Daily Archives: September 24, 2013

Benny the Beaver visits SCARC – and transforms into Benny the Researcher!

OSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center had a special patron in the 5th Floor Reading Room. Yes, Benny the Beaver! Benny was touring campus with Zoe from the College of Liberal Arts filming a new student orientation video. Mike was there to snap some pictures when Benny stopped by and shares the story!

Not surprisingly, Benny wanted to learn about university history and his Beaver heritage.

 The current Benny the Beaver has a long lineage reaching back over 60 years to the days when he was one of the first mascots active at events on the west coast. The logo to the left was designed by Arthur Evans and was approved by Oregon State College in 1951.

Like any diligent researcher looking into the history of his university, Benny planned to spend some time looking through our collections. He followed good researcher procedures and protocols by contacting us to make arrangements in advance, letting staff know he would be visiting and what he was interested in investigating.

We wanted Benny to be able to connect with his “roots” so we brought out our original Benny the Beaver sailor hat, which is in the style the original Benny wore from 1951 to 1998. Benny reverently placed this historic hat upon his head and was visibly moved by the experience. Actually it was kind of hard to tell how he was feeling, but we would like to think this was significant to our special patron. It’s safe to say that Benny knows the value of primary source documents for his research.

Benny found other fun vintage OSU memorabilia to look at, including a 1915 Oregon Agricultural College pennant and photographs of the 1984 Football team. He also looked through Beaver yearbooks and bound copies of the OSC Barometer. 

Benny’s visit was all too brief, but it was an honor to have this VIP patron in our reading room. Benny is now a registered researcher and on his next visit is set to continue his journey through our collections of OSU history.

Looking for a few more pictures? Fear not, you can find a set on Flickr!