Dad’s Weekend, the report

We had another successful open house last weekend! Approximately 100 people stopped by to enjoy a display of campus and football history memorabilia and view some vintage videos. Dads (and moms) and undergrads spent some quality time in the Archives throughout the day.

Did you know Dad’s Weekend started in 1933 making this the 80th Anniversary? I’ll admit that we didn’t know either when we planned the day, but now we regret not buying cake!

Super SCARC student worker Mike D. reported that

one of the highlights of the day for me was to experience young OSU Freshmen connecting with their Beaver heritage. No matter what school they were a part of, Mechanical Engineering, Oceanography, or the ever popular: “undecided,” these students learned that there is something for everyone in our collections. The day proved that you don’t need to be a stodgy old history researcher to darken our doors. I’m confident that these new students will be back in the archives throughout their college career at OSU.

Truth be told, it was our collection of Beaver yearbooks that received an extra rigorous workout that day — particularly the issues from the 1980s. Dads browsed and relived their college days through the pages and photographs, sharing stories with all of us.  Mike appreciated hearing  (more than once) “you had hair then!” It was gratifying to see all of the dads connecting with their kids through Beaver history!

Yearbooks and Barometers and Memorabilia… How we loved sharing it… The display of OSU history sparked many questions throughout the day. We all told the story of the First Morrill Act, which established land grant colleges, to interested alumni and students.  I concur with Mike’s “note to self” to read up on early OAC history, re-read the 1862 Morrill Act, and spend some time with our Land Grant documents.

Mike has a “box of goodies” he pulls out for these events that is full of historic ephemera like a rook cap (which was a green beanie worn by all freshmen boys) and a rook bible from 1926. Mike spent a lot time talking with one student, a member of the oldest sorority houses on campus Alpha Chi Omega, and her dad. The students was enthralled by the history of freshmen at OAC in the early days and spent over an hour reading the rook bible, finally finding the name of the original student owner. Then she wanted to actually “find” him, so she and her father poured through yearbooks trying to find information on this OAC student from days of yore. It was gratifying to see a young student taking such a personal interest in her campus history.

Larry spent a lot of time sharing his vast knowledge of university history. He’s elbow deep in a pictorial history of OSU, so it’s certainly fresh in his mind! He also had an interesting visit with one of the mothers, a caregiver for Douglas Strain (our reading room bears his name) at the end of his life. Tiah spent time with a father and daughter who were searching for poetry written by their grandfather in an early OAC yearbook. They got a little distracted by other fun finds, but were able to catch this bit of family on our Bookeye scanner. The final visitor was the Student Station Manager from KOAC — who was so excited about our holdings of her station’s early history! She plans to use our collections to find old KOAC photographs to use in recruiting new students, returning as an actual researcher to dig into the history of our radio station. KOAC, by the way, is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year! Mike says “yay! More cake!”

The SCARC Dad’s Weekend open house was memorable in many ways. The event was highlighted by the sheer volume of interested families who came through our doors from 10:00am to 2:00 (and later…), and the genuine engagement and interaction we experienced from all who attended.

We were all exhausted but in a good way!

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