skip page navigationOregon State University
University Events - OSU - Oregon 150University Events - OSU - Oregon 150
University Events » Oregon 150 at OSU

History of OSU

Founded in 1858 as a small, private academy, Oregon State University has developed into a major teaching, research and public service institution.


Corvallis College is founded and maintained by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.


College-level courses are introduced into the curriculum.


Corvallis College is designated “the agricultural college of the state of Oregon ” and begins receiving partial state support.

With this designation, the Oregon legislature accepts the provisions of the Morrill Act of 1862, which provided grants of land to be used by the states for the sole purpose of endowing, supporting and maintaining publicly controlled colleges.


Agriculture is added to the existing arts and science curriculum.

Two men and one woman fulfill the requirements for baccalaureate degrees, becoming the first graduates of a state-assisted college in the western United States .


Professorship in Commerce is added.


Department of Agriculture is added, the first in the Pacific Northwest .


The state assumes full control, and the college is renamed Oregon Agricultural College (OAC).


Professorships in Engineering and Household Economy are added.


Self-sustaining Department of Music is established.


Four-year Forestry curriculum is established.


Professional schools of Agriculture, Commerce, Engineering and Mechanic Arts and Domestic Science and Art are established.

The first summer session is held.


School of Forestry and School of Mines are established.


School of Pharmacy is established.


School of Vocational Education is established.


School of Basic Arts and Sciences is established.


Oregon Agricultural College is renamed Oregon State Agricultural College


School of Health and Physical Education is established.


Institution name is changed to Oregon State College by common usage.

The Oregon State Board of Higher Education establishes the School of Science for the state system at Corvallis .

School of Mines and major work in business administration are discontinued.

School of Health and Physical Education is reduced to a division.


Business returns to the curriculum with establishment of the Division of Business and Industry.


Division is renamed School of Business and Industry.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences is established.


Oregon State College is renamed Oregon State University .


Department of Oceanography is renamed the School of Oceanography ; it is later expanded to the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences.


School of Science is re-designated as the College of Science .

School of Humanities and Social Sciences is re-designated as the College of Liberal Arts .


School of Health and Physical Education is reestablished.


Department of Veterinary Medicine is re-designated as the School of Veterinary Medicine ; it is later renamed the College of Veterinary Medicine .


All schools except the School of Education are re-designated as colleges.


School of Education is renamed College of Education .


College of Education merges with the College of Home Economics .


University Honors College is established.


College of Health and Human Performance merges with the College of Home Economics and Education to form the College of Health and Human Sciences.

School of Education becomes an independent academic unit.


School of Education becomes College of Education .

Presidents of the institution since its founding are:

•  William A. Finley, 1865-72; Joseph Emery, 1872 (acting)

•  Benjamin L. Arnold, 1872-92; John D. Letcher, 1892 (acting)

•  John M. Bloss, 1892-96

•  Henry B. Miller, 1896-97

•  Thomas M. Gatch, 1897-1907

•  William Jasper Kerr, 1907-32; George Wilcox Peavy, 1932-34 (acting)

•  George Wilcox Peavy, 1934-40

•  Frank Llewellyn Ballard, 1940-41; Francois Archibald Gilfillan, 1941-42 (acting)

•  August Leroy Strand, 1942-61

•  James Herbert Jensen, 1961-69; Roy Alton Young, 1969-70 (acting)

•  Robert William MacVicar, 1970-84

•  John V. Byrne, 1984-95

•  Paul G. Risser, 1996-2002; Timothy P. White, 2003 (Interim President)

•  Edward J. Ray, August 2003-present.

For more details, see .

For the Best of OSU Archives, see .



Shelly Houghtaling
University Events
Oregon State University
205 Adams Hall
Corvallis, Oregon 97331
EmailContact us

Copyright © 2006 Oregon State University | Disclaimer

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional  Valid CSS!