Joseph R. Williams was appointed the first president of the newly created Agricultural College. After strong lobbying by the Michigan State Agricultural Society, the Michigan Agricultural College was created on February 12, 1855. Joseph R. Williams of Constantine had been very active in supporting scientific agriculture and a strong advocate in the agricultural college movement. The first students arrived at the institution, later to become Michigan State University, in the spring of 1857. Williams served as the college’s president until he resigned in March of 1859.
Source : Michigan Historical Calendar, courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.
For more information see Joseph R. Williams biography courtesy of Michigan State University.