The Newman Foundation of Oregon State University was established in 1965 as a non-profit organization to "preserve, protect, and promote the Catholic faith of its members, to propate the Catholic faith according to the dictates of the church, and to provide facilities for each purposes." In order to develop a Newman Center close to the Oregon State University, the Foundation purchased several properties on Monroe Avenue between 21st and 23rd Streets in 1966. These properties included several rental houses as well as facilities for the Newman Center (also known as Newman House) that offered programs and activities for Catholic students and faculty at Oregon State. One of the structures was the former home of Margaret Comstock Snell, the first Professor and Dean of Home Economics at Oregon State from 1889 to 1908.
During 2001 and 2002, the Foundation donated the properties to the Archdiocese of Portland in the interest of facilitating needed renovation work on some of the structures. The announcement of plans a few years later to sell the properties sparked a legal battle between the Foundation and the Archdiocese that the Foundation lost in 2007. The foundation was dissolved soon thereafter in 2008.
The Newman Club for Catholic students at Oregon State was established in 1917.
Gordon Sitton was director of international education at Oregon State and served as faculty advisor for the Newman Center beginning in the 1960s.
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