Robert W. MacVicar, OSU President from 1970 to 1984, was born at Princeton, Minnesota on September 28, 1918. He attended the University of Wyoming, graduating with honors in 1939 with a B.S. degree in Chemistry. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1939, but he was unable to attend due to World War II. MacVicar continued his education at Oklahoma State University where he received a masters degree in Chemistry in 1940. After serving in the Army from 1939 to 1945, MacVicar attended the University of Wisconsin, where he completed his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1946.
MacVicar returned to Oklahoma State as Associate Professor in Agricultural Chemistry Research and Chemistry and as Professor of Biochemistry from 1946-1964. He served as Dean of the Graduate School at Oklahoma State from 1953 to 1964. From 1957 to 1964 MacVicar also served as Vice President for Academic Affairs. He became Chancellor of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1968.
MacVicar came to Oregon State University in 1970 where he served as President until his retirement in 1984. He simultaneously held the position of Professor of Chemistry. During President MacVicar's tenure in office, the decentralization of the top administration of the university began, when he added a number of vice presidents. After his retirement, he was named Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and President Emeritus, Special Assistant to the Chancellor. He also served as Acting President of the College of Ganado, a small college in Arizona, for seven months in 1985.
In 1983-1984 MacVicar served on the Tanzania Study Team at the Sokoine University of Agriculture. He was honorary chair for the State of Oregon of the United Nations Day Committee for 1990 and 1991. He also served as the chair of the Benton/Corvallis Library Art Committee for 1990-1991.
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