The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Don Essig Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.

May 19, 2014


“Beaver Become Duck”  May 19, 2014  Location: Essig residence, Eugene, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Essig discusses his upbringing on a farm outside of Oregon City, his decision to attend Oregon State College and his undergraduate experience at OSC. In so doing, Essig notes his academic progression, his living circumstances and the numerous campus groups and extracurricular activities in which he engaged while on campus. Of particular interest are Essig's reflections on his years as a member of the OSC rally squad and his co-creation of the "Fridays at Five" talent shows.

From there, Essig describes the development of his career as a public school teacher and administrator, primarily in the Eugene school district. He also recounts his own continued education, first as a master's candidate and later in a Ph.D. program at the University of Oregon. He likewise discusses the formation and activities of the Don M. Essig & Associates consulting firm that he founded in 1985.

The final third of the session is devoted to Essig's tenure as public address voice of Ducks football and men's basketball. Essig shares his memories of the circumstances by which he was offered the position in 1967, lends a glimpse into life in the press box and relays the story of his famous catchphrase, "It never rains in Autzen Stadium." He concludes the interview by stressing his admiration for former Oregon State PA announcer Ted Carlson and lending his own personal perspective on the pitched athletics rivalry that continues to exist between Oregon State University and the University of Oregon.