Land-Grant: Serving our community, advancing the public good

Founded in 1874, the University of Nevada, Reno was established as Nevada’s land-grant institution under the Morrill Act of 1862.

While we cannot change the past, public and land-grant universities have and will continue to be focused on building a better future for everyone.
Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities

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About the University

Simply put, land-grant began as a way to bring higher education to everyday citizens through practical curriculum such as agriculture, mining and “mechanical arts,” now called engineering. It has evolved into a 21st-century approach to the land-grant mission of our University. We strive for the betterment of humanity, the environment and Nevada through encompassing the University’s goals to improve lives through teaching, research and outreach.

The pavement Nevadans drive on, the affordable health clinics in rural Nevada, programs to inform and help farmers and ranchers, research that helps the mining industry, geothermal exploration for new energy in Nevada, nutrition programs for families, business economic development bringing industry and jobs to Nevada — all these programs and much more are now part of the land-grant mission that brought the University of Nevada, Reno to life in 1874.

As a land-grant institution, the University's mission serves students, corporations, Nevadans and small businesses.

  • For a student, the University makes education affordable and prepares them for the Nevada job market.
  • For a corporation, the University partners for innovation.
  • For a Nevadan, the University offers programs that help communities throughout the state.
  • For a small business, the University builds programs and offers resources to help them grow.

The University of Nevada, Reno was established as Nevada’s land-grant institution under the Morrill Act of 1862, which was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln and provided for a land-grant institution in each state of the Union. The designation allowed for use of funds generated by the sale of federal lands to establish and operate universities.

After the country was founded, the federal government took a series of steps to use grants of land to promote westward expansion, education and economic development, which involved the taking of a great deal of Native American land.

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that the University of Nevada, Reno is situated on the traditional homelands of the Numu (Northern Paiute), Wašiw (Washoe), Newe (Western Shoshone), and Nuwu (Southern Paiute) peoples. These lands continue to be a gathering place for Indigenous Peoples and we recognize their deep connections to these places. We extend our appreciation for the opportunity to live and learn on their territory.

Office of Indigenous Relations

The Office of Indigenous Relations aims to build strong community connections, provide funding and resources, and create supportive and culturally inclusive environments for Indigenous students, faculty and communities.

The University continues to strive to to serve our native tribal populations, whether developing Indigenous Studies programs, Paiute language courses or by supporting state legislation that reduces the costs for education to tribal members, including the Native American Fee Waiver.