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The University of Minnesota was founded in 1851, eleven years before Congress included it in a new system of so-called "land grant" colleges and universities. In its 150 years, the U of M has adhered to its original land grant mission to educate the sons and daughters of Minnesota families while expanding its reach to welcome students from around the world and to become a major research institution. The tension between the twin missions of providing access and excellence has helped define the University of Minnesota in the 21st Century.
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