March 25, 2018 @ 2:00 pm
Centre County/Penn State Visitor Center
800 E Park Ave
State College, PA 16803

 Evan Pugh’s Penn State: America’s Model Agricultural College
Presented by Roger L. Williams
March 25, 2018 @ 2:00 p.m. at the Centre County/Penn State Visitor Center

This illustrated talk showcases the life and contributions of Evan Pugh (1828-64), the University’s founding president, in quickly building the school into the model institution of its kind—America’s first scientifically-based agricultural college. Pugh also advocated for additional colleges, federal agencies, and research units to support American agriculture. He was the only scientist to push for passage of the 1862 Morrill Act, which brought a national system of land-grant colleges into being. He secured the land-grant designation for the College and defended its status against would-be usurpers in the Pennsylvania legislature.

Author Roger L. Williams served as Associate Vice President and Executive Director of the Penn State Alumni Association, the world’s largest, from 2003 to 2015 and as Affiliate Associate Professor in Penn State’s Higher Education Program. He is the author of The Origins of Federal Support for Higher Education: George W. Atherton and the Land-Grant College Movement, also published by Penn State University Press. Williams is also on the Board of Governors of the Centre County Historical Society.

More details about the book: Evan Pugh’s Penn State: America’s Model Agricultural College @

You may also be interested in a bus tour hosted by the Centre County Historical Society to Historic Chester County on May 16/17. The deadline for registration and deposit is March 1 – act fast!

Go to this link for more information: http://www.centrehistory.org/event/chester-county-bus-trip/?instance_id=5948

The lecture  about “Evan Pugh’s Penn State: America’s Model Agricultural College” is part of the distinguished author series is underwritten by the Anne Hamilton Henszey Pyle and Kenneth B. Pyle Educational Fund for Regional Heritage Preservation of the Centre County Historical Society (The Henszey Pyle Fund.)

The inspirations for the Henszey-Pyle Fund include the interest that Anne and Kenneth have in the history of the community in which they grew up and their belief in the value of the study of history.  Anne is the great-great-grand daughter of Moses and Mary Irvin Thompson and great-grand daughter of John Hamilton all of whose contributions to regional history are honored at the Centre Furnace Mansion and within the Centre County Historical Society.  Kenneth, who acquired a love of the study of history growing up in State College, is the Henry M. Jackson Professor of History and International Studies Emeritus at the University of Washington where he has taught history for over fifty years.

The lecture series is coordinated by CCHS Board of Governors member Dr. Ford Risley.


Centre County/Penn State Visitor Center, 800 E. Park Ave.,  State College, PA. 16803.  Directly across from Beaver Stadium. Admission to the program is FREE. Donations are appreciated.  For more information, please call the Centre County Historical Society (814) 234-4779.