Debbie Archer | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
The nation’s 19 predominately black, land-grant universities, known collectively as 1890s, have scheduled a Day of Prayer on Sunday, August 30 to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the signing of the bill that created them.
Known as the Second Morrill Act, the bill, signed on August 30, 1890, created universities and colleges for residents in Southern and border states, who, because of their race, were denied admission to the publically-funded and supported 1862 universities.
The 1890 universities are asking faith communities across the country to join in this commemoration. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff was founded as a result of the Second Morrill Act.
The 1890 Day of Prayer is part of the 125th year-long celebration which included National 1890 Day, a 1.890 mile run/walk on April 21. In mid-July, presidents/chancellors from six of the institutions testified before a congressional committee on the value and impact of these institutions. This three-day event, with representatives from throughout the nation, also included exhibits highlighting work from various universities and concluded with a convocation at the Library of Congress.
In August, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution commemorating the 125th anniversary. During the remainder of the year, various campuses will hold a variety of commemorative events and activities. UAPB’s School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences will again celebrate the anniversary during Ag Field Day on September 17.
“The 1890 land-grant universities are a major education resource for the nation and continue to be a key producer of leaders who render valuable service to their communities, the nation and the world,” Dr. Edmund R. Buckner, interim dean/director of UAPB’s School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences, said.
The 1890s have spent 125 years of providing access and enhancing opportunities and have a three-fold mission:
- Prepare – advance a student’s earning potential and upward mobility
- Discover – find solutions to the problems, obstacles and dilemmas faced by individuals, families and communities, and
- Enhance – extend university research and knowledge beyond the campus walls.