2015 ~ The year the Oregon Stater turns 100!

In October of the year 1915 a 16 page magazine, little bigger than a small pamphlet, was published and sent out by the Oregon State Alumni Association.

The Alumni Association was still relatively young and the cost of the membership due was only a dollar, but despite the low cost of membership very few alumni contributed much money to the organization and early issues of the magazine made clear that they were on fairly poor financial footing. OSU alumnus E.B. Lemon wanted to change that…

Seeking to gain greater financial stability, the magazine issue urged members to pay their dues and even talked about the creation of a special club within the Alumni Association for those who gave five dollars. One of the ultimate benefits of the increased funding was to be a designated alumni center on the Oregon State Campus. The magazine was created in part to demonstrate the neat features that the Association could put out regularly with more funding.

The Oregon Stater would become a hit with Alumni who wrote in letters to show their support for the publication, with one saying that “[w]ithout the assistance of an alumni publication there is little opportunity for graduates to keep in touch with their Alma Mater and to watch its progress.”

Over time the magazine grew in size and the content focus began to shift as well. Early issues of the Oregon Stater featured many statistics on OSU as an institution and how it compared in attendance and other factors to various Agricultural colleges around the nation. Sports topics were popular then as they are now and the early publications focused on things like the Beaver’s athletics teams, new coaches, transfers, and season outlooks. Early issues also featured several small poems, written about the Alumni Association itself or just the struggles of a freshman trying to pass chemistry. A large component of these magazines was also the focus on the comings and goings of Oregon State Alumni, whether it be jobs, marriages, the birth of children, the death of former graduates and even just reminiscing about former classmates that few people saw anymore. By 1920 this section had become “Who’s Who?” and the magazine had gotten a makeover in appearance and size.

Later articles in the Oregon Stater followed the increasing growth of the College as it added on buildings, departments, faculty and new services for students. During World War One the Oregon Stater began publishing letters from the front, sent by Oregon State graduates seeking to connect with former classmates and find out what everyone was up to even as the soldiers toiled in Europe.

The scope and size of the Oregon Stater has changed greatly over the years and its past issues offer a unique view of the growth and development of Oregon State. By looking at the growth of the University whether in buildings, students or new research the Oregon Stater is helping to keep alumni up to date with their Alma Mater and ensure that even after graduation anyone can still be a member of the Beaver family if they wish.




Important details:

  • The Oregon Stater is published by the OSU Alumni Association three times a year (Fall, Winter, Spring) and distributed to all alumni households, and non-alumni members of the association.
  • The archives of the Oregon Stater are available on the OSU Alumni Association site from April 2000 to the present; however, they include only excerpts of each magazine until the April 2006 issue and after are full PDF versions of the magazine as published.
  • Looking for something in particular? The Oregon Stater index is available online at http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/oregon-stater-index.pdf.

This post was written by Christopher Russell, a History student who will join the alumni ranks in June 2015. Research and quotations were taken from past issues of the Oregon Stater, accessed through the Oregon State Special Collections & Archives Research Center.

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Finding aids for April!

Masthead from the September 3, 1959 issue of “Old Yeller,” the Oregon Vocational Agriculture Teacher’s Newsletter. Oregon Vocational Agriculture Teacher’s Association Newsletters (MSS OVATA)

Following is a list of 7 finding aids for SCARC collections that were completed during April 2015. All are available through the NWDA finding aids database, the SCARC website, and the library catalog.

This batch includes guides for one new collection acquired in 2015 and 6 collections for which we previously had only minimal information available online. As of April 30, 2015 the OSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center had 822 finding aids in NWDA.

Oregon Vocational Agricultural Teacher’s Association Newsletters, 1959-1970 (MSS OVATA): This collection consists of the organization’s newsletter, Old Yeller, written by and for agricultural teachers in Oregon high schools and community colleges. David Raynalds, who earned a M.Ed. in Agricultural Education from Oregon State University, contributed the regular column “Tex Talks” to the newsletter.

Amidon, Edna P., Papers, 1924-1979 (MSS Amidon): The Amidon Papers document her work as an international leader in home economics.  Included are materials documenting her work as a Regional Agent (1929-1938) and Chief (1938-1964) of the Home Economics Education Service, particularly during the Great Depression and World War II; drafts of speeches and publications given in support of home economics; records of professional activities in Germany (1947), Sweden (1947), and France (1954); professional literature; and biographical materials.

Center for the Humanities Records, 1974-2012 (RG 221): These records document the formation, functioning and activities of the both the Oregon State University Center for the Humanities as well as the Humanities Development Program that preceded it. In addition to daily operations and major events supported by the Center, the collection also details the academic certificate programs administered by the Center as well as the resident fellows that it hosted. The records likewise provide a thorough accounting of the International Film Series, which the Center sponsored for over twenty years. The Humanities Development Program was formed in 1977 and succeeded by the Center for the Humanities in 1984. OSU English professor Peter Copek ran the program and the Center until his death in 2001. The collection includes 31 photographs and 1 audiocassette.

Nicholson, Diane, Photographs, 1974-1975 (P 153): This small collection of 50 photographs taken by Nicholson includes snapshots of a birthday party for University Archivist, Sally Wilson, and photographs of campus buildings and views. Diane Nicholson attended Oregon State University in 1970-1974 and earned an undergraduate degree in history; she may have worked in the University Archives during her student years or during the summer of 1975. This guide includes an item-level list of the photographs that comprise the collection.

Phillips, Mark Clyde, Collection, circa 1857-1961 (MSS PhillipsM): The collection is comprised of materials generated and collected by Mark Clyde Phillips, an OAC Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Superintendent of Heating. The materials document Phillips’ education and career at OAC (1897-1947) and include correspondence, course materials, certificates and diplomas, a patent, and professional literature. Materials document the Phillips and Crawford families are also part of the collection. The collection includes 62 photographs. This collection now includes individually numbered photographs that formerly comprised the Mark Clyde Phillips Photographic Collection (P 070).

Rihani, Ina, Photographs, 1977 (P 160): The Ina Rihani Photographs consist of snapshots of Monroe, Oregon, taken or assembled by Rihani.  Rihani enrolled at Oregon State University in the 1970s; she earned a B.A. in Sociology in 1975 and a M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies in 1982. The collection includes 61 photographs.  An item-level list of the images is part of this guide.

Stock’s Cash Store Records, 1880-1897 (MSS Stock): This collection consists of three ledger books documents sales and purchases made by Stock’s Cash Store, a general store located in Corvallis, Oregon, between 1880 and 1897.  These materials were previously titled “Corvallis General Store Records.” Morris Stock was born in Morsbach, Germany, circa 1827. He immigrated to the United States in the mid-1800s and, by 1860, was a merchant in Corvallis, Oregon.  He relocated with his wife to New York City and ultimately, returned to Oregon where he opened Stock’s Cash Store on Corvallis’ Main Street and established himself as a prominent member of the local Jewish community.

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Robin Reed ~ An Oregon State Wrestling Legend

R. Reed from the 1924 Oregon State Wrestling team.

Most Oregon State fans are all too aware of some of the great football and basketball players who have passed through this school. Some of the fans may be aware that Oregon State has one Heisman trophy courtesy of Terry Baker, but it’s far less likely that they know that Oregon State has featured several gold-medal-winning Olympians. Amongst that company of athletes, one name stands out for his impressive career that was unparalleled in its dominance.

Robin Reed wouldn’t have struck very many people as someone destined to be a wrestling great, weighing less than 130 pounds when he first took to the mat in high school at Portland’s Franklin High, but Reed quickly learned about the basics of the sport and in his time at Oregon State he took home the National AAU Championship in three different years[1]. His greatest feat was in 1924 when he won gold at the Paris Olympics, beating his fellow O.A.C. teammate Chet Newton in the finals and winning every single match by pinning his opponent.

R. Reed (top) competing on the mat.

Reed often participated in higher weight classes; during the 1924 wrestling season he entered the 175-pound class despite only weighing 140 pounds himself and won every single match. Perhaps the most extraordinary part about Reed’s career is that throughout it, he never lost a single match. In the 1927 Oregon State yearbook Reed’s style was described as “[placing] far more stress on a nimble brain and quick muscles than upon brute strength.” Despite his low weight Reed was able to wrestle with the best and according to the stories, on his way to Europe for the Olympics he wrestled every single other member of the U.S. wrestling team, winning every match and pinning all but the heavyweight.

R. Reed as coach in 1925.

After his college career came to an end Reed took up coaching at his alma mater, leading them to a Northwest conference title in 1925. After several years Reed quit coaching and became a professional wrestler for a decade, deciding to pursue real estate as a new line of work. In 1978 Reed was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and in that same year he passed away, leaving behind a remarkable career and an unblemished record on the mat.

All pictures and other information not cited was taken from the Oregon State 2005-2006 Wrestling Catalog as well as the 1925, ’26 and ’27 yearbooks.

Another round of thanks to History student Christopher Russell for this post!

[1] “National Wrestling Hall of Fame.” National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Accessed April 27, 2015. http://nwhof.org/stillwater/hall-of-fame/#type=hof&honoree=29.

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New finding aids from February & March

From the Francis T. Howard Diary, 1858-1946

The following is a list of 8 finding aids for SCARC collections that were completed or updated during February and March 2015. All are available through the NWDA finding aids database, the SCARC website, and the library catalog.

This batch includes guides for one new collection acquired in 2014, 6 collections for which we previously had only minimal information available online, and a collection that received a small addition. As of March 31, 2015 the OSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center had 817 finding aids in NWDA.

Tooze, Ruth Tibbits, Papers. 1938-1940 (MSS Tooze): This collection is comprised of materials collected by Ruth Tooze during her tenure as Vice President of the Oregon Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU).  The Papers include correspondence, notes, typescripts, budget records, meeting agendas, pamphlets and leaflets, press releases, educational planning documents, song sheets, event programs, and news clippings.

Applegate, Jesse A., Collection, 1861-1934 (MSS Applegate): This collection is comprised of materials created by and relating to Jesse Applegate, an Oregon pioneer and early Oregon Country political leader responsible for establishing the Applegate Trail.




Copek, Peter, Papers, 1966-2001 (MSS Copek): The Copek Papers document Copek’s scholarly interests in film and literature, and also provide insight into his and associations as a member of the English Department and as an advocate for research in the humanities. Peter Copek was a faculty member in the English Department from 1972 until his death in 2001 and was the founding Director of OSU’s Center for the Humanities. The collection includes photographs, sound recordings, and a videotape.

Harris, Celeste Liston, Scrapbooks on Ben Hur Lampman, 1926-1951 (MSS HarrisC): These four scrapbooks are comprised of news clippings, photographs, and other ephemera documenting the life and work of poet, essayist, and Oregonian newspaper columnist Ben Hur Lampman between 1926 and 1951. Celeste Liston Harris was a Portland, Oregon, resident.

Howard, Francis T., Diary, 1858-1946 (MSS Howard): This diary consists primarily of journal entries written by Oregon pioneer Francis T. Howard recording his life as a farmer and mill operator outside Mulino, Oregon, between January 1858 and June 1859. The collection also includes newspaper clippings and other ephemera documenting the Howard family between 1863 and 1946.

Marcus, David A., Letters, 1972-1985 (MSS Marcus): These letters are comprised of correspondence between Marcus and politicians, peace activists, religious leaders, scientists, and intellectuals. Topics include the potential for nuclear conflict, the need for a global peace organization, and the future of humankind. These materials were acquired in 1990 as part of the History of Atomic Energy Collection and were separated from the larger collection in 2015.

Moore, Harriet, Photograph Collection, 1890-1962 (P 150): This small collection of 66 photographs, assembled by Moore, documents Oregon State students, faculty, and campus scenes.  Harriet Moore was Oregon State University’s first archivist, a position she held from 1961 to 1966, and an avid local historian.

Heslep, Charter, Papers, 1932-1963 (MSS Heslep): This guide was updated to reflect an additional item that was transferred from the History of Atomic Energy Collection to the Heslep Papers.



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Mom’s Weekend ~ a historical recap

This weekend will mark the 91st iteration of Oregon State’s Mothers Weekend, but the event hasn’t always taken the shape it does now, in fact it wasn’t called Mothers Weekend until 1947.

Brochures and programs referred to it as Woman’s Day although yearbooks typically called it Mothers Weekend as early as 1928, likely because it fell on the weekend of Mother’s Day. The first of these weekends took place back in 1924 when it was simply called Woman’s Day.

The event had been put on by the League of Women and the idea had been presented to President Kerr by the Dean of Women at the time, Kate Jameson who said later that her idea was “to take just one day and devote it to women themselves”. That one day featured a women’s track meet, singing and a banquet for the 200 mothers who attended. By the early 60’s that number had grown to over 2000 mothers and the festivities now included flower shows, fashion shows, drill team competitions and even turtle races.

The first Woman’s Day featured a theme of “Women’s Opportunities” and later themes of the decade would include women in the fine arts, women of achievement, pioneer women and mothers. The Associated Women Students group began hosting Woman’s Day shortly after the day’s inception and began installing new officers on that weekend every year. The event soon featured pledges towards women’s honorary groups as well as sororities, honors towards these groups also became part of the celebration.

Dances, theater acts and musical performances became a routine part of Woman’s Day by the mid 30’s and eventually the mothers of male students were added into Mother’s Weekend.

In 2015 the holiday has expanded to fill three days full of events including animal shows, concerts, open houses, sports tournaments and more. No matter the time period, the goal of showcasing Oregon State and celebrating the mothers of its students has been consistent and this weekend will be another chance for beaver fans to celebrate the school and their family.

Want to see more pictures of moms? Check out the Mom’s Weekend / May Day set in Flickr!

Sources Used

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Summer internship working with a fabulous collection ~ and it’s paid.

Students — are you looking for a summer gig in the archives?

Items from the J Sedell collection!

OSU Libraries & Press seeks an undergraduate intern for Summer Term 2015 to assist in the processing and description of James R. (Jim) Sedell’s papers held in the Special Collections & Archives Research Center.

Sedell is a former OSU faculty member and strongly influenced generations of ecologists and impacted research and natural resource policy regionally and globally, particularly in the area of stream ecology. The student selected for this internship would play a key role in helping us provide physical and intellectual access to this collection by inventorying the collection, assisting in the physical processing, conducting outside research as required and writing narrative descriptions.

Hours/Schedule: 15 hours per week during normal business hours (Monday through Friday), specific hours and days to be arranged

Wages: $12.00 per hour.

Candidate Requirements:  OSU undergraduate with an expected graduation date no sooner than December 2015,  majoring in an area of Natural Resources, such as Forestry, Fisheries & Wildlife or with an interest in ecology, history of natural resources, or archives  

Contact Ruth Vondracek at ruth.vondracek@oregonstate.edu with questions!

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Happy 50th birthday Hatfield Marine Science Center!

When the Marine Science Center was dedicated in 1965 the Oregon State Oceanography program had existed for a mere 6 years. Created at the backing of Wayne Burt in 1959, the program grew rapidly and within 10 years had over 30 faculty and over 100 staff members.

OSU’s Yaquina

In 1972 the program would become a school and by 1983 it had become the College of Oceanography, but far before that could happen the program had quickly discovered several problems. Thanks to funding from the Office of Naval Research, the developing Oregon State Oceanography program had been able to furnish a vessel of their own to aid them in their research, but they were lacking in space for their coastal facilities as well as a place for them to moor their vessel, the 80-foot Acona. Needs for harbor increased once the department upgraded the Acona to a vessel over twice her size, the 180-foot Yaquina, converted from a World War II freighter ship.

In a stroke of good fortune the fledgling program was able to get a grant from the federal Area Redevelopment Administration to create their new complex. With over 1 million dollars in funding – the vast majority from the ARA – OSU was able to create their facility after securing a 99-year lease on 49 acres of land in the Yaquina Bay. As part of the lease agreement the city of Newport wanted the facility to include a public aquarium and museum to boost the city’s tourism and help it get out of an economic depression.

When the center first opened in ’65  it was not prepared for the flood of people who arrived – 50,000 in the first year – and faculty and researchers were forced to contend with questions from eager children when they weren’t working on their own projects. By the late 70′s the Center was fielding almost 400,000 visitors a year. With help from OSU’s Art Department the Marine Science Center was able to amaze many of the early guests who were fascinated by the touch tanks as well as the octopus. Over the years the number of tank exhibits increased and in 1983 they introduced a whale-watching program for the public where volunteers would staff locations for people to come watch the migration of gray whales; this program became extremely popular and near the end of the decade was drawing in tens of thousands of visitors, many of them from other countries. Today the whale watching program gets around 40,000 people each year coming to designated whale watching locations.

One of Oregon State’s current ships, the Oceanus The Oceanus

1983 was an important year for another reason, as it saw the name of the center changed to the Hatfield Science Center, named for former governor Mark Hatfield who had shown great support for the center throughout his political career and his time in office. The 80′s also saw a series of scientists with abilities in education come to work at the Marine Science Center which was reaching out to more and more children and students of the Oregon school system; in 1990 the Hatfield Center was visited or reached out to 6% of Oregon students.

Starting out with $200,000 to build the Oceanography program’s first laboratory and then a little over one million dollars to start construction work at Yaquina Bay, the Hatfield Marine Science Center was able to raise over 45 million dollars in funding in the last fiscal year alone. From it’s humble beginnings the Hatfield Marine Science Center has grown enormously, but  importantly it still remains a place for students and those interested in learning more about the environment off of the coast. Thanks to it’s growth over the years the Center has been able to plant the seeds of that interest and foster it’s progress through seminars, exhibits, classes, outreach programs and more that serve to connect the Center with the community at large.

The Elakha (Sea Otter) The RV Pacific Storm, pictured above is one of OSU’s three ships currently in use.

For more information and to find sources for many of the budget statistics see http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/files/main/hmsc_annualreport_2012_2013__0.pdf 

For more information on the early beginnings of the Marine Science Center here are several articles created by the Center to document it’s history see:

Post by OSU History student Christopher Russell.

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Langton Hall Centennial

Another round of thanks to History student Christopher Russell for this great post on the centennial of Langton Hall. Good news — he’ll be back in the spring for another round of research and blog posts!

Claire V. Langton

When William Kerr took over as President of Oregon State University in 1907 – then Oregon Agricultural College – the University was a very different place academically but also physically. Many of the key buildings that are seen as essential to OSU did not exist then. Kerr was remembered as someone who greatly expanded the college and it’s facilities, adding on buildings that are still heavily used today, from Waldo Hall to the Memorial Union. One of the notable buildings created under his watch, Langton Hall, marks it’s centennial anniversary this year. 

Originally called the Men’s Gymnasium, the building did not change names until 1973 when it took on the name of the recently deceased Clair Langton, head of the department of Health & Physical Education from 1928-1964. Dr. Claire V. Langton had previously taught at the University of Michigan before coming to Oregon State and he was a firm supporter of the policy “every man in athletics”.

Horticulture show in the 20s.

The Men’s Gymnasium quickly proved itself useful as it adapted to a variety of purposes. Until the creation of Gill Coliseum all commencements were held in the Men’s Gymnasium and it served as the home of all college and intramural basketball games too. Aside from more routine events like homecoming dances the Gymnasium was also host to other events like horticultural shows, which featured varieties of fruits, nuts and other plants.


The Men’s Gymnasium in the 20’s

Although visually similar, the Men’s Gym didn’t become the Langton Hall we know today until 1920 when several crucial changes were made including the construction of the pool and the addition of the west wing to the building. The swimming pool in particular was of great benefit to the swim team which gained in popularity following the pool’s construction. Holding 260,000 gallons of water, the pool in the Men’s Gymnasium was the largest on the Pacific Coast at the time of it’s construction and had a gallery that could fit 2500 people.

Construction begins on the pool.

The pool was state of the art at the time, featuring underwater lights, large-pressure filters and a 130 horse-power engine for heating the pool.

Langton Hall today has had some of it’s functions replaced by other buildings once Gill Coliseum took over commencement ceremonies as well as basketball games. The famed pool of Langton is no longer the only one on campus, but the building still serves as a center for intramural activities and physical activity courses (or PAC courses). Today Langton Hall stands as part of the building legacy left by President Kerr and has been named after a tireless OSU faculty member who was dedicated to the idea of students being involved in athletics, an idea that bears fruit every time a student enters through those doors.

Cadets stand in formation in front of the Men’s Gymnasium

Commencement in the Men’s Gymnasium.
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Hail to Old O.A.C., the back story

Few people who have ever gone to an Oregon State athletics event or just watched one on television will be unfamiliar with what happens when the Beavers score, whether it’s a touchdown, 3-pointer or a goal – the crowd erupts, the athletes celebrate and the Oregon State Band launches into the song we all know so well.

You know the one I’m talking about:


 The OSU fight song and it’s creator are actually far older than most people would give them credit for, seeing as the song was penned over a century ago in 1914. To demonstrate how long ago that was, it needs to be pointed out that when the song was written it wasn’t titled “Hail to Old O.S.U.” and it didn’t even mention Oregon State University in it, the song was about Oregon Agricultural College.

Shortly after it had emerged from the pen of O.A.C. alumni Wilkins, “Hail to Old O.A.C” was already the official fight song of the university. Despite the long amount of time that has passed since it was adopted – 101 years – the song itself has undergone very few changes. The most notable changes include the increased focus on the chorus and the verses included in the 1914 version being phased out as well as the lyrics becoming more gender neutral. The modern version of the fight song also features the seemingly classic  B-E-A-V-E-R-S chant that virtually every student and alumnus has sung along with at least once.

The song hasn’t lost any of its bite after all this time though, and the lyrics still pay homage to the Beavers fighting spirit and their physical toughness as written by Wilkins in 1914. The composer himself was a member of the O.A.C. Orchestra and the Chief Musician of the O.A.C. Cadets.

A Jeffersonian Debater with a thesis on Systematized Debate, Wilkin’s interests weren’t confined to just music either. Wilkins was a literary commerce major who after graduation embarked on a string of business endeavors that took him from Fresno to Los Angeles where he would spend the rest of his life (A list of places and companies he worked for can be located on the OSU Alumni website here). In 1957 Wilkins returned to his alma mater and the town that he had grown up in for his 50-year college reunion where he was photographed relaxing in a chair at the Memorial Union. Wilkins would pass away 2 years later in 1959; a great man who had made an invaluable and enduring contribution to the university he loved, a contribution that can be heard every time the Beavers show up to play. Harold Wilkins our hats are off to you.

Special thanks to blog author Christopher Russell for this awesome post!

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Adolph “Ade” Sieberts, a fabulous athlete!

It’s an exciting time to be a fan of Beaver Basketball. With a new coach at the helm, the son of former OSU great Gary Payton making headlines and an upset of #7 Arizona under their belts, things are looking bright for the team. With all of the focus on the players of the newest generation it’s easy to forget all the great athletes the Oregon State Basketball team has fielded over the years. In fact, it’s been almost 100 years now since Oregon State saw it’s first player who was accorded the honor of being an all-American.

99 years ago a player by the name of Adolph “Ade” Sieberts was captain of the Beavers and leading them to second place in the Northwest Conference and first place in the Pacific Coast Championship – the conference that would grow to become what is today the Pac-12.

Playing from the forward position, Sieberts would become a two-time All-Pacific Coast Conference Selection with the Beavers.

Sieberts was noted not just for his excellent skills as both a passer and shooter that made him a standout in basketball, but for the fact that he excelled at Baseball as well. Sieberts led the Beavers to a Northwest championship in 1916. His season with the Beavers was highlighted by his play against the University of Oregon, where he pitched both games of a double-header and led the beavers to victories in both of them. He started as a second baseman for the Beavers where he earned the nickname “swat” through his hitting, due to the way in which he hit the ball.

Although his successes are long in the past, not more than 25 years ago Sieberts was inducted into the Oregon State University Sports Hall of Fame and remains one of the few athletes in school history who won multiple division titles in different sports in the same year. A commerce major from Portland, Sieberts was highly active outside of sports. He was a member of the fraternity Kappa Sigma Nu, an editor for The Beaver in 1917, and a Sergeant for the Oregon State ROTC in 1916. His yearbook quote for the 1917 issue of The Beaver was simply “Let us eat, drink and be merry”.

~Post written by Christopher Russell, SCARC intern & History major

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