Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

History of Oregon State University Oral Histories and Sound Recordings, 1956-2012

Historical Note:

Lillian Schroeder Van Loan conducted oral histories of Oregon State faculty and administrators for her doctoral dissertation, Historical Perspective of Oregon State College, submitted in 1959. Van Loan completed her Ed.D. degree at Oregon State College in 1959.

An oral history program was established within the Oregon State University Archives in 1970 with Ilona Fry as oral historian. The initial focus of the oral history program was the development of the liberal arts at Oregon State University and recorded the recollections of liberal arts faculty and OSU administrators. The oral histories conducted by Van Loan in 1956 were used to inform this latter work. Fry left Oregon State in September 1980.

Edward C. Allworth graduated from Oregon Agricultural College in 1916 and joined the college faculty in 1925 as manager of the Memorial Union, a position he held until his retirement in 1963.

E.B. (Edward Benjamin) Beaty earned a BS degree in electrical engineering from Oregon Agricultural College in 1903; he became a faculty member in mathematics in 1908 and continued until his retirement in 1947. Ralph S. Besse served as a farm management extension specialist and administrator in the Agricultural Experiment Station from 1922 until his retirement in 1953. Arthur G.B. Bouquet completed a BS degree in horticulture at Oregon Agricultural College in 1906 and was a faculty member in the Oregon State College Horticulture Department from 1909 until his retirement in 1950.

Ava Milam Clark served as Dean of Home Economics at Oregon State College from 1917 until 1950. Bertha Davis attended the primary and secondary departments of Corvallis College and earned her BS degree in domestic science and arts in 1889 and MS in home economics in 1909. As of 1925, she was manager of Wagner's Cafe in Corvallis. Melissa Martin Dawes joined the faculty in modern languages at Oregon Agricultural College in 1915; she served as chair of the Modern Languages Department from 1930 until her retirement in 1960.

Gordon W. Gilkey earned a fine arts degree in printmaking from the University of Oregon in 1912. He worked for the War Department in Europe after World War II on the restitution of fine art. Gilkey joined the art faculty at Oregon State College in 1947 and retired from Oregon State in 1978 as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Henry Hartman joined the horticulture faculty at Oregon Agricultural College in 1919 as a pomologist and served as a Professor of Horticulture at Oregon State until his retirement in 1960. Helen Holgate graduated from Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) in 1895 with a BS in domestic science and arts; she later worked in the Clerical Exchange at OAC. J. Granville Jensen joined the Geography Department faculty in 1946 and served as department chair from 1946 to 1964.

E.B. Lemon graduated from Oregon Agricultural College in 1911 with a degree in business; he was a faculty member in the School of Commerce until 1943 and served as University Registrar from 1922 to 1943 and as Dean of Administration from 1943 until his retirement in 1950. Lora Maud Hansell Lemon earned a BS in Commerce from Oregon Agricultural College; she married E.B. Lemon. Dendrologist Oliver Matthews traveled extensively in Oregon for more than 40 years in pursuit of trees, particularly the biggest of each species.

Miriam Orzech was Assistant Director and Academic Coordinator for the Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) from 1969 to 1974, when she became Director of the program. Linus Pauling earned a BS degree in chemical engineering from Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) in 1922 and became renown for his work as a scientist and peace activist. He met Ava Helen Miller at OAC and they were married in 1923. Charles V. Ruzek was a Professor Soils at Oregon State College from 1914 until his retirement in 1954.

William Robbins served as a faculty member in the Oregon State University History Department from 1971 until his retirement in 1999 as Emeritus Distinguished Professor of History. Robbins earned his B.S. from Western Connecticut State College and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Oregon. He was named a Distinguished Professor at OSU in 1997. Specializing in the history of the western United States from an economic and environmental perspective, Robbins has written extensively on the history of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Robbins was also a close colleague of William Appleman Williams (1921-1990), about whom Robbins speaks in the interview held in this collection.

James Wilson Sherburne joined the Oregon State faculty in 1938 in the Psychology Department. He became Dean of the General Extension Division of the Oregon State System of Higher Education in 1956. Sherburne returned to Oregon State University later in his career and retired in 1972. Nona Snell's husband was the nephew of Margaret Comstock Snell. Gertrude Strickland joined the faculty of Oregon Agricultural College as an Instructor of Household Art in 1920; she became head of the Clothing, Textiles, and Related Arts Department in 1948 and retired in 1953.

Ernest W. Warrington began his career at Oregon State College as the Campus YMCA General Secretary in 1921; in 1928, he was appointed as Professor and Head of the Religion Department. Warrington retired in 1952. Jessamine Chapman Williams joined the faculty of Oregon Agricultural College in 1923 as head of the Foods and Nutrition Department, a position she held until 1944. Williams retired in 1946. Clytie May Workinger headed the teacher placement office, as Placement Secretary, from 1923 until her retirement in 1955.


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