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Founding Penn State


On February 22, 1855, Governor James Pollock signed the charter incorporating the institution that would become Penn State. Located in the fertile Nittany Valley in central Pennsylvania, Penn State was initially a college of agricultural science, and in 1861 awarded the nation's first baccalaureate degrees in that subject.

The school broadened its mission after Congress passed the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1862. The act enabled each state to sell federal lands and use the proceeds to endow one or more colleges or universities. These schools agreed to offer instruction in agriculture, engineering, science, and other utilitarian subjects at a cost affordable to people of average means. They also accepted the obligation to disseminate the benefits of learning to the citizenry. In 1863, Pennsylvania's General Assembly designated Penn State the Commonwealth's sole land-grant institution.

The first formal program in business education was launched in 1913 under Dr. Oswald W. Boucke and, until the post-World War II era, remained part of Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts. In 1953, a College of Business Administration was created and, in 1989, the school was named for Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal, who donated generously in support of management education here.

More "wPenn State history".


Steven Huddart
Smeal College of Business, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802-3603 USA
(814) 863-0048
huddart@psu.edu
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was last updated on Tue, Aug 21, 2018.
Today is Wed, Sep 18, 2019.

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