Guide to the Presidents of Oregon State University Photographic Collection
circa 1865-1999

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Overview of the Collection

Title: Presidents of Oregon State University Photographic Collection
Dates: circa 1865-1999 ( inclusive )
1910-1970 ( bulk )
Quantity: 0.5 cubic foot, including 300 prints, 7 film negatives, 6 slides, and 1 oil painting (4 boxes, include 3 oversize boxes)
Collection Number: Consult repository.
Summary: The Presidents of Oregon State University Photographic Collection consists of images of Oregon State University presidents from W. A. Finley through Paul Risser from a variety of sources and in various formats, primarily b/w prints. The collection includes multiple images for William Jasper Kerr, George W. Peavy, August L. Strand, and James H. Jensen.
Repository: Oregon State University
University Archives

121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-4501
Phone: 541-737-2165
Email: archives@oregonstate.edu
Web: http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu/archives

Languages: Materials in English 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

Since its designation as a land-grant institution of higher learning in 1868, Oregon State University has had 19 presidents, including 5 acting (or interim) presidents. They have been William A. Finley, 1865-1872 (Finley was appointed president of the university's predecessor institution, Corvallis Academy, in 1865); Joseph Emery, acting, 1872; Benjamin L. Arnold, 1872-1892; John D. Letcher, acting, 1892; John M. Bloss, 1892-1896; H. B. Miller, 1896-1897; Thomas M. Gatch, 1897-1907; William Jasper Kerr, 1907- 1932; George W. Peavy, acting, 1932-1934, president, 1934-1940; Frank L. Ballard, 1940-1941; Francois A. Gilfillan, acting, 1941- 1942; August L. Strand, 1942-1961; James H. Jensen, 1961-1969; Roy A. Young, acting, 1969-1970; Robert W. MacVicar, 1970-1984; John V. Byrne, 1984-1995; Paul G. Risser, 1996-2002; Timothy P. White, interim, 2002-2003; and Edward J. Ray, 2003-.

The president is the chief executive officer of the university. From 1868 to 1929 the president reported to the college's Board of Trustees/Regents. Since the creation of the Oregon University System (formerly the Oregon State System of Higher Education) in 1929, the president has reported to the System's chancellor.

Content Description

The Presidents of Oregon State University Photographic Collection consists of images of most of OSU's presidents and acting presidents. The majority of the images are black and white prints. Several images have multiple prints. A few of the 19th century portraits are albumen prints, and others are copies. The collection also includes 5 camera negatives, 6 color slides, and an oil painting; these are indicated in the detailed description of the collection.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation :  

Presidents of Oregon State University Photographic Collection (P 1), Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

The photographs are arranged in 17 series, primarily by president: I. William A. Finley; II. Benjamin Lee Arnold; III. John M. Bloss; IV. H.B. Miller; V. Thomas M. Gatch; VI. William Jasper Kerr; VII. George W. Peavy; VIII. Frank Llewellyn Ballard; IX. A.L. Strand; X. James H. Jensen; XI. John D. Letcher; XII. Francois A. Gilfillan; XIII. Multiple Presidents; XIV. Robert W. MacVicar; XV. John V. Byrne; XVI. Paul Gillan Risser; and XVII. Roy A. Young.

All images have been assigned individual numbers (P001:001-P001:114).

Future Additions :  

Additions to the collection are expected.

Related Materials :  

Other photographic collections containing substantial numbers of presidential photos include Harriet's Collection and the Alumni Association (P 17), Historical (P 25), Faculty and Staff (P 46), News and Communication Services (P 57), Gwil Evans (P 82), President's Office (P 92), Robert W. Henderson (P 98), and Agricultural Communications (P 120) Photographic Collections.

Albumen prints of early 1890s protraits of John M. Bloss and John D. Letcher are available in the Emile Pernot Photographs (P 230).


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I:  William A. Finley, circa 1865-1870

W.A. Finley served as the first President of Corvallis College from 1865 until 1872. He was appointed in 1865 as President of the University's predecessor institution, Corvallis College, by the Methodist Episcopal Church South and was president at the time the College was chosen as the agricultural college for Oregon under the provisions of the 1862 Morrill Act.

Container(s)
Description
Box
1 P001:001: As a young man (possibly taken at time of marriage), circa 1865
4 prints
P001:002: Portrait , circa 1870
Box
1
8 prints
2
apx 12x17 in.
1 oversize print

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Series II:  Benjamin Lee Arnold, circa 1875

Benjamin Lee Arnold was named president by the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church South in the summer of 1872 and arrived in Corvallis in September. Arnold continued as president until his death on January 30, 1892, at the age of 52.

Container(s)
Description
Box
1 P001:003: Portrait made in Winona, Mississippi
Photograph by L. Goldson.
1 carte de visite and 1 print

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Series III:  John M. Bloss, circa 1895

John McKnight Bloss served as the third President of Oregon Agricultural College from 1892 until 1896. He was the first OAC president hired directly by the Board of Regents.

Container(s)
Description
P001:004: Portrait
Box
1
2 prints
2
apx 12x17 in.
1 oversize print

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Series IV:  H.B. Miller, circa 1890-1920

A successful Oregon businessman and politician, Miller served as president of Oregon Agricultural College for only eleven months in 1896-1897.

Container(s)
Description
Box
1 P001:005: Portrait, circa 1920
3 prints
1 P001:006: Seated portrait, circa 1915
5 prints
1 P001:007: Portrait, circa 1890s
Made by Eugene photographer Sue Dorris.
1 P001:112: Portrait, circa 1915

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Series V:  Thomas M. Gatch, circa 1907

Gatch was appointed as president of Oregon Agricultural College because of his vast experience in higher education, having previously presided over Willamette University (1860-1865 and 1870-1880) and the University of Washington (1887-1895). He retired from the OAC presidency in July 1907 (at the age of 74), but remained at the College as Professor of Political and Mental Science until the end of 1907.

Container(s)
Description
P001:008: Portrait
Box
1
3 prints
2
apx 12x17 in.
1 oversize print

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Series VI:  William Jasper Kerr, circa 1905-1940

William Jasper Kerr was chosen as President of Oregon Agricultural College in 1907 and lead the College through a 25-year period of tremendous growth in numbers of students and faculty, academic and research programs, and physical facilities. Kerr's influence on Oregon higher education continued as he served as the first Chancellor of the Oregon State System of Higher Education from 1932 until his retirement in 1935.

Container(s)
Description
Box
1 P001:009: Portrait, 1940
By Kay-Hart, New York.
15 prints
P001:010-P001:011: Standing on campus, circa late 1920s
Box
1
Perhaps by John Burtner.
1 P001:011: On Memorial Union steps
By John Burtner.
1 P001:012-P001:021: Seated at desk, circa 1930
Box
1
1
6 prints
1
9 prints
1
3 prints
1
By Ball Studio.
10 prints
1
3 prints
P001:022-P001:024: In cap and gown, 1931
Box
1
3 prints
1
2 prints
1
4 prints
1 P001:025: Pen drawing, circa 1925
By A.J. Stover.
1 P001:026: Portrait, circa 1905
By Salt Lake City (Utah) photographer C.R. Savage.
7 prints
1 P001:027: Portrait, 1913
By Ball Studio.
1 P001:028: Portrait, circa 1910
By Rockwood, New York City.
2 prints
1 P001:029: Standing portrait, circa 1910
By Harris and Ewing, Washington, DC
P001:030-P001:032: Portraits, 1923
By Bushnell (Frank?), Portland.
Box
1
2 prints
1
4 prints
1 P001:033-P001:038: Portraits, circa 1925
Box
1
By Ball Studio.
2 prints
1 P001:034: Seated portrait.
By Harris and Ewing, Washington, D.C.
1
By Ball Studio.
3 prints
1
2 prints
1
By Ball Studio.
1
By Ball Studio.
7 prints
1 P001:039: Walking across campus with Lincoln Steffins, 1913
1 duplicate print
Steffins was a speaker at the College Convocation on October 22, 1913; photograph published in 1915 Orange, p. 129 and in the 1969 Beaver, p. 60. The original print is at P25:289.
P001:040-P001:043: Portraits, circa 1930
Box
1
7 prints and 1 copy negative
1
By Harris and Ewing, Washington, D.C.
2 prints
1
By Harris and Ewing, Washington, D.C.
2 prints
1 1930
By Bushnell (Frank?), Portland.
5 prints
1 P001:044: Seated portrait, 1930
By Harris and Ewing.
1 P001:045-P001:046: Portraits, 1930
By Harris and Ewing
5 prints
P001:047-P001:049: Portraits, circa 1934
Box
1
5 prints and 1 copy negative
1
12 prints
1
5 prints
1 P001:050-P001:054: Portraits, circa 1926
Box
1
By Ball Studio.
4 prints
1
By Steffens-Colmer Studio.
5 prints
1
By Steffens-Colmer Studio.
5 prints
1
By Ball Studio.
4 prints
1
2 prints
P001:108: William Jasper Kerr and family, circa 1920
Standing (l to r): Ralph Reynolds, Vesta Kerr Reynolds, Horace Kerr, Adma Green Kerr, Lynette Kerr McGinnis, Genieve Kerr Henry. Seated (l to r): Leona Kerr Shinn, Leonora Deseret Hamilton Kerr, Robert Marion Kerr, William Jasper Kerr.

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Series VII:  George W. Peavy, circa 1890-1955

George Peavy, Dean of Forestry, was appointed Acting President of Oregon State College in 1932 when President Kerr was chosen as the first Chancellor of the Oregon State System of Higher Education. In January 1934 he was designated President of the College and also continued as Dean of Forestry, positions he held until his retirement in 1940.

Container(s)
Description
Box
1 P001:055: Portrait, circa 1925
By Ball Studio.
2 prints
1 P001:056: Seated in Library's McDonald Room, 1934
4 prints
1 P001:057: Portrait, 1938
3 prints
1 P001:058: Holiday greetings letter, 1935
P001:059-P001:061: At Peavy Arboretum, 1935
Box
1
4x5 negatives and 7 prints
1
2 4x5 negatives and 2 prints
1
1 print
1 P001:062: With students outdoors, circa 1955
3 prints
Color reproduction of a painting by Fred Ludekens. The painting of Peavy with a group of students, made posthumously by the Weyerhauser Timber Company, was used extensively in advertisements in trade journals and the popular press, including The Saturday Evening Post.
P001:063-P001:065: Portraits, 1938
Box
1
By Continental Studio, New York.
2 prints
1
2 prints
1
7 prints
1 P001:103: Cabinet card portrait, early 1890s
By Randall of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
1 P001:105: Dressed in field gear, circa 1920s

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Series VIII:  Frank Llewellyn Ballard, circa 1940-1950

After a distinguished career with the Oregon State College Extension Service, Ballard was appointed president in 1940. He served less than a year because of illness and returned to the Extension Service administration. Ballard was the first OSC alumnus to serve as president.

Container(s)
Description
Box
1 P001:066: Portrait, circa 1950
1 P001:067: Portrait, circa 1945
1 P001:068: Portrait, circa 1950
2 prints
1 P001:069: Seated portrait at table, 1940
2 prints

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Series IX:  A.L. Strand, circa 1945-1970

A.L. Strand was appointed President of Oregon State College in the fall of 1942 and led the College through World War II and the post- war period of extensive growth in students and facilities until his retirement in 1961.

Container(s)
Description
Box
1 P001:070-P001:071: Portraits, 1947
Box
1
9 prints
1
4 prints
1 P001:072: Seated at table smoking a cigar, 1965
By Robert W. Henderson.
color slide
1 P001:073: Making speech (at Bell Field?), circa 1945
1 P001:074-P001:075: Portraits, circa 1950
1 P001:077-P001:078: In cap and gown, circa 1950
By Howells Studio, Corvallis.
1 P001:079: Portrait, 1961
11 prints
1 P001:080: Machine show, looking at GE airplane engine, 1951
P001:081 and P001:083: Seated at desk, circa 1945
Box
1
4x5 negative and 2 prints
1 P001:083: Cropped version of P001:081.
2 prints
1 P001:082: Seated at desk (copy of drawing by Ralph Iligan), undated
1 P001:084: Making speech, circa 1948
1 P001:085: Portrait, circa 1970

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Series X:  James H. Jensen, circa 1965

An internationally respected scientist, educator, and administrator, Jensen served as Oregon State University president from 1961 until 1969 and led the institution's first steps toward becoming a University in fact as well as name by expanding degree programs in the liberal arts as well as scientific research programs.

Container(s)
Description
Box
1 P001:086: Smoking pipe
By Robert W. Henderson.
color slide
1 P001:087: Seated at desk
By Fred Zwahlen
4 prints
P001:088-P001:089: Portraits
Box
1
3 prints
1
2 prints
1 P001:090-P001:098: Seated at desk
8 prints and 1 contact sheet

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Series XI:  John D. Letcher, circa 1892-1931

Senior Professor John D. Letcher was chosen unanimously by the Board of Regents as the acting president after B.L. Arnold's sudden death in January 1892. According to their report, he was "better acquainted with the duties of the president and the working of the college than any other man living". He held the position in addition to his teaching duties for 4 months until the arrival of John McKnight Bloss in early June.

Container(s)
Description
Box
1 P001:099: Modern print of published portrait, circa 1892
See also P077:036.
3 P001:111: Painting, 1931
apx 25x30 in.
Painting by W. Maurice Ball of John D. Letcher made in 1931 from a photograph provided to Oregon Agricultural College by Letcher. The original photograph was made during the time that Letcher was affiliated with OAC (1888-1894).

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Series XII:  Francois A. Gilfillan, circa 1940

F.A. Gilfillan was officially appointed as Acting President of Oregon State College in September 1941 after the resignation of President Ballard. However he had been serving as chair of the Administrative Council and carrying out the president's campus duties since October 1940. He lead the University through the uncertain months of the beginning of World War II until A.L. Strand's arrival in October 1942.

Container(s)
Description
Box
1 P001:100: Portrait, circa 1940
By Howells Studio.
3 prints

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Series XIII:  Multiple Presidents, circa 1920
Container(s)
Description
P001:101: Composite of Presidents
Includes William A. Finley, Benjamin A. Arnold, John M. Bloss, H.B. Miller, Thomas M. Gatch, and William J. Kerr.
Box
1
5x7 negative
4
apx 16x20 in.
Oversize print

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Series XIV:  Robert W. MacVicar, 1942 and early 1970s

MacVicar came to Oregon State University in 1970 from Southern Illinois University, where he had been a vice president and chancellor since 1964. President MacVicar was a staunch proponent of the land-grant university concept and built close ties during his years as president between OSU and the people of Oregon. He retired in 1984.

Container(s)
Description
Box
1 P001:102: 2nd Lt. Sanitary Corps, U.S. Army, 1942
1 P001:104: OSU's champion hog caller; on Eastern Oregon tour (?), circa early 1970s
By Robert W. Henderson (12898).
color slide

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Series XV:  John V. Byrne, 1985-1995

Byrne assumed the presidency in November 1984 and served for 11 years until the end of 1995.

Container(s)
Description
Box
1 P001:106: Seated at desk, circa 1994
3 color slides
1 P001:107: Portrait, circa 1985
1 P001:109: John and Shirley Byrne, 1987
Taken by Mark Floyd, News and Communications Services
News and Communications file no. 254, neg. no. 9.

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Series XVI:  Paul G. Risser, 1996-1999

On November 2, 1995, the Oregon State Board of Higher Education named Paul G. Risser to succeed John Byrne as President of Oregon State University. He served as OSU president from 1996 to 2002.

Container(s)
Description
Box
1 P001:110: Portrait, 1996
By Ball Studio.
3 prints
1 P001:114: Paul and Les Risser (two views), before August 1999
2 prints

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Series XVII:  Roy A. Young, circa 1970

Young, Professor of Plant Pathology, was appointed in 1966 as the University's first Dean of Research with responsibility for campus-wide research coordination. He served as Acting President for one year until the arrival of MacVicar in July 1970, when he resumed responsibility for research coordination as Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, a position he held until 1976.

Container(s)
Description
Box
1 P001:113: Portrait

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Subjects

  • Personal Names :
  • Arnold, B. L. (Benjamin Lea), 1839-1892.
  • Ballard, Frank Llewellyn.
  • Bloss, John McKnight, 1839-
  • Byrne, John Vincent, 1928-
  • Finley, W. A. (William Asa), 1839-1912.
  • Gatch, Thomas M.
  • Gilfillan, F. A. (Francois Archibald), 1893-1983.
  • Jensen, James H.
  • Kerr, William Jasper, 1863-1947.
  • Letcher, John D.
  • MacVicar, Robert William, 1918-
  • Miller, H. B.
  • Peavy, George Wilcox, 1869-1951.
  • Risser, Paul G.
  • Strand, A. L. (August Leroy), 1894-
  • Young, Roy A. (Roy Alton), 1921-
    • Subject Terms :
    • College presidents--Oregon--Corvallis.
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Albumen prints.
    • Cabinet photographs.
    • Cartes de visite.
    • Film negatives.
    • Oil paintings.
    • Photographic prints.
    • Slides.
      • Other Creators :
      • Burtner, John C. (John Cole), 1895-
      • Goldson, L.
      • Henderson, Robert W. (Robert Wesley), 1914-
      • Savage, C. R. (Charles Roscoe), 1832-1909.
      • Zwahlen, Fred C., 1924-
      • Ball Studio.
      • Harris & Ewing.
      • Howell's Studio.
      • Oregon State University.

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