Land Grant Colleges
The Morrill Act of 1862 was signed into law on July 2, 1862 by President Abraham Lincoln. The Land-Grant College Act, as it was more popularly known, laid the foundation for a national system of state colleges and universities. The state colleges established land grant institutions tasked with emphasizing agriculture and practical education providing a major boost to higher education across the nation, paving the way for new western states to establish colleges for their citizens.
Utah Representative Anton H. Lund of Sanpete County introduced a bill to create a land-grant college in Utah. It passed both houses on Founder’s Day, March 8, 1888 with a unanimous vote.
First Day of School
Utah Agricultural College (UAC) was the founding of Utah State University. On September 2, UAC opened its doors with 26 students. Enrollments grew to 139 by the end of the first year and continued to grow.
Rooted in Rural Education
Professors travelled by train from
Logan to provide new information and techniques to rural residents.
First Correspondence Study Courses Organized
Curriculum included agricultural and general education courses. Residents of Brigham City, Northern Utah and Idaho took part.
The First Statewide Campuses
Representatives Daniel Dennis, Ralph A Preece, Chilean Halladay working with Alva Snow, jointly sponsored a bill to establish Utah State University education centers in Roosevelt and Moab. Classes began fall term of 1967 in Roosevelt.
USU’s Fly-Down Program
Scaling some of Utah’s highest mountain peaks, USU flew seven to nine professors to the Uintah Basin two or three times per week. For roughly 30 years, these “flying professors” taught courses
, advised students, and built a foundation for programs and degrees offered in the Uintah Basin and Moab locations. The program continued until distance delivery technology improved sufficiently enough to replace air travel.
Technology Paving the Way
USU’s first electronic distance classrooms began. While the campuses were developing in the Uintah Basin, Tooele and Brigham City, telecommunications increased USU’s ability to serve the entire State of Utah and surrounding states.
The State Is Our Campus
By the mid-1990’s the Brigham City, Tooele, and Uintah Basin education centers were gaining national attention for their delivery of quality programs, degrees and courses. All three were designated as regional campuses by President George Emert, then were approved by the USU Board of Trustees and subsequently the state Board of Regents.
The Eagles Join the Aggie Family
On March 4, 2010, in the state of Utah’s first-ever merger of two academic institutions, the College of Eastern Utah became part of the Statewide Campus system. USU Eastern in Price operates as a comprehensive community college offering both technical certificates and academic degrees. Retaining their junior college status, the Eagles are the only USU campus besides Logan with 9 athletic programs. CEU’s San Juan campus, now USU Blanding, serves the Four Corners region with 4 additional locations to provide educational opportunities to the nearby Navajo and Ute reservations.
The Regional Campus system was renamed USU Statewide Campuses, to be led by a Vice President level administrator. Statewide Campuses has two residential campuses (Eastern and Blanding) and 28 non-residential campuses and educational delivery centers across the state of Utah.