The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Bill Robbins Oral History Interview. June 27, 2017

Bill Robbins Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.

June 27, 2017

Location:  Valley Library, Oregon State University.

Bill Robbins (b. 1935) is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History who was an active member of the OSU faculty from 1971 to 1999. Regarded today as a premiere historian of the American West, Robbins came from a humble background, working as a logger and elementary school teacher before completing his Ph.D. at the age of thirty-five. During his highly accomplished career at Oregon State, Robbins authored a two-volume history of Oregon as well as an acclaimed study of socioeconomic change on Oregon's central coast. His later works include a biography of Oregon politician Monroe Sweetland and a history of Oregon State University titled The People's School. Robbins' interview details his unusual path toward academia as well as his institutional memories from a long career as an OSU History professor.