Cornell University is the “institution of learning which now more nearly approaches my cherished ideal of what our country most needs than any other hitherto known.”

– Senator Justin Morrill,
letter to Andrew D. White, May 24, 1883.

Senator Justin S. Morrill, the Land-Grant College Act and Cornell:
Opening the Doors of Education to “Any Person”

June 7, 2012 – December 21, 2012
Olin and Uris Library display locations
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

As Cornell University prepares to celebrate the sesquicentennial of its founding on April 27, 2015, the Cornell University Library will host a series of exhibits between now and then in multiple library locations that will explore Cornell’s pre-history and focus attention on the people and events that led to its creation.

On July 2, 1862 Abraham Lincoln signed Senator Justin Morrill’s Land-Grant College Act and changed the landscape of American education. Ezra Cornell and Andrew D. White were inspired by this action and our first exhibit reflects on Cornell’s status as New York’s Land-Grant institution and on the tributes “of gratitude and respect” that Cornell has paid to Senator Morrill. On display are letters, manuscripts, photographs, and other objects from the University Archives that document Morrill’s connections with Cornell’s founders.

View the online exhibit

CornellCast Video of Recent Lectures: