What does “land-grant”, “sea-grant” and all those other “grants” mean in terms of universities?
For example, my university is a land-grant institution. What does that mean?
Land-grant universities (also called land-grant colleges or land grant institutions) are institutions of higher education in the United States that have been designated by each state to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890.
The Morrill Acts funded educational institutions by granting federally controlled land to the states. The mission of these institutions, as set forth in the 1862 Act, is to teach agriculture, military tactic, the mechanic arts, and home economics, not to the exclusion of classical studies, so that members of the working classes might obtain a practical college education.
Likewise, a Sea-grant institution works closely with the 30 state Sea Grant programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state and Puerto Rico. These programs serve as the core of a dynamic, national university-based network of over 300 institutions involving more than 3,000 scientists, engineers, educators, students and outreach experts. This network works on a variety of topics vital to human and environmental health—topics such as water quality coastal hazards and biotechnology. Through their research, education and outreach activities, Sea Grant has helped position the United States as the world leader in marine research and the sustainable development of coastal resources. Sea Grant activities exist at the nexus of local, state, national and sometimes international interests. In this way, local needs receive national attention, and national commitments are fulfilled at the local level.