UOG honors 15 key contributors to its land-grant mission
The University of Guam’s 50-year history as a land-grant institution was commemorated and memorialized with the unveiling of a Land Grant Legacy Wall on Wednesday. The wall, located in the Agriculture and Life Sciences building on campus, features the portraits and biographies of 15 individuals who paved the way for UOG to carry out the land-grant mission in Guam after UOG received the designation in 1972.
Land-grant institutions are called upon by federal law to provide the population outside of the walls of higher education with practical knowledge of relevance to their daily lives. This mission was originally focused on agriculture, science, military science, and engineering in response to the industrial revolution but now pertains to a variety of fields, with agriculture still a central component.
“Our job is to make sure that we bring the community in […],” said Acting UOG President Anita Borja Enriquez, “and taking research, taking science and converting it into something that we all understand and that we can all apply.”
The land-grant designation led to the establishment of the UOG College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 1973, which today is the College of Natural and Applied Sciences.
As a land-grant institution, the University of Guam annually receives $1.6 million through the Hatch Act of 1887 to operate agricultural experiment stations and $1.6 million through the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 to share the results of its research findings from those stations with the community.
The Land-Grant Legacy Wall honors some of the first faculty and staff members of the college, who implemented the agricultural experiment stations that remain active today in Ija, Inarajan, and Yigo. They also stood up the university’s Cooperative Extension & Outreach office, which exists to educate the community on not only agriculture, but nutrition, consumer sciences, natural resources, community development, and youth development via the 4H program.
Enriquez described extension services as a means to ensure that a university’s research and expertise are relevant, are responsive, and bring value to the public.
The Land Grant Legacy honorees include:
The dean of the college today, Lee S. Yudin, said they plan to continue adding honorees to the wall every year.
“We’re hoping that, eventually, all these walls will be filled with individuals who have helped strengthen the land-grant mission here at the university,” he said.