SCHECHTER | The Land Grant Act Needs A Sequel

About every other day, I walk up to a short, old building made of Ithaca bluestone, quarried from the bottom of the slope. It’s an attractive building, named after a lover of architecture, but usually fails to catch students’ eyes. It’s old and solid, sitting in a line of buildings called “Stone Row.” The famous Cornell professor, Goldwin Smith, once said of those buildings that “nothing can redeem them but dynamite;” he clearly disagreed about their architectural beauty. On my way into class, I ascend a set of steep steps, swing open a set of large double doors, and pad past large aluminum letters that I glance over: “Morrill Hall, Arts and Sciences.”

I always assumed it was named after another donor, alumnus or professor. Until I started writing this piece I didn’t put together who its namesake was. I, like most of us here on campus, didn’t realize he had a greater impact on Cornell than any student, donor, alumnus or professor put together. 

What he accomplished in his life, much like the building constructed in his name, is old and solid. It has lasted a lifetime.

Originally posted 2023-12-04 16:51:17.


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