The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Tony Wilcox Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.

June 23, 2015


“A Career Built on Service”  June 23, 2015  Location: Milam Hall, Oregon State University.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Wilcox discusses his upbringing in New York and New England, his enrollment at the University of Massachusetts, and his love of running, including his participation in several Boston Marathons. From there he recalls the years after graduation that he spent as a milkman, his decision to pursue a Ph.D., and the shift in his academic focus to exercise science. While reflecting on his doctoral candidacy, Wilcox notes the research that he conducted, his acquisition of a more scientific skill set, and his earliest experiences with teaching. Wilcox then recounts his first academic position at Kansas State University, again noting his research agenda and the pleasure that he took in combining his scholarly work with his personal love of exercise.

The remainder of the session is devoted to Wilcox's work at and institutional memories of Oregon State University. He begins by describing his first impressions of OSU, commenting on the running culture in Corvallis, the state of the Exercise and Sports Science Program at the time, and the initial duties of his position. He then provides a detailed overview of his years in the Faculty Senate, specifying memorable issues on which he worked and sharing his memories of serving on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Interinstitutional Faculty Senate, as well as President of OSU's Faculty Senate. He likewise lends his thoughts on the current state of the Faculty Senate and its continuing capacity to act as a vehicle for change on campus.

As the interview nears its conclusion, Wilcox discusses other noteworthy components of his past university service, including contributions to the establishment at OSU of the Linus Pauling Institute, and to an influential task force devoted to classroom space. The session ends with Wilcox's broader reflections on his work as an administrator, his forthcoming transition into retirement, and his sense of where OSU is headed as it nears its sesquicentennial.