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Presidents of Oregon State University Photographic Collection, circa 1865-1999

By Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Nielsen.

Collection Overview

Title: Presidents of Oregon State University Photographic Collection, circa 1865-1999

Predominant Dates: 1910-1970

ID: P 001

Primary Creator: Zwahlen, Fred C. (1924-)

Extent: 0.5 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement:

The photographs are arranged in 17 series, primarily by president: I. William A. Finley; II. Benjamin Lee Arnold; III. John M. Bloss; IV. H.B. Miller; V. Thomas M. Gatch; VI. William Jasper Kerr; VII. George W. Peavy; VIII. Frank Llewellyn Ballard; IX. A.L. Strand; X. James H. Jensen; XI. John D. Letcher; XII. Francois A. Gilfillan; XIII. Multiple Presidents; XIV. Robert W. MacVicar; XV. John V. Byrne; XVI. Paul Gillan Risser; and XVII. Roy A. Young.

All images have been assigned individual numbers (P001:001-P001:114).

Languages of Materials: English [eng]

Abstract

The Presidents of Oregon State University Photographic Collection consists of images of Oregon State University presidents from W. A. Finley through Paul Risser from a variety of sources and in various formats, primarily b/w prints. The collection includes multiple images for William Jasper Kerr, George W. Peavy, August L. Strand, and James H. Jensen.

Images from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

Scope and Content Notes

The Presidents of Oregon State University Photographic Collection consists of images of most of OSU's presidents and acting presidents. The majority of the images are black and white prints. Several images have multiple prints. A few of the 19th century portraits are albumen prints, and others are copies. The collection also includes 5 camera negatives, 6 color slides, and an oil painting; these are indicated in the detailed description of the collection.

Images from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Since its designation as a land-grant institution of higher learning in 1868, Oregon State University has had 19 presidents, including 5 acting (or interim) presidents. They have been William A. Finley, 1865-1872 (Finley was appointed president of the university's predecessor institution, Corvallis Academy, in 1865); Joseph Emery, acting, 1872; Benjamin L. Arnold, 1872-1892; John D. Letcher, acting, 1892; John M. Bloss, 1892-1896; H. B. Miller, 1896-1897; Thomas M. Gatch, 1897-1907; William Jasper Kerr, 1907- 1932; George W. Peavy, acting, 1932-1934, president, 1934-1940; Frank L. Ballard, 1940-1941; Francois A. Gilfillan, acting, 1941- 1942; August L. Strand, 1942-1961; James H. Jensen, 1961-1969; Roy A. Young, acting, 1969-1970; Robert W. MacVicar, 1970-1984; John V. Byrne, 1984-1995; Paul G. Risser, 1996-2002; Timothy P. White, interim, 2002-2003; and Edward J. Ray, 2003-.

The president is the chief executive officer of the university. From 1868 to 1929 the president reported to the college's Board of Trustees/Regents. Since the creation of the Oregon University System (formerly the Oregon State System of Higher Education) in 1929, the president has reported to the System's chancellor.

Administrative Information

Accruals: Additions to the collection are expected.

More Extent Information: 300 prints, 7 film negatives, 6 slides, and 1 oil painting ; 4 boxes, include 3 oversize boxes

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Related Materials:

Other photographic collections containing substantial numbers of presidential photos include Harriet's Photograph Collection (P HC), Alumni Relations Photographs (P 017), Oregon State University Historical Photographs (P 025), Faculty and Staff Photograph Collection (P 046), News and Communication Services Photograph Collection (P 057), Gwil Evans Photographic Collection (P 082), President's Office Photographs (P 092), Robert W. Henderson  Photograph Collection (P 098), and the Extension and Experiment Station Communications Photograph Collection (P 120).

Albumen prints of early 1890s protraits of John M. Bloss and John D. Letcher are available in the Emile Pernot Photographs (P 230).

See also: the OSU Presidents Online Exhibit, featuring images and biographical sketches of OSU presidents from 1865 to the present.

Preferred Citation: Presidents of Oregon State University Photographic Collection (P 001), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Creators

Zwahlen, Fred C. (1924-)
Ball Studio
Burtner, John C. (John Cole) (1895-)
Goldson, L.
Harris & Ewing
Henderson, Robert W. (Robert Wesley) (1914-2006)
Howell's Studio
Oregon State University
Savage, C. R. (Charles Roscoe) (1832-1909)

People, Places, and Topics

Arnold, Benjamin L. (Benjamin Lea), 1839-1892
Ballard, Frank L. (Frank Llewellyn), 1891-1971.
Bloss, John M. (John McKnight), 1839-1905
Byrne, John Vincent, 1928-
College presidents--Oregon--Corvallis.
Finley, W. A. (William Asa), 1839-1912
Gatch, Thomas M. (Thomas Milton), 1833-1913
Jensen, James H.
Kerr, William Jasper, 1863-1947
Letcher, John D. (John Davidson), 1853-1938
MacVicar, Robert William, 1918-
Miller, Henry B., 1854-1921.
Oregon State University
Peavy, George Wilcox, 1869-1951
Risser, Paul G.
Strand, A. L. (August Leroy), 1894-
University History
Young, Roy A. (Roy Alton), 1921-

Forms of Material

Albumen prints.
Cabinet photographs.
Cartes-de-visite (card photographs).
Film negatives.
Oil paintings (visual works)
Photographic prints.
Slides (photographs).


Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: William A. Finley, circa 1865-1870,
Biography or History: W.A. Finley served as the first President of Corvallis College from 1865 until 1872. He was appointed in 1865 as President of the University's predecessor institution, Corvallis College, by the Methodist Episcopal Church South and was president at the time the College was chosen as the agricultural college for Oregon under the provisions of the 1862 Morrill Act.

Box-Folder 1.1: William A. Finley, circa 1865-1870
Item P001:001: As a young man (possibly taken at time of marriage), circa 1865
Extent: 4 prints

Item P001:002: Portrait, circa 1870
Extent: 8 prints

Box-Folder 2.1: William A. Finley, circa 1870
Item P001:002: Portrait, circa 1870
Dimensions: apx 12x17 in.

Extent: 1 oversize print

Series 2: Benjamin Lee Arnold, circa 1875
Biography or History: Benjamin Lee Arnold was named president by the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church South in the summer of 1872 and arrived in Corvallis in September. Arnold continued as president until his death on January 30, 1892, at the age of 52.

Box-Folder 1.2: Benjamin Lee Arnold, circa 1875
Item P001:003: Portrait made in Winona, Mississippi
Extent: 1 carte de visite and 1 print

Series 3: John M. Bloss, circa 1895
Biography or History: John McKnight Bloss served as the third President of Oregon Agricultural College from 1892 until 1896. He was the first OAC president hired directly by the Board of Regents.

Box-Folder 1.3: John M. Bloss, circa 1895
Item P001:004: Portrait
Extent: 2 prints

Box-Folder 2.1: John M. Bloss, circa 1895
Item P001:004: Portrait
Dimensions: apx 12x17 in.

Extent: 1 oversize print

Series 4: H.B. Miller, circa 1890-1920
Biography or History: A successful Oregon businessman and politician, Miller served as president of Oregon Agricultural College for only eleven months in 1896-1897.

Box-Folder 1.4: H. B. Miller, circa 1890s-1920
Item P001:005: Portrait, circa 1920
Extent: 3 prints

Item P001:006: Seated portrait, circa 1915
Extent: 5 prints

Item P001:007: Portrait, circa 1890s
Item P001:112: Portrait, circa 1915
Series 5: Thomas M. Gatch, circa 1907
Biography or History: Gatch was appointed as president of Oregon Agricultural College because of his vast experience in higher education, having previously presided over Willamette University (1860-1865 and 1870-1880) and the University of Washington (1887-1895). He retired from the OAC presidency in July 1907 (at the age of 74), but remained at the College as Professor of Political and Mental Science until the end of 1907.

Box-Folder 1.5: Thomas M. Gatch, circa 1895
Item P001:008: Portrait
Extent: 3 prints

Box-Folder 2.1: Thomas M. Gatch, circa 1895
Item P001:008: Portrait
Dimensions: apx 12x17 in.

Extent: 1 oversize print

Series 6: William Jasper Kerr, circa 1905-1940
Biography or History: William Jasper Kerr was chosen as President of Oregon Agricultural College in 1907 and lead the College through a 25-year period of tremendous growth in numbers of students and faculty, academic and research programs, and physical facilities. Kerr's influence on Oregon higher education continued as he served as the first Chancellor of the Oregon State System of Higher Education from 1932 until his retirement in 1935.

Box-Folder 1.6: Williams Jasper Kerr, circa 1905-1940
Item P001:009: Portrait, 1940
Extent: 15 prints

Item P001:010: Standing on campus, circa late 1920s
Item P001:011: On Memorial Union steps, circa late 1920s
Item P001:012: Seated at desk, circa 1930
Item P001:013: Seated at desk, circa 1930
Item P001:014: Seated at desk, circa 1930
Item P001:015: Seated at desk, circa 1930
Extent: 6 prints

Item P001:016: Seated at desk, circa 1930
Item P001:017: Seated at desk, circa 1930
Extent: 9 prints

Item P001:018: Seated at desk, circa 1930
Extent: 3 prints

Item P001:020: Seated at desk, circa 1930
Extent: 10 prints

Item P001:021: Seated at desk, circa 1930
Extent: 3 prints

Item P001:022: In cap and gown, 1931
Extent: 3 prints

Item P001:023: In cap and gown, 1931
Extent: 2 prints

Item P001:024: In cap and gown, 1931
Extent: 4 prints

Item P001:025: Pen drawing, circa 1925
Box-Folder 1.7: Williams Jasper Kerr, circa 1905-1940
Item P001:026: Portrait, circa 1905
Extent: 7 prints

Number: P001:026

Item P001:027: Portrait, 1913
Item P001:028: Portrait, circa 1910
Extent: 2 prints

Item P001:029: Standing portrait, circa 1910
Item P001:030: Portrait, 1923
Extent: 2 prints

Item P001:031-P001:032: Portrait, 1923
Extent: 4 prints

Item P001:033: Portrait, circa 1925
Extent: 2 prints

Item P001:034: Portrait, circa 1925,
Item P001:035: Portrait, circa 1925
Extent: 3 prints

Item P001:036: Portrait, circa 1925
Extent: 2 prints

Item P001:037: Portrait, circa 1925
Item P001:038: Portrait, circa 1925
Extent: 7 prints

Item P001:039: Walking across campus with Lincoln Steffins, 1913
Steffins was a speaker at the College Convocation on October 22, 1913; photograph published in 1915 Beaver, p. 60. The original print is at P25:289.
Extent: 1 duplicate print

Item P001:040: Portrait, circa 1930
Extent: 7 prints and 1 copy negative

Item P001:041: Portrait, circa 1930
Extent: 2 prints

Item P001:042: Portrait, circa 1930
Extent: 2 prints

Item P001:043: Portrait, 1930
Extent: 5 prints

Item P001:044: Seated portrait, 1930
Item P001:045-P001:046: Portrait, 1930
Extent: 5 prints

Item P001:047: Portrait, circa 1934
Extent: 5 prints and 1 copy negative

Item P001:048: Portrait, circa 1934
Extent: 12 prints

Item P001:049: Portrait, circa 1934
Extent: 5 prints

Item P001:050: Portrait, circa 1926
Extent: 4 prints

Item P001:051: Portrait, circa 1926
Extent: 5 prints

Item P001:052: Portrait, circa 1926
Extent: 5 prints

Item P001:053: Portrait, circa 1926
Extent: 4 prints

Item P001:054: Portrait, circa 1926
Extent: 2 prints

Item P001:108: William Jasper Kerr and family, circa 1920
Standing (l to r): Ralph Reynolds, Vesta Kerr Reynolds, Horace Kerr, Adma Green Kerr, Lynette Kerr McGinnis, Genieve Kerr Henry. Seated (l to r): Leona Kerr Shinn, Leonora Deseret Hamilton Kerr, Robert Marion Kerr, William Jasper Kerr.
Series 7: George W. Peavy, circa 1890-1955
Biography or History: George Peavy, Dean of Forestry, was appointed Acting President of Oregon State College in 1932 when President Kerr was chosen as the first Chancellor of the Oregon State System of Higher Education. In January 1934 he was designated President of the College and also continued as Dean of Forestry, positions he held until his retirement in 1940.

Box-Folder 1.8: George W. Peavy, circa 1890-1955
Item P001:055: Portrait, circa 1925
Extent: 2 prints

Item P001:056: Seated in Library's McDonald Room, 1934
Extent: 4 prints

Item P001:057: Portrait, 1938
Extent: 3 prints

Item P001:058: Holiday greetings letter, 1935
Item P001:059: At Peavy Arboretum, 1935
Extent: 4x5 negatives and 7 prints

Item P001:060: At Peavy Arboretum, 1935
Extent: 2 4x5 negatives and 2 prints

Item P001:061: At Peavy Arboretum, 1935
Extent: 1 print

Item P001:062: With students outdoors, circa 1955
Color reproduction of a painting by Fred Ludekens. The painting of Peavy with a group of students, made posthumously by the Weyerhauser Timber Company, was used extensively in advertisements in trade journals and the popular press, including The Saturday Evening Post.
Extent: 3 prints

Item P001:063: Portrait, 1938
Extent: 2 prints

Item P001:064: Portrait, 1938
Extent: 2 prints

Item P001:065: Portrait, 1938
Extent: 7 prints

Item P001:103: Cabinet card portrait, early 1890s
Item P001:105: Dressed in field gear, circa 1920s
Series 8: Frank Llewellyn Ballard, circa 1940-1950
Biography or History: After a distinguished career with the Oregon State College Extension Service, Ballard was appointed president in 1940. He served less than a year because of illness and returned to the Extension Service administration. Ballard was the first OSC alumnus to serve as president.

Box-Folder 1.9: Frank Llewellyn Ballard, circa 1940-1950
Item P001:066: Portrait, circa 1950
Item P001:067: Portrait, circa 1945
Item P001:068: Portrait, circa 1950
Extent: 2 prints

Item P001:069: Seated portrait at table, 1940
Extent: 2 prints

Series 9: A.L. Strand, circa 1945-1970
Biography or History: A.L. Strand was appointed President of Oregon State College in the fall of 1942 and led the College through World War II and the post- war period of extensive growth in students and facilities until his retirement in 1961.

Box-Folder 1.10: A. L. Strand, circa 1945-1970
Item P001:070: Portrait, 1947
Extent: 9 prints

Item P001:071: Portrait, 1947
Extent: 4 prints

Item P001:072: Seated at table smoking a cigar, 1965
Extent: color slide

Item P001:073: Making speech (at Bell Field?), circa 1945
Item P001:074: Portraits, circa 1950
Item P001:075: Portraits, circa 1950
Item P001:077: In cap and gown, circa 1950
Item P001:078: In cap and gown, circa 1950
Item P001:079: Portrait, 1961
Extent: 11 prints

Item P001:080: Machine show, looking at GE airplane engine, 1951
Item P001:081: Seated at desk, circa 1945
Extent: 4x5 negative and 2 prints

Item P001:083: Seated at desk Cropped version of P001:081., circa 1945,
Extent: 2 prints

Item P001:082: Seated at desk (copy of drawing by Ralph Iligan), undated
Item P001:084: Making speech, circa 1948
Item P001:085: Portrait, circa 1970
Series 10: James H. Jensen, circa 1965
Biography or History: An internationally respected scientist, educator, and administrator, Jensen served as Oregon State University president from 1961 until 1969 and led the institution's first steps toward becoming a University in fact as well as name by expanding degree programs in the liberal arts as well as scientific research programs.

Box-Folder 1.11: James H. Jensen, circa 1965
Item P001:086: Smoking pipe
Extent: color slide

Item P001:087: Seated at desk
Extent: 4 prints

Item P001:088: Portrait
Extent: 3 prints

Item P001:089: Portrait
Extent: 2 prints

Item P001:090-P001:098: Seated at desk
Extent: 8 prints and 1 contact sheet

Series 11: John D. Letcher, circa 1892-1931
Biography or History: Senior Professor John D. Letcher was chosen unanimously by the Board of Regents as the acting president after B.L. Arnold's sudden death in January 1892. According to their report, he was "better acquainted with the duties of the president and the working of the college than any other man living". He held the position in addition to his teaching duties for 4 months until the arrival of John McKnight Bloss in early June.

Box-Folder 1.12: John D. Letcher, circa 1892
Item P001:099: Modern print of published portrait, circa 1892
Note: See also P077:036.

Box-Item 3.1
Folder P001:111: Painting, 1931
Painting by W. Maurice Ball of John D. Letcher made in 1931 from a photograph provided to Oregon Agricultural College by Letcher. The original photograph was made during the time that Letcher was affiliated with OAC (1888-1894).
Dimensions: apx 25x30 in.

Series 12: Francois A. Gilfillan, circa 1940
Biography or History: F.A. Gilfillan was officially appointed as Acting President of Oregon State College in September 1941 after the resignation of President Ballard. However he had been serving as chair of the Administrative Council and carrying out the president's campus duties since October 1940. He lead the University through the uncertain months of the beginning of World War II until A.L. Strand's arrival in October 1942.

Box-Folder 1.13: Francois A. Gilfillan, circa 1940
Item P001:100: Portrait, circa 1940
Extent: 3 prints

Series 13: Multiple Presidents, circa 1920
Box-Folder 1.14: Multiple Presidents, circa 1920
Item P001:101: Composite of Presidents
Includes William A. Finley, Benjamin A. Arnold, John M. Bloss, H.B. Miller, Thomas M. Gatch, and William J. Kerr.
Extent: 5x7 negative

Box-Folder 4.1: Multiple Presidents, circa 1920
Item P001:101: Composite of Presidents
Dimensions: apx 16x20 in.

Extent: Oversize print

Series 14: Robert W. MacVicar, 1942 and early 1970s
Biography or History: MacVicar came to Oregon State University in 1970 from Southern Illinois University, where he had been a vice president and chancellor since 1964. President MacVicar was a staunch proponent of the land-grant university concept and built close ties during his years as president between OSU and the people of Oregon. He retired in 1984.

Box-Folder 1.15: Robert W. MacVicar, 1942 and early 1970s
Item P001:102: 2nd Lt. Sanitary Corps, U.S. Army, 1942
Item P001:104: OSU's champion hog caller; on Eastern Oregon tour (?), circa early 1970s
Extent: color slide

Series 15: John V. Byrne, 1985-1995
Biography or History: Byrne assumed the presidency in November 1984 and served for 11 years until the end of 1995.

Box-Folder 1.16: John V. Byrne, 1985-1995
Item P001:106: Seated at desk, circa 1994
Extent: 3 color slides

Item P001:107: Portrait, circa 1985
Item P001:109: John and Shirley Byrne, 1987
Note: News and Communications file no. 254, neg. no. 9.

Series 16: Paul G. Risser, 1996-1999
Biography or History: On November 2, 1995, the Oregon State Board of Higher Education named Paul G. Risser to succeed John Byrne as President of Oregon State University. He served as OSU president from 1996 to 2002.

Box-Folder 1.17: Paul G. Risser, 1996-1999
Item P001:110: Portrait, 1996
Extent: 3 prints

Number: P001:110

Item P001:114: Paul and Les Risser (two views), before August 1999
Extent: 2 prints

Series 17: Roy A. Young, circa 1970
Biography or History: Young, Professor of Plant Pathology, was appointed in 1966 as the University's first Dean of Research with responsibility for campus-wide research coordination. He served as Acting President for one year until the arrival of MacVicar in July 1970, when he resumed responsibility for research coordination as Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, a position he held until 1976.

Box-Folder 1.18: Roy A. Young, circa 1970
Item P001:113: Portrait

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