John Vincent Byrne, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (November 16, 1984-December 31, 1995), appointed as the twelfth president of Oregon State University following the retirement of President MacVicar. Byrne returned to OSU after serving for three years as administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Byrne's OSU career began in 1960 as a faculty member in the Department of Oceanography. He later served as the first Dean of the School of Oceanography (1972-1976) and as Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (1976-1981).

Milton Harris established an endowed chair in polymer chemistry in the Department of Chemistry, the first endowed chair established at OSU.

OSU is one of the first universities in the nation to develop electronic transmission of news releases to newspapers and wire services.

First summer Oregon Heritage Festival celebrated. Center for the Humanities established.

Physical Development Plan for the campus, prepared by the OSU Physical Plant staff, presented and approved.

OSU Foundation initiated Foursight, a program of fund raising in four fields: gene research and biotechnology, advanced materials research, marine studies, and humanities.


Central administration reorganized (four vice presidents, including the establishment of a Vice President for University Relations, and several associate and assistant vice presidents).


School of Education (OSU/WOSC) established the first "teacher warranty program" in the United States.

Certificate program in Peace Studies established in the College of Liberal Arts (first in the Pacific Northwest).

OSU graduate Linus Pauling (the only two-time Nobel Prize winner) designated OSU as the official repository of his papers and medals.

President Byrne established the Board of Visitors for Minority Affairs to help promote ethnic and cultural diversity at OSU. Today it is the Board of Visitors for Community and Diversity.

Black and white photograph of John Vincent Byrne doing the "wave" at Gill Coliseum.

John Byrne (center front) doing the "wave" at Gill Coliseum, 1985

Barney Watson testing wine

Barney Watson testing wine, ca. 1985

Milton Harris, 1982

Milton Harris, 1982