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Gwil Evans Papers, 1960-1980

By Katy Roach, Chris Petersen

Collection Overview

Title: Gwil Evans Papers, 1960-1980

Predominant Dates: 1969-1976

ID: MSS Evans

Primary Creator: Evans, Gwil, 1939-

Extent: 0.3 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The collection is organized into two series: 1. Photographs, 1967-1980; and 2. Thesis and Printing Block, 1960. The photographs described in Series 1 are generally organized by subject, with an additional folder devoted to oversize photographs.

Date Acquired: 00/00/2015

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Gwil Evans Papers primarily consist of photographic negatives documenting the Oregon State University Black Student Union rallies and walkout of February 1969, as well as events surrounding the OSU Centennial Lecture series, including presentations by Linus Pauling. Also included are negatives depicting OSU marine sciences and Seafood Laboratory activities; images of a U.S. bicentennial parade held in Corvallis; a report written by Evans titled “A Position of Analysis: Editor of the Oregon State Daily Barometer"; and a printing block of the Daily Barometer masthead. Nearly all of the images held in this collection have been digitized and made available online.

A graduate of Oregon State College, Gwil Evans enjoyed a long and varied career at OSU as a communications officer and administrator.

Scope and Content Notes

The Gwil Evans Papers consist of 690 photographic negatives, 33 contact sheets and 17 photographic prints; a report authored by Evans titled "A Position of Analysis: Editor of the Oregon State Daily Barometer"; and a 1960s-era printing block of the Daily Barometer masthead.

The collection's negatives vary in format, and include 35-mm, 120-format, and 4x5 negatives. Contact sheets for much of the collection's negatives are included as well. Nearly all of the collection's images are black and white. While Evans is credited as the photographer for much of this content, certain images held in the collection were captured by student photographers Frank Parchman and Linda Sharp.

The centerpiece of the collection is its close documentation of the February 1969 Black Student Union walkout at OSU. Images of the campus events that preceded the walkout - including a sit-in staged at a lecture by Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, and multiple rallies that followed - as well as the walkout itself and its aftermath comprise about half of the collection's negatives. Evans' work as communications director for Oregon Sea Grant is also reflected in another large batch of negatives documenting a variety of OSU marine science and Seafood Laboratory activities. Scenes from a U.S. bicentennial parade in Corvallis and a handful of stock images and oversize photographs round out the visual component of the collection. Nearly all of the images held in this collection have been digitized and made available online.

Evans' tenure as a student journalist for the Daily Barometer is likewise represented in his papers through a report that he authored on the newspaper's operations, and a masthead printing block dating to the 1960s.

A different set of materials organized as the Gwil Evans Photographic Collection (P 082) was donated to the University Archives in the mid- to late-1960s. It consists of images taken by many photographers for the OSC/OSU News Bureau, but was named after Evans because he facilitated the transfer of the content to the Archives.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Gwil Evans was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1939. After one year at Reed College, Evans transferred to Oregon State College, completing a degree in General Science with a minor in Journalism in 1961. As an undergraduate, Evans worked as a reporter for the Daily Barometer and, driven by an interest in photography and journalism, he enrolled in Stanford University’s Masters of Communication Research program, graduating in 1962.

After serving in the Vietnam War, Evans returned to Corvallis and began working for Oregon State University, holding a dual position as Assistant Editor for the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station and professor in the Department of Journalism. He also started a new quarterly newsletter at Oregon State called OSU Scope, serving as both editor and publisher for its entire circulation. Evans likewise served a tenure as editor of the Oregon Stater alumni magazine, and it was during this time that the Black Student Union Walkout took place, a momentous event that was closely documented by Evans and his team.

Evans remained an employee of OSU until retiring in 2003. During his career at Oregon State, he worked in numerous corners of the university's operations, including stints as public information officer for the Marine Science Center; director of communications for Oregon Sea Grant; head of communications for OSU Extension; and director of University Publications and the University Press. His final position was in the dean's office at the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences.

The Black Student Union Walkout

On February 22, 1969, Fred Milton, an African American student-athlete on the Oregon State University football team, was told by head football coach Dee Andros to shave his beard in order to comply with requirements that Andros had set for the entire team. Milton refused, expressing his belief that Andros did not have the right to police his appearance during the team's off-season. Milton was subsequently given forty-eight hours to shave his beard or be cut from the team and lose his scholarship.

It was at this point that Milton went to the Black Student Union to share his story, and preparations for protests quietly began. The BSU believed the Milton case to be an infringement of a student’s right to individual self-expression. The group also pointed out that Milton was not the first Black student athlete to come into conflict with Andros’ policies; in the past, others had been told to keep their hair short and to not wear medallions. BSU President Mike Smith later publicly explained that, although the policies were extended across the OSU Athletic Department, they were based on standards set by white society, and that Black student athletes were pressured to conform to them.

The Milton-Andros clash occurred in the midst of the Oregon State University Centennial Celebration, a year-long observance that began with Charter Day on October 27, 1968 and concluded with the centennial commencement ceremony on June 8, 1969. As part of this year of celebration, the university had also organized a Centennial Lecture series to be held from February 25-27, 1969, with classes canceled so that students could attend. The first of these lectures was to be given by Oregon State alumnus Linus Pauling; a speech titled “Advancement of Knowledge: Ortho-Molecular Psychiatry,” scheduled for February 25. That morning, the introduction to Pauling's talk was interrupted when approximately seventy students marched to the dais, with football player Rich Harr and BSU President Smith asking to speak about Milton's situation to the crowd assembled at Gill Coliseum. Harr and Smith's remarks lasted for fifteen minutes. After a short reply from OSU President James Jensen, Pauling delivered his talk.

A handful of informal public gatherings quickly followed the Gill speakout, including a show of support for the Athletic Department that assembled outside the President's home, as well as a rally and a counter-rally at the Memorial Union that happened at the same time. A more formal gathering in support of Milton took place two days later, on February 27, in Milam Auditorium. This event was attended by a crowd of more than 1,000 people, many of whom were visiting from outside of OSU. Among those present were John Frazer, Oregon State's student body president; Dick Jones, the University of Oregon's student body president; and activist John Carlos who, the previous year, had won a bronze medal in track and field at the Mexico City Summer Olympics. Linus Pauling issued a statement in solidarity, as did student representatives from Portland State University and Washington State University.

On March 5, 1969, the BSU held a third rally in the Memorial Union and staged a walk-out through campus immediately following. Forty-seven African American students left campus through the East Gate, many of whom - including Fred Milton - promptly transferred into different universities.

Author: Katy Roach and Chris Petersen

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 690 negatives, 33 contact sheets and 17 photographic prints; 2 boxes, including 1 oversize box

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The materials described in this collection were donated to SCARC by Gwil Evans in 2015.

Related Materials:

The April 1969 issue of the Oregon Stater alumni magazine, which was edited by Gwil Evans, is largely devoted to the Black Student Union walkout, and includes reporting by Evans as well as reproductions of several photographs held in this collection. That issue is available online through Oregon Digital. Additional information about the Black Student Union walkout can be found in the Oregon Multicultural Communities Research Collection (MSS OMCRC), the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center Records (RG 244), and the Underground Newspapers (PUB 013-3).

An oral history interview with Gwil Evans is available in the Voices of Oregon State University Oral History Collection (OH 009). The Gwil Evans Photographic Collection (P 082), which consists of photographs taken by OSC/OSU News Bureau staff, is also housed in SCARC and available online. SCARC is likewise home to the Fred Milton Papers (MSS Milton) as well as an oral history interview with members of the Milton family, as cataloged into the Oregon Multicultural Archives Oral History Collection (OH 018).

The manuscript of Linus Pauling's OSU Centennial Series lecture can be found in the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers (MSS Pauling). SCARC is home to numerous collections that document the operations of the Hatfield Marine Science Center, including the Hatfield Marine Science Center Records (RG 194), Hatfield Marine Science Center Photographs (P 254) and Hatfield Marine Science Center Videotapes (FV 254). SCARC also holds the records of the Benton County Bicentennial Commission (MSS BentonCoBicent). Finally, a full run of the Daily Barometer student newspaper is available in SCARC and in Oregon Digital as well.

Preferred Citation: Gwil Evans Papers (MSS Evans), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.


Evans, Gwil, 1939-

People, Places, and Topics

African American athletes
African American college students--Oregon--Corvallis.
American Revolution Bicentennial, 1976.
Andros, Dee G., 1924-2003.
Byrne, John Vincent, 1928-
Cayuse (Ship)
College student newspapers and periodicals--Oregon--Corvallis.
Corvallis (Or.)--Race relations.
Football coaches--Oregon--Corvallis.
Football players--Oregon--Corvallis.
Hatfield Marine Science Center
Milton, Fred, 1948-2011
Oregon Multicultural Archives
Oregon State University--Centennial celebrations, etc.
Oregon State University. Seafood Laboratory
Paiute (Ship)
Pauling, Linus, 1901-1994
Research vessels
University History
Yaquina (Ship)

Forms of Material

Artifacts (object genre)
Contact sheets.
Film negatives.
Photographic prints.

Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: Photographs, 1967-1980
The majority of the collection is held in Series 1, which includes multiple negative formats, contact sheets and photographic prints of events surrounding the Black Student Union walkout, as well as OSU marine science activities, operations at the OSU Seafood Laboratory, and a U.S. bicentennial parade held in Corvallis. All of the images held in Box 1 of this collection have been digitized and made available online.
Extent: 690 negatives, 33 contact sheets and 17 photographic prints

Box-Folder 1.1: OSU Centennial Banquet and Linus Pauling Lecture, February 25, 1969
Photographs document a banquet that preceded the OSU Centennial Lecture Series, and images of Linus Pauling’s interrupted lecture, which was scheduled as part of the series. Most of the images were captured by student photographers Frank Parchman and Linda Sharp.
Extent: 7 contact sheets, 155 35-mm negatives

Box-Folder 1.2: Black Student Union Rallies, February 27-28, 1969
These images document two rallies held by the Black Student Union in an effort to gain momentum for their protest. The first rally took place in the Memorial Union Commons on Thursday, February 27; head spokesperson for the BSU, Annette Green, was among those who spoke. On February 28, a rally was held in Milam Auditorium, attracting a crowd of more than one thousand people, many from outside the university. In attendance were Oregon State University student body president, John Frazer; University of Oregon student body president, Dick Jones; as well as 1968 Olympic track and field bronze-medalist, John Carlos.
Extent: 3 contact sheets, 67 35-mm negatives

Box-Folder 1.3: Memorial Union Rally and Black Student Union Walkout through the East Gate, March 5, 1969
These images document the rally that preceded the Black Student Union walkout as well as the procession itself, as it headed through campus. The Black Student Union walkout began with a large rally in the Memorial Union ballroom on March 5, 1969, in which BSU President Mike Smith spoke to the audience. The walkout then processed through campus, past Benton Hall (present-day Community Hall), and out through the East Gate. Forty-seven African American students participated and, in the days following, many of them withdrew from the university to pursue their educations elsewhere.
Extent: 8 contact sheets, 99 35-mm negatives

Box-Folder 1.4: Dee Andros images and Assorted Campus Scenes, 1969
These photographs portray several scenes related to the protests of winter 1969. OSU head football coach Dee Andros, who was facing scrutiny for forcing Fred Milton to shave his beard, is shown sifting through letters of support. Photographs of students in a class are also included, as is an unidentified meeting that was held in the Memorial Union ballroom.
Extent: 3 contact sheets, 33 35-mm negatives

Box-Folder 1.5: Linus Pauling Lecture images, 1969
A collection of images of Linus Pauling delivering a scientific lecture in a classroom, presumably on the Oregon State University campus, in conjunction with his visit of February 1969. All photographs by Gwil Evans.
Extent: 7 photographic prints

Box-Folder 1.6: Marine Science Center campus, 1968
Exterior and interior images of the Marine Science Center campus as well as the Pacific Ocean beaches in adjacent Newport, Oregon. Established in Newport in 1965, the Marine Science Center was officially re-named the Hatfield Marine Science Center in 1983 for former Oregon Governor and U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield. HMSC serves as Oregon State University's branch campus for research, education, and outreach in marine and coastal sciences.
Extent: 3 contact sheets, 72 120-format negatives, 13 35-mm negatives, 13 4x5 negatives

Box-Folder 1.7: Glomar Challenger Research Vessel, circa 1971
Contact sheets and photographic negatives of the Glomar Challenger Research Vessel visiting off of the Oregon Coast to participate in a geological oceanography expedition. John Byrne, head of the Department of Oceanography and future president of OSU, is shown in several of these images. Photographs by Gwil Evans.
Extent: 3 contact sheets, 102 35-mm negatives

Box-Folder 1.8: United States Bicentennial Parade, Corvallis, 1976
Images of a United States Bicentennial Parade held in Corvallis, Oregon and including scenes of participants wearing period dress. Individuals shown include OSU President Robert MacVicar, OSU President Emeritus August Strand, and Oregon Governor Bob Straub. Photographs by Gwil Evans.
Extent: 1 contact sheet, 23 35-mm negatives

Box-Folder 1.9: Oregon State University Seafood Laboratory, Astoria, Oregon, 1969-1970
Images of OSU Extension faculty and staff working in the OSU Seafood Lab at Astoria, Oregon. Folder includes a letter to Gwil Evans from Kenneth S. Hilderbrand identifying several individuals depicted in the images. These individuals include David Crawford, Jerry Babbit, Chuck Jow, Duncan Law, Kenneth Hilderbrand, John Gaffke and Lewis Richardson. Activities include separating, grinding and drying fish for experimental purposes. Founded in 1940, the OSU Seafood Lab is a component of the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station and pursues a mission of advancing seafood science, safety and technology.
Extent: 3 contact sheets, 9 120-format negatives, 18 35-mm negatives

Box-Folder 1.10: OSU Research Vessels, circa 1968
Photographs depicting the RV Yaquina, RV Paiute, RV Cayuse, and then marine superintendent, Ellis Brooks Rittenhouse. Photographs by Gwil Evans.
Extent: 2 contact sheets, 41 35-mm negatives, 36 120-format negatives, 6 4x5 negatives

Box-Folder 1.11: Assorted Photographs, circa 1960s
Original and reproduced stock images including: President August L. Strand at the Oregon State College to Oregon State University name change ceremony, 1961; Oregon Stater image of men standing in line outside a quonset hut; Hudson and Central Hall dormitories with Sackett Hall in the upper left corner; USDA photo captioned "Stonewall Jackson with foundation cow from which he has produced herd of six cows, Clackamas County, 8-1-33"; Loren "Stub" Stewart and Brenton Hutton posing in the woods.
Extent: 3 120-format negatives, 4 photographic prints

Box-Folder 2.1: Oversize Photographs, 1967-1980
Mounted photograph of the RV Yaquina at sea, circa 1967; color group photograph of participants in a College of Agricultural Sciences administrators’ workshop, 1980 [2 copies].
Extent: 3 photographic prints

Series 2: Report and Printing Block, 1960
Series 2 consists of Evans' 1960 report on operations at the Daily Barometer and a keepsake from the newspaper -- a masthead printing block likely dating to Evans' years as a student journalist.
Box-Item 2.2: "A Position of Analysis: Editor of the Oregon State Daily Barometer", November 30, 1960
A report on the Oregon State College school newspaper written by Gwil Evans and submitted to Irwin Harris, director of educational activities at OSC. The typescript includes an intricate operational review of the Daily Barometer, focusing in particular on its history, staff size, staff responsiblities, and financial details.
Box-Item 2.3: Oregon State Daily Barometer printing block, circa 1960s
Metal printing block of the Daily Barometer masthead.

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