Main on Penn State's University Park campus are words from the July 2, 1862, Act of Congress signed by Abraham Lincoln: "To promote liberal and practical education in the several pursuits and professions of life." This is followed by words from the April 1, 1863 Act of the State Legislature: "And the Faith of the state is hereby pledged to carry the same into effect."

For the full story, click here.

Top


 

Pennsylvania Impact – Teaching, research and
cooperative extension working for Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Impact is a new series of publications that describes how Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences serves the people of Pennsylvania. Through teaching, research and Penn State Cooperative Extension programs, the college is making a significant contribution to the economic health of Pennsylvania and its broad agricultural sectors, to the health and well-being of our families and communities, and to the preservation of our environment and natural resources.

For the full story, click here.

Top


 

Penn State Outreach: Making Life Better

Nearly one third of all Penn State faculty members statewide are engaged annually in formal outreach scholarship through the Outreach units (Continuing Education, Cooperative Extension, Penn State Public Broadcasting and World Campus). In addition, more than 225 individual units from every college and 24 campus locations are dedicated to outreach as a significant part of their missions. The thousands of faculty members, researchers and graduate students who work in these research centers and institutes, technology transfer units and community education partnership programs demonstrate every day Penn State's commitment to the land grant mission.

For Outreach success stories, click here.

Top


 

University research benefits commonwealth, nation and world

When Evan Pugh, the first president of Penn State, arrived in 1859, he immediately established a laboratory. As he wrote, no true teacher “contents himself with merely attending to his classes, and sitting down at ease after he has got them at work. He is studying constantly himself; making original investigations and publishing them to the world.” This ethic of study, discovery, and publication has characterized Penn State since its founding and led to the University’s recognition as one of the leading research universities in the country. One dramatic measure of Penn State’s success is the continued rapid growth in the University’s research expenditures, which in fiscal year 2003 reached a total of $545 million. What the numbers alone cannot show, however, is how all that activity impacts daily life.

For the full story, click here.

Top


 

University gears up for sesquicentennial celebration

More than 1,500 people have suggested names for the new ice cream flavor that the University Creamery will debut later this year as part of Penn State’s sesquicentennial celebration. Entries came from all over the country and from as far away as Hong Kong, according to Eston Martz, publications coordinator in the College of Agricultural Sciences. The official sesquicentennial begins July 1 and will be a yearlong observance. Penn State will be 150 years old on Feb. 22, 2005 -- 150 years after Gov. James Pollock signed the charter that established the college of scientific agriculture that grew to be one of the world’s most distinguished centers of higher education.

For the full story, click here.

Top


 

Penn State history and traditions

For information about Penn State's history and traditions, click here.

Top


 

Penn State Fact Book

In addition to general information about Penn State, the Fact Book contains a wide variety of information on students, faculty and staff; budget and finances; research expenditures; and alumni and development activities.

For the full story, click here.

Top


  For more information about any of the stories on this Web site, contact Amy Neil at aen4@psu.edu


Top

Penn State home page