July 5, 2012

Celebrating 150 Years: The University of Florida

Today’s land grant fact: 
The University of Florida. A Grand Example of the Land-Grant University
1895 “Picnic on the Suwannee” 
Students from the Florida Agricultural College in Lake City 
relax at a picnic at Florida’s iconic Suwannee River.

The Morrill Act in 1862 was designed to donate federal land (30,000 acres) to each state and territory as an endowment to support the “land grant universities”. The intent of the bill was to provide a broad segment of the population with a practical education that had direct relevance to their daily lives. Florida Agricultural College became the first land grant college in the state, and the small college emphasized the scientific training of agricultural and mechanical specialists. In 1903, the Florida Legislature changed the name of Florida Agricultural College to the "University of Florida", in recognition of the legislature's desire to expand the curriculum beyond the college's original agricultural and engineering educational missions.

The University of Florida is proud to be a land grant university that supports the local County Extension offices.

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