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University of Minnesota at St. Paul

Founded as a preparatory school in 1851, the University of Minnesota is one of the most comprehensive public universities in the United States. It has primary campuses in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul), Duluth, Crookston, and Morris. In 1851, seven years before the formation of Minnesota as the 32nd state, the territorial legislature and Governor Alexander Ramsey chartered the University of Minnesota as a preparatory school in St. Anthony Falls on the Mississippi River. Due to financial troubles, the school was forced to close during the American Civil War. It was reopened in 1867, with the help of Minneapolis entrepreneur John Sargent Pillsbury, who later came to be known as "the Father of the University." Under Pillsbury's influence and leadership, the school recovered from its burdensome debts through private donations, land sales, and skillful negotiations with creditors. Another factor in the school’s survival in those tenuous early years was the enactment of the Morrill Act during Abraham Lincoln's presidency. The University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus is located north of the city and mainly focuses on agriculture. It includes 537 acres and 100 buildings, as well as an additional 164-acre golf course, and 33 acres that make up the University Grove neighborhood. It is also home to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. The College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences on the St. Paul campus is consistently ranked among the top five colleges of agriculture in the world.