UK grew from the vision of one man, John Bowman. In 1865, after winning financial support through the federal Morrill Land-Grant College Act and private donations, Bowman saw the realization of his dream with the opening of the state's new Agricultural and Mechanical College. The college was renamed the University of Kentucky in 1916.The University of Kentucky will be one of the nation's 20 best public research universities, an institution recognized world-wide for excellence in teaching, research, and service and a catalyst for intellectual, social, cultural, and economic development.The University of Kentucky is a public, research-extensive, land grant university dedicated to enriching people's lives through excellence in teaching, research, and service.The University of Kentucky: Facilitates learning, informed by scholarship and research. Expands knowledge through research, scholarship and creative activity. Serves a global community by disseminating, sharing and applying knowledge. The University, as the flagship institution, plays a critical leadership role for the Commonwealth by promoting human and economic development that improves lives within Kentucky's borders and beyond. The University models a diverse community characterized by fairness and social justice.