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125th Anniversary of the Signing of the Second Morrill Act of 1890

  • The Celebration (November 2014 - December 2015) The 1890s


    WELCOME . . .

    . . . to the 125th Anniversary of the Second Morrill Act of 1890 celebration
    website for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. We invite you to join us throughout the year as we celebrate an important part of this country's history, the signing of the Second Morrill Act of 1890.

    At UMES, the celebration began during the 11th Annual Small Farm
    Conference November 2014 and it will continue throughout 2015 with a
    number of upcoming celebratory events!

    Special Anniversary Spring Seminar Series
    Thursdays, February 5 - May 7, 2015

    The 2015 Seminar Series is one part of our year-long celebration of the 125th anniversary of the signing of the Second Morrill Act of 1890.  Along with the
    dissemination of informational pieces, various activities will serve to impress the remarkable history of the 1890s upon the minds of our many participants.

    Graduate Education and 125th Anniversary Week
    April 20-24, 2015

    The School of Graduate Studies at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore holds its Regional Research Symposium at the Student Services Center on
    the campus. Dozens of student-researchers and faculty from UMES and other universities and high schools will participate in the sixth-annual event organized to draw attention to the scholarly work taking place at a historically black institution with a land-grant mission.

    National 1890 Day
    April 23, 2015

    The National 1890 Day, will be held on Thursday, April 23, 2015, and will
    include a wellness walk at every 1890 land-grant institution nationwide and in Washington, D.C. To register,  For student registration, .

    1890s on the Hill
    July 15, 2015

    Exhibits by the 1890 Universities in the Madison Building; testimonies before House and Senate Committees on Agriculture; visits with U.S. senators and representatives, and proclamation honoring the 1890s.

    1890 Convocation
    July 16, 2015

    Library of Congress. Stay tuned for details.

    1890 National Day of Prayer
    August 30, 2015

    Commemorating the actual signing of the Second Morrill Act on August
    30, 1890.

    *For more information about events throughout the year, visit The 1890 Universities  on the web.


    YESTERDAY . . .

    In 1862, the First Morrill Act was passed, establishing at least one college in every state “accessible to all, but especially to the sons of toil.” This Act was introduced by Senator Justin Morrill, known as the Father of the Land-Grant Institutions. A magnanimous leader, Morrill’s vision was about education for all social classes and a shift from predominantly classical studies to applied studies — preparing students for the real world and advancing the nation by providing opportunity to educate all classes of its citizenry.

    Not only was Morrill’s vision one of true democracy in higher education, he was also an abolitionist. In 1865, about 4 million hard-working, but primarily illiterate, blacks were free from slavery. According to Justin Morrill, “They are members of the American family, and their advancement concerns us all.” Thus, he introduced The Second Morrill Act of 1890 which included this class of laborers. Congress did pass the Second Morrill Act of 1890, which included the stipulation that African Americans were to be included in the U.S. Land-Grant University Higher Education System without discrimination. The 17 southern and border states would not consent to the admission of blacks to their institutions. Therefore, in the legislation, it was allowable for these 17 states to found a second land-grant institution, which became known as the Negro Land-Grant Institutions and today as the 1890 Land-Grant Universities and Tuskegee University (the 1890s).

    TODAY . . .

    The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) is an integral part of the distinct institutions known as the 1890 Land-Grant Universities. We serve as ladders to opportunity, especially for those students with limited access to education. We offer campus climates that foster student satisfaction and a sense of community, leverage diversity to enrich the learning environment, and contribute to the strength of the nation’s workforce that recognizes a diversity of perspectives and a richness of varied talents and ideas.

    All of the 1890 universities:

    •Share a common thread — the distinction of having teaching, research and extension programs of the highest quality in the food, agricultural, and related sciences.
    •Integrate expert research with community-based Extension initiatives.
    •Are proud USDA partners. As a part of our mandate as land-grant universities, the 1890s receive federal funding annually from USDA/NIFA to engage in programs that are stake-holder driven and respond to emerging issues related to food and agricultural sciences.

    TOMORROW . . .

    UMES and the 1890s will continue to lead the collaborative vision of a better world, address the challenges of our time and focus our work on lifelong learning opportunities for all. We fervently commit to improve the socioeconomic status of the impoverished and help to transform lives at the local, regional, national and global levels.