Will Hehemann | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
Culminating a year-long celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Second Morrill Act and the creation of the nation’s 19 historically black land-grant universities (the 1890s), the U.S. Senate passed a resolution introduced by Sen. John Boozman that designates August 30, 2015 as “1890 Land-Grant Institutions Quasquicentennial Recognition Day.”
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. Today, these universities continue their mission of providing educational access to all through research and Extension.
“The contributions of 1890 land-grant universities to scientific research are changing the world,” Sen. Boozman said. “Their mission is still as relevant today as we seek advanced methods to improve our food sources and offer all students an opportunity to realize their dream of a college education. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff was created by the Second Morrill Act and is an accomplished leader in agriculture innovation. I am proud to recognize UAPB and all 1890 land-grant universities.”
At a Sept. 25 speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Bruce Westerman credited UAPB with being one of the nation’s premier Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He also congratulated Sidney Smith, a senior computer science major at UAPB, for being named one of 83 HBCU All-Stars. The White House Initiative on HBCUs started the program to recognize the academic achievements, leadership and civic engagement of top students.
“I congratulate Sidney and tip my hat to all HBCUs for the work they are doing in communities across America,” he said. “You are giving generations of young people a brighter future and helping them to make America what they dream it to be.”
In addition to UAPB, the other 1890 land-grant universities are Alabama A&M University, Alcorn State University, Central State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Langston University, Lincoln University, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, South Carolina State University, Southern University System, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Virginia State University and West Virginia State University.