In 1863, just a year after Congress enacted the Land-Grant Colleges Act, Massachusetts Agricultural College embarked on its mission to offer instruction to the state's citizens in the agricultural, mechanical, and military arts. The school boasted a faculty of 4 and a student body of 56. As UMass Amherst prepares to celebrate its sesquicentennial, its full-time faculty numbers nearly 1,200 and the combined under-graduate/graduate student population is close to 28,000. The principles that undergirded Mass Aggie s founding continue to form the basis for UMass Amherst's mission of preparing young people to make their way in life by stretching boundaries in all disciplines, from the physical and social sciences to the liberal arts. UMass Rising looks at the school over the course of its first 150 years and mines that history to reveal not only how these principles have been fostered, but also the whys and whos. The engaging text is enhanced by features on all aspects of life at this unique university. The reader encounters a cavalcade of notable people, as well as many little-known anecdotes, from the humorous to the touching. All are anchored by a gathering of archival images, some published here for the first time.