Land-grant colleges and universities occupy a special place in the landscape of American higher education. Publicly funded agricultural and technical educational institutions were first founded in the mid-nineteenth century with the Morrill Act, which established land grants to support these schools. They include such prominent names as Cornell, Maryland, Michigan State, MIT, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Texas A&M, West Virginia University, Wisconsin, and the University of California—in other words, four dozen of the largest and best public universities in America. Add to this a number of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and tribal colleges—in all, almost 300 institutions. Their mission is a democratic and pragmatic one: to bring science, technology, agriculture, and the arts to the American people.