The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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An Oral History of the OSC Class of 1959

An interview with Jim and Jane Schaeffer, Harley Smith and Dave Socolofsky, conducted by Mike Dicianna.

February 14, 2014


“Vote Shamrock”  February 14, 2014  Location: Valley Library, Oregon State University.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

The Oregon State College Class of 1959 interview highlights campus life during the late 1950s, including the 1957 Rose Bowl, athletics and student politics. The student body election of 1958, the "Shamrock Party," and various additional campus activities are also discussed. Memories of football coach Tommy Prothro and of the situation faced by OSC's black athletes of the period are likewise related by the group.

All four alumni were involved in ROTC, including Jane Saling, who was the first woman to take military training classes at OSC. Military service after graduation, career achievements and the ways in which OSC prepared each participant for later life are also discussed in this interview.

The accomplishments of the ASOSC and Student Senate of the late 1950s comprise important milestones in OSU student history. The administration from this period was responsible for a student resolution to rename Oregon State College to Oregon State University. The Student Senate also presented a resolution to create the College of Liberal Arts and the class conducted the funding campaign for the installation of carillonic bells at the Memorial Union.

The 1959 alumni interviewed here were visiting campus for a reception at the Memorial Union in honor of the Trysting Tree Lounge sculpture, which they donated. Participants related the story of the donation and the development of the project in coordination with the Memorial Union administration. The sculpture of the Trysting Tree was created by OSU alumnus Raymond D. Hunter.