Oregon State University

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Oregon State University
Oregon State University seal.png
Official Seal
Established1868 (1868)
Sun grant
EndowmentUS $466 million (2013)[1]
ChancellorGeorge Pernsteiner
PresidentEdward John Ray
ProvostSabah Randhawa
Vice-ChancellorJay Kenton, Susan Weeks
Academic staff2,918[citation needed]
Students27,925 (Fall 2013)[2]
Undergraduates23,161 (Fall 2013)[3]
Postgraduates4,179 (Fall 2013)[3]
Doctoral students585 (Fall 2013)[2]
LocationCorvallis, Oregon, United States
44°33′53″N 123°16′33″W / 44.564588°N 123.275705°W / 44.564588; -123.275705Coordinates: 44°33′53″N 123°16′33″W / 44.564588°N 123.275705°W / 44.564588; -123.275705
CampusCollege town, 400 acres (160 ha)
ColorsOrange and Black         
AthleticsNCAA Division I
Pacific-12 Conference
Sports17 varsity teams
MascotBenny Beaver
Oregon State University logo.png
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Oregon State University
Oregon State University seal.png
Official Seal
Established1868 (1868)
Sun grant
EndowmentUS $466 million (2013)[1]
ChancellorGeorge Pernsteiner
PresidentEdward John Ray
ProvostSabah Randhawa
Vice-ChancellorJay Kenton, Susan Weeks
Academic staff2,918[citation needed]
Students27,925 (Fall 2013)[2]
Undergraduates23,161 (Fall 2013)[3]
Postgraduates4,179 (Fall 2013)[3]
Doctoral students585 (Fall 2013)[2]
LocationCorvallis, Oregon, United States
44°33′53″N 123°16′33″W / 44.564588°N 123.275705°W / 44.564588; -123.275705Coordinates: 44°33′53″N 123°16′33″W / 44.564588°N 123.275705°W / 44.564588; -123.275705
CampusCollege town, 400 acres (160 ha)
ColorsOrange and Black         
AthleticsNCAA Division I
Pacific-12 Conference
Sports17 varsity teams
MascotBenny Beaver
Oregon State University logo.png

Oregon State University (OSU) is a coeducational, public research university located in Corvallis, Oregon, United States. The university offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral degrees and a multitude of research opportunities. There are more than 200 academic degree programs offered through the university. OSU's programs in microbiology, nuclear engineering, ecology, forestry, public health, biochemistry, zoology, oceanography, food science and pharmacy are recognized nationally as top tier programs.[citation needed] The OSU's liberal arts programs have also grown significantly and the department is considered a "cornerstone" of the institution.[4] More than 200,000 people have attended OSU since its founding.[5] The Carnegie Foundation classifies Oregon State University as part of its top tier of research institutions.[6]

As of 2008, OSU is one of 73 land-grant universities.[7] The school is also recognized as a sea-grant, space-grant and sun-grant institution, making it one of only two US institutions to obtain all four designations and the only public university to do so (Cornell is the only other with similar designations).[5] OSU receives more funding for research, annually, than all other public higher education institutions in Oregon combined.[5]


Early years[edit]

OSU's Bell Tower

The university's roots date back to 1856, when Corvallis Academy, the area's first community school for primary and preparatory education, was founded. In 1858, the school's name was changed to Corvallis College and formally incorporated by members of the Freemasons.[8][9] The school offered its first college-level curriculum in 1865, under the administration of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

On August 22, 1868, official Articles of Incorporation were filed for Corvallis College. October 27, 1868, is known as OSU Charter Day, the day that the Oregon Legislative Assembly designated Corvallis College as the Agricultural College of the state of Oregon and the recipient of Land Grant fund income. As part of this designation, the college was required to comply with the requirements set forth in the First Morrill Act. The name was changed to Corvallis State Agricultural College and was then authorized to grant the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Arts degrees. The first graduating class was in 1870, granting Bachelor of Arts degrees.

Oregon Agricultural College[edit]

OAC Home Ec department at Multnomah Hotel in Portland, 1920

In 1890 the college became known informally as Oregon Agricultural College (OAC), with the name change becoming official several years later. Orange was adopted as the school color, with black as the background. The Olmsted Brothers developed the first Campus Master Plan in 1909, emphasizing trees and an architectural harmony showcasing basic classical forms in brick. The current campus design generally follows this original plan and is laid on a grid of wide, tree-lined streets. Well-partitioned buildings accent open lawns along the main passages and are mostly surrounded by clusters of tall trees. The overall scheme gives it a quaint, early American institutional feel common to campuses found in the Midwest or Southern U.S.[citation needed]

The Division of College Extension was organized in 1911 with Ralph Dorn Hetzel as director and, in 1912, the first off-campus faculty were placed in Marion and Wallowa counties. The Army ROTC became active in 1917, replacing the original Cadet Corps formed by students studying Military Science. In 1919, OAC began a horticultural products processing program, the first of its kind in the United States. Accreditation was granted in 1924 by the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools.

Oregon State[edit]

Irish Bend Covered Bridge - The west side of campus is dedicated, primarily, to agricultural research. It is also home to this historic landmark.

1927 marked yet another name change, this time to Oregon State Agricultural College. The Oregon Unification Bill passed by the Legislative Assembly in 1929 placed the school under the oversight of the newly formed Oregon State Board of Higher Education. Doctoral education was first provided in 1935 with the conferral of four Doctor of Philosophy degrees. This year also saw the creation of the first summer session. The growing diversity in degree programs offered led to another name change in 1937, when the college became Oregon State College.[10]

The university's current title, Oregon State University, was adopted on March 6, 1961 by a legislative act signed into law by Governor Mark Hatfield.

In 2007, Scott Reed was named the Vice Provost for Outreach and Engagement as OSU Extension Service and OSU Extended Campus were aligned under this new division.


Fall Freshman Statistics[2][11][12][13][14][15]

 % Admitted78.877.681.182.684.8
Avg Freshman GPA3.573.563.563.513.473.48
SAT Composite
(out of 2400)
ACT Composite24.224.323.523.523.523.0

For the Fall 2011 academic year, the university received over 12,000 freshman applications. U.S. News & World Report considers OSU to be "selective."[16]


Research has played a central role in the university's overall operations for much of its history.[17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26] Most of OSU's research continues at the Corvallis campus, but an increasing number of endeavors are underway at various locations throughout the state and abroad. Current research facilities, beyond the campus, include the Seafood Laboratory in Astoria and the Food Innovation Laboratory in Portland.[27] The university's college of oceanic and atmospheric sciences operates several state-of-the-art laboratories, including the Hatfield Marine Science Center and two oceanographic research vessels out of Newport.[28] The oceanography department is now leading the largest ocean science project in U.S. history. The project dubbed "Endurance Array," features a fleet of undersea gliders and six sites with multiple observation platforms. The first three of the platforms will be deployed off Newport in 2013 and a second set of three off Grays Harbor in 2014.[29] OSU also manages nearly 11,250 acres (4,550 ha) of forest land, which includes the McDonald-Dunn Research Forest.[30]

The 2005 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education recognized Oregon State as a "Comprehensive Doctoral with Medical/Veterinary" university. This is one of only three such universities in the Pacific Northwest to be classified in this category. In 2006, Carnegie also recognized the university as having "Very High Research Activity," which makes OSU the only university in Oregon to attain these combined classifications.[31]

The National Sea Grant College Program was founded in the 1960s. OSU is one of the original four Sea Grant Colleges selected in 1971.[32]

In 1967 the Radiation Center was constructed at the edge of campus, housing a 1.1 MW TRIGA Mark II Research Reactor. The reactor is equipped to utilize Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) for fuel. Rankings published by U.S. News & World Report in 2008 placed Oregon State eighth in the nation in graduate nuclear engineering.

OSU was one of the early members of the federal Space Grant program.[33] Designated in 1991, the additional grant program made Oregon State one of only 13 schools in the United States to serve as a combined Land Grant, Sea Grant and Space Grant university. Most recently, OSU was designated as a federal Sun Grant institution. The designation, made in 2003, now makes Oregon State one of only two such universities (the other being Cornell University) and the only public institution with all four designations.

In 1999, OSU finished a $40 million remodel to the campus library. Known as the Valley Library, the totally remodeled building was selected by The Library Journal as their 1999 Library of the Year, the first academic library so named.[5]

In 2001, the university's Wave Research Laboratory was designated by the National Science Foundation as a site for tsunami research under the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation. The O. H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory is located on the edge of the campus and is one of the largest and most sophisticated laboratories for education, research, and testing in coastal, ocean and related areas in the world.[34]

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences funds two research centers at Oregon State University. The Environmental Health Sciences Center[35] has been funded continually since 1969 and the Superfund Research Center[36] is a newer center that started funding in 2009.

OSU administers the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, a United States Forest Service facility dedicated to forestry and ecology research. The Andrews Forest is a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve.

Rankings and recognition[edit]

University rankings
U.S. News & World Report[39]142
Washington Monthly[40]108
Weatherford Hall, 2009

OSU has more majors, minors and special programs than any other university or college in Oregon.[41]

Other recent recognitions include a 2007 ranking by STACK magazine, in which OSU was selected as one of the nation's top 50 universities in "academics, athletic opportunity and overall performance." The school ranked 29th overall, making it one of only two Northwest schools in the top 30 and the only university from the state to receive a ranking.[42]

As a top tier forestry school, OSU is widely considered the nation's leader in the subject. Of the 53 forestry programs at North American universities; OSU's College of Forestry was ranked first by a 2006 survey "in the total number of professional publications, first in the number of 'citations' to those publications, and is perceived by academic colleagues as the leading forestry program in North America."[43]

In its 2013 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranked Oregon State University 142 nationally and as the 73rd Top Public university. The 2010 edition of Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) ranked Oregon State in the "101 to 150" tier for universities worldwide.

Its Department of Geosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Pharmacy, Public Health, Nuclear Engineering as well as many other programs and departments are among the top ranked in the nation.[44] The school itself is also ranked by the EPA as one of the greenest schools for using renewable energy and for its recycling programs.

In 2012, ECONorthwest conducted an economic impact analysis that found that each year OSU has a $2.06 billion economic footprint. $1.93 billion of this total was in the state of Oregon.[45][46]

In the department of DHE, the major of merchandising management (fashion schools.org) ranked on the top 4th out of 75.[47]


Main campus (Corvallis)[edit]

Aerial view of Memorial Union Quad

The 400-acre (160 ha) main campus is located in Corvallis, in the Willamette Valley. In 1994, OSU was rated the safest campus in the Pac-10 in a study of universities.[48] In September 2008, the Oregon State University campus was designated the Oregon State University Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).[49] It is the only college or university campus in Oregon to have a historic district designation.[50] The effort to have the John Charles Olmsted-designed campus listed on the NRHP took two years.[50]

Branch campus (Bend)[edit]

OSU recently completed the construction of a branch campus located in Bend. This new branch campus is called OSU-Cascades and offers students living in the more central region of the state an opportunity to attend select classes at a campus location closer to their homes.


Colleges and schools[edit]

The academic programs are divided among twelve colleges and two schools, each with a dean responsible for all faculty, staff, students, and academic programs. Colleges are divided into departments administered by a department head or chair. Each department is responsible for academic programs leading to degrees, certificates, options, or minors.

  • College of Agricultural Sciences
  • College of Education
  • College of Public Health and Human Sciences
  • University Honors College
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Veterinary Medicine
  • College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Defense Education College (ROTC)
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • Graduate School
  • College of Science
  • College of Pharmacy
  • College of Forestry
  • College of Business

Student government[edit]

The Associated Students of Oregon State University (ASOSU) is the officially recognized student government at Oregon State University and represents all students in campus affairs and at community, state, and federal levels regarding issues that directly influence the quality of, and access to, postsecondary education.



Oregon State University has numerous national and internationally-famous alumni who have contributed significantly to their professions. Among over 200,000 OSU alumni, scientist and peace activist Linus Pauling may be the most famous. Pauling is the only recipient of two unshared Nobel Prizes, awarded in the fields of chemistry and peace.[5][51]

Science and computing[edit]

Notable science and computing alumni include United States National Academy of Sciences members Paul H. Emmett, Milton Harris, and Wayne L. Hubbell; National Academy of Engineering member Octave Levenspiel; and computer mouse inventor Douglas Engelbart, who is also credited with developing the initial concept of e-mail.


In the business world, OSU alumni hold, or have held, prominent positions in various industries. Former students who became prominent in business include Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO of NVIDIA; Leonard Shoen, founder of U-Haul; Bernie Newcomb, co-founder of E*TRADE; John A. Young, former president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard; Mercedes Alison Bates, the first female officer of General Mills and former vice-president of its Betty Crocker Cooking division; Thomas J. Autzen, plywood manufacturing pioneer and namesake of the University of Oregon's Autzen Stadium; Brian McMenamin, co-founder of the McMenamins restaurant/hotel/theater chain; Timothy S. Leatherman, inventor of the Leatherman tool and founder of the Leatherman Tool Group; and Don Robert, CEO of Experian.


In politics, notable alumni include former Governor of Idaho and United States Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus; former Governor of Oregon and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay; former Governor of Oregon John Hubert Hall; U.S. Ambassador to Burundi and Ghana Mary Carlin Yates; former U.S. Representatives Rod Chandler, Julia Butler Hansen, Norris Poulson, Lowell Stockman, and Jolene Unsoeld; and former U.S. Senators Frederick Steiwer and John Ensign.


Several notable OSU alumni are associated with the military, including Medal of Honor recipients Edward Allworth and John Noble Holcomb; commander of Marine forces at Henderson Hall and Colonel of the USMC Anthony E. Van Dyke; and World War II flying ace and USMC Major General Marion Eugene Carl.

Arts and entertainment[edit]

In arts and entertainment, alumni include Pulitzer Prize winner George Oppen; actors Trevor Bardette and Michael Lowry; news anchor Cathy Marshall; country music singer Travis Rush; screenwriter Mike Rich; radio host Greg Nibler; and architect Lee Arden Thomas, who designed the OSU Memorial Union.


Oregon State athletes have had a significant showing in professional sports, including more than 15 MLB players, more than 20 NBA players, and more than 130 NFL players.[52][53][54] Some of the more prominent athletes include Jacoby Ellsbury, a player on the 2007 World Series champion Boston Red Sox; NFL Pro Bowlers Chad Johnson, T. J. Houshmandzadeh, Steven Jackson, and Derek Anderson; Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker; Houston Rockets player Brent Barry; former NBA player "Iron Man" A. C. Green; and 2006 NBA champion and 9-time NBA All-Star Gary Payton. OSU alumni have earned more than 15 Olympic medals; medal-winning Olympians include high jumper Dick Fosbury, creator of the Fosbury Flop; first American woman to high jump over 6 feet (1.8 m) Joni Huntley; and undefeated amateur wrestler Robin Reed. 1996 graduate Les Gutches was also a Freestyle Wrestling World Champion.


Other notable alumni include NASA astronauts William Oefelein and Donald Pettit, Playboy Playmates of The Year Jodi Ann Paterson and Sara Jean Underwood, and Turkish billionaire Hüsnü Özyeğin.

Faculty and staff[edit]

OSU has several notable faculty members, including entomology professor George Poinar, Jr., whose work extracting DNA from insects fossilized in amber was the inspiration for the novel and film Jurassic Park.

OSU baseball coach Pat Casey was named Coach of the Year by several publications in both 2006 and 2007 when he led the baseball team to back-to-back national championships, and former OSU basketball coaches Slats Gill and Ralph Miller are both members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Current OSU head basketball coach Craig Robinson is the brother-in-law of President Barack Obama.

Student life[edit]

Dixon Recreation Center

Corvallis is the tenth largest city in the state. Still, it is a relatively small community and many of the local events have a strong connection to the university. Oregon State has over 300 active student organizations and groups, the most of any university in the Oregon University System. The campus is located only a few hours driving distance from any number of outdoor recreation opportunities. Several federal and state natural forests and parks make up popular student destinations. These include the Cascade Range, a rugged coastline, several large forests, the high desert and numerous rivers and lakes. Portland, Oregon's largest city, is 85 miles (137 km) north of the campus.

From 1930[55] until 1968, Oregon State University was home to the Gamma chapter of Phrateres, a philanthropic-social organization for female college students. Gamma was the third chapter of the organization, which eventually had over 20 chapters in Canada and the United States.

The majority of older students at Oregon State University live off-campus, but on-campus housing is available and typically home to incoming freshmen. There are 14 residence halls on campus, which are organized into individual Hall Councils. Residents make up the membership and each council holds their own elections to select management over the hall government. All of the councils are managed by the Residence Hall Association (RHA).[56]

The LaSells Stewart Center is the conference and performing arts center for the campus. Many famous speakers have graced the stage of the campus' main auditorium, Austin Auditorium, while the Corvallis-OSU Symphony plays there frequently. The OSU Office of Conferences and Special Events is located within the auditorium.

The University is host to a radio station, KBVR 88.7 FM, a television station, KBVR TV 26, and an award-winning student newspaper, The Daily Barometer.

Two Oregon State students are members of the Oregon Student Association Board of Directors.

Notable among a number of songs commonly played and sung at various events such as commencement, convocation, and athletic games are: Hail to Old OSU and the Alma Mater.


Reser Stadium
OSU mascot Benny Beaver

In a 2008 national ranking based on academics, athletic opportunity and overall performance, Oregon State was chosen as one of the "premier" universities in America. This ranking, performed by STACK magazine, places Oregon State 29th in the nation's "Elite 50" universities and uncontested within the state that year.[57] Since then, the University of Oregon has joined Oregon State in the STACK rankings.

The history of Oregon State athletics dates back to 1893, when "Jimmie the Coyote" was chosen as the college's mascot.[58] This was replaced by the beaver in 1910; it has remained the school's mascot. In 1915, the college became one of the four charter members of the Pacific Coast (Athletic) Conference.

Football is played in Reser Stadium. The current costumed mascot Benny the Beaver made his first appearance in 1952. The next year, 1953, saw the opening of the football facility, Parker Stadium (now named Reser Stadium). The Raising Reser campaign expanded the stadium from 35,000 seats to 46,200 throughout 2006–07. A time lapse video recording of the expansion is viewable on the internet.[59] 1962 saw OSU's (and the west coast's) first Heisman Trophy winner, quarterback Terry Baker. The University of Oregon is often seen as the school's key athletic rival, with the annual Civil War football game between the two teams being one of the nation's longest-lived rivalries.

Trysting Tree is the name of Oregon State's golf course, dedicated in 1988, the tournament level course has been recognized by Golfweek magazine as one of the top five collegiate golf courses on the West Coast.[citation needed] Its name is traced to a tree near Benton Hall where student couples would meet and make dates. Basketball is held in Gill Coliseum, named after former Beavers coach Slats Gill. The Civil War is one of the most contested rivalries in the nation. Baseball is held in Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The OSU baseball team, managed by Pat Casey, won back-to-back NCAA Division I Baseball Championships in 2006 and 2007.[60] Softball is held in the OSU Softball Complex. Opened in April 2001, the $1.5 million OSU Softball Complex seats 750. Oregon State hosted a Regional and Super Regional tournament in the 2006 NCAA tournament, winning both and moving on to the Women's College World Series.

Oregon State has a total of three NCAA championships. In addition to the two baseball titles, the Beavers won the 1961 NCAA Men's Cross Country Championship. In 1975, the men's rowing Varsity-4 with coxswain team won the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Collegiate Rowing Championships in Syracuse, New York, establishing a course record which stood for 15 years.[61] In 2006 and 2008, the Oregon State racquetball team won the USA racquetball intercollegiate championship.[62]


As of 2009, the total student enrollment (undergraduate and graduate) at OSU was 21,969. As of November 11, 2010, total enrollment had increased to 23,761 students. The jump gives OSU the largest enrollment of the state's two major universities.[63]

In accordance with the University’s mission for diversity, many organizations, clubs, and departments have been formed, including the Office Of Community and Diversity[64] and several cultural and resource centers.

Oregon State University has several cultural centers aimed at promoting diversity and supporting students of color, including the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center, Native American Longhouse, Asian & Pacific Cultural Center, and the Centro Cultural César Chávez.

In addition to its mission of ethnic diversity, Oregon State University supports its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender population with a Pride Center.


On Oct. 26, 2007, Oregon State University publicly launched "The Campaign for OSU," a $625-million fundraising effort and the university's first comprehensive capital campaign.[65] Originally intended as a seven-year effort, in October 2010 the campaign goal was increased to $850 million after gifts from more than 53,000 donors surpassed the initial goal nearly a year ahead of schedule. In March 2012 leaders announced a new goal of $1 billion to further provide opportunities for students, strengthen Oregon and conduct research that changes the world. Campaign priorities include initiatives supporting a diverse, high-achieving student body and those focused on three core areas of distinction in OSU’s strategic plan:[66] sustainable earth ecosystems, health, and economic growth and social progress. The campaign will run through 2014 and will help propel the university to a new level of distinction and global leadership.

OSU launched the campaign in collaboration with the Oregon State University Foundation, the nonprofit organization chartered to raise and administer private funds in support of the university's education, research and outreach. A Campaign Steering Committee of alumni and friends is led by co-chairs Patricia V. Reser ’60, James H. Rudd and Patrick F. Stone ’74.[67] The OSU Foundation is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees.[68] It holds assets of $563 million and manages the majority portion of the university’s endowment, valued at $412 million (June 31, 2011).[69]

Points of interest[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/oregon-state-university-3210
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  64. ^ "What's New | Equity and Inclusion | Oregon State University". Oregonstate.edu. 2012-01-26. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  65. ^ "The Campaign for OSU". 
  66. ^ "OSU strategic plan". Oregonstate.edu. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  67. ^ "Campaign Steering Committee". Campaignforosu.org. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  68. ^ "Board of Trustees". 
  69. ^ "Endowment performance" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-06-06. 

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