The original idea for a “college community center” came from two students, Warren Daigh and Tony Schille, who were a part of a student organization called the “Gauntlet and Visor.” Both of the men were ex-service men, who helped promote the larger interests of the campus and student body. After an endorsement from the student body at a special convocation held in the fall of 1920, a committee was formed to determine the ways and means by which such a building could be built on this campus. Fundraising continued for the remainder of the decade. Because of the economic conditions of that period, many families who made pledges to the construction of the Memorial Union were forced to send only a small portion of their annual pledge. These families were no less committed to the project and often continued to pay on their pledge until the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Construction began in late summer of 1927 with the first of twelve steel columns poking into the air. The Memorial Union opened its doors on schedule, early in October of 1928 and thousands of students, staff, faculty and alumni toured the massive structure and rejoiced in the culmination of their long-held dreams.
Today, the Memorial Union continues to be a center of campus life and activity. It is a leader among college unions internationally and is respected among peer institutions for its student leadership model, the preservation of its historically significant interior, the dedication of its staff and the creativity of its programs.
Planning for this year’s MUPC Dads Weekend is well under way. Here is the first draft of the weekend’s schedule. This is a tentative schedule, so things can change. Check the website (osumu.org) for updates. Special Note: Comedy Show tickets go on sale next Monday, September 28th, online.
FRIDAY (November – 13th)
3:30 – 5 Welcome Table | T-Shirts, schedules, refreshments | Memorial Union
4:00: Re-dedication of the Memorial Union veteran’s memorial | MU Concourse
6:30 & 9 Comedy Show headliner John Oliver | LaSells Stewart Center
All Day: Free Bowling for all Dads | MU Basement
SATURDAY (November – 14th)
9 – 10:30 Dad’s Breakfast | Memorial Union
9 – 1: Dad and I Photos | Memorial Union
9 – 4: Entertainment, Information & Activities | Memorial Union Quad
10 – 12: Radiation Center Tours | OSU Campus 35th & Jefferson
11 – 3 Root Beer Floats | Memorial Union
All Day: Strongest Beaver Contest | Memorial Union Quad
All Day: Free Bowling for all Dads | MU Basement
SUNDAY (November – 15th)
11 – 3: OSU Flying Club hosting an open house, free plane rides over the OSU campus.
All Day: Free Bowling for all Dads at MU Basement
People have been asking what the name Pan-Afrikan Sankofa for MU 213 refers to. Pan-Afrikan is a term that seeks unification of all people of the African Diaspora. Sankofa symbolizes people taking from their past what is good and using it to make positive changes in their future.
Artist Susan Bourque (who also serves as OSU Craft Center Manager) has created the Sankofa tile pictured above for the room. It is an Akan symbol that is derived from the words SAN (return), KO (go), FA (look, seek and take). This symbolizes the quest for knowledge with the implication that the quest is based on critical examination, and intelligent and patient investigation.
The symbol is based on a mythical bird that flies forwards with its head turned backwards. This reflects the Akan belief that the past serves as a guide for planning the future, or the wisdom in learning from the past in building the future.
The symbolic message:
The flags that hang in this display represent the countries of origin for many of OSU’s International students. Each student has helped to diversify the University with their unique experiences, culture, and personal knowledge. Flags are often viewed as powerful symbols of government, some of which may be out of alignment with our personal values. However, this flag display asks that we look past the governmental symbol and see each flag as a life of an OSU student. It is for that reason that historical flags, no longer representative of governments or countries, continue to hang in the Memorial Union. It is here that the lives of OSU students and their individual contribution to diversifying OSU are commemorated with this display.
The first flags:
The Memorial Union was presented a set of flags during World War II to commemorate those OSU men and women who were serving in the various branches of military service and to recognize the 26 allied nations supporting the United States effort in the war. At the completion of the war, the military flags were retired, but the allied nation flags continued to hang. The students and faculty were interested in watching the flag display grow and decided to add the flags of the founding United Nations member countries, as that entity continued to emerge following World War II. OSU students from the countries representing the United Nation members began writing to their embassies asking for donation of a flag.
An idea grows:
Once the majority of the United Nation member flags were acquired, other OSU International students wanted to see the flags from their countries hanging in the MU. Students from those countries began presenting flags as gifts or wrote letters of request to their embassies asking for a flag donation. A few flags appear to have been given by third parties on behalf of OSU International students from countries not represented in the display. Confirmation of this can be found in recorded gifts from alumni, visiting dignitaries and Corvallis host families who provided housing to International students, as they presented a flag in honor of the student they had known.
As part of the recent remodel of the Pan-Afrikan Sankofa Conference Room (MU 213), we have also done some work in the M.L. King Jr. Conference Room (MU 212) next door. These are now connecting rooms with the addition of a set of doors.
We re-framed a nice pair of Earl Newman prints in archival material to re-hang in M.L. King Jr. Conference Room. If you are not familiar with Earl Newman, he is a well know silk screener that has settled in Summit Oregon, about an hour west of Corvallis. Newman received his BFA degree from Massachusetts College of Art and went on to get a masters degree from Harvard University. Newman moved to Venice, California in 1961 with his wife and young family, where they would reside until 1972. Those years were politically charged times for our country. Newman was an advocate for peace and freedom and created many serigraph posters that captured his desire for an end to the Vietnam War. He set up a studio and opened a gallery store front and began his journey as a working artist.
His interest in Jazz music and a connection to the Monterey Jazz Festival producers led to another life-long pursuit that would culminate in a large series of posters dating back to 1963. A complete collection of his Monterey Jazz Festival posters have been acquired by a division of the Smithsonian Institute of Musical History in Washington, D.C.
Earl moved to Summit, Oregon in 1972. He is a local treasure and living proof that one can pursue a career in the arts and support a family in a location of their choosing.
Earl was featured on Oregon Art Beat last year and you can see the video at: Newman on Art Beat
Earl’s website is at: Earl Newman Prints
Memorial Union Program Council (MUPC) organizes about 20 campus wide events each year including concerts, Mom’s & Dad’s Weekends, and more. MUPC is made up of 8 directors that do all the planning, organizing and production of these events. Here are two of the 8 MUPC Directors this year that work out of the SEAC office in MU 103. The others will show up in this blog over the next few weeks.
Hey! My name is Allie Muscardin, and I am extremely grateful to be a part of MUPC! I am a Psychology and Liberal Studies major with my focus in advertising and public relations. I have interned for Davis Elen Advertising and PR in Portland, and I look forward to a career in the field when I graduate. I am also a proud assistant coach of a high school dance team that has won 7 straight state championships.
During my time with MUPC I hope to promote great events and bring new ideas to our great campus. I love to be creative and try new things. Oh, and my favorite thing in the world is McDonalds. Big Mac. Enough said.
Hi! I’m Jennifer Lam and I’m a junior at OSU majoring in general science with a pre-pharmacy option and a double minor in chemistry and health management and policy. Last year, I was the office coordinator for the Student Events and Activities Center and I worked with the MUPC on many of their awesome campus events. I’m excited to be a MUPC director this year and be more involved on campus, as well as get others involved. Random facts about me? I don’t like chocolate or cantaloupe, but I LOVE watching football. My dream is to be on The Amazing Race… do you want to be my partner?