Thanks Mike for this post!
A little more than a week before the start of the 2013 OSU football season, SCARC received two very important research requests, almost simultaneously. Images of OSU’s football history and related research were requested for two very important venues at Reser Stadium. What a fantastic opportunity for SCARC to provide OSU alumni and special University guests a glimpse into our century of football pride.
Kelly DiChristina with OSU Event Planning was redecorating the University Suite on the upper level. She wanted to include a gallery of photographs and memorabilia highlighting significant points in OSU history. The football program at Oregon State began in 1893-94 and SCARC has significant holdings that fit the bill.
That same day, Nicole Markel, Assistant Athletic Director, Donor Relations & Stewardship contacted us saying she wanted to install a display on the second level Founders Loge as well. This venue is filled with active alumni at our home games and she was looking to upgrade two display shelves at either end of the space. Again, important football images would be the center piece of the installation.
Megan Guerre was already in the process of creating a finding aid for our Football Photograph (P004) collection, so our research was already off to a good start. Megan and I searched through SCARC’s holdings for important photographs that would tell the story of OSU Football. Using various collections, including our Memorabilia Collection, Harriet’s Collection and Alumni Photographs, we identified about fifty of the “best of the best.”
Along with photographs, we included football programs from all three of OSU’s Rose Bowl appearances, as well as some other colorful and historic programs from early OAC vs. U of O games. These programs highlighted some important points in OSU history such as the 1928 NYU vs. OAC game played in Yankee Stadium. We also provided some vintage photographs of prior football stadiums on campus, Bell Field and Parker Stadium. Benny the Beaver images were also featured.
We wanted to illustrate some of the highpoints of OSU football history. The 1907 Pacific Coast Champion team photograph, the OAC “Iron Men” of 1933, and a wonderful color photograph of the 1967 “Giant Killers” were provided, along with many more images.
At present, both installations are in place at Reser. There is still some work to be done on both displays, but they are truly spectacular. Reception to the exhibits has
been fantastic. Alumni and guests have crowded around the photo displays at each game, experiencing OSU’s long football history through images with descriptive captions (provided by Megan and Myself). Nicole Markel told us that Ken Austin and his family viewed the display at the opening game of the season. Ken’s grand children were shown the image of him in costume – “Look, your grandpa was Benny the Beaver!”
The Reser Football History project is something for SCARC to be proud of. Megan and I were honored to provide assistance in these important displays. We really felt like we were serving our college in a special way.
Both of these venues at Reser Stadium are showplaces of Beaver pride and are viewed by important alumni and guests of OSU. Special plaques recognizing SCARC for providing materials are displayed prominently, another feather in our cap!