OSU Celebrates its Sesquicentennial

Oregon State University has been a land grant institution for 150 years and is marking the occasion with a year of celebrations. The first major event was this summer’s Space Grant Festival around the solar eclipse. Future events include festivals celebrating OSU’s status as a Land, Sea, and Sun Grant Institute, as well as OSU’s Homecoming on October 13 and 14 

The Methodist-run Corvallis College incorporated in 1858. Ten years later, through the efforts of faculty member William Moreland and state Senator C. B. Bellinger, the college gained status as a Land Grant Institute. Land Grant Institutes were established under the Morrill Act of 1862 to promote “Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts” in each state.  

Over the years, OSU gradually added to its land grant status by becoming a Sea Grant Institute in 1968, a Space Grant Institute in 1991, and a Sun Grant Institute in 2004. Penn State is the only other public university to match OSU’s four-grant status.

To help mark the milestone, the OSU Sesquicentennial Oral History Project has interviewed several individuals connected with OSU’s history, including faculty, staff, students, and others. Interviews include marine biologists Jane Lubchenco, and former OSU running back Yvenson Bernard.

OSU Press has also recently published two books on the past 150 years at OSU: The People’s School by William G. Robbins and Lawrence A. Landis’s photographic history, A School for the People. There will be no shortage of ways to celebrate OSU’s impressive milestone. 

For more information check out: http://oregonstate.edu/150 . To listen to some of the oral histories visit http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/oh150/

by Andy Hahn

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