The land-grant redefined: West Virginia’s gift to the world

The nation’s gift to West Virginia came shortly after passage of the 1862 Morrill Act.

That legislation, which opened the doors to higher education through the creation of land-grant institutions, unwrapped West Virginia University.

As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act this year, the roles have expanded and evolved.

In 2012, WVU is West Virginia’s gift to the world.

Look no further than the communities of the Mountain State. In Gilbert (Mingo County), southern West Virginians meet with WVU Drs. John and Jim Brick and their team once a month for healthcare they cannot receive unless they travel a few hours away. In this instance, WVU brings its expertise and resources from Morgantown to the rural pockets of the state.

West Virginia’s gift is not limited to geographical boundaries.

The University is providing for the future, too. Through its Extension Service, WVU shapes the future of West Virginia’s children in all 55 West Virginia counties. Engaging children in STEM – science, technology, engineering and math fields – is a top University priority. One way WVU does this is by sponsoring an annual statewide Lego Robotics competition that grows and tests students’ science skills while teaching cooperation. Inspiring their minds today will lead to the economic and intellectual growth of West Virginia tomorrow.

Today, WVU engages the world in that dream as well. Its outreach, education and discovery stretch across the globe – connecting the state to the burgeoning economic growth of Asia and Southeast Asia – most especially to China. There, energy experts at WVU have formed partnerships with Chinese officials, and last summer, a class of photojournalists journeyed to a village to document stories of the people and culture.

WVU is furthering its land-grant mandate through its 2020 Strategic Plan for the Future, a roadmap rooted in goals that include academic excellence, research and innovation, diversity, global engagement and community outreach. As evidenced by various WVU-China partnerships, the University is committed to partnership, collaboration, learning and understanding across the state and around the world.

The Mountaineer spirit knows no boundaries.

The gift given to West Virginia in the 1860s is now West Virginia’s gift to the entire world.



CONTACT: University Relations/News

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