Morrill Act Sesquicentennial 1862-2012

Celebrating the enduring power of the
land-grant vision of higher education

The nation’s pioneer land-grant university, Michigan State joins the national
celebration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Morrill Act and
the creation of land-grant institutions of higher education.


It was a bold beginning. In the mid-nineteenth century, the country needed colleges to educate the nation’s young to become farmers, engineers, educators, and scientists. So in 1855, Michigan State was founded and soon opened its doors to those who would go on to help build the nation. While democratizing higher education, we created a revolutionary model for the land-grant colleges that would be established with the signing of the Morrill Act in 1862.

We changed lives. And we began to change the world.

Today, there is an urgent need for higher education to meet the new and significant challenges facing a global society. Public research universities with land-grant values are positioned to make a difference by doing what they do exceptionally well - putting knowledge and research discoveries to work to make life better.

Pioneers Again!

Once again, higher education is being called upon to take action. And once again, Michigan State is leading the way.

We are determined to find solutions to the big problems of our time - providing alternative energy, clean water, food security, and quality education.

Crossing disciplines, cultures, and continents, we work side by side with individuals and fellow universities, corporations, communities, and countries in partnerships that produce enduring commitments and awe-inspiring results in Michigan and around the world.

Today and every day,
Michigan State University
Spartans work to advance
the common global good
in uncommon ways.