Monthly Archives: February 2015

Hail to Old O.A.C., the back story

Few people who have ever gone to an Oregon State athletics event or just watched one on television will be unfamiliar with what happens when the Beavers score, whether it’s a touchdown, 3-pointer or a goal – the crowd erupts, the athletes celebrate and the Oregon State Band launches into the song we all know so well.

You know the one I’m talking about:

 The OSU fight song and it’s creator are actually far older than most people would give them credit for, seeing as the song was penned over a century ago in 1914. To demonstrate how long ago that was, it needs to be pointed out that when the song was written it wasn’t titled “Hail to Old O.S.U.” and it didn’t even mention Oregon State University in it, the song was about Oregon Agricultural College.

Shortly after it had emerged from the pen of O.A.C. alumni Wilkins, “Hail to Old O.A.C” was already the official fight song of the university. Despite the long amount of time that has passed since it was adopted – 101 years – the song itself has undergone very few changes. The most notable changes include the increased focus on the chorus and the verses included in the 1914 version being phased out as well as the lyrics becoming more gender neutral. The modern version of the fight song also features the seemingly classic  B-E-A-V-E-R-S chant that virtually every student and alumnus has sung along with at least once.

The song hasn’t lost any of its bite after all this time though, and the lyrics still pay homage to the Beavers fighting spirit and their physical toughness as written by Wilkins in 1914. The composer himself was a member of the O.A.C. Orchestra and the Chief Musician of the O.A.C. Cadets.

A Jeffersonian Debater with a thesis on Systematized Debate, Wilkin’s interests weren’t confined to just music either. Wilkins was a literary commerce major who after graduation embarked on a string of business endeavors that took him from Fresno to Los Angeles where he would spend the rest of his life (A list of places and companies he worked for can be located on the OSU Alumni website here). In 1957 Wilkins returned to his alma mater and the town that he had grown up in for his 50-year college reunion where he was photographed relaxing in a chair at the Memorial Union. Wilkins would pass away 2 years later in 1959; a great man who had made an invaluable and enduring contribution to the university he loved, a contribution that can be heard every time the Beavers show up to play. Harold Wilkins our hats are off to you.

Special thanks to blog author Christopher Russell for this awesome post!

Adolph “Ade” Sieberts, a fabulous athlete!

It’s an exciting time to be a fan of Beaver Basketball. With a new coach at the helm, the son of former OSU great Gary Payton making headlines and an upset of #7 Arizona under their belts, things are looking bright for the team. With all of the focus on the players of the newest generation it’s easy to forget all the great athletes the Oregon State Basketball team has fielded over the years. In fact, it’s been almost 100 years now since Oregon State saw it’s first player who was accorded the honor of being an all-American.

99 years ago a player by the name of Adolph “Ade” Sieberts was captain of the Beavers and leading them to second place in the Northwest Conference and first place in the Pacific Coast Championship – the conference that would grow to become what is today the Pac-12.

Playing from the forward position, Sieberts would become a two-time All-Pacific Coast Conference Selection with the Beavers.

Sieberts was noted not just for his excellent skills as both a passer and shooter that made him a standout in basketball, but for the fact that he excelled at Baseball as well. Sieberts led the Beavers to a Northwest championship in 1916. His season with the Beavers was highlighted by his play against the University of Oregon, where he pitched both games of a double-header and led the beavers to victories in both of them. He started as a second baseman for the Beavers where he earned the nickname “swat” through his hitting, due to the way in which he hit the ball.

Although his successes are long in the past, not more than 25 years ago Sieberts was inducted into the Oregon State University Sports Hall of Fame and remains one of the few athletes in school history who won multiple division titles in different sports in the same year. A commerce major from Portland, Sieberts was highly active outside of sports. He was a member of the fraternity Kappa Sigma Nu, an editor for The Beaver in 1917, and a Sergeant for the Oregon State ROTC in 1916. His yearbook quote for the 1917 issue of The Beaver was simply “Let us eat, drink and be merry”.

~Post written by Christopher Russell, SCARC intern & History major

January 2015, the month in finding aids.

Last month was a great one for revisiting collections!

Lucy Lewis Scrapbook.

Eight new finding aids were written in January for SCARC collections; this month’s batch includes guides for one new collection acquired in 2014, one maps collection, and 6 collections for which we previously had only minimal information available online.

All are available through the NWDA finding aids database, the SCARC website, and the catalog. As of January 31, 2054 the OSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center had 810 finding aids in NWDA.

New collection received in 2014:

Biddle, Margaret Alden, Scrapbook, 1910-1917 (MSS Biddle):

This scrapbook is comprised of materials assembled by Margaret Biddle during her teenage years in Portland, Oregon between 1910 and 1917 and includes programs, playbills, and newspaper clippings documenting music, dance and theater programs, playbills, and newspaper clippings documenting music, dance and theater performances, film showings, and lectures in Portland; souvenirs from a 1910 cruise to Holland and Norway, the 1914 Pendleton Round-Up, and the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco; and several drawings and photographs.

Maps collection:

Street Surface Maps of Oregon Cities and town, 1939-1942 (MAPS Streets):

This collection consists of 426 detailed maps depicting street surface types, railroads, and locations of structures for more than 200 cities and towns in Oregon.

Collections that previously had minimal information available online:

Lewis, Lucy, Scrapbook, 1914-1915 (MSS Lewis): This scrapbook humorously documents a 12-day hiking excursion taken by Lewis and six companions in 1915 to Mount Jefferson, a peak in Oregon’s Cascade Range. It contains an extensive narrative, a list of previous climbers successful in summiting Mount Jefferson, a full accounting of provisions, a Santiam National Forest brochure, a small ink and watercolor painting, and more than 100 photographs. Lucy Lewis began her career at Oregon Agricultural College in 1911 as an assistant librarian; in 1920 she was appointed College Librarian. She retired in 1944.

Mattson, Joe O., Photograph Collection, 1923-1924 (P 145):

Carlos Steele, a Beaver basketball player who received NCAA All-American honors in 1925. From the Joe O. Mattson Photograph Collection.

The Mattson Photograph Collections consists of 38 photographs taken and assembled by Mattson that document student life at Oregon Agricultural College in the mid-1920s.  Detailed descriptions of the photographs and recollections of the events depicted in them were provided in a letter written by Mattson that accompanied the photographs. Mattson attended Oregon Agricultural College from the fall of 1923 through the fall of 1925.

Oregon Agricultural College Voluntary Observers’ Meteorological Records, 1889-1940 (MSS Meteorology):

These records are comprised of weather observation data collected on the Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) campus between 1889 and 1940 on behalf of the U.S. Weather Bureau. Included are daily temperature, precipitation, wind direction, evaporation, and wind speed values as well as notes on other meteorological phenomena.

Oregon State Yank Newsletters, 1943-1945 (PUB 010-15c):

These newsletters (8 total) were edited and published by two Oregon State College graduates for Oregon State alumni in military service during World War II.  All the issues are available online at

Parcher, Phillip, Photograph Album, 1915 (P 143):

This album consists of duplicate prints of photographs taken by Parcher during the summer of 1915, while he was attending Oregon Agricultural College Summer Session. The images depict campus buildings and view and other local scenes. Parcher earned a degree in Industrial Arts from Oregon Agricultural College in 1919.

Taylor, Armond C., Photograph Collection, 1916 (P 139):

This small collection of 21 photographic postcards includes images of various buildings and campus views at Oregon Agricultural College. Taylor attended Oregon Agricultural College in 1913-1917 and earned a degree in forestry in 1917.