There was a major gathering of the country’s educational leaders at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Monday, June 25. Approximately 75 presidents of public land-grant colleges and universities gathered to celebrate the man who helped make higher education possible for the working class citizen.
University of Hawaiʻi President M.R.C. Greenwood and University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw walked in a procession of presidents and paid tribute to Abraham Lincoln and his role in the passage of the Morrill Act of 1862. Prior to the Morrill Act, higher education was accessible mostly to the wealthy who could afford tuition at private and religious colleges.
There was a presentation of colors by the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard from the Military District of Washington, a wreath laying ceremony on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and a class photo of the leaders of public land-grant universities and colleges, to mark the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Morrill Act.
The event is part of this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The University of Hawaiʻi is one of 20 public land-grant universities and colleges being featured in the festival on the National Mall.
“This is a wonderful time for the University of Hawaiʻi to be highlighted because our history is so special and different from many of the other land-grant universities,” said Greenwood.
About 80 UH students, faculty, staff and community members will showcase the university’s work. Exhibits will feature taro farmers, aquaponics experts, non-instrument navigators and Hawaiian health and healing experts.
“We can, with great pride, show off our relationships with building an indigenous culture—explaining it, teaching it. But also we want to make sure everyone knows we are a part of this new century too and very much an active and important research university,” Greenwood said.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival
The University of Hawaiʻi will be among 20 public land-grant universities to be featured in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. from June 27 to July 8, 2012.
The festival celebrates the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Morrill Act, which paved the way for higher education for rural and working class Americans.
The University of Hawaiʻi exhibits will feature traditional Hawaiian health and healing practices, a mini taro patch, non-instrument navigation, medicinal herb and organic farming and much more. Hawaiʻi Community College’s halau Unukupukupu and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Tuahine Troup will also perform.