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WVU Davis College kicks off 150th anniversary celebration with a sweet competition

Rendering of new Ag Sciences Building

Appalachian Apple Crumble, Boot Tracks and Land Grant Crunch. They sound tasty, but one of these ice cream flavors also will serve as the signature dessert for the year-long celebration of the  West Virginia University  Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design’s150th anniversary.

And you can help decide which one it will be.

Next year marks 150 years since West Virginia University was founded, in 1867, as the Agricultural College of West Virginia. President Abraham Lincoln paved the way for land-grant universities in 1862 when he signed the Morrill Act, offering land grants of 30,000 acres of federally owned land to each state that agreed to establish a college to teach agriculture and engineering.

The State of West Virginia was formed the following year and, shortly thereafter, the state’s legislature accepted the terms for the Morrill Act to raise the money to start the new land-grant college they called the Agricultural College of West Virginia. In 1868, the school’s name was changed to West Virginia University.

“I think it is important to remember, and a point of pride, that we were the founding college of this great land grant university,” said WVU Davis Dean  Daniel J. Robison. “We came first! And 2017 will mark the 150th anniversary of WVU and of the Davis College and our land grant heritage. We intend to celebrate this anniversary milestone, and set the course for the next 150 years! We celebrate with all the colleges at WVU – as this would not be a truly great Land Grant without us all.”

Ellen's Homemade Ice Cream storefront

To kick off the year’s events and to create something special, the college has teamed with Ellen Beal, owner of Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream in Charleston, to churn the signature flavor that will be served at WVU Davis College 150th anniversary events.

Alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends can  vote online for one of three flavors: Appalachian Apple Crumble, an apple ice cream with caramel swirl and pie crust crumbles; Boot Tracks, a vanilla ice cream with crushed chocolate and cream filled cookie crumbles and fudge swirl; or Land Grant Crunch, chocolate ice cream with toffee bar crunch.

The winning ice cream flavor and name will be announced in November, and the ice cream will be made fresh to serve at events starting in January 2017 in commemorative 150th anniversary ice cream bowls.

Preparation for the 150th anniversary celebration began in September, and a committee of representatives from across the college are planning a variety of events—from a banner contest to a 150th Anniversary Alumni Weekend—for faculty, staff, students and alumni.

“This is another exciting year for the college,” Robison said. “On the heels of opening our new Agricultural Sciences Building on September 9, we will now be celebrating our rich heritage and tradition and outstanding accomplishments in teaching, research, and service, now and going forward in our three constituent schools – Design and Community Development, Natural Resources, and Agriculture and Food.”