Michigan is known for many things — home to Mackinac Island and their world-famous fudge, Henry Ford, Michigan’s Adventure amusement park, the Detroit zoo, lighthouses around the Great Lakes, and much more. Throughout this great state, another noteworthy claim to fame includes universities with a rich background of academic excellence, especially when it comes to the history of Michigan State University in East Lansing.

The foundation of MSU can be traced back 165 years ago when it was founded in 1855 as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan. The school served as a prototype for one of the 69 land-grant institutions established under the Morrill Act of 1862 signed by President Abraham Lincoln. This act was designed to allot 30,000 acres of federal land per member of a state’s congressional delegation, which was then sold to fund public colleges with a focus on agriculture and mechanical arts.

The college became the first institution of higher learning in the country to teach scientific agriculture, and by 1964, it was officially named Michigan State University.

Fast forward to the present day, and impressive numbers reflect how MSU has grown to become an outstanding educational beacon for students around the world:

  • MSU is a large university located in the capital city of the state with more than 563 buildings situated on 5,300 acres.
  • Nearly 20,000 acres in the state are used for research and education with a focus on agriculture and natural resources.
  • Students have the option to choose from 200 programs of undergraduate, graduate, and professional study.
  • MSU has more than 5,000 faculty and staff.
  • Nearly 495,000 university alumni are represented around the world.

And here’s a great fact about one of MSU’s many distinctions: It ranks first in the nation for graduate programs in African history, nuclear physics, curriculum and instruction, organizational psychology, and rehabilitation counseling and supply chain management.

MSU also has a stand-out list of notable names who called the East Lansing campus home, including athletes, celebrities, politicians, etc. — Magic Johnson, Julie Aigner-Clark, James Caan, Morten Andersen, Sam Raimi, and Draymond Green, just to name a few.


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