FRANKFORT, Ky – The nation’s 19 predominately black, land-grant universities, known collectively as 1890s, have scheduled a Day of Prayer on Sunday, August 30 to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the signing of the bill that created them.

            Known as the Second Morrill Act, the bill, signed on August 30, 1890, created universities and colleges for residents in Southern and border states, who because of their race, were denied admission to the publicly funded and supported 1862 Universities.ThinkstockPhotos-466132644

The universities are asking faith communities across the country to join in this commemoration.

Kentucky State University, founded as a result of the Second Morrill Act, will celebrate this signing by inviting its students to the 11 a.m. services of First Baptist Church at 100 West Clinton Street in Frankfort. The church will also conduct a special prayer for the 1890 universities during the service.

The 1890 Day of Prayer is part of the 125th yearlong celebration which included National 1890 Day, a 1.890 mile run/walk on April 23. In mid-July, presidents/chancellors from six of the institutions testified before a congressional committee on the value and impact of these institutions. This three-day event, with representatives from throughout the nation, also included exhibits highlighting work from various universities and concluded with a convocation at the Library of Congress.

In August, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution commemorating the 125th anniversary. During the remainder of the year, various campuses, many of them also celebrating campus anniversaries, will hold a variety of commemorative events and activities.

The 1890s have spent 125 years of providing access and enhancing opportunities and have a three-fold mission:

  • Prepare – advance a student’s earning potential and upward mobility
  • Discover – find solutions to the problems, obstacles and dilemmas faced by individuals, families and communities, and
  • Enhance – extend university research and knowledge beyond the campus walls.