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SENATE RESOLUTION 502--CELEBRATING THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SIGNING OF THE FIRST MORRILL ACT
(Senate - June 20, 2012)

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[Pages S4374-S4375]
SENATE RESOLUTION 502--CELEBRATING THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SIGNING 
                        OF THE FIRST MORRILL ACT

  Mr. LEAHY (for himself, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Mr. Roberts, 
Mr. Alexander, Mr. Graham, Mr. Levin, Mrs. Feinstein, Ms. Landrieu, 
Mrs. Hutchison, Mr. Bennet, Mrs. Murray, Mr. Akaka, Mr. Moran, Mr. 
Cardin, Ms. Stabenow, Ms. Mikulski, Mr. Nelson of Florida, Mr. Boozman, 
Mr. Rubio, Mr. Bingaman, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. Schumer, and Mr. Pryor) 
submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to:

                              S. Res. 502

       Whereas July 2, 2012, marks the sesquicentennial of the 
     signing of the Act of July 2, 1862 (commonly known as the 
     ``First Morrill Act''; 7 U.S.C. 301 et seq.), which granted 
     public lands to States and territories to support colleges in 
     promoting education as a means of economic advancement and 
     intellectual pursuit;
       Whereas the genesis of the national focus on public higher 
     education in the United States is attributed to the 
     establishment of the land-grant institutions under the First 
     Morrill Act;
       Whereas United States Representative Justin Morrill of 
     Strafford, Vermont, inspired by his own lack of a formal 
     education, authored the legislation that would become the 
     First Morrill Act to provide an ``opportunity in every State 
     for a liberal and larger education to larger numbers, not 
     merely to those destined to sedentary professions, but to 
     those needing higher instruction for the world's business, 
     for the industrial pursuits and professions of life'';
       Whereas the 37th Congress sought to energize the vital 
     intellectual resources of the United States by enacting 
     legislation to make higher education accessible to the public 
     and thereby apply those intellectual resources to stimulate 
     the national economy, which at the time was based in 
     agriculture and the mechanical arts;
       Whereas, in the midst of the Civil War and domestic strife, 
     President Abraham Lincoln supported, encouraged, and signed 
     into law the First Morrill Act, which encompassed ideals that 
     united the North and the South;
       Whereas the First Morrill Act opened the doors of colleges 
     and universities to all people with the ability and will to 
     learn, irrespective of heredity, occupation, or economic 
     status;
       Whereas the United States leads the world in the quality of 
     its public universities and has provided extraordinary 
     opportunities for higher education to the people of the 
     United States, thus enriching each State and the country as a 
     whole;
       Whereas the land-grant institutions and other public 
     research universities of the

[[Page S4375]]

     United States remain committed to providing accessible higher 
     education and supporting learning, discovery, and engagement 
     in the interest of the country;
       Whereas the land-grant institutions and other public 
     research universities of the United States conduct research 
     and education in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and 
     6 territories of the United States, and disseminate the 
     results of those efforts throughout the country and the 
     world, seeking solutions to economic, social, and physical 
     challenges and enriching the cultural life of the people of 
     the world;
       Whereas the land-grant institutions and other public 
     research universities of the United States educate more than 
     5,000,000 students and award nearly 1,000,000 degrees 
     annually, serving as the single largest source of trained and 
     educated workers in the United States;
       Whereas the land-grant institutions and other public 
     research universities of the United States award 200,000 
     degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics 
     (referred to in this preamble as ``STEM'') annually, 
     including more than half of the advanced degrees in STEM 
     awarded annually in the United States;
       Whereas the land-grant institutions and other public 
     research universities of the United States perform more than 
     $37,000,000,000 worth of research annually and impart the 
     discoveries from that research locally, regionally, 
     nationally, and globally for the betterment of their 
     communities, the country, and the world;
       Whereas the Smithsonian Institute is marking the 
     sesquicentennial of the signing of the First Morrill Act at 
     the annual Folklife Festival on the National Mall during the 
     summer of 2012, with displays and presentations by many land-
     grant institutions; and
       Whereas many States are celebrating the sesquicentennial of 
     the signing of the First Morrill Act with resolutions and 
     proclamations, and many land-grant institutions are also 
     commemorating the signing of the historic legislation: Now, 
     therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) celebrates the 150th anniversary of the signing of the 
     First Morrill Act by President Abraham Lincoln;
       (2) encourages the people of the United States to observe 
     and celebrate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the 
     First Morrill Act;
       (3) affirms the continuing importance and vitality of the 
     land-grant institutions, which are the fruitful product of 
     the extraordinary commitment to higher education in the 
     United States that the First Morrill Act represents; and
       (4) respectfully requests that the Secretary of the Senate 
     transmit to the Association of Public and Land-grant 
     Universities an enrolled copy of this resolution for 
     appropriate display.

                          ____________________




    

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