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Make plans to attend tours, open house events and presentations. Free reservations required for most events.
Tours of labs and other research spaces and visits to facilities that make wine, beer and cheese are among the activities available during the OSU150 Land Grant Festival at Oregon State University’s Corvallis campus.
The festival, which runs Oct. 1-17, celebrates the 150th anniversary of OSU’s designation as a land grant college, which established its mission of an accessible, high-quality education for Oregonians.
“The events surrounding the land grant anniversary are designed to show off the unique teaching and research environments firsthand,” said Shelley Signs, executive director for the series of OSU150 festivities that began in August 2017. “We’re giving students and faculty the chance to explain how their research and work impacts life every day.”
“The greenhouse tour is exciting because this is not just a place to look at plants,” Signs said. “They are doing active research in this space to develop ways to increase yields and use water, land and resources more efficiently. You get to see how OSU is working to end world hunger right now.”
Also on tap for the Land Grant Festival are various art exhibits and a lecture by NuScale Power founder Jose Reyes, OSU professor emeritus of nuclear engineering, about the future of energy. The art exhibits showcase how artists have been impacted by Oregon’s agricultural history and invite the public to engage in making art in public spaces around the university.
The OSU-Cascades campus is hosting its inaugural Discovery Day, and the Indigenous People’s Day celebration acknowledges the traditions and history of the people who lived in Oregon long before Lewis and Clark “discovered” it or the university was founded.
All of the events are free of charge, but tickets are required or encouraged for most activities and can be acquired at the festival website or through Eventbrite.
OSU’s land grant designation in 1868 traces to Congress’ 1862 passage of the Morrill Act, which gave states federal land to sell to fund higher education that would be accessible to all. Oregon received 90,000 acres.
“Being a land grant institution gives us a very clear path of what we are tasked to do,” Signs said. “Our mission is really to spread knowledge to everyone. The intent was to change the human condition. It’s wasn’t just gaining knowledge for the sake of having knowledge. It was gaining knowledge for actual implementation and use.”
From the beginning, Oregon State embraced that responsibility.
For example, the Agricultural Resource Foundation has been working for decades to match up farmers’ individual challenges with faculty, researchers and resources. TEAM Oregon saves lives each year by providing motorcycle safety instruction so riders can safely explore Oregon’s beautiful roads and highways.
“Education for the people,” Signs said. “That’s the core of what we do and why we do it.”
OSU is one of two institutions in the country with land, space, sea and sun grant status. The other is Penn State.