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UMES celebrates 130th anniversary of historically Black land-grant universities

  • Dr. Heidi AndersonPRINCESS ANNE, MD – (August 26, 2020) - University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Dr. Heidi Anderson will join fellow presidents of the nation’s 1890 universities in this week’s celebration of the 130th anniversary of the federal legislation that designated them as land-grant institutions. The Morrill Act of 1890, signed on August 30 of that year, established a land-grant system of Historically Black Colleges and Universities that now number 21.  

    According to the Association of Public Land-grant Universities, these institutions “have a legacy helping to fill a crucial need of educating first-generation and economically disadvantaged college students; enhancing the resilience of limited-resource farmers, families, individuals and underserved communities; and pioneering the most advanced education, research and engagement programs to improve quality of life.”  

    “On the 130th anniversary of the Second Morrill Act, UMES affirms our institutional mission to provide access to an affordable, quality education to anyone who seeks it and is willing to put in the work it takes to be successful,” Anderson said. “I'm thrilled to serve on the upcoming panel to share the research, education and outreach we provide to our campus community as well as the broader community.”  

    Anderson will be a featured speaker during one of two panel discussions during an online forum Monday, August 31, from 1-3 p.m. that will explore the history and accomplishments of these institutions and the important role they play in the nation’s future.  Registration for the webinar is open to all by clicking here.  

    The land-grant philosophy is even more relevant today.  

    HBCUs provide a platform for addressing the three interlocking disparities of education, health and economic prosperity made more evident by the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking ahead, the APLU notes, the 1890 institutions plan to focus on these disparities while continuing to play a foundational role in the higher education system and in providing access and enhancing opportunities for all citizens.  

    During this week, leaders and members of the 1890 university community will use various platforms to reflect on and celebrate the legacy of these land-grant institutions, including on social media using #Celebrate1890s. They will highlight innovative programs and the role of the 1890 universities in developing solutions for local, regional and global challenges. The week will culminate with the webinar.  

    One panel will feature presidents Makola Abdullah of Virginia State University; Heidi Anderson of UMES; Paul Jones of Fort Valley State University; and Peter McPherson of the APLU. The webinar will also feature a second panel with private sector leaders such as Fred Humphries, corporate vice president of U.S. government affairs, Microsoft Corporation; Kellie Adesina, director, government affairs, Bayer U.S. – Crop Science; and Karis Gutter of Corteva Agriscience.  Trigg Hall

    The webinar will also feature remarks from prominent dignitaries such as Scott Hutchins, deputy undersecretary of agriculture for research, education and economics; representatives Alma Adams, chair of the House Agriculture Committee; David Scott, lead sponsor of the 1890 Scholarship Program; and Sanford Bishop, chair of the House Appropriations Committee;  Sherrod Brown, co-lead sponsor of the 1890 Centers of Excellence.  

    The 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 in Missouri, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, South Carolina State University, Southern University and A&M College, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore,  Virginia State University and West Virginia State University.  The University of the District of Columbia and the University of the Virgin Islands are HBCUs designated under the Morrill Act of 1862.

       

    Gail Stephens, agricultural communications and media associate, School of Agricultural & Natural Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 410-621-3850, gcstephens@umes.edu.