Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. College of Agriculture. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
Agriculture courses were offered at Southern Illinois University as early as 1912. In 1913, R. W. Muckelroy became the organizer and head of a new department of Vocational Agriculture with H. B. Piper as his associate. Included in the agricultural program at the time were one hundred and ten acres of land used for demonstration farming.
In 1943, when Southern Illinois University achieved University status, the Department of Agriculture became a component of the new College of Vocations. On September 17, 1953, the Board of Trustees approved a Division of Rural Studies, which was composed of the Department of Agriculture, the University Farms, and the Illinois Horticulture Experiment Station. Wendell D. Keeper was appointed acting Director of the new division. The Division of Rural Studies was renamed the School of Agriculture and officially activated as such on July 1, 1955, with Wendell D. Keeper as its first Dean.
The School of Agriculture changed its name to the "College of Agricultural Sciences" in December of 2001. The three primary functions of the College of Agricultural Sciences are teaching, educational services, and research. Since 1958, courses leading to a master's degree have been offered.