History of Michigan State University

History Of Michigan State University

History of Michigan State University

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The history of Michigan State University (MSU) dates back to 1855, when the Michigan Legislature established the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, with three buildings, five faculty members and 63 male students. As the first agricultural college in the United States, the school served as a prototype for future Land Grant institutions under the Morrill Act enacted during Abraham Lincoln's presidential administration. The school's first class graduated in 1861 right after the onset of the American Civil War. That same year, the Michigan Legislature approved a plan to allow the school to adopt a four-year curriculum and grant degrees comparable to those of the University of Michigan.

In 1870, the College became co-educational and expanded its curriculum beyond agriculture into a broad array of coursework commencing with home economics for women students. The school admitted its first African American student in 1899. Not long before this, in 1885, the College had begun offering degrees in engineering and other applied sciences to students. The 26th U.S. President, Theodore Roosevelt, addressed the school at the 1907 commencement, an event coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the school's opening. During this period, the school established "Farmers' Institutes" as a means of reaching out to the state's agricultural community and informing the membership of developments in agricultural science; the program gradually became the MSU Extension...
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