A date that looms large in Aggieland’s history is 1862, when the U.S. Congress passed the Morrill Act, providing the means to establish universities devoted to agricultural and mechanical education, plus military training. As all Aggies know, this piece of legislation led to the founding of Texas A&M University in 1876.
But 1914 saw one of the university’s central values established. The Smith-Lever Act added annual funding for the upkeep and maintenance of land-grant universities and something else—obligations to “education, research and extension.” The idea was that land-grant universities should share their research with the public for the greater
good. With this, the staunch commitment to service—to the community, state and country—was implanted into Texas A&M’s DNA.
Aggieland has evolved over the years. The military requirement was dropped in 1965. Women joined the Corps of Cadets in 1974. The university is now the sixth largest in the country. But through the decades, the school’s emphasis on teaching, research and service has grown even stronger. It’s a sensibility that still informs and inspires crucial initiatives throughout the university, as noted in the timeline below. And thanks to the Aggies and friends of Texas A&M who support those initiatives, Aggieland remains steadfast in its roots, honoring its unique heritage every day.
A Timeline of Aggie Land-Grant Greatness