Tag Archives: bay mills community college

If the name fits …

If you work on campus or have visited lately, you may have seen workers busy tearing down Morrill Hall on West Circle Drive. I’ve heard a variety of reactions to the process, from those who wax nostalgic about the passing of an era to those who see it as the removal of an embarrassing eyesore. I thought this reflective piece by Lindsay VanHulle in the Lansing State Journal captured the mixed feelings particularly well and from an alumna’s perspective.

Michigan State University Morrill Hall demolition

Michigan State University Morrill Hall demolition, East Lansing, Mich., June 10, 2013. Photo credit: Amanda Mitchell, ANR Communications.

Even though the building that originally served as a women’s residence hall will be gone, the name of Morrill will continue to be honored. In April, the Michigan State University Board of Trustees voted to rename our own Agriculture Hall the Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture.

Justin Smith Morrill was a U.S. representative and U.S. senator from Vermont from the 1850s to the 1890s. We remember him most for the Morrill Act, commonly known as the Land Grant Act, which established federal funding for public colleges and universities. President Abraham Lincoln signed the act into law on July 2, 1862. You can find a replica of the original act framed on the wall outside the auditorium at the MSU Kellogg Center.

Michigan State University Morrill Hall demolition

Michigan State University Morrill Hall demolition, East Lansing, Mich., June 10, 2013. Photo credit: Amanda Mitchell, ANR Communications.

Senator Morrill’s vision of an institution of higher education dedicated to the sons (and daughters) of working class families, one that made the most recent advances in science available to farmers, families and laborers who could put those advances to work, sounded a great deal like the vision that created Michigan Agricultural College seven years earlier in East Lansing, Michigan. For that reason, we consider MSU as the “pioneer” land-grant institution, and it became Michigan’s land-grant institution shortly after President Lincoln signed the legislation.

Michigan State University Morrill Hall demolition

Michigan State University Morrill Hall demolition, East Lansing, Mich., June 11, 2013. Photo credit: Amanda Mitchell, ANR Communications.

Today, two more institutions in the state are part of the land-grant system, including Bay Mills Community College and Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College, each established by their respective tribal sponsors, and incorporated into the land-grant system through a 1994 amendment to the Morrill Act.

The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 expanded the Morrill Act, creating a nationwide Extension system overseen by the land-grant universities. Thus, the new name fits the Extension mission well. I know other Extension professionals across the country will recognize the connection between MSU Extension and Senator Morrill when they see my address.

Michigan State University Morrill Hall demolition

Michigan State University Morrill Hall demolition, East Lansing, Mich., June 12, 2013. Photo credit: Amanda Mitchell, ANR Communications.

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dean Fred Poston asks that we begin using the new building name immediately in all communications. However, you may continue to use any existing hard copy business cards, letterhead, stationery or envelopes with the current Agriculture Hall address until April 30, 2014.

A dedication will take place August 29 in the Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture atrium.

Michigan State University Morrill Hall demolition

Michigan State University Morrill Hall demolition, East Lansing, Mich., June 12, 2013. Photo credit: Amanda Mitchell, ANR Communications.

 

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It’s all about relationships

Our colleagues in Michigan State University Extension are working to build strong and sustainable relationships with members of Michigan tribal nations.

In the program Relationship Building for Better Partnerships: Anishinaabe Tribes and MSU Extension, Extension staff members Dionardo Pizaña, Emily Proctor and Barb Smutek facilitate trainings with members of the Anishinaabe Tribes. Dionardo is an Extension specialist. Emily is an Extension health and nutrition educator, a member of the Little Traverse Bay Band (LTBB) of Odawa Indians and a tribal liaison for MSU Extension. Barb is a member of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians and an Extension Greening Michigan/Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP) educator.

This three-part professional development series provides a unique opportunity for MSU Extension staff and several of Michigan’s Anishinaabe Tribes to learn from each other, build working relationships and plan collaborative projects together. The series takes place four times this year, with one series per tribe.

The first series took place with members of the LTBB of Odawa Indians.

Each session encouraged communication and engagement and helped foster reciprocal learning between MSUE and the tribal community, creating an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.

Participants had the opportunity to share in both MSUE culture and tribal culture to explore ways of creating effective partnerships.

At the close of the session, participants shared one thing that stood out for them.

One participant’s response: “For me, one of the things that stood out is the genuine efforts from both LTBB and MSU to reach out to one another, get to know one another and to find out what each of us has to offer. This is a healthy start to building a life-lasting relationship.”

The next series, scheduled for June and July, will engage MSU Extension staff with members of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Registration for this session is open. Register online.

Other sessions will include the Hannahville Indian Community (July ‒ September) and the Bay Mills Indian Community (October ‒ December).

Support for continuing the partnerships will be available in the form of multicultural action mini-grants, valued up to $1,000. The grants are funded through the MSUE Diversity and Multiculturalism Office and the FRTEP. To apply for and obtain a mini-grant, you must have a Tribal/MSUE partnership and have attended the majority of the sessions. The competitive mini-grants enhance partnerships between MSUE and the tribal communities to build, strengthen and support the work started during the series.

The FRTEP, a federally funded program, enhances extension services and supports increased outreach to native communities. Initiated in 2007, the Michigan FRTEP is implemented by MSU Extension in partnership with Bay Mills Community College and the MSU Native American Institute. This short presentation gives a quick overview of the program.

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