The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Erin Haynes Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.

July 25, 2014


Erin John Haynes was born in 1950 in Puyallup, Washington, and grew up near the paper mill at which his father worked. As a teen, Haynes played football and was involved in student government, serving as president of both his junior and senior class. In his final year of high school, Haynes was recruited to OSU to play football.

Haynes arrived at Oregon State in 1968 and joined Phi Delta Theta fraternity. A Physical Education major, Haynes originally hoped to teach P.E. and coach at the high school level. Haynes was also involved in student government at OSU, participating in the student Senate and serving as Senior Class President in 1972.

While at OSU, Haynes was very involved in campus life and became interested in OSU history. He began leading campus tours in 1969 and has given 1,500 tours in the years since.

Haynes graduated from OSU in 1972 after spending his last term (Fall 1972) as an assistant coach for the freshman football team. In December 1972, Haynes was hired by the Athletic Department to recruit students, particularly football players, from Washington and California. In 1976 he moved from this position as an admissions counselor into the role of Assistant Director of Admissions. In 1978 Haynes left the Admissions Office in favor of a position at the OSU Foundation, where he worked for twenty-two years. In 1980 he became the Director of the OSU Fund, which was charged with soliciting donations from OSU alumni.

Haynes also maintained his association with Phi Delta Theta fraternity throughout the years, becoming the assistant advisor of the OSU chapter in 1972 and chief advisor in 1976. Haynes also co-founded Oak Grove Vineyards with four of his fraternity brothers in 1982 and expanded it into a full-fledged winery in 1986. The year following, Haynes married his wife, Cherie Foster Haynes.

Haynes became the Assistant Director of the OSU Alumni Association in 2003 before retiring from OSU two years later. In 2009 he became a board member of the OSU Retirement Association and today he continues his involvement with OSU through his work with alumni and Phi Delta Theta.