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UMD's Land-Grant Heritage

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UMD & Mineral Resources: Challenges, Opportunities, and a Land-Grant Perspective

Thursday, September 27, 7 pm, UMD Kirby Ballroom

This informative evening looks at the connection between the University of Minnesota and the success of mining in Minnesota. To talk about the economic impact of mining in Minnesota, UMD’s research role and UMD's land grant status is Michael Lalich, director of UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute. Following Mike’s talk, Donald Fosnacht, director of the UMD-NRRI Center for Applied Research and Technology Development, will present an overview and historical background of Minnesota’s iron ore industry and how the industry fits in the global steel market. The final presentation will look to Minnesota’s mining future, copper-nickel, and other precious metal resources that have yet to be mined in Minnesota. Giving an overview of that exploration is Dean Peterson, vice president of exploration for Duluth Metals and UMD alumnus (Geology '87). Andrea Schokker, UMD executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, will serve as moderator. Minnesota State Representative Tom Rukavina will be recognized at the event for his efforts to support student scholarships and research on Minnesota's natural resources.

rukivinasm schokker lalich forschacht dean
State Representative Tom Rukavina will join UMD as a special guest. Andrea Schokker, UMD executive vice chancellor for academic affairs Michael Lalich, director of UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute Donald Fosnacht, director, UMD-NRRI Center for Applied Research and Technology Dean Peterson, vice president of Exploration for Duluth Metals


In 1851, before the Land-Grant Act was signed, the Permanent University Fund (PUF) was established. PUF monies are generated from royalties received from timber and mineral rights on 72,000 acres of state-owned land and are used for public university education. Minnesota Representative Tom Rukavina (District 5A), who will retire this year after 13 terms in the House, worked tirelessly with the legislature and the UM Board of Regents to ensure that a significant part of the fund returned to northern Minnesota. Through revisions in 1994 and in 2012, the Natural Resources Research Institute receives funding for mineral research. PUF revenue also supports the Iron Range Scholarship program which has provided nearly $6 million in scholarships for UMD students in the past 18 years.

Light refreshments will be served. Community members can park for free in the pay lot, any maroon lot, or the meters after 6:30 p.m.

landgrant lake  
UMD commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the Land-Grant Act this year.


In the midst of our nation’s civil war, President Abraham Lincoln had the foresight to create an entirely new educational system. He believed that in order for the United States to become a great power, its industries needed an educated workforce. Introduced by Vermont Representative Justin Smith Morrill, the Morrill Act was signed into law by Lincoln in 1862. The act created land-grant universities, provided higher education to a wider range of social classes, and emphasized more applied studies to prepare students for the world.

Over the years, land-grant universities produced research that taught practical agriculture, built local economies, improved lives and created entirely new technologies. America's land-grant universities continue to fulfill their democratic mandate for openness, accessibility, and service to people. Many of these institutions, like UMD, have joined the ranks of the nation's most accomplished public research universities. Through the land-grant university heritage, UMD students study a wide range of academic disciplines and explore fields of inquiry far beyond the scope envisioned in the original land-grant mission. 


Land, Law and Education: An American Indian Perspective on Land-Grant Universities
Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 7 pm, UMD Kirby Ballroom
Colette Routel, law professor, William Mitchell College of Law; Federal Magistrate Leo Brisbois (White Earth Band); Jill Doerfler, UMD American Indian Studies Department (White Earth Band); and Tadd Johnson, director, UMD Master of Tribal Administration and Governance program (Bois Forte Band of Chippewa).

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. speaks on fresh water and the environment
Friday, November 9, 2012, 7 pm, Marshall Performing Arts Center
Tickets required.

Watch this website for more information.

Written by Cheryl Reitan, September 2012

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UMD home page editor, Cheryl Reitan,

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