VOLUME 1 ISSUE 5   May 2004
this month in penn state history

May 1, 1862: Farmers’ High School becomes the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania
It’s been known as Pennsylvania State since 1874—first as a college, and later a university. But that wasn’t always the case. For the first 20 years of its existence, the institution we know so well as Penn State operated under two different names. Chartered as the Farmers’ High School in 1855, the school changed its name to Agricultural College of Pennsylvania in May of 1862. This move was made in an effort to increase the school’s bid to be selected as a land-grant institution under newly proposed legislation. The plan worked, and two name changes and more than 140 years later, Penn State remains Pennsylvania’s singular land-grant institution.
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