Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Old St. Francis History Pub

The People’s School: A History of Oregon State University

Old St. Francis School

5:30 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. event


All ages welcome

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Qualifies for “Attend a McMenamins History-Sponsored Event” Experience Stamp.

About The People’s School: A History of Oregon State University

The People’s School: A History of Oregon State University

Presented by Bill Robbins

The presentation will begin with Robbins’ personal connection to Bend and OSU’s distant delivery programs offered at Central Oregon Community College.  He was among the first three or four professors to offer televised classes that were transmitted to the COCC campus (if there were no storms in the mountains)!  Robbins continued to participate in the program through the advent of “smart classrooms” on the Corvallis campus and with simultaneous two-way video and audio communications with Bend students.  The discussion will offer a brief review of the land-grant tradition and the beginnings to modern Oregon State University.  With its roots in Corvallis College, a sectarian institution affiliated with the Methodist-Episcopal Church, South, in 1868, the state took control in 1885, and the school became the Agricultural College of the State of Oregon.

From there, the institution grew apace, increasing in student numbers, faculty, and the size of its campus.  The presentation will address Robbins’ strategy for organizing the book, the importance of providing context for the story, OSU’s place in the history of higher education, curriculum battles with the University of Oregon, the gradual emergence of OSU as a modern comprehensive university, and events of the recent past, concluding with a discussion of OSU Cascades.

About the Speaker:

William G. (Bill) Robbins is emeritus distinguished professor at Oregon State University, where he taught from 1971 until 2002. Following a four-year stint in the United States Navy, he immigrated to Oregon from the East Coast and earned a Ph.D. degree in History at the University of Oregon (1969). During his more than thirty years at Oregon State University, Robbins taught courses in Western American, Pacific Northwest, and Environmental history. He is the author and editor of several books on Oregon and the American West. Among his books are Colony and Empire: The Capitalist Transformation of the American West (1994), Landscapes of Promise: The Oregon Story, 1800-1940 (1997), Landscapes of Conflict, 1940-2000 (2004), and Oregon, This Storied Land. Oregon State University Press published The People’s School: A History of Oregon State University in the fall of 2017 to commemorate the institution’s sesquicentennial as a land-grant school. His current project is a history of the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest.


About Old St. Francis History Pub

Old St. Francis History Pub

These monthly, free events are open to everyone interested in Oregon and Pacific Northwest history. Co-sponsored by like-minded historical and civic organizations, we bring you experts, scholars, first-person experiencers and historians who expound on topics from Lewis and Clark to shipwrecks, hop growing to women pioneers and far, far beyond. It's like being back in the classroom - except this time you get to settle into comfortable seats and enjoy a drink or two with dinner while you listen and learn.

This event is eligible for a History Pub Stamp