Long recognized for its academics and athletics, Michigan State University is now celebrating another accomplishment, its sesquicentennial.
University staff gathered outside of Beaumont Tower Tuesday to officially start the MSU's 150th anniversary events and to acknowledge the first Land Grant College in the Nation founded in 1855 with $40,000 and 677 acres of land.
President Peter McPherson called it an experiment for broad social classes to have such an opportunity.
Known first as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, it's doors opened in 1857. Sixty-three students attended under a college president and five faculty members. Today, 45,000 students attend and there are 4,500 faculty and staff members not to mention MSU's soon to be 20th leader, Dr. Lou Anna Simon, the first woman to ever hold the title at MSU. Simon says the anniversary is both a moment of pride and a moment for her to be greatly humbled by the opportunity.
MSU's sesquicentennial events will continue throughout the 2005-06 academic year.