As part of the centennial celebration of the Smith-Lever Act, West Virginia University will host a research symposium to discuss the past, present and future of the Cooperative Extension Service through submitted scholarly papers.

The Smith-Lever Symposium and WVU Extension Service Exhibition will take place Sept. 24-25, and is part of a series of events happening on WVU’s Morgantown campus. WVU President E. Gordon Gee and former WVU President C. Peter Magrath will serve as keynote speakers. Registration for the conference will be available soon.

The deadline for proposals is June 10, but early submission is encouraged. The call for papers addresses either historical or contemporary issues of the Cooperative Extension Service and the Smith-Lever Act.

Historical papers will deal with past topics of the Cooperative Extension including higher education outreach, land-grant college/community partnerships, histories of rural development programs and histories of “beyond the campus” programs and services like 4-H, summer programs and more.

Contemporary issues and future direction paper topics include scholarships across the disciplines on the missions, policies and practices of cooperative extension and community engagement, research on administrative and institutional frameworks for higher education engagement and higher education for the public good and many more.

For more information about proposal submission, contact Nate Sorber, assistant professor for the WVU Higher Education program, at 304-293-1781.

“It’s fitting to showcase this historic event by celebrating the advancements that WVU Extension’s partnerships with all levels of government and with individuals and communities throughout West Virginia have helped cultivate over the past century,” said Steve Bonanno, WVU Extension Service’s interim director.

This landmark year for WVU Extension is made possible by the signing of the Smith-Lever Act in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson. Since then, WVU Extension Service has helped thousands of West Virginians in communities in each of the state’s 55 counties, helping to fulfill WVU’s land-grant mission.

Visit WVU Extension Service’s newly created Smith-Lever website to learn more about the Smith-Lever Act and the celebrations happening throughout the year, both on and off WVU’s campus.

To learn more about the WVU Extension Service and how it continues to serve as the link between the University and the people of West Virginia, visit



CONTACT: Cassie Waugh, WVU Extension Service

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