1990-1999 Chronological History Home 2000-


In January, free campus shuttle service began to bring passengers from parking lots and other sites near the margins of campus to the inner core.

OSU hosted the "God at 2000" conference in February. Seven internationally recognized scholars, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu, discussed the topic "How I See God" with an on-site audience of over 1000 and a national audience at over 600 locations linked by live satellite television.

June commencement ceremonies were divided for the first time into separate events for undergraduate and graduate students.

In July, the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences launched the 54-foot research vessel Elakha, to be used primarily for research of Oregon’s coastal marine systems.

The OSU College of Engineering received a gift of $20 million in August from an anonymous OSU alumnus in its campaign to raise $125 million and become one of the top 25 colleges of engineering in the country. Martin Kelley ('50) later revealed himself as the donor.

The Department of Extension and Experiment Station Communications won 13 awards at the annual meeting of the Agricultural Communicators in Education (ACE), more than any other of the 700 member organizations.

In November, the Beaver football team concluded the 2000 season with a 10-1 record (its best ever) and an invitation to play Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl on January 1, 2001.

Population in Corvallis: 50,800; in Benton County: 78,153; in Oregon: 3,421,399.


In February, the Board of Higher Education awarded the new branch campus in Bend to Oregon State University. Classes at the new OSU-Cascades Campus began in September. Located on the campus of Central Oregon Community College, the branch campus offered a dual enrollment program with the community college and 20 bachelor’s and graduate degrees. The OSU Foundation created a $3.5 million endowment for student scholarships at the campus and construction began on a $5.4 million building to house most of the classes and operations of the new campus.

The centenary of Linus Pauling’s birth was celebrated with exhibits, film screenings, lectures and a full-day symposium, "A Liking for the Truth: Truth and Controversy in the Work of Linus Pauling".

The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges reaffirmed the accreditation of OSU. In April, a team of evaluators visited campus as part of the ten-year accreditation review for Oregon State University. The report commended OSU faculty and staff for their commitment to both undergraduate and graduate students, cited the university’s renovation and expansion of the Valley Library, and applauded OSU for its commitment to serving and providing access to programs throughout the state. The commission requested that OSU assess its mission and goals in relationship with its available resources and address issues relating to educational assessment, library collections, and deferred maintenance.

First outdoor commencement was held for undergraduates at Reser Stadium. A separate ceremony for graduate students was held in the LaSells Stewart Center.

The OSU community responded to the September 11th terrorist attacks by providing a gathering place in the Memorial Union lounge for students, staff, and faculty. Many participated in National Day of Prayer and Remembrance on September 14th. In keeping with other universities and professional sports teams, OSU’s football game on Sept. 15th was postponed. The grand opening celebration of the OSU-Cascades Campus scheduled for September 16th was cancelled.

More than 18,000 students enrolled at Oregon State University’s Corvallis and Cascades (Bend) campuses in the fall, giving OSU the highest enrollment in school history. Oregon State’s enrollment for its Corvallis campus was 17,920, a 7 percent increase over Fall 2000 enrollment of 16,777. OSU’s on-campus enrollment easily surpassed its previous enrollment record of 17,689 students set in 1980.

The New Media Communication Program was unveiled ten years after the popular journalism and broadcast journalism majors were closed due to Ballot Measure 5 budget cuts. The program will be a hybrid effort taught by faculty in speech communication, English, computer science, and art.

A 68-foot-high campanile, dedicated to the late H. Dean Papé, was given to the OSU community by the Papé family. The bell tower, located east of The Valley Library, contains five bronze bells that will chime the hour and half-hour and a clock face on its west side. Papé, noted alumnus and successful Oregon businessman, graduated from Oregon State College in 1942.

Construction began on a new residence hall for 210 students in the area of Bloss, Arnold, and Finley Halls. The new hall, the first residence hall to be constructed on campus since the early 1970s, will open in the fall of 2002.

A multi-million-dollar budget shortfall for the 2001-2002 fiscal year was reconciled by reducing operating expenses in non-academic units by 6.5 percent, reallocating 3.25 percent of funds from academic units, limiting hiring, and reducing telecommunication and travel costs.


A $19 million expansion and renovation of the Dixon Recreation Center began in January and was completed in May 2004. It added 60,000 square feet of space to the facility.

Oregon State University students and administrators sign a covenant guaranteeing support of the cultural centers in perpetuity.

In March the colleges of Home Economics and Health and Human Performance combined to form the College of Health and Human Sciences. With this merger, the School of Education was re-established as a separate entity on campus. In addition to programs in elementary education, secondary education, adult education, community college leadership and counseling education, the new School of Education included the university’s College Student Services Administration (CSSA) program and the 4-H Youth Development program. Sam Stern was appointed dean of the newly reorganized school.

The Daily Barometer was chosen as the nation’s best student newspaper in the U.S. by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Construction of the $45 million Kelley Engineering Center began in September. The 146,000 square foot building was funded in part by a $20 million gift from Martin and Judy Kelley. Martin Kelley was an OSU engineering graduate.

Construction of a Hilton Garden Inn hotel on campus near the Lasells Stewart Center began in August. The facility opened in September 2003.

Cascades Hall at the OSU Cascades Campus was dedicated in September.

OSU Distance and Continuing Education was renamed OSU Extended Campus on September 1.

In November, alumnus Don Pettit (chemical engineering, 1978) began a four month sojourn aboard the International Space Station, Alpha. Pettit worked for the Los Alamos National Laboratory before joining NASA in 1995.

President Paul Risser was named chancellor of the Oklahoma University System in November. Risser, who had been at Oregon State since early 1996, grew up in Oklahoma and taught for fourteen years at the University of Oklahoma. Provost Tim White was named interim president later that month.

A climate analysis model developed at OSU, PRISM, became the national standard for climate mapping. The technology was being used by several federal agencies and The Weather Channel.

In December, alumni Ken and Joan Austin donated $4 million to establish a residential learning program focusing on entrepreneurship. The donation also allowed the release of state monies for the renovation of Weatherford Hall, which re-opened in the fall of 2004.


Senior Casey McCoy received five degrees at June’s commencement ceremonies, the first OSU student ever to earn that many degrees at one time.

OSU’s Coalition of Graduate Employees successfully negotiated an agreement granting full health insurance coverage for the university’s graduate teaching and research assistants, for the first time in OSU’s history.

In July the Multnomah County Extension Office closed after serving Portlanders since 1916.

On July 31 Edward Ray became OSU’s 14th president. Ray came to OSU from Ohio State University, where he had been a faculty member and administrator for 33 years. Ray declined a formal investiture ceremony and asked that the $33,000 earmarked for that event instead go toward student financial aid.

In September, construction began on a major expansion and renovation of the College of Veterinary Medicine’s facilities in Magruder Hall. Much of the expansion was for the addition of a small animal hospital and clinic, which would allow the college for the first time to provide all of the necessary training for its students. The joint program with Washington State University, in which subsidy payments were made to WSU and students had received portions of their education out of state, was to be discontinued.


In early January a major winter storm hit Oregon, dumping snow and ice on Corvallis and OSU. The university closed for three days and many campus trees were damaged due to the heavy ice.

In January OSU was named one of five centers to participate in the Sun Grant Initiative, a program to develop sustainable and renewable agricultural products based on energy from the sun. With this selection, OSU was just one of two universities (the other being Cornell) to be designated a land, sea, space and sun grant institution.

In February provost and former interim president Tim White was named the new president of the University of Idaho.

OSU’s strategic planning process moved forward. The Strategic Plan for the 21st Century called for the university to improve the quality of its academics by investing in five key areas, increase student access to higher education through a scholarship drive, and help jump-start the Oregon economy through key partnerships with business. The plan, distributed by OSU President Ed Ray, also called for Oregon State to become one of the nation’s top 10 land grant universities.

An $80 million, 8,000-seat expansion of Reser stadium began in May. Construction of a companion parking structure began in August.

On May 27 the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) opened in a building on Hewlett-Packard Company’s Corvallis campus. OSU is one of the university partners in the institute.

Former astronaut and Ohio senator John Glenn gave a commencement address during graduation ceremonies in June. He was the first commencement speaker at OSU in several years. Glenn received an honorary doctorate from OSU at the ceremonies.

In September OSU fielded a varsity women’s cross country team, its first venture into the sport at the intercollegiate level since men’s and women’s cross country and track and field were eliminated in 1988.

Enrollment at the Corvallis campus for Fall Term was 19,159, the first time that OSU had broken the 19,000 student enrollment plateau.


In support of its strategic plan, OSU identified six strategic initiatives for investment that would bring to the university new centers for research and outreach, additional faculty, and undergraduate and graduate student scholarships, internships and educational opportunities. The initiatives included A Center for Health Aging Research: Linking Individuals, Families and Environments (LIFE); Computational and Genome Biology; Ecosystem Informatics: Mathematics, Computer Science and Ecology; Subsurface Biosphere Education and Research; Sustainable Rural Communities; and Water and Watersheds.

On March 14, professor emeritus and former dean of Oregon State University’s College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences G. Brent Dalrymple was awarded the National Medal of Science at a White House ceremony.

The OSU baseball team compiled a 46-12 record and won the Pacific-10 conference baseball championship. In June, the team participated in the College World series for the first time since 1952, and finished the season ranked seventh nationally.

In September the new east grandstand of Reser Stadium opened, bringing the stadium’s capacity to 43,000. The cost of the expansion was $93 million.

On October 29, the $45 million Kelley Engineering Center celebrated its grand opening. The four story, 153,000 square foot facility was funded in part with a $20 million gift from alumni Martin and Judy Kelley. Incorporated into the design were many "green" elements, earning the building a "Gold" LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.