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Michigan traditions and traditional arts

Campus and Community: MSU's Land-Grant Tradition of Community-Engaged Action

"I urge our nation's best universities to join in the journey to reaffirm and to extend beyond our borders the core values of the Morrill Act as the fuel and inspiration for higher education's engagement with a global society in the century ahead."--Dr. LouAnna K. Simon, President, Michigan State University, 2012.

This exhibition is a celebration of the land-grant university tradition of community-engaged action during the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Morrill Act. The banner-panel exhibition features lively profiles and photographs of exemplary projects/programs of MSU and community collaborative partnerships. It is organized in five thematic areas: Reinventing Agriculture; Sustainable Solutions; Building on Traditions; Transforming Communities; and Campus Tradtions.

The exhibition has been produced by the Michigan State University Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate. The program is inspired by and partially based on the themes and presentations originally created for the Campus and Community program at the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C.

On July 2, 1862, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill that brought hope for thousands of Americans. The Morrill Act granted to states and territories tracts of land that-when sold- provided funding for public universities. The "land-grant tradition" refers to the commitment of land-grant and public universities to provide world-class educations, conduct cutting-edge research, and engage communities as partners to build a better world.

As the sample of programs at Michigan State University highlighted in this exhibition illustrate, universities are maintaining the land-grant tradition in many fields and impacting a broad range of communities locally, nationally, and globally.


No current bookings. This exhibit is available

This exhibition has been displayed at the Great Lakes Folk Festival, East Lansing, MI.

  Rental fee
(12 week period)
$2,000, plus shipping
  Number of pieces: 22 panels
  Running feet required: 80 rinning feet
  Insurance Value: $24,000
  Security requirement: Lockable, limited access display area; temperature and light controls; fire protection according to local ordinances
  Additional materials available: Press materials.

Funding for this exhibition has been provided by the MSU Offices of the President, Provost, and University Outreach and Engagement.

Photo of the Lincoln signs Morrill Act window
President Abraham Lincoln is depicted signing the Morrill Act in this stained glass window in the Alumni Chapel on the campus of Michigan State University. Photo courtesy of the Michigan State University Museum, all rights reserved.




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