Welcome to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the flagship public research campus of our Commonwealth. As we celebrate our sesquicentennial, it is truly an exciting time to be part of this great institution.
In 1863, what was then the Massachusetts Agricultural College swung open its doors to the people of the Commonwealth. “Mass Aggie” was fueled by a radical vision: any deserving citizen of Massachusetts, regardless of wealth or social status, should have access to higher education. Like other public land-grant universities opening their doors across the nation, Mass Aggie would be guided by the core principles of teaching, research and engagement.
In Amherst, with four faculty members, four wooden buildings, and 56 students, the democratization of higher education was set in motion.
In time, what originated as a radical vision became a national strength. Our own campus continued to serve and expand its scope. In 1931, “Mass Aggie” became Massachusetts State College. By 1947, “Mass State” had become the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Today, UMass Amherst is a nationally recognized public research university with an internationally renowned faculty. Each fall, 27,000 students from across the Commonwealth, and beyond, arrive on campus — now 1,450 acres boasting state-of-the-art facilities for every discipline — and embark on a journey defined by personal and intellectual growth.
While much has changed over 150 years, perhaps more remains the same. We are still defined by our original core principles of teaching, research and engagement. And, we remain strongly committed to that once radical vision that every deserving citizen should have the opportunity to attend college.
Kumble R. Subbaswamy