A month ago, Utah State University celebrated its founding with a dinner commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, legislation signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln that established land-grant universities across the country.
It was a reminder that USU has come a long way since its founding in 1888, when it was established as the Utah Agricultural College, and Old Main was the most prominent fixture at the mouth of Logan Canyon.
Today, buildings with grandiose architectural designs and state-of-the-art scientific features now seem to technologically overshadow Old Main — like the green solar panels bolstered on the side of the new Agricultural Sciences building or the towering brick structure of the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. Not too far away is the USU Innovation Campus, which houses ultra-modern buildings dedicated to research efforts.
Since 2008, when the nation’s economy fell into a recession, the eight public colleges and universities within the Utah System of Higher Education lost ten of millions of dollars in state appropriations — $25.2 million of which was cut from USU alone.