1890 Universities, Elected Officials, Business and Community Leaders to Celebrate the 130th Anniv

Thursday, August 27, 2020


Federal Legislation Created a System of 19 1890 Land-grant Universities


ORANGEBURG, S.C. – The presidents and chancellors of the nation’s 1890 universities have announced the celebration of the 130th anniversary of the federal legislation that designated them as land-grant institutions will occur Aug. 24-31. The Morrill Act of 1890 established a land-grant university system of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in states where African Americans were banned from accessing a public higher education.


1890 June 24“The 19 historically black land-grant colleges and universities are more than just brick and mortar. They are beacons of hope,” said SC State University president James E. Clark. “For 130 years, 1890s have provided African Americans access to opportunities that have significantly changed their lives. Because of these opportunities, alumni of these institutions have made countless contributions to the advancement of their individual states, the nation and the world. SC State University celebrates this historical milestone, along with its sister universities and colleges.”


Higher education leaders, elected officials and policymakers, business and community leaders will join in an online celebration of the 1890 land-grant universities anniversary, culminating with a two-hour online forum on Monday, August 31 from 1-3pm EDT that will explore the history and accomplishments of these institutions and the important role they play in the nation’s future. Registration for that convening is open to the public. Click here to register.


During the week of August 24, leaders and members of the 1890 university community, policymakers, business and community leaders will use an array of platforms to reflect on and celebrate the legacy of these land-grant institutions, including on social media using #Celebrate1890s. They will highlight innovative programs at the 1890 land-grant universities and their role in developing solutions for local, regional, and global challenges. This week of activities will also include points of pride and/or significant accomplishments for each of the 19 1890 land-grant universities.


“The anniversary of the second Morrill Act heightens the platform for colleges and universities within the 1890 system to celebrate their individual and collective accomplishments,” said Vice President and Executive Director for 1890 Programs Dr. Louis Whitesides. “As South Carolina’s only land-grant HBCU, SC State is acclaimed for its many signature academic programs; for being the top producer of African American educators and administrators in the state; world renowned for its Bulldog Battalion, which produced 22 generals, second only to West Point, ranked annually among top universities for social mobility of graduates and contributes to the economic vitality of the greater Orangeburg region with a $145 million impact.”


The celebration will end with a virtual webinar on August 31, 2020 from 1-3 p.m. EDT. This would have been an in-person gathering were it not for the pandemic, but the 1890 land-grant universities are committed to having a very meaningful event honoring their history and celebrating their current work. The webinar will have two panel discussions. One panel will feature Makola Abdullah, president, Virginia State University; Heidi Anderson, president, University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Paul Jones, president Fort Valley State University; and Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. 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 Agri-science.


The webinar will also feature remarks from prominent dignitaries such as Scott Hutchins, Deputy Under Secretary 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.