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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In making diversity a core value, the University of Minnesota recognizes that its campuses flourish only when all students, staff, faculty and external supporters have a community in which to grow and thrive. T
he Universitys access and diversity goals, values, and practices are fully interconnected, and the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED) is comprised of offices that work togetherand in collaboration with faculty, staff, students and administratorsto educate and serve all members of the University community.
The five University of Minnesota campuses are accredited separately at the institutional level by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The 2005 accreditation review of the Twin Cities campus completed by the Higher Learning Commission resulted in high marks for the campus. The Twin Cities campus was granted full accreditation through 2015-16, with no follow-up reports or visits in the interim.
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