Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

John Kneebone


This thesis examines the impact of the 1862 and 1890 Morrill Acts on Virginia’s public higher education system. While the Morrill Acts, issued by the federal government, expanded access to higher education for all Americans, they also resulted in the entrenchment of segregation in seventeen different state public higher education systems. The segregated public higher education systems in Virginia and elsewhere led to inequality in the higher education available to African Americans students, compared with the higher education available to white students within these states. This thesis will address the disparity, brought about by unequal funding of institutions based upon race, which Virginia’s state government policy exacerbated, from 1872 to 1953. It will analyze the difference between the funding and program availability at Virginia Tech, designated to educate white students, compared with Virginia State University, which was the public institution designated to educate African American students during this period.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2013

Included in

History Commons