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Robert William MacVicar

Robert William MacVicar came to OSU in 1970 from Southern Illinois University, where he had been serving as both vice president and chancellor since 1964.  A land grant university advocate, MacVicar was OSU's eleventh president and retired from the position in 1984.

Born on September 28, 1918 in Princeton, Minnesota, Robert W. MacVicar completed his secondary education in Wyoming and graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1939 with highest honors.  He was chosen to be a Rhodes Scholar but was unable to travel to England for his advanced work because of the start of World War II in Europe and his own wartime service in the U.S. Army Sanitary Corps (1942-1946).

MacVicar earned an M.S. in chemistry from Oklahoma State University in 1940 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin in 1946.  He became a faculty member and administrator at Oklahoma State University and remained there for eighteen years before leaving for Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

MacVicar was a staunch proponent of the land grant university concept (all of his degrees were earned from land grant universities), and during his presidency, he fostered close ties between OSU and the people of Oregon.  Also, while MacVicar was president, twenty-three new buildings were added to the OSU campus.

MacVicar retired in 1984 and remained active in higher education and in the Corvallis community until his death in Portland on December 26, 1998 at age 80.

Related Resources: President's Office Records, Robert W. MacVicar Papers, Roy A. Young Papers, Oral History Collection, Memorabilia Collection.

Black and white photographic portrait of Robert William MacVicar.

Robert William MacVicar, ca. 1970.

Black and white photograph of Robert William MacVicar at the opening of the Black Cultural Center.

Robert William MacVicar at the opening of the Black Cultural Center, June 1975.