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Second Morrill Act passed by Congress on August 30. The Act granted funds to those states with land grant colleges. The act placed $15,000 at the disposal of the Board of Regents for the year ending July 1890. No part of the funds could be used for buildings.

The college became a national leader in gender equality by being one of three land grant institutions in the nation to offer scientific courses to women.

The Library of the Adelphian, a student literary club, that was the nucleus of the Kerr Library, presented to the College.

First full-time librarian position established: May Warren, 1890-1891.

Brass band organized in November; students had to procure their own instruments.

Faculty passed a resolution that no students would be allowed to smoke in the buildings or on the college grounds.

Name of institution – Oregon Agricultural College (OAC).

Enrollment: 152 at all levels; 85 at college level.

Population in Corvallis: 1,527; in Benton County: 8,650; in Oregon: 317,704.


College and Experiment Station printing plant established and operational. It had been approved on September 24, 1890; Second Morrill Act funds used to purchase the equipment.

Faculty totaled twelve members.


Upon the death of President Arnold on January 30, Professor John Davidson Letcher, B.S., (Professor of Mathematics and Engineering, 1888-1894), the senior faculty member, was appointed by the Board of Regents as acting president (February 17, 1892-May 31, 1892) pending the appointment of a new president. After the arrival of the new President, John Bloss, in May 1892 Letcher resumed duties as Professor of Mathematics and Engineering. He left OAC in 1894 to teach mathematics at the University of Oregon (1894-1896) and later settled in his native Virginia.

John McKnight Bloss, A.B., A.M., M.D., (June 1, 1892-June 24, 1896) appointed as the third president of the State Agricultural College of the State of Oregon. Bloss was the first president hired directly by the Board of Regents. Prior to his arrival in Oregon, Bloss had served for 20 years as the superintendent of public schools in Indiana and Kansas. Bloss resigned in June 1896 due to failing health and returned to his home state of Indiana.

After President Arnold's death, President Bloss relaxed student discipline for the first time and students of the opposite sex were allowed to work and study together.

Construction of the Station Building (later the Paleontology Laboratory and now the Women's Center) and Cauthorn Hall (now Fairbanks Hall) completed.

Y.M.C.A. established.

Extra-curricular activities and athletics organized, including the establishment of the College Athletic Club.

Lawsuit, Methodist Episcopal Church, South vs. State of Oregon, settled in favor of the State of Oregon.

System of electric bells installed – manually operated by the janitor.


Orange selected as the school color on May 2. The students immediately adopted black as a background for their color. This selection gave rise to controversy because Albany College had selected orange and black for its colors in 1887. (Notes: (1) In addition to orange, black has been used by tradition but was never officially adopted as the second university color. (2) The first school color was blue – date unknown).

"Orangemen" and "Aggies" used as nicknames.

Athletic program, including football, established.

First inter-collegiate outdoor and indoor athletic contest held May 4 in Brownsville.

The first football team was organized with Will H. Bloss, son of President John M. Bloss, as coach. On November 11, in its first game, the college defeated Albany College 62-0 in front of an estimated 500 fans. Will Bloss is credited with introducing football to the State of Oregon.

Horticulture Building (later Poultry Feeding Building) completed.

The first mascot was a coyote named Jimmie.

In its 25th year after designation as a state college: collegiate enrollment--184 (179 undergraduates and 5 graduates); degrees granted--19; teaching and research staff--16; library collection--1,950 volumes.

Oregon Legislative Assembly appropriated $26,100 for new buildings.


Farmers' Short Course, first in the West, offered from January 10 to February 7, 1894.

"Hayseed", forerunner of the Beaver yearbook, published by a group from the junior class; the first yearbook published in Oregon.

On December 1, the Board of Regents voted to limit students admitted to the Preparatory Department to those who came from towns of less than 2,000; the first action taken in establishing entrance standards.

New buildings constructed for agriculture, horticulture and photography, and mechanical arts.


Senior class president position established; William Keady the first elected president.


Henry B. Miller (July 28, 1896-June 30, 1897), a member of the Board of Regents, appointed by the Board as the fourth president of the State Agricultural College of the State of Oregon following the retirement of President Bloss. Miller was a successful Oregon businessman and politician from Grants Pass. He later served as the consul-general in China and Japan (1900-1909) and as the Director of Extension and Publishing Programs for the School of Commerce of the University of Oregon (1914-1917).

Students established an Athletic Association to help put the athletic program on a more firm financial footing.

In March, literary societies of the college began publication of a monthly magazine, the College Barometer. The Barometer in 1906 was published as a weekly; in 1909 as a semi-weekly; and in 1922 five times each week.

Dean of the College Department established; Professor Frederick Berchtold, A.M., at the college since 1884, elected to the position.

Farmers' Institutes, forerunner of extension service, extended to include field demonstrations in farm operations.

Name of institution – Agricultural College of the State of Oregon.

Preparatory Department abolished.

Faculty totaled 21 members (19 males and 2 females).


Thomas M. Gatch, A.B., A.M., Ph.D., D.D., (Summer, 1897-January 9, 1907) appointed by the Board of Regents as the fifth president of the Agricultural College of the State of Oregon following the resignation of President Miller. President Gatch previously had been president of Willamette University for 15 years (1860-1865 and 1870-1880) and president of the University of Washington for 10 years (1887-1897). Gatch retired in 1907 to his estate near Seattle.

The Athletic Committee of the faculty proposed on May 6 that an incidental student fee be assessed ($1.00 for males; $.50 for females) to fund oratorical contests and general athletics. No action was taken on this proposal.

Name of institution – President Gatch used Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) as the name of the institution.


Chair of Pharmacy established following a petition by druggists of the state for such a position.

Mechanical Building destroyed by fire on September 27. Included in the loss were all of the athletic equipment, dressing rooms, and showers used for athletic programs.

Debut of OAC women's basketball.

Faculty totaled 26 members (20 males and 6 females).

Armory and gymnasium (formerly the Museum Building and Mitchell Playhouse, and currently the Gladys Valley Gymnastics Center) erected.


In June, a second attempt to add a student fee to the registration tuition, to help fund athletics, failed.

Ellen Chamberlin (1899-1903) appointed as the first Dean of Women. (The next Dean of Women was not appointed until 1911 when Anna Zou Crayne, A.B., M.D., assumed this position. The first Dean of Men appointment occurred in 1924).

The College began offering a sub-freshman class for students who had completed 8th grade and were 15 years of age but lived at considerable distance from a high school. No students were admitted to this class who were from towns with more than 1,500 inhabitants or which supported a high school.

Enrollment: 352. The Agricultural College of the State of Oregon was the largest college in Oregon.