Laramie residents are encouraged to join Scott Henkel, University of Wyoming assistant professor in the Department of English and in African American and Diaspora Studies, as he discusses the past, present and future of land-grant universities during a public lecture Monday, May 8.

The lecture, titled “The Humanities and the Land Grant University Mission from the 19th to the 21st Century,” is presented by the Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research and the UW President’s Office, according to a UW news release.

Henkel said land-grant universities like UW, which were established under the Morrill Act of 1862, have a long history of enriching the communities in which they are established.

“Since their founding in the 19th century, land-grant universities have been among the primary institutions designed to engage the public in the broadest range of humanistic, scientific and cultural education,” Henkel said in a statement. “They were first imagined amid the Civil War and Reconstruction, as part of the effort, in W.E.B. DuBois’s words, to seize ‘the opportunity for a real and new democracy in America’; they were then built to serve the needs of people whose potential had yet to be fulfilled.”

Henkel’s lecture will focus on the history of land-grant universities, in order to consider their possibilities for the future.

The lecture will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center. The event is free and open to the public.