Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

A.L. Strand Oral History Collection, 1949-1985

Scope and Content Note

The A.L. Strand Oral History Collection documents an oral history project conducted in the early 1980s to capture recollections and remembrances of A.L. Strand, Oregon State University president from 1942 to 1961. English instructor Nancy Leman led the project in collaboration with Fred Shideler. The collection includes recordings and transcripts of oral history interviews, written remembrances and recollections, reference materials, extensive project records, and three photographs. The project was funded by grants from the OSU Research Council and the OSU Foundation.

The collection includes oral history interviews with Margaret L. Fincke, George W. Gleeson, C. Warren Hovland, Richard Hoyt, Jim Lattie, D. Curtis Mumford, Roberta Nelson, Milosh Popovich, Fred Shideler, and G. Burton Wood conducted in 1981-1982. Audiocassette sound recordings are available for all of these interviews except for Fred Shideler. A duplicate audiocassette tape for the Gleeson interview is part of the collection. Transcripts are included in the collection for all these interviews. Nancy Leman conducted all of the interviews with the exception of the interview of Jim Lattie which was done by Fred Shideler and the interviews of G. Burton Wood and Fred Shideler, which were done by Christopher Leman.

In addition, an audiocassette recording of an untitled speech delivered by Strand in 1966 is also included. This speech is believed to have been delivered to the OSU Alumni Association following Strand's retirement from Oregon State.

Written remembrances and recollections prepared by Faith Norris, Martha S. Mumford, and Russell I. Thackrey are also included in the collection.

The collection also includes a draft transcript of a group interview with several College of Liberal Arts faculty conducted in 1985. The transcript includes recollections by Chester Garrison, C.H. "Scram" Graham, C.C. Harris, Ray Hewitt, Walter Kraft, Edward Smith, Loretta Smith, and Austin Walter. The collection does not include a recording.

Correspondence and written recollections from Merrill G. Burlingame, Frank Cowan, Ellsworth Hastings, Mildred Leigh, Marjorie Paisley, John Parker, Ruth Pepper, and Louis A. Spain - all individuals who were affiliated with Strand at Montana State University - are also included and document Strand's activities as a student, faculty member, and administrator at Montana State College.

Materials written, received, and assembled by Ruth Carter pertaining to Strand were donated to Nancy Leman for the purposes of this project and included with the collection. The materials include notes and correspondence between Strand and Carter, including poems, and documentation of Carter's efforts to have a campus building named for Strand before his death.

The interviews primarily address Strand's relationships with faculty and other administrators and his personal manner, work habits, and management style. Many of the interviewees discuss the development of degree programs in the humanities and social sciences at Oregon State during Strand's presidency. Of special note is an extensive descriptive by G. Burton Wood of Strand's involvement in the development of the cooperative agreement with the Warm Springs Tribe in the 1950s and 1960s. The faculty also describe their own teaching, research, and administrative activities to varying extents. Hoyt describes Strand's relationships and interactions with the legislature and local Corvallis and Benton County governments. All of the interviews, remembrances, and recollections include anecdotes about Strand.

Reference materials assembled as part of the project include speeches and writings by Strand; materials pertaining to the Ralph Spitzer case; Fred Shideler's file on Strand; and articles, clippings, and related documentation pertaining to Strand. Project files include correspondence with interviewees and with Strand's son and daughter; project notes; oral history resources; and grant proposals and funding documentation.

The photographs consist two portrait prints of Strand and an image of Strand at Mildred Leigh's retirement as director of the Strand Union at Montana State University. All of the images were made in the 1960s.


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