UMass graduation is this weekend, so it is appropriate to remember that the Massachusetts Agricultural College was founded 160 years ago, in 1863. It was founded as a result of the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862, ‘… to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts…’ MAC’s sister institution, focused more on the mechanical arts, is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The Massachusetts Agricultural College was renamed the Massachusetts State College in 1931, and then became the University of Massachusetts in 1947. And for its 150th birthday in 2013, WGBY aired a one-hour show, The Radical Idea, which traced the institution’s founding, early years, and evolution. And in 2017 the Amherst Historical Society hosted a talk by the late Dr Rob Cox on diversity in the early days at Mass Aggie.