The 2013 OSU Homecoming game against Stanford may have not been the biggest success of the season, but SCARC’s open house event certainly was! Saturday, October 26th was a memorable day here in the reading room. Karl McCreary, Trevor Sandgathe, and Mike Dicianna played host to some excited patrons and alumni with a display of OSU Homecoming history in the SCARC reading room.
Throughout the day, visitors spent quality time with ephemera, yearbooks, and OSU Barometers highlighting homecoming history. Early in the day, a couple of OSU alumni from the early 1980s showed interest in our Memorabilia Collection (MC). They asked about our original documents from the Land Grant legislation, and were able to see some original OSU history. In speaking with them, I found they were OSU Marching Band alumni and she spoke of the band playing the alma mater after each game, a tradition that needed to be reborn, she added. I retrieved our original sheet music of “Hail to Old OAC”, written in 1914 by Harold A. Wilkins. This file in the MC contains a number of original copies of the music, probably used by the OAC Cadet Band of the era. I was gratified to see how profoundly moved this patron was to see these artifacts. I do believe her hands were trembling a bit as she handled this original score. This is what the Memorabilia Collection is all about!
The highlight of our day however, was an enthusiastic group of alumni that descended upon the reading room late in the day. The Class of 1959 contingent arrived in full Beaver regalia, and they were enthralled by the display of “their” history. The OSU Barometer bound editions we had on display were a huge hit! The stories from their years at OSC started to flow, and memories rekindled by the yearbooks and Barometer articles, entertained us for the rest of the afternoon.
We learned that the campaign for student body officers during the era was quite a contested affair. The Shamrock Ticket was standing before us! Harlan Smith, Dave Socolofski, and Jane Sailing all ran for ASOSC office for the 1959 year. And there, in the bound version of the Barometer on the table, was the news coverage of the race!
We also learned that the 1959 ASOSC administration was involved in the process to designate Oregon State College as a full University (finalized in 1961). These were the folks that helped make OSC history. Unfortunately, the Shamrock ticket was not elected that spring of 1958. Some interesting stories of the hard fought campaign were shared, involving toilet seats all over campus. Harley Smith served as the ASOSC First Vice President during the 1959 school year.
The alumni from the Class of 1959 were a joy to interact with. They were truly appreciative that SCARC would preserve the history of their college. Dave Socolofsky, Junior Class President of 1958 was especially interested in our collections. He had no idea that we would keep this stuff! Yes, Mr. Beaver Alumni, we do indeed. He took pictures with his I-Phone (cool guy) of the memories before him in the Barometers from 1958.
I have to admit my motives for the day were kind of self-serving. I was fishing for Oral History subjects for my OSU history project. Capturing the campus life stories of students from the different decades is my primary goal. This group of enthusiastic alumni was all interested in contributing! These stories of OSC/OSU are being captured in video interviews and will be part of the university’s 150th anniversary celebration.
All in all, the SCARC Homecoming Open House was a huge success! I can hardly wait until next week’s display for Dad’s Weekend! Maybe we can snag some more subjects for the oral history project!