Robert W. MacVicar, OSU President from 1970 to 1984, was born at Princeton, Minnesota on September 28, 1918. He attended the University of Wyoming, graduating with honors in 1939 with a B.S. degree in Chemistry. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1939, but he was unable to attend due to World War II. MacVicar continued his education at Oklahoma State University where he received a masters degree in Chemistry in 1940. After serving in the Army from 1939 to 1945, MacVicar attended the University of Wisconsin, where he completed his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1946.
MacVicar returned to Oklahoma State as Associate Professor in Agricultural Chemistry Research and Chemistry and as Professor of Biochemistry from 1946-1964. He served as Dean of the Graduate School at Oklahoma State from 1953 to 1964. From 1957 to 1964 MacVicar also served as Vice President for Academic Affairs. He became Chancellor of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1968.
MacVicar came to Oregon State University in 1970 where he served as President until his retirement in 1984. He simultaneously held the position of Professor of Chemistry. During President MacVicar's tenure in office, the decentralization of the top administration of the university began, when he added a number of vice presidents. After his retirement, he was named Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and President Emeritus, Special Assistant to the Chancellor. He also served as Acting President of the College of Ganado, a small college in Arizona, for seven months in 1985.
In 1983-1984 MacVicar served on the Tanzania Study Team at the Sokoine University of Agriculture. He was honorary chair for the State of Oregon of the United Nations Day Committee for 1990 and 1991. He also served as the chair of the Benton/Corvallis Library Art Committee for 1990-1991.
The correspondence in series I documents interaction between MacVicar and friends and colleagues concerning MacVicar's retirement from OSU, receipt of various honors and accolades, community speaking engagements, the economic and political state of higher education in Oregon, Southern Illinois University, and international projects MacVicar pursued as a consultant.
Primarily made up of journal article reprints, the publications also include membership directories, a chapter from an annual report, and various items from Southern Illinois University (SIU). The materials from SIU consist of 3 yearbooks, student unrest reports, and a underground student newspaper. Series III contains notes for a eulogy in honor of former OSU president James Jensen.
Series IV pertains to various projects pursued by MacVicar primarily after retirement as a consultant or committee member and includes budgetary materials, correspondence, donor lists, grant proposals, meeting minutes, reports, publications, studies, survey records, and treasurers reports. Among the subjects addressed by these projects include pharmacy education in the northwest, a supercollider facility in Oregon, the impact of Ballot Measure 5, a Sea Grant Program in Latin America, Peruvian agriculture, and the development of NorthWestNet by the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium. Committees documented in this series include: the United Nations Day Committee (for the State of Oregon), the Benton/Corvallis Library Art Committee, and the Northwest Academic Planning Forum, which MacVicar chaired from 1985 to 1987.
Series V is primarily made up of certificates of recognition presented to MacVicar by various Corvallis service organizations, honor societies, OSU clubs, and various branches of the U.S. armed forces honoring MacVicar for his service to OSU and involvement in the military. In addition to a honorary doctorate from Dankook University in Korea, this series also features small posters of poetry and sayings, including a copy of a poem read by William Stafford, Poet Laureate of Oregon, at the second inauguration of Victor Atiyeh as Governor of Oregon in 1983. The photograph and prints in series VI consist of an image of John E. Kirkpatrick, (who was a major supporter of the Oklahoma technical branch campus in Oklahoma City), a print of the Memorial Union by Alma Schulmerich, and a print of a doorway in "Old Kuwait".
Preferred Citation :
Robert W. MacVicar Papers, Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.
These papers are organized into six series: I. Correspondence; II. Publications; III. Speeches; IV. Projects; V. Certificates and Awards; and VI. Photographs and Prints.
Related Materials :
MacVicar's presidency is documented in the record group for the President's Office (RG 13), in subgroup 14. Other institutional records pertaining to to MacVicar can be found in the records of the Alumni Relations (RG 35) office. Among manuscript collections, The Roy A. Young Papers, also has materials pertaining to MacVicar. Photographic images of MacVicar and his family can be found in a number of collections: The Presidents of Oregon State University Photograph Collection (P 1); The President's Office Photograph Collection (P 92); The KBVR Photograph Collection (P 170); and Harriet's Collection. A recording on videotape of a broadcast interview of MacVicar can be found in the Extension and Experiment Station (P 120) Videotape/Film Collection.
Detailed Description of the Collection