Editorial: Morrill Act important part of U.S. education
BY World's Editorials Writers
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
9/11/12 at 4:01 AM
The country's dedication to public education has roots in its founding.
Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in 1819, the country's first nonsectarian university. Jefferson wanted a university dedicated to educating leaders in practical affairs and public service rather than for professions in the classroom and pulpit exclusively.
Horace Mann took it a step further and is known as the father of public education.
These were seminal moments in the history of education in the United States.
No less important was the Morrill Act of 1862, which has established 106 land grant colleges across the nation and its territories.
The 150-year history of the Morrill Act, authored by Justin Smith Morrill, was detailed in Monday's Tulsa World by reporter Sara Plummer.
The act led to the establishment of Oklahoma State University and Langston University, two important links in the state's public education chain.
OSU has a national reputation for its work in agriculture and has one of the finest veterinary schools in the country. Langston, too, has become well-known for its work in the agriculture and educational fields.
This anniversary of the Morrill Act ought to remind us of the importance of public education. It also ought to remind us that education doesn't come cheap and that it remains the public's duty to make sure that it remains of high quality and affordable for all who wish to achieve a higher education.
Thanks to the foresight of men such as Jefferson, Mann and Morrill, the U.S. can boast the finest educational system in the world.
That is something of which we ought to never lose sight and never shortchange.
Original Print Headline: Morrill Act