The area that is now known as East Lansing was settled in 1847, as a junction of two major Native American trails, the same year that adjacent Lansing became the capitol of Michigan. Three miles east of Lansing, the area now known as East Lansing, maintained a separate identity due to the establishment of a college, what is now known as Michigan State University, in 1855. After that, the area was referred to as “Agricultural College” and later “College Park,” until 1907 when it was officially incorporated into the town of East Lansing. Grand River Avenue separates the MSU campus from East Lansing, a town of about 45,000. A wide, tree-lined boulevard, Grand River Avenue, is lined with sports bars, restaurants, student-oriented shops and numerous bookstores.
Founded in 1855 as the “Agricultural College of the State of Michigan,” MSU was the country’s first land-grant institute. It served as a proto-type for 68 other land-grant universities to follow, and was also the first college in the United States to teach scientific agriculture. MSU was known as other various names throughout the years from “Michigan Agricultural College” in 1909, to “Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science” in 1925. In 1964, it was renamed “Michigan State University.”
Approximately 47,000 students roam the 5,200 beautiful lush, green acres of the MSU campus. Many still study in Ag-related programs, along with other noteworthy programs including education, veterinary medicine, political science and criminal justice, the Eli Broad College of Business, and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Law, and Physics & Astronomy (they have a research telescope in the Andes Mountains of Chile!). MSU leads the nation in study abroad participation among public universities and in 2007 established an education center in Dubai, UAE.