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Then and Now

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FILE PHOTO, COLLEGE OF AG SCIENCES

Taken at the end of 1861, eleven of the men in this senior class picture would go on to become the first graduates of Penn State. Four left before graduating because of illness and two others joined the staff of General William Tecumseh Sherman.

This first graduation also marked the beginning of the land-grant tradition when Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act in 1862, creating a system of public universities focused on the teaching of practical agriculture, science, and engineering.

Today, 150 years later, the spirit ignited by Lincoln continues as the college responds to emerging issues, anticipates industry needs, develops new processes and solutions, and trains the next generation to build and sustain American agriculture in the future.