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History and Mission

Archway on campus. Flag corps on the field at TCF Bank Stadium. Graduation gown draped over a chair. Regent's seal carved in marble.

Mission

The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world. The University's mission, carried out on multiple campuses and throughout the state, is threefold:

Research and Discovery
Generate and preserve knowledge, understanding, and creativity by conducting high-quality research, scholarship, and artistic activity that benefit students, scholars, and communities across the state, the nation, and the world.

Teaching and Learning
Share that knowledge, understanding, and creativity by providing a broad range of educational programs in a strong and diverse community of learners and teachers, and prepare graduate, professional, and undergraduate students, as well as non-degree-seeking students interested in continuing education and lifelong learning, for active roles in a multiracial and multicultural world.

Outreach and Public Service
Extend, apply, and exchange knowledge between the University and society by applying scholarly expertise to community problems, by helping organizations and individuals respond to their changing environments, and by making the knowledge and resources created and preserved at the University accessible to the citizens of the state, the nation, and the world.

Guiding Principles
In all of its activities, the University strives to sustain an open exchange of ideas in an environment that embodies the values of academic freedom, responsibility, integrity, and cooperation; that provides an atmosphere of mutual respect, free from racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice and intolerance; that assists individuals, institutions, and communities in responding to a continuously changing world; that is conscious of and responsive to the needs of the many communities it is committed to serving; that creates and supports partnerships within the University, with other educational systems and institutions, and with communities to achieve common goals; and that inspires, sets high expectations for, and empowers individuals within its community.

History

The University of Minnesota was founded as a preparatory school in 1851, seven years before the territory of Minnesota became a state. Financial problems forced the school to close during the Civil War, but with the help of Minneapolis entrepreneur John Sargent Pillsbury, it reopened in1867. Known as the father of the University, Pillsbury, who was a University regent, state senator, and governor, used his influence to establish the school as the official recipient of public support from the Morrill Land-Grant Act, designating it as Minnesota's land-grant university.

William Watts Folwell was inaugurated as the first president of the University on December 22, 1869. In 1873, two students received the first bachelor of arts degrees. In 1888, the first doctor of philosophy degree was awarded. The Duluth campus joined the University in 1947; the Morris campus opened in 1960, and the Crookston campus in 1966, and the Rochester campus in 2006.

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