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


Don Moe Essig was born in 1938 in Dallas, Oregon and grew up on a farm outside of Oregon City. A bright student, Essig attended Oregon State College from 1956-1960, majoring in elementary education. While at OSC, Essig was heavily involved in a number of campus groups, focusing especially on athletics and music. He spent three years as a member of the campus Choralaires and one year in the Concert Choir. He was also on the OSC rally squad and was elected Rally King his senior year. In addition, Essig spent a year as President of the College Bookstore Board of Directors, was likewise President of the Heckart Lodge Co-Op, and co-founded the "Fridays at Four" talent show program.

Essig and his wife Janet, whom he met at OSC, graduated in 1960 and moved directly into a long career as a public school educator, starting first in Oregon City and later moving to Eugene, where he spent the vast majority of his working years. Essig taught at a handful of elementary schools and also served a principal at Howard Elementary and North Eugene High School. In addition, Essig furthered his own education while working full time, completing Education master's and doctoral programs at the University of Oregon in the 1970s. In 1985 he founded the Don M. Essig & Associates human relations consulting firm and continues to lead seminars on communication skills and group dynamics.

Essig is more popularly known as the public address announcer for University of Oregon football and men's basketball, a role that he has filled since 1967. His trademark catchphrase, "It never rains in Autzen Stadium," has become a beloved game day tradition for Ducks football fans and also serves as the title of Essig's biography, written by Chuck Wenstrom and published in 2012.