A delegation from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) participated recently in the 1890s on the Hill Celebration, held in Washington, D.C. The event marked the 125th anniversary of the signing of the Second Morrill Act of 1890 and the creation of the nation’s 19 historically black land-grant universities (the 1890s).
Representatives from the universities shared academic and Extension research at an exhibition held at the Madison Building of the Library of Congress. UAPB presenters included Dr. Muthusamy Manoharan, associate professor of agriculture at UAPB, Dr. Rebecca Lochmann interim chair of the UAPB Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries, Dr. Jaheon Koo, associate professor of regulatory science, and Michele Thompson and Greyson Farris, graduate students of aquaculture/fisheries.
A convocation held at the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building culminated the celebration. Tom Vilsak, the nation’s 30th Secretary of Agriculture, and M. Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities (APLU) spoke at the event. Secretary Vilsack said that the research occurring at 1890s is critical to addressing many of the food, health and environmental concerns our nation faces.
“The 1890s on the Hill Celebration was a tremendous opportunity for the universities to gather on Capitol Hill and share their many accomplishments,” said Edmund R. Buckner, interim dean/director of the UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences. “Their contributions benefit not only underserved communities, but society as a whole.”
Justin Morrill, the author of the Second Morrill Act, believed that all people deserved the right to education, regardless of race or social class. The Act extended educational access to former slaves through the 1890 land-grant universities, which had a shared goal of educating students in practical fields such as agriculture and mechanical engineering.