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Michigan State Agricultural College

BY PRESIDENT ABBOT

All of the first graduating class of seven (1861), except the two victims of the war, are still living. Fourteen of its students on its opening day are still personally known to me, and one* of them was a senator in the last (1883) legislature. I have in some cases gathered reminiscences from these persons, who are by nearly a year older in the college than myself. It is now (July, 1883), somewhat more than a quarter of a century since the Michigan State Agricultural College was opened to students, the twenty-fifth scholastic year having ended with the commencement exercises of August 13, 1882. The college is the oldest of the existing agricultural colleges of the country; was, therefore, the pioneer institution of the kind. It has had a steady development in a continuous life without the loss of a term from first to last. Nearly all the agricultural colleges of the country, of which there is now one to nearly every State, owe their origin to the congressional grant of lands for this purpose, made in 1862. Pennsylvania and Iowa, as well as our own State, established their colleges before this grant of lands. As the first institution of the sort our college has been visited by officers or committees from many other States, and has had considerable influence in the organization of other institutions. The presidents, and in several instances other officers also, of similar institutions in Maine, Massachusetts (three of them), New York (President White and Mr. Ezra Cornell), Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ontario, Kansas, Colorado have visited us, and officers or committees from Virginia, Arkansas, Minnesota, Texas, Oregon, California, have visited us or have taken graduates for officers.

Michigan State


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