Because of financial difficulty, a judgment against Corvallis College occurred on April 10. As a result of the judgment, the college was ordered sold.

Corvallis College (building and land) sold at a sheriff's auction to satisfy a mechanics lien. The College was purchased for $4,500 by Reverend Orceneth Fisher, Methodist Episcopal Church, South, pastor.

The college reopened in November with Reverend W. M. Culp as principal.

Population in Corvallis: 531; in Benton County: 3,074; in Oregon: 52,465.


Sale of Corvallis College in January to a Corvallis community Board of Trustees (each a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South).


First Morrill Act, which established land grant colleges, signed by President Abraham Lincoln on July 2. The act offered every state grants of public land to help support colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts.

Morrill Act provisions "irrevocably adopted" by the Oregon Legislature on October 9, although no action was taken at that time to establish a state college.


Ownership and control of Corvallis College by the Columbia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, became official.

Reverend William Asa Finley (October, 1865 - May 4, 1872), A.M., D.D., a minister and member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, appointed as the first president of Corvallis College.

A Collegiate Department offering a four-year, collegiate-level, liberal arts curriculum was added to the Primary and Preparatory Departments. (The new college curriculum required three years of Latin, three years of Greek, three years of mathematics, and a senior year emphasizing ethics, morals, and religious training).


First annual catalogue published.

Eight students enrolled in the Collegiate Department.

The Educational Committee of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, announced that the college had a deficit of $700.


Total enrollment, including the primary and preparatory levels, was 126.


Articles of Incorporation filed on August 22. Corvallis College reincorporated as a degree-granting "literary" institution of higher education. Corvallis College incorporated this time on a basis "not limited in duration but perpetual."

New academic calendar, providing for three terms of 14 weeks each (instead of two sessions of 20 weeks each) adopted on August 22.

OSU Charter Day, October 27, 1868; the first state support for higher education in Oregon.

The Oregon Legislative Assembly, through the efforts of W. W. Moreland, a member of the Corvallis College faculty, and state representative Charles B. Bellinger of Benton County, "designated and adopted" Corvallis College on October 27 "as the Agricultural College of the State of Oregon" and the recipient of land grant fund income derived from the sale of 90,000 acres in southeast Oregon. The Corvallis College Board of Trustees accepted the designation on October 31. Permanent adoption of Corvallis College as the state's agricultural college came in 1870.

The Oregon Legislative Assembly specified that "all students sent under the provision of this Charter Act shall be instructed in all the arts, sciences, and other studies in accordance with the requirements of the Act of Congress."

Two boards were in operation: (1) a Board of Trustees appointed by the church to manage Corvallis College; and (2) a Board of Commissioners appointed by the State of Oregon to establish and operate an Agricultural College.

Other designated land grant colleges in 1868 were the University of Illinois at Urbana and the University of California at Berkeley.

General Laws of Oregon, 1868, authorized each state senator to select one student for a scholarship.

Corvallis College given authority by the State of Oregon to grant three degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Arts.

Name of institution: Corvallis College and Agricultural College of Oregon.

First student publication, The Student Offering, issued.


Plans for adding an agricultural college and agricultural curriculum to Corvallis College announced. The Board of Trustees appointed a committee to prepare a course of study in agriculture and the mechanic arts. The other college curricula included the Classical Course (A.B. degree) and the Scientific Course (B.S. degree).

Orceneth Fisher, 1858

Orceneth Fisher, 1858

Sepia photographic portrait of William Asa Finley.

William Asa Finley, ca. 1870

William W. Moreland

William W. Moreland

Old Corvallis College Building, ca. 1868

Old Corvallis College Building, ca. 1868